A study by STATEC has revealed that of the 15 Luxembourg communes with the highest socio-economic index score, six are in the canton of Luxembourg, four in the canton of Grevenmacher, three in the canton of Capellen and two in the canton of Esch- sur-Alzette.
STATEC has compiled a composite index of socio-economic variables to measure the evolution of social inequalities at the municipal level. The index takes five variables into account: the number of persons benefiting from the guaranteed minimum wage; the unemployment rate; the median wage; the share of residents who are employed and who work in occupations classified in the International Standard Classification of Low-Level Occupations; and the number of single-parent households.
The results of the index reveal the Luxembourg canton to have the most number of communes with the highest socio-economic score. The agglomeration of the City of Luxembourg, as a national economic engine, therefore seems to play a fundamental role in the spatial structuring of socio-economic inequalities.
The index shows that the proportion of people benefiting from the guaranteed minimum wage varies between 0.5% in the commune of Heffingen and 8.5% in Wiltz, with a national average of 3.6%. People who earn minimum wage are more present in the northern part of Luxembourg than in the centre and the south. Several municipalities are nonetheless an exception to this observation, with relatively high shares, namely the City of Luxembourg and the communes of the former mining basin in the southwest of the country.
Another variable measuring territorial disparities is unemployment. Levels vary between 2.6% in the commune of Bech and 13.2% in Esch-sur-Alzette (2015). The index shows that the unemployed are concentrated mainly in the major cities of the country. The municipalities which include the biggest cities of the country (Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Differdange, Dudelange, Pétange, Rumelange, Bettembourg, Ettelbruck, Diekirch, Wiltz, Echternach) all stand (except Bettembourg) With unemployment rates above 6.9%
In Luxembourg, there are large regional differences in terms of the median wage and overall, median wages in the north and centre of the Grand Duchy are lower than in the south. The northern tip of Luxembourg, part of the Nordstad, the lower part of the Ernz Blanc valley, as well as the communes of Wiltz, Vianden, Beaufort and Echternach, show the median wages among the lowest. The municipalities of the former mining basin to the south and southwest of the country, as well as certain communes along the German border, also have low median wages.
The share of people working in low-level occupations ranges from 6.4% in the commune of Weiler-la-Tour to 31.6% in Vianden. A significant proportion of the population residing in the north and centre of the country works in this type of occupation.
The share of single-parent households varies between 4.1% in the commune of Saeul and 10.5% in the commune of Heffingen. The national average is 8.0% (2011). Many single-parent households are concentrated in the municipalities bordering the northern and central regions, while the southern region has lower percentages, except for the former mining basin, Mondercange and Schuttrange. In the south-central part of the country, with a central point in the municipality of Luxembourg, the rate of single-parent households is low (between 6.4% and 7.5%).