Form of Government: Federal republic
Area: 83 882 sq km
Population: 8 822 267 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 105.18 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 49° - 46° N; long. 10° - 17° E
Capital: Vienna=Wien (capital) 1 888 776 inhab. (2018); Vienna 2 200 000 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.908 (rank: 20)
President of the Republic: Alexander Van der Bellen (independent), elected 4 December 2016, in office since 26 January 2017
Chancellor: Brigitte Bierlein (independent), since 3 June 2019
National Council: seats (July 2019 update): ÖVP (Austrian People’s Party, Christian democratic, centre-right), 61; SPÖ (Social Democratic Party, centre-left), 52; FPÖ (Freedom Party, nationalist right-wing), 50; NEOS-The New Austria (liberal centre), 10; JETZT-Pilz List (greens, populist), 6; others, 4
Internet: www.statistik.at (Statistik Austria)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, EU, OAS observer, OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO
International license plate code A
International dialling code 0043
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .at
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October
Annual average temperature (°C) Vienna 10.7
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Vienna 0.5/20.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Vienna 8/2
Annual average precipitation (mm) Vienna 615
Days of rainfall (annual average) Vienna 95
Politics and current affairs
The “Ibizagate” affair surrounding Heinz-Christian Strache, vice-chancellor and leader of the right-wing populist FPÖ, led to the collapse of the government led by Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP). Following the publication of a video showing Strache in Ibiza seemingly meeting a supposed family member of a Russian oligarch to offer him government contracts, the populist leader resigned on 18 May 2019. Kurz nonetheless decided to pull out of the coalition with FPÖ, attempting to form a government with the minority. However, on 27 May, a vote of no-confidence was carried out by the opposition - the Social Democratic Party - and FPÖ, forcing Kurz to resign. On 3 June 2019, the former judge Brigitte Bierlein was nominated chancellor until new elections on 29 September 2019. The current political upheavals do not seem to have had too much influence on the European elections on 26 May, which affirmed the strong rapports between the two parties.
Austria is bordered by the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west and Germany to the north-west. Over 70% of the country is made up of the north-western section of the Alps; the remaining part of the country is occupied by the hills and plains of the Danube basin and by the western extremity of the Pannonian Plain. The highest peaks (Grossglockner, 3797 m; Wildspitze, 3768 m) lie in the central area of the Alpine sector.
The main rivers are the River Danube, the River Inn, the River Traun, the River Mur and the River Drava. The climate is continental, with Alpine characteristics in the higher areas.
Austria regained full sovereignty in 1955 with the State Treaty which marked the end of military occupation after the Second World War. During the following decades political life in the country was characterized by a substantial degree of stability. Austria became a member of the European Union in 1995.
On the basis of the 1920 Constitution, Austria is a federal republic made up of nine federated states (Länder), among which the capital Vienna, all enjoying a considerable degree of autonomy. Legislative power lies in the Parliament, made up of two chambers: the National Council (Nationalrat, 183 members elected by direct suffrage), for a term of five years, and the Federal Council (Bundesrat, 62 members appointed by the Diets of the federal states); in 2007 the voting age was changed to 16 years of age. The President of the Republic is elected by direct suffrage for a term of six years which may be renewed only once. The functions of the office are mostly representative; however, the President has the power to appoint and rescind the appointment of the Chancellor, who is the head of the executive and whose appointment has to be approved by Parliament.
With the ratification of the State Treaty of 1955, Austria declared its neutrality. The country maintains a presence in the EU peace-keeping force in Bosnia-Herzegovina (EUFOR).
The legal system is based on the principles of the continental European system.
The highest organ is the Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof), besides which there are four Appeal Courts, 20 regional tribunals and 128 district tribunals.
|Vienna=Wien||1 888 776||inhab.||2018|
|Vienna||2 200 000||inhab.||2018|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2018)|
The Austrian population is stationary in terms of size and tends towards ageing. The percentage of the rural population is rather high. Some ethnic minorities are protected: Croats and Hungarians in Burgenland, Czechs and Slovaks in Vienna, Slovenes in Carinthia. There is a significant number of foreign workers, predominantly from the Balkans and Turkey.
In 2017, the number of asylum seekers dropped drastically to around 25 000.
|Foreigners, total||1 395 880||units||2018|
The economy grew 2.7% in 2018 and unemployment fell to 4.9%. However, the slowdown in Germany could lead to a drop in the growth rate, expected to be around 1.5% in 2019 and 2020.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||100.37||index||2016|
|Balance of trade||-8 601.6||M US$||2018|
|Active population||4 539 000||units||2018|
|Active population, Females||46.8||%||2018|
|Unemployment rate, Females||45||%||2018|
|Expenses||121 306.4||M LCU||2018|
|Revenues||120 570||M LCU||2018|
|Currency in circulation||33.53||BN LCU||2018|
|International reserves||23 190.7||M US$||2018|
Agriculture and livestock.
Farming is highly productive. The most important crops include wheat, cereals and organic products.
The production of quality wines is also significant (in Lower Austria, Vienna and Styria), as well as horticulture and fruit growing.
Austria was the first European country to ban the use of glyphosate, an herbicide considered harmful to our health.
The rearing of pigs and cattle is important (the latter in the Alpine region).
The production of building timber and timber for industrial use is significant. In the Alpine valleys the making of wooden craftwork is widespread.
|cereals, total||4 874.921||1000 t||2017|
|roots and tubers, total||653.4||1000 t||2017|
|beans, green||6.156||1000 t||2017|
|broad beans, dry||22.962||1000 t||2017|
|sugar beet||2 993.71||1000 t||2017|
|flax fibre and tow||0||1000 t||2017|
|hemp tow waste||3.384||1000 t||2017|
|carrots and turnips||1.836||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, green||0.481||1000 ha||2017|
|broad beans, dry||10.296||1000 ha||2017|
|sugar beet||42.684||1000 ha||2017|
|flax fibre and tow||0.001||1000 ha||2017|
|hemp tow waste||0.673||1000 ha||2017|
|timber||17 647 118||m³||2017|
|cattle||1 954.391||1000 heads||2017|
|cattle and buffaloes||1 954.391||1000 heads||2017|
|pigs||2 792.803||1000 heads||2017|
|equines, total||90.354||1000 heads||2017|
|birds||17 465||1000 heads||2017|
|freshwater fishes||1 500.5||t||2017|
|total catch||4 211.6||t||2017|
Austria has modest reserves of oil and natural gas. The main crude oil refinery is in Schwechat, on the outskirts of Vienna. The country is home to one of Europe’s main natural gas hubs, located in Baumgarten, in Burgenland, a strategic centre for the transportation of natural gas going to southern and western Europe from Russia and Norway. The main pipelines crossing Austria transport gas to Germany and Italy (Trans Austria Gas, TAG).
The country is also crossed by a section of the Transalpine Pipeline (TAL), transporting oil from Trieste (Italy) to Ingolstadt (Germany).
Over 60% of electricity comes from water resources. A major part of the remaining energy needs is satisfied with imported natural gas.
Austria has a long mining tradition that is gradually disappearing: however, the largest open-air iron mine in Europe is still active at Eisenerz, in Styria (Erzberg). There are traditional, distinctive rock salt mines in the Tyrol and in the Salzkammergut.
The industrial sector includes a vast amount of traditional as well as innovative manufacturing activities. The main sectors are chemicals, petrochemicals, metallurgy, mechanics and food. The most important base industries include the production of cast iron, ferroalloys and metallurgy. Among the most important chemical plants are those found in Linz, Vienna, Mannswörth, Brückl and Pischelsdorf. There are numerous plants for the production of cement. The electronics industry is highly developed in Villach and in Vienna. The mechanics industry produces minutia, sewing machines, railway rolling stock, electric machines, weaponry, vehicles and bicycles.
The textiles sector almost entirely relies upon imported materials. The cotton industry is located for the most part in the area of the Wiener Neustadt and in the Vorarlberg (Dornbirn). Further industrial activities include leather, glass, rubber, beer, sugar and tobacco processing.
Typical manufacturing industries produce musical instruments (pianos in Vienna) and skis (in Kufstein and Ried im Innkreis). The crafts industry is flourishing.
|natural gas||1 269||M m³||2017|
|oil, crude||660.1||1000 t||2018|
|iron ore||2 777||1000 t||2016|
|dolomite||3 071||1000 t||2016|
|granite||2 890||1000 t||2016|
|- hydro||37 693||M kWh||2016|
|- thermal||12 737||M kWh||2016|
|- hydro||8 458||1000 kW||2016|
|- other renew.||5 925||1000 kW||2016|
|total net generation||60 784.1||M kWh||2016|
|total installed capacity||24 789||1000 kW||2016|
|aluminium, secondary||470.9||1000 t||2016|
|coke, metall.||1 351||1000 t||2016|
|commercial vehicles||20 400||no.||2018|
|petrol||2 783.6||1000 t||2014|
|nitrogen fertilizers||243||1000 t||2002|
|carpets||10 544||1000 m²||2016|
|cotton fabrics||95||M m²||2003|
|beer of barley||920.6||1000 t||2014|
|cigarettes||36 748||M units||2002|
|chemical pulp||1 269.073||1000 t||2017|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||1 597.654||1000 t||2017|
|cement||4 600||1000 t||2016|
|chemicals production||5 683.5||M US$||2016|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||7 075.9||M US$||2016|
Main exports (M US$ - 2017) machinery 29 766, electrical and electronic equipment 20 760, vehicles and parts thereof 15 620, iron and steel 12 714, pharmaceuticals 9 077, plastics and articles thereof 7 668, chemicals 6 271, timber 5 096, paper and paperboard 4 691, optical and electro-medical appliances 4 397, aluminium 3 991, beverages 3 306, apparel and accessories 2 691, furniture and accessories 2 564, articles of base metal 2 412, gold and jewels 1 779, aircraft and parts thereof 1 722, petroleum products 1 502, refined copper 1 451, rolling stock 1 369
Finance and banking.
The financial sector is highly developed and is open to exchanges with Central and Eastern European countries. In 2014, the country lifted the veto on European legislation regarding savings taxation, which imposes severe limits on banking secrecy. The country aims to be among the first in Europe to impose a tax on digital services for tech giants.
|manufactures||83.007||% of goods exports||2017|
|food products||7.619||% of goods exports||2017|
|Germany||53 091||M US$||2018|
|United States||12 486||M US$||2018|
|Germany||65 338||M US$||2018|
|Italy||11 718||M US$||2018|
Tourism. Activities related to tourism in Vienna, Salzburg and the main Alpine centres (such as Innsbruck, Kitzbühel, Lienz, Villach, Sankt Anton and Lech) are widespread and of a high standard.
|Expenditures||12 878||M US$||2017|
|Number of arrivals||29 460 000||units||2017|
|Civil aviation, km flown||144 700 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||16 171.6||1000 units||2017|
|Broadband subscribers||287.472||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Computers||606.8||per 1000 pop.||2005|
Social and welfare
Education and research.
Education is free and compulsory from 6 to 14 years of age.
After the primary stage (four years), two types of secondary education may be chosen: the Hauptschule, which may be followed by a technical school, and the Allgemeinbildende höhere Schule, which allows the student access to all university faculties.
Even though it is subject to cost containment policies, the social welfare system offers complete healthcare and assistance: allowances for old age, disability, death, illness, motherhood and industrial injury.
|Expected years of schooling||16.3||years||2017|
|Teachers, primary level||33 438||units||2017|
|Teachers, secondary level||73 674||units||2017|
|Social protection spending||42.1||% of total expenses||2016|
|Social protection spending||26.6||% of GDP||2018|
|Hospital beds||7.4||per 1000 pop.||2016|
|Physicians||5.2||per 1000 pop.||2016|
|HIV||0.1||% of adults||2017|
|Museums, visitors||18 172 200||units||2016|
|Research and development spending||3.16||% of GDP||2017|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||100||%||2016|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2017|