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Austria

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AUSTRIA COAT OF ARMS
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Austria - Location Map (2013) - AUT - UNOCHA.svg Map Location of Austria within the Continen of Europe
Austria map blank.png Map of Austria
Austria flag.gif
Flag Description of Austria:The Austrian flag, originally adopted in 1918, was officially adopted (again) in 1945, after being banned during World War II. Stripes of red and white have been a collective emblem of Austria for over 800 years, and their first usage on the flag occur.
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Official name Republik Österreich (Republic of Austria)
Form of government federal state with two legislative houses (Federal Council [62]; National Council [183])
Head of state President: Heinz Fischer
Head of government Chancellor: Werner Faymann
Capital Vienna
Official language German
Official religion none
Monetary unit euro (€)
Population (2013 est.) 8,496,000COLLAPSE
Total area (sq mi) 32,386
Total area (sq km) 83,879
Urban-rural population

Urban: (2011) 67.7%
Rural: (2011) 32.3%

Life expectancy at birth

Male: (2011) 78.1 years
Female: (2011) 83.4 years

Literacy: percentage of population age 15 and over literate

Male: 100%
Female: 100%

GNI per capita (U.S.$) (2013) 48,590

Background of Austria

Austria has a well-developed social market economy with a high standard of living and close ties to other EU economies, especially Germany's.

Austria, largely mountainous landlocked country of south-central Europe. Together with Switzerland, it forms what has been characterized as the neutral core of Europe, notwithstanding Austria’s full membership since 1995 in the supranational European Union (EU).

A great part of Austria’s prominence can be attributed to its geographic position. It is at the centre of European traffic between east and west along the great Danubian trade route and between north and south through the magnificent Alpine passes, thus embedding the country within a variety of political and economic systems. In the decades following the collapse in 1918 of Austria-Hungary, the multinational empire of which it had been the heart, this small country experienced more than a quarter century of social and economic turbulence and a Nazi dictatorship. Yet the establishment of permanent neutrality in 1955, associated with the withdrawal of the Allied troops that had occupied the country since the end of World War II, enabled Austria to develop into a stable and socially progressive nation with a flourishing cultural life reminiscent of its earlier days of international musical glory. Its social and economic institutions too have been characterized by new forms and a spirit of cooperation, and, although political and social problems remain, they have not erupted with the intensity evidenced in other countries of the Continent. The capital of Austria is historic Vienna (Wien), the former seat of the Holy Roman Empire and a city renowned for its architecture.


Austria Description

Inhabited since ancient times, the Austrian area has a very long history of occupations, rulers, territorial struggles and war...[[Austria Description |>>>Read On<<<]]

Geography of Austria

  • Location: Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia
  • Geographic coordinates: 47 20 N, 13 20 E
  • Area: total: 83,871 sq km
  • land: 82,445 sq km
  • water: 1,426 sq km
  • Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Maine
  • Land boundaries: total: 2,524 km
  • border countries: Czech Republic 402 km, Germany 801 km, Hungary 321 km, Italy 404 km, Liechtenstein 34 km, Slovakia 105 km,
  • Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
  • Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
  • Climate: temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers
  • Terrain: in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping
  • Elevation extremes: lowest point: Neusiedler See 115 m
  • highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m
  • Natural resources: oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower
  • Land use: arable land: 16.25%
  • permanent crops: 0.77%
  • other: 82.98% (2011)
  • Irrigated land: 1,170 sq km (2007)
  • Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 3.66 cu km/yr (18%/79%/3%)
  • per capita: 452.4 cu m/yr (2008)
  • Natural hazards: landslides; avalanches; earthquakes
  • Environment - current issues: some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of agricultural chemicals; air pollution results from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria between northern and southern Europe
  • Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
  • Geography - note: landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river is the Danube; population is concentrated on eastern lowlands because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere

Land Austria is bordered to the north by the Czech Republic, to the northeast by Slovakia, to the east by Hungary, to the south by Slovenia, to the southwest by Italy, to the west by Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and to the northwest by Germany. It extends roughly 360 miles (580 km) from east to west.

  • Relief

Mountains and forests give the Austrian landscape its character, although in the northeastern part of the country the Danube River winds between the eastern edge of the Alps and the hills of Bohemia and Moravia in its journey toward the Alföld, or Hungarian Plain. Vienna lies in the area where the Danube emerges from between the mountains into the drier plains.

The Austrian Alps form the physical backbone of the country. They may be subdivided into a northern and a southern limestone range, each of which is composed of rugged mountains. These two ranges are separated by a central range that is softer in form and outline and composed of crystalline rocks. The Alpine landscape offers a complex geologic and topographical pattern, with the highest elevation—the Grossglockner (12,460 feet [3,798 metres])—rising toward the west. The western Austrian Länder (states) of Vorarlberg, Tirol, and Salzburg are characterized by the majestic mountains and magnificent scenery of the high Alps. This high Alpine character also extends to the western part of the state of Kärnten (Carinthia), to the Salzkammergut region of central Austria, and to the Alpine blocks of the state of Steiermark (Styria).

North of the massive Alpine spur lies a hilly subalpine region, stretching between the northern Alps and the Danube and encompassing the northern portion of the state of Oberösterreich (Upper Austria). To the north of the river is a richly wooded foothill area that includes a portion of the Bohemian Massif, which extends across the Czech border into the state of Niederösterreich (Lower Austria). This part of Austria is furrowed by many valleys that for centuries served as passageways leading to the east and southeast of Europe and even—in the case of medieval pilgrims and Crusaders—to the Holy Land. The lowland area east of Vienna, together with the northern part of the state of Burgenland, may be regarded as a western extension of the Little Alföld (Little Hungarian Plain).

  • Drainage

Austria is a land of lakes, many of them a legacy of the Pleistocene Epoch (i.e., about 2,600,000 to about 11,700 years ago), during which glacial erosion scooped out mountain lakes in the central Alpine district, notably around the Salzkammergut. The largest lakes—lying partly in the territory of neighbouring countries—are Lake Constance (Bodensee) in the west and the marshy Neusiedler Lake (Neusiedlersee) in the east.

Nearly all Austrian territory drains into the Danube River system. The main watershed between the Black Sea and the North Sea runs across northern Austria, in some places lying only about 22 miles (35 km) from the Danube, while to the west the watershed between the Danube and the river systems emptying into the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coincides with the western political boundary of Austria. In the south the Julian and Carnic (Karnische) Alps and, farther to the west, the main Alpine range mark the watershed of the region draining into the Po River of northern Italy.

  • Climate

The wooded slopes of the Alps and the small portion of the plains of southeastern Europe are characterized by differing climatic zones. The prevailing wind is from the west, and, therefore, humidity is highest in the west, diminishing toward the east. The wetter western regions of Austria have an Atlantic climate with a yearly rainfall of about 40 inches (1,000 mm); the drier eastern regions, under the influence of the more continental type of climate, have less precipitation.

In the lowlands and the hilly eastern regions, the median temperature ranges from about 30 °F (−1 °C) in January to about 68 °F (20 °C) in July. In those regions above 10,000 feet (3,000 metres), by contrast, the temperature range is between about 12 °F (−11 °C) in January, with a snow cover of approximately 10 feet (3 metres), and about 36 °F (2 °C) in July, with roughly 5 feet (1.5 metres) of snow cover.

  • Plant and animal life

Two-thirds of the total area of Austria is covered by woods and meadows. Forests occupy some two-fifths of the country, which is one of the most densely forested in central Europe. Spruce dominates the forests, with larch, beech, and oak also making a significant contribution. In the Alpine and foothill regions coniferous trees predominate, while broad-leaved deciduous trees are more frequent in the warmer zones.

Wild animals, many protected by conservation laws, include the brown bear, eagles, buzzards, falcons, owls, cranes, swans, and storks. Game hunting is restricted to certain periods of the year, with deer and rabbits the most frequent quarry. Austrian rivers nurture river and rainbow trout, grayling, pike, perch, and carp.


Demographics of Austria

  • Population: 8,223,062 (July 2014 est.)
  • Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.6% (male 573,146/female 546,596),15-24 years: 11.6% (male 488,564/female 468,891),25-54 years: 42.9% (male , 1,766,729/female 1,756,880) ,55-64 years: 12.7% (male 515,913/female 528,988), 65 years and over: 19.2% (male 670,750/female 906,605) (2014 est.)
  • Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 49.1 %, youth dependency ratio: 21.6 %,elderly dependency ratio: 27.6 %, potential support ratio: 3.6 (2014 est.)
  • Median age: total: 44.3 years, male: 43.2 years, female: 45.3 years (2014 est.)
  • Population growth rate: 0.01% (2014 est.)
  • Birth rate: 8.76 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Death rate: 10.38 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Net migration rate: 1.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Urbanization: urban population: 67.7% of total population (2011), rate of urbanization: 0.48% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
  • Major cities - population: VIENNA (capital) 1.72 million (2011)
  • Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female, 0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female , 15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female , 25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female, 55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female, 65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female, total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
  • Mother's mean age at first birth: 28.5 (2011 est.)
  • Infant mortality rate: total: 4.16 deaths/1,000 live births, male: 5.01 deaths/1,000 live births, female: 3.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
  • Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80.17 years, male: 77.25 years, female: 83.24 years (2014 est.)
  • Total fertility rate: 1.43 children born/woman (2014 est.)
  • Contraceptive prevalence rate: 69.6%
note: percent of women aged 18-46 (2009)
  • HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.3% (2009 est.)
  • HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 15,000 (2009 est.)
  • HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
  • Drinking water source: improved-urban: 100% of population, rural: 100% of population, total: 100% of population
unimproved- urban: 0% of population, rural: 0% of population, total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
  • Nationality: noun: Austrian(s), adjective: Austrian
  • Ethnic groups: Austrians 91.1%, former Yugoslavs 4% (includes Croatians, Slovenes, Serbs, and Bosniaks), Turks 1.6%, German 0.9%, other or unspecified 2.4% (2001 census)
  • Religions: Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)
  • Languages: German (official nationwide) 88.6%, Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%, Croatian (official in Burgenland) 1.6%, other (includes Slovene, official in Carinthia, and Hungarian, official in Burgenland) 5.3% (2001 census)
  • Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write, total population: 98%, male: NA, female: NA
  • School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 16 years, male: 15 years, female: 16 years (2011)
  • Education expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (2010)
  • Maternal mortality rate: 4 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
  • Health expenditures: 10.6% of GDP (2011)
  • Physicians density: 4.86 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
  • Hospital bed density: 7.6 beds/1,000 population (2010)
  • Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 20.9% (2008)
  • Gender Parity of Austria
  • Austria's Infant and child mortality
  • Austria's Percentage of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary

People

  • Ethnic groups

Ethnic Austrians constitute the vast majority of the population. Small but significant groups of German-speaking Swiss and ethnic Germans also reside in the country. Serbs, Bosniaks (Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina; living mainly in the larger cities), Turks (living primarily in Vienna), Hungarians and Croats (living mainly in Burgenland), and Slovenes (living mainly in Kärnten) constitute the major ethnic minorities.


  • Languages

Although Croatian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Turkish, and other languages are spoken by the various minority groups, nearly all people in Austria speak German. The dialect of German spoken in Austria, except in the west, is Bavarian, sometimes called Austro-Bavarian. About seven million people speak Bavarian in Austria. A Middle Bavarian subdialect is spoken chiefly in Ober- and Niederösterreich as well as in Vienna. A Southern Bavarian subdialect is spoken in Tirol (including southern Tirol), in Kärnten, and in parts of Steiermark. The speech of most of the remainder of the country’s inhabitants tends to shade into one or the other of those subdialects. In the west, however, an Alemannic (Swiss) dialect prevails: the inhabitants of Vorarlberg and parts of western Tirol are Alemannic in origin, having cultural and dialectal affinities with the German Swiss to the west and Swabians in Germany to the north.

  • Religion

About three-fourths of Austrians are Christian. The overwhelming majority of Christians are adherents to Roman Catholicism; Protestants (mainly Lutherans) and Orthodox Christians form smaller groups. Islam has a small but important following, mainly among the Bosniak and Turk populations. Vienna’s Jewish population, which was all but destroyed between 1938 and 1945 (see Holocaust), has increased steadily since that time but remains tiny. More than one-tenth of the population is nonreligious.

  • Settlement patterns

The pattern of rural settlement in Austria was shaped centuries ago by the exigencies of the Alpine environment, and new rural building is still influenced by these ancient traditions, especially in the west and in the centre of the country. By contrast, rural housing in the eastern parts of the country, especially in the lowlands, is dominated more by agricultural needs than by harsh weather conditions.

While Austria is mountainous, it is also a highly urbanized country. More than half of the population lives in cities and towns of more than 10,000 residents, and about one-fourth of the total population lives in the Vienna urban agglomeration. Graz, Austria’s second largest city, is the gateway to the Balkans. Linz is an important industrial centre. Innsbruck, situated just north of Brenner Pass, is the rail centre through which all the mainline rail traffic of western Austria passes, north-south and east-west. Salzburg is a centre of music and Baroque architecture. Klagenfurt lies astride routes that provide access to both Italy and the Balkans.

  • Demographic trends

Austria’s population grew steadily from the mid-20th century to the mid-1990s; it then remained fairly constant into the early 21st century. An increasingly high life expectancy has served to offset the declining birth rate.

Because of its geographic position and historical affinities, Austria in general and Vienna in particular served as a haven for refugees and other emigrants from eastern Europe during the decades of the Cold War, when migration out of the Soviet bloc was severely restricted. Austria supported a generous policy of admitting and maintaining such migrants until places for them abroad could be found. About 170,000–180,000 Hungarians escaped into Austria after the uprising in Hungary in 1956; some remained permanently in Austria, but most were resettled overseas. After the precipitous political upheavals of 1989–91, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Austria became the first station in the West for thousands of emigrants from eastern Europe. Many remained permanently in Austria, particularly in Vienna, Graz, Linz, and other large cities. In the early 21st century, foreign residents accounted for more than one-tenth of the country’s total population. Among them were many EU nationals residing permanently in Austria, a large number of them in Vienna.

Economy of Austria

Austria’s government played an important role in the economy from the post-World War II years until the late 20th century. In 1946 and 1947 the Austrian parliament enacted legislation that nationalized more than 70 firms in essential industries and services, including the three largest commercial banks, such heavy industries as petroleum and oil refining, coal, mining, iron and steel, iron and steel products (structural materials, heavy machinery, railway equipment), shipbuilding, and electrical machinery and appliances, as well as river navigation. Later reorganization reduced the number of nationalized firms to 19 and placed the property rights with limited powers of management and supervision into a holding company owned by the Republic of Austria, the Österreichische Industrieverwaltungs-Aktiengesellschaft (ÖIAG; Austrian Industrial Administration Limited-Liability Company). In 1986–89 ÖIAG was restructured to give it powers to function along the lines of a major private industry, and it was renamed Österreichische Industrieholding AG. During the 1990s, particularly after Austria joined the EU in 1995, many companies and enterprises were partially or completely privatized, which reduced the direct role of government in Austria’s economy. Indeed, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, ÖIAG functioned largely as a privatization agency, as it sold off large portions of many of its holdings. However, the government continued to control, at least partially, some companies and utilities. Austria’s economy may have been somewhat slow to liberalize and privatize, but by the early 21st century it had made the transition from an industrially and agriculturally based economy to one in which the service sector represented some two-thirds of the gross domestic product (GDP). Although Austria suffered its worst recession since World War II as a result of the euro-zone debt crisis, it weathered the financial storm comparatively well. By 2010 the economy had stabilized, thanks largely to robust domestic demand, low unemployment, and the continued economic health of Austria’s main trading partner, Germany.

Agriculture and forestry

Agriculture employs only a small percentage of Austria’s workforce and accounts for only a tiny portion of the GDP. Because of the country’s mountainous terrain, only about half of the land can even potentially be cultivated. Agricultural areas are found mainly in the east—particularly in Burgenland, Steiermark, Kärnten, and Niederösterreich—and farms are usually small or of medium size. Crops include sugar beets, wheat, corn (maize), barley, potatoes, apples, and grapes. Pigs and cattle also are raised.

Many farmers need additional income through nonfarm employment, and a significant number of farmers (so-called mountain farmers) receive subsidies from the government and the EU for maintaining the cultural landscape (e.g., preventing the natural reforestation of clearings), which is important for tourism. However, both specialization and concentration on quality rather than quantity allow Austria’s small farmers to compete within the EU. For example, the number of organic farms in the country increased from about 100 in the late 1970s to more than 21,000 in the early 21st century—more than in any other EU country.

Austria’s vast forested areas provide ample timber resources. Some of the timber felled is processed in the country, and most of it is exported, especially to Italy.

Resources and power

The natural resources available within the country for industrial exploitation are of considerable significance. Austria is a leading producer of natural magnesite, a magnesium carbonate used extensively in the chemical industry. Kärnten is the main centre of its production. Other important mineral resources include iron, lignite, anhydrous gypsum, lead and zinc, and antimony. Iron ore from Eisenberg (in Steiermark) is obtained through opencut mining and is processed in such industrial centres as Linz and Leoben.

While oil and natural gas deposits in northeastern Austria are exploited, oil and gas must be imported to meet industrial and consumer needs. The large oil refinery at Schwechat processes crude oil from Austrian sources as well as oil pumped through the Vienna-Adriatic pipeline from the port of Trieste, Italy. Additional natural gas is supplied by pipeline from Ukraine. Coal, mainly bituminous, is found chiefly in Oberösterreich and Steiermark and only in relatively small quantities.

The country’s power needs are met by coal, oil, natural gas, and hydroelectric plants. Increases in domestic power production have helped offset the country’s import debt in its balance of payments. In fact, with its dense network of rivers and mountainous terrain, Austria is a major exporter of hydroelectric power. In 1978 a plan to build a nuclear power plant on the Danube was roundly opposed, and the Austrian parliament passed legislation prohibiting nuclear power generation. The government aggressively promoted the use of renewable energy, and by the early 21st century, renewable sources accounted for almost one-third of Austria’s energy production.

Manufacturing

Austria’s manufacturing sector accounts for a significant portion of the GDP; it is also one of the country’s main generators of foreign currency through exports, an important factor in the economy of a small country. Austrian manufacturing focuses on specialized high-quality products, mainly in the traditional industries. Although high-technology production was slow to take hold in the country, by the turn of the 21st century a number of firms had begun to find success through advanced technological development.

Iron and steel production has long been a leading industry. An important Austrian innovation in steelmaking was the basic oxygen process, or LD process, originally named for the cities of Linz and Donawitz (the latter now part of Leoben); it is used under license by steelworks throughout the world. A considerable portion of Austria’s iron and steel industry is involved with construction abroad. Iron and steel firms furnish plants and installations of all descriptions in every phase of construction and equipping in Europe, North America, and elsewhere. Working alone or in consortia with firms of other countries, Austrian companies typically build hydroelectric or thermal power stations, chemical plants, steelworks, and seamless pipelines. The industrial plants may be largely equipped with such Austrian capital goods as electrical and electronics equipment. Austria is noted for providing plants abroad “completely to measure.”

Other important manufactured products include aluminum, industrial machinery, motor vehicles (especially industrial and rough-terrain vehicles) and parts, chemicals, electronic goods and components, textiles, and such consumer goods as foodstuffs, glass and porcelain, and highly prized handmade products.

In general, Austria’s manufacturing sector consists mainly of small- and medium-sized firms, although a small number of large firms do produce such goods as cement, paper, beer, and sugar and sugar products. In the early 21st century the majority of manufacturing companies were Austrian-owned, either held privately or controlled by the government. However, a significant number of German, Dutch, Swiss, and other foreign companies have manufacturing facilities in Austria.

Finance

Monetary policy is determined by the European Central Bank and implemented by the Austrian National Bank (Österreichische Nationalbank), founded in 1922. Austria was among the first group of countries to adopt the single currency of the EU, the euro, in 1999; it made the complete switch from schillings to euro notes and coins in 2002.

Financial services are handled by a wide range of institutions, including large nationally owned and foreign banks, the Austrian Post Office Savings Bank (Österreichische Postsparkasse), smaller local savings banks, and commercial credit and agricultural credit cooperatives. The Vienna Stock Exchange (Wiener Börse), founded in 1771 by Empress Maria Theresa, is one of the oldest such institutions in Europe. Shares of both Austrian and foreign companies are traded there.

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Austrian private investors and entrepreneurs have found a new arena for foreign investment in Austria’s former imperial domains—above all Hungary, but also the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, and, to a lesser extent, northern Italy. Thousands of Austrian companies, mostly small and medium-sized, have been involved in investment projects in these countries since the mid-1990s. Notable examples of Austrian ventures in eastern European countries have included an extensive network of OMV gas stations and numerous branch offices of Bank Austria. When the European economy sharply contracted in 2009, these investments became a liability, as Austrian banks found themselves dangerously exposed to slumping economies in central and eastern Europe. By the end of that year, most of the country’s major financial institutions had received some degree of bailout assistance from the government, and a number of banks had been fully nationalized.

Trade

Austria’s main trading partners are EU member countries, the United States, China, and Switzerland. Important exports include machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and iron and steel; among the major imports are machinery, transport equipment, vehicles, chemicals, mineral fuels, and food products.

Services

At the beginning of the 21st century, the service sector employed roughly two-thirds of Austria’s workforce and generated the large majority of the country’s GDP. However, this should not be interpreted as an indication of rapid economic modernization or of the swift development of high-technology service industries. Services, more than any other sector of the Austrian economy, were clearly dominated by the government. Public services were particularly expanded in connection with the so-called “controlled capitalism” concept of the post-World War II years, whereby the social welfare state, through the nationalization of companies, aimed to create more jobs, particularly protected jobs. The public sector also reached out into once privately performed services: banking and insurance; teaching at all levels; cultural institutions such as theatres, symphony orchestras, and operas; transportation and communication; all levels and kinds of administration; and the general health care system, including hospitals, clinics, and most retirement homes. In all, a minority of service jobs are in the private sector, while the government at all levels (local, state, and federal) still controls the majority.

Despite its leading contribution to the economy, the service sector in Austria creates rather little new money, with the exception of financial services, some services offered abroad (such as banking in eastern European countries), and tourism. Indeed, tourism is Austria’s most important invisible asset. With its picturesque landscape, villages, towns, and cities; its highly developed hotel and catering industry; its renowned facilities for skiing and other outdoor sports; its spas and resorts; and its fabled cultural institutions—not to mention its relative ease of access—Austria is to the outsider a tourist destination par excellence.

Labour and taxation

Government at various levels remains an important job provider, though to a much lesser degree than it was in the mid-20th century. Public sector jobs are protected, meaning that the government ensures automatic wage raises, certain bonuses, and most often tenure for life—conditions the private sector can hardly match. Public employment agencies are either at the federal, state, or community level or involved in such semipublic entities as social security, mandatory health insurance, public interest groups, unions, and religious administrations. They also may be in the entrepreneurial sector, as communities, states, and the federal government still engage in competitive business (e.g., real estate, housing, and even retail trade). This persistent government involvement has helped to keep unemployment in Austria at a rather low level for many years.

Government, management, and labour follow a wage-price policy that attempts to avoid social cleavages and strikes through cooperative participation in a joint wage-price commission. The representatives of the various segments of the economy—together with the chambers of commerce, agriculture, and labour and the federation of trade unions—have tried, with the active cooperation of the government, to coordinate wage and price movements. It is within this framework that collective bargaining takes place, and agricultural prices are also negotiated by the wage-price commission without infringement of the market economy.

The three important economic groups—labour, management, and farmers—have similar structures. Each has its own independent organization: the trade unions, the management association, and the farmers’ federation. At the same time, laws provide for semiofficial “chambers” for each group. This type of guild organization promotes cooperation in the governmental wage-price commission. Despite the divergent interests of the various groups, their cooperation has resulted in relative economic stability, and labour-management relations have remained unmarked by major crises.

Tax revenues are drawn chiefly from an income and wage tax and, in line with the countries of the EU, a value-added tax. Other sources of revenue include expressway usage permits, gasoline taxes, and one-time “environmental assessment” taxes on imported cars.

Transportation and telecommunications Austria has a dense road system inherited from its centuries as the hub of a vast continental empire. The country serves as an important link between western, northern, and central Europe and Italy, eastern Europe, and the Balkans. It has a highly developed transportation infrastructure of highways, passenger and freight trains, waterways, and air services.

Starting with the key link between Salzburg and Vienna, Austria has continued to develop its extensive expressway (autobahn) system. There are routes connecting Bregenz at the Swiss and German borders through Vorarlberg and Tirol, routes connecting Innsbruck with Italy, and routes connecting Salzburg and Vienna to Italy and the Balkans; these are often spectacular feats of highway engineering through unsurpassed Alpine scenery.

The Austrian rail network is controlled by Austrian Federal Railways (Österreichische Bundesbahnen; ÖBB), which is under state ownership but operates as an independent commercial enterprise. More than half of the track is electrified.

The Danube is the most important river connection between Germany and the Black Sea, and both freight and passenger vessels travel along this waterway. Although Austria is landlocked, its shipyards build vessels for Austria and for other countries.

Austrian Airlines, which began operations in March 1958, serves destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Americas, and North Africa. Wholly owned by the Austrian government until the late 1980s, the airline was slowly privatized over the next two decades, culminating in its eventual takeover by Lufthansa in September 2009. Austria’s major airport is at Schwechat, near Vienna.

Telecommunications systems, including a fibre-optic network, are well developed. Cellular telephones are ubiquitous, and Austria boasted almost 1.5 cellular subscriptions per person in the early 21st century. During this period, rates of personal computer ownership and Internet usage were among the highest in the region, and almost three-fourths of Austrians were regular Internet users.

Government of Austria

  • Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Austria
  • conventional short form: Austria
  • local long form: Republik Oesterreich
  • local short form: Oesterreich
  • Government type: federal republic
  • Capital: name: Vienna
  • geographic coordinates: 48 12 N, 16 22 E
  • time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
  • daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
  • Administrative divisions: 9 states (Bundeslaender, singular - Bundesland); Burgenland, Karnten (Carinthia), Niederoesterreich (Lower Austria), Oberoesterreich (Upper Austria), Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria), Tirol (Tyrol), Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna)
  • Independence: 12 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates: 976 (Margravate of Austria established); 17 September 1156 (Duchy of Austria founded); 11 August 1804 (Austrian Empire proclaimed)
  • National holiday: National Day, 26 October (1955); note - commemorates the passage of the law on permanent neutrality
  • Constitution: several previous; latest adopted 1 October 1920, revised 1929, replaced May 1934 (authoritarian-corporate constitution), replaced by German Weimar constitution in 1938 following German annexation; latest reinstated 1 May 1945 (1920 constitution with 1929 revisions); amended many times, last in 2008 (2013)
  • Legal system: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts by the Constitutional Court
  • International law organization participation: accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
  • Suffrage: 16 years of age; universal
  • Executive branch:
chief of state: President Heinz FISCHER (SPOe) (since 8 July 2004)
head of government: Chancellor Werner FAYMANN (SPOe) (since 2 December 2008); Vice Chancellor Michael SPINDELEGGER (OeVP) (since 21 April 2011)
cabinet: Council of Ministers chosen by the president on the advice of the chancellor
elections: president elected for a six-year term (eligible for a second term) by direct popular vote and formally sworn into office before the Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung; presidential election last held on 25 April 2010 (next to be held on 25 April 2016); chancellor formally chosen by the president but determined by the coalition parties forming a parliamentary majority; vice chancellor chosen by the president on the advice of the chancellor
election results: Heinz FISCHER reelected president; percent of vote - Heinz FISCHER 79.33%, Barbara ROSENKRANZ 15.24%, Rudolf GEHRING 5.43%
note: government coalition - SPOe and OeVP
  • Legislative branch: bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung consists of Federal Council or Bundesrat (62 seats; delegates appointed by state parliaments with each state receiving 3 to 12 seats in proportion to its population; members serve five- or six-year terms) and the National Council or Nationalrat (183 seats; members elected by popular vote for a five-year term under a system of proportional representation with partially open party lists)
  • elections: National Council - last held on 29 September 2013 (next to be held by September 2018)
  • election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - SPOe 27.1%, OeVP 23.8%, FPOe 21.4%, Greens 11.5%, Team Stronach for Austria 5.8%, NEOS - The New Austria 4.8%, other 5.6%; seats by party - SPOe 53, OeVP 46, FPOe 42, Greens 22; Team Stronach for Austria 11, NEOS - The New Austria 9
  • Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Oberster Gerichtshof (consists of 85 judges organized into 17 senates or panels of five judges each); Constitutional Court or Verfassungsgerichtshof (consists of 20 judges including 6 substitutes; Administrative Court or Verwaltungsgerichtshof - 2 judges plus other members depending on the importance of the case)
  • judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by executive branch departments and appointed by the president; judges serve for life; Constitutional Court judges nominated by several executive branch departments and approved by the president; judges serve for life; Administrative Court judges recommended by executive branch departments and appointed by the president; terms of judges and members determined by the president
  • subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (4); Regional Courts (20); district courts (120); county courts
  • Political parties and leaders: Alliance for the Future of Austria or BZOe [Josef BUCHER]

Austrian People's Party or OeVP [Michael SPINDELEGGER] Communist Party of Austria or KPOe [Mirko MESSNER] Freedom Party of Austria or FPOe [Heinz Christian STRACHE] The Greens [Eva GLAWISCHNIG] NEOS - The New Austria [Matthias STROLZ] Social Democratic Party of Austria or SPOe [Werner FAYMANN] "Team Stronach for Austria" [Frank STRONACH]

  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Austrian Trade Union Federation or OeGB (nominally independent but primarily Social Democratic)

Federal Economic Chamber Labor Chamber or AK (Social Democratic-leaning think tank) OeVP-oriented Association of Austrian Industrialists or IV Roman Catholic Church, including its chief lay organization, Catholic Action

  • other: three composite leagues of the Austrian People's Party or OeVP representing business, labor, farmers, and other nongovernment organizations in the areas of environment and human rights
  • International organization participation: ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIFIL, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
  • Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Hans Peter MANZ (since 2 December 2011)
chancery: 3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008-3035
telephone: [1] (202) 895-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 895-6750
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
  • Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Alexa L. WESNER (since 6 September 2013)
embassy: Boltzmanngasse 16, A-1090, Vienna
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [43] (1) 31339-0
FAX: [43] (1) 3100682
  • National anthem: name: "Bundeshymne" (Federal Hymn)
lyrics/music: Paula von PRERADOVIC/Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART or Johann HOLZER (disputed)
note: adopted 1947; the anthem is also known as "Land der Berge, Land am Strome" (Land of the Mountains, Land on the River); Austria adopted a new national anthem after World War II to replace the former imperial anthem composed by Franz Josef HAYDN, which had been appropriated by Germany in 1922 and was now associated with the Nazi regime
  • Group: All, OREA, Europe/French Dependencies, European Union, Europe

Government and Society of Austria

  • Constitutional framework

Under the constitution of 1920—with minor changes made in 1929—Austria is a “democratic republic: its law derives from the people.” A federal republic, Austria consists of nine self-governing Länder (states): Burgenland, Kärnten (Carinthia), Niederösterreich (Lower Austria), Oberösterreich (Upper Austria), Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria), Tirol, Vorarlberg, and Wien (Vienna). The states have considerable autonomy...>>>>read more<<<<


Culture Life

  • Cultural milieu

Austria has been a leader and guardian of some of the most sublime achievements in music, theatre, literature, architecture, medicine, and science. Austrian culture is a part of the mainstream of Germanic culture that is shared with Germany and Switzerland. But what has shaped it and dominated it, what has made it essentially Austrian, are the Habsburg empire and the Christian church.

The emperor Maximilian I (reigned 1493–1519) was a poet and a patron of the theatre, and the era that began in the reign of Maria Theresa (1740–80) and ended in that of Francis Joseph (1848–1916) was an age of spectacular flourishing in the arts and sciences. During this time an aggregation of genius and talent in often interlocking circles was gathered in Vienna. Moreover, the Habsburg dynasty’s tradition of patronage of the arts has carried over to the modern republic of today.

The church was a powerful influence on Austrian architecture, drama, and music. The great Romanesque monasteries, the Gothic St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, and the splendours of the quintessentially Austrian Baroque—exemplified by the works of Austrian architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and the Bohemian architects Christoph Dientzenhofer and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer—and Rococo obviously derive from the church. The Austrian theatre has its origins in late medieval religious drama, and the affinities of the church with Austrian music continue down to modern times.

Despite the fact that Austrian high culture never has been contained by the borders of the country but rather is considered part of the greater cultural realm of the German-speaking world, many Austrians long imagined their country as blissfully isolated and neutral—an “island of the blessed.” In fact, for many years after World War II, Austria promoted the idea of having been the first “victim” of Nazi Germany and, some would say, deliberately avoided confronting the guilt surrounding its participation in the Anschluss (“Union”) with Germany. But by the end of the 20th century, the forces of globalization and international competition, spurred by the opening of the Iron Curtain in 1989 and Austria’s admittance to the EU in 1995, had brought Austria’s imagined perfection into question. The increased immigration of foreigners into the country has caused particular concern among many Austrians, who fear that their carefully tailored social welfare system may be overburdened and their own Austrian identity threatened. Such sentiment has appeared particularly strong in Vienna, where large numbers of immigrants reside.

  • Daily life and social customs

Most ordinary Austrians may be aware of Austria’s historical contributions to high culture, but in general only members of the educated middle class and the elite circles of society participate in glamorous cultural events like the Salzburg Festival of theatre and music. Ordinary Austrians, particularly those who live in small towns and in the rural valleys of the countryside, pursue a more common—but in no way less typically Austrian—cultural life, with its roots in regional traditions, age-old rituals and customs, and a friendly communal spirit. Membership in local organizations called Vereine plays a great role in this culture. Informal gatherings are commonplace as well, and going out to meet friends in restaurants or cafés is an integral part of everyday life. A surprisingly large number of Austrians play instruments in bands, sing in choirs, or make music in smaller groups at home or with neighbours. Many wear traditional costumes (Trachten), such as full-skirted dirndls or loden coats, every day, and many more wear them on weekends and on festive or special occasions, including weddings and funerals. Although popular music, motion pictures, television, and other elements of popular culture are enjoyed throughout the country, these aspects of traditional Austrian culture remain important, even to the young.

Most Austrians celebrate the major Christian holidays, though many revered Austrian traditions surrounding these holidays are said to have their roots in pre-Christian times. Glöcklerlauf, a festival that takes place the evening before Epiphany (January 6), is celebrated especially in the mountainous regions of Oberösterreich, Steiermark, and Tirol and features activities meant to drive away the evil spirits of winter. During the festival, young men and boys wear loudly clanging bells and carry handmade masks—often extremely large, lighted from within, and decorated with Christian and secular designs—on their heads and shoulders.

  • The arts

Austria is known for its contributions to music, especially during the Classical and Romantic periods. The major work of outsiders such as Ludwig van Beethoven (from Bonn [Germany]), Johannes Brahms (from Hamburg), and—in part—Richard Strauss (from Munich) is no less associated with Vienna than that of such natives of Austria and the empire as Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, and Hugo Wolf. Much of the pioneer work in modern music was done by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern, who are known collectively as the Second Viennese school. Vienna is also associated with two popular genres of music: the waltz and the operetta. Both forms find a common source in the person of Johann Strauss the Younger, who with his father, Johann the Elder, and his brothers, Josef and Eduard, constituted a virtual musical dynasty in the 19th century. The Viennese operetta, drawing heavily from the Slavic and Hungarian regions of the empire, reached its apogee about 1900, the prototypical composer being Franz Lehár.

The theatre has occupied a central position in the cultural life of Austria. The 19th-century Viennese playwrights Johann Nestroy, Franz Grillparzer, and Ferdinand Raimund developed a drama with distinctly Austrian traits. The stage director Max Reinhardt, the writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal, and the composer Richard Strauss were instrumental in founding the Salzburg Festival in 1920.

Literature in Austria had auspicious beginnings. The great epic of the German Middle Ages, the anonymous Nibelungenlied, was written in Austria. The most renowned Middle High German lyric poet, Walther von der Vogelweide, served at the Viennese court in the late 12th century.

In the late 19th century, distinctly Austrian literary styles and mannerisms emerged. The writer Hermann Bahr was associated with an era of literary impressionism, the expressly Austrian characteristics of which—a heightened self-consciousness and feelings of ambivalence and tentativeness—were coupled with forebodings of being at the end of an overripe civilization. Hugo von Hofmannsthal, poet, dramatist, essayist, and librettist of six operas by Richard Strauss, and Arthur Schnitzler, whose dramas are thought to epitomize a hothouse Vienna at the turn of the 20th century, have best conveyed these sensibilities. Karl Kraus, whose literary, political, and social criticism and satire contemplated an entire era in his review Die Fackel (1899–1936), focused on the importance of language. Coming from Prague to Vienna, Franz Kafka, with his haunting works of the individual confronted with anonymous, unheeding power, has entered the canon of world literature.

Robert Musil’s unfinished novel Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften (1930–43; “The Man Without Qualities”) is said to be a metaphor for Austria itself. The Expressionist poet Georg Trakl wrote elegiacally of decay and death. Franz Werfel, another Expressionist, excelled as a poet, playwright, and novelist. Stefan Zweig, poet, dramatist, and story writer of imaginary and historical characters, was influenced by another Viennese, Sigmund Freud. Also writing in the first half of the 20th century were the Vienna-born philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and innovative novelist Hermann Broch.

The novelist Heimito von Doderer, who took an earlier Austria as his milieu, is a link between the vanished literary world of the pre-Anschluss years and the later 20th century. Austrian writers completed a number of works that won international attention in the second half of the 20th century; among them are Ilse Aichinger, Ingeborg Bachmann, Thomas Bernhard, and Peter Handke. The Austrian novelist and playwright Elfriede Jelinek won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004.

In painting, a distinctly Viennese school developed in the movement known as the Vienna Secession (referring to its breakaway in 1897 from the academic painters of the Künstlerhaus), which was part of the Jugendstil, as Art Nouveau is known in the German regions. Led by Gustav Klimt, the movement tangentially involved a number of innovative architects, including Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, and Josef Hoffmann, who also helped found a cooperative enterprise for crafts and design called the Wiener Werkstätte (“Vienna Workshop”). Led by Klimt, a later group split from the Secession and held an exhibition known as the Kunstschau (“Art Show”); from this group emerged some of the most illustrious modern Austrian painters, including Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin, and Egon Schiele.

Among later 20th-century artists, the abstract paintings of Friedensreich Hundertwasser recall the Secession. The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism has leaned toward surrealism. Other groups have included Junge Wilde (“Young Wild Ones”), of whom Siegfried Anzinger has won acclaim abroad. In sculpture, which in the interwar years was dominated by Anton Hanak, the preeminent figure after 1945 was Fritz Wotruba.

Clemens Holzmeister, perhaps the best-known 20th-century Austrian architect, had considerable influence on modern church design and was responsible for the two major festival theatres in Salzburg. The designs of Adolf Loos, Roland Rainer, Erich Boltenstern, and Carl Auböck had an impact on housing and office development. The avant-garde architecture firm Coop Himmelblau and architect Hans Hollein were well known in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Moviemaking in Austria has tended to concentrate on highbrow or controversial themes. The German-language motion picture industry has not been able to keep pace with Hollywood imports, and foreign films and television shows outnumber Austrian or German productions. A number of 20th-century Austrian actors began their careers in Austria and later found success in Hollywood, including Paul Henreid, Oscar Homolka, Hedy Lamarr, and Maximilian Schell. Also born in Austria were the directors Erich von Stroheim and Otto Preminger. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-born bodybuilder, actor, and politician, is admired for his films and other accomplishments in the United States.

  • Cultural institutions

The Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera are Austria’s premier musical institutions. Other groups of note have included the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna, the Graz Philharmonic, the Linz Bruckner Orchestra, the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, the Alban Berg Quartet, and the Concertus Musicus. The Vienna Boys’ Choir, founded by the emperor Maximilian I in 1498, still sings at Sunday masses in the chapel of the Hofburg, or Imperial Palace.

The stages of Vienna and Graz are considered among the finest in the German-speaking world and rank with such German-language theatre centres as Berlin, Munich, and Zürich. The high citadel of the Austrian theatre is Vienna’s Burgtheater, in which the canon of German classical drama is performed by the leading actors of the German-speaking world. The Theater in der Josefstadt, also in Vienna, performs contemporary drama and German adaptations of foreign plays. All theatres are publicly subsidized.

The great museums of Austria are gathered in Vienna. Its Kunsthistorisches Museum, with holdings extending from antiquity through the great German, Italian, and Dutch masters, contains one of the world’s premier collections. The Austrian Gallery in Belvedere Palace exhibits Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the modern era. The Albertina Graphics Collection in Vienna is one of the world’s finest collections of prints. In the Hofburg, the Collection of Secular and Ecclesiastical Treasures contains jewelry and regalia of the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburgs. Modern collections are found in the Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation (mumok) and the Secession museum. Collections of scientific, technical, and industrial interest are found in the Museum of Natural History Vienna, the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), the Museum of Ethnology, and the Technical Museum in Vienna.

The oldest Austrian academic research institution is the Austrian Academy of Sciences, whose traditions date to the early 18th century. More modern scientific foundations, notably the Körner Foundation, support scientific research and other cultural endeavours; their main support comes from government sources. A federal ministry of science and research was established in 1970; it is responsible for university institutions and for the advancement of scientific activities.

  • Sports and recreation

Austria’s situation in the Alps means that outdoor winter sports are a favourite pastime. Known as the birthplace of downhill skiing, the country is littered with ski areas. Mountain climbing and hiking also are popular, and thousands of well-marked trails crisscross the Alps. Residents of the lowlands enjoy thousands of venues—swimming pools, stadiums, riding arenas, bicycle paths, and other facilities—for a wide range of sports. Eastern Austria’s rivers and lakes attract countless swimmers and boaters in the warmer months and skaters in winter.

Austria has sent teams to every Olympic Games since 1896, except the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium. Austrian winter athletes have excelled in Alpine events, and in 1956, Austrian skier Anton Sailer was the first person to sweep the slalom, giant slalom, and downhill events in Olympic competition. The country hosted the Winter Games in 1964 and 1976, both times in the Alpine city of Innsbruck. At Innsbruck in 1976, a young Austrian skier, Franz Klammer, set a world record for the men’s downhill event. Since the time of Sailer and Klammer, many other Austrian Olympians—among them the skiers Mario Reiter, Petra Kronberger, Günther Mader, Anita Wachter, and Hermann Maier—have continued the country’s tradition of athletic excellence.

  • Media and publishing

Austria has several major independent newspapers, including three major dailies in Vienna, Neue Kronen-Zeitung, Kurier, and Die Presse. The leading provincial newspaper is Salzburger Nachrichten. Until the turn of the 21st century, radio and television were the monopoly of the Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF), a state-owned corporation that enjoys political and economic independence. Several private local and regional radio stations have been licensed, although ORF still operates the country’s main radio stations. ORF also operates a number of television channels, and Austria’s terrestrial television signal was fully converted from analog to digital in 2011. The overwhelming majority of Austrians subscribe to cable or satellite services to expand their viewing choices.


Languages, culture and religion of Austria

  • Languages

German is the official language of Austria and an important prerequisite for participating in the working, economic and social life of the country.

Croatian, Slovenian and Hungarian are recognised as official languages of autonomous population groups in some regions.

English is taught as the first foreign language at most schools.

  • Culture and religion

There are all kinds of private registered societies and associations throughout Austria (culture, sports, social clubs, etc.). Information on associations can be found at municipal offices or the Magistrat offices (administration authority in cities) and on the website of the Ministry for the Interior.

All over Austria, you will find extensive cultural choices and sports facilities. Daily newspapers and special agendas provide information on current cultural and sporting events.

In recent years, Vienna was elected “Metropolis with the highest standard of living world-wide” several times in a row (Mercer study).

Austrian culture is greatly influenced by the centuries-long Catholic tradition. Daily life and legislation are however strictly secular. Social cohesion and tolerance are of the highest significance in Austrian society.

In Austria there is religious freedom. According to the last population census in 2001, the larger part of the Austrian population professes to be of Roman Catholic faith (around three quarters). This group is followed by persons without religious faith, Protestants, Muslims and members of the Christian Orthodox faith.

History of Austria

During the past 10 centuries, the term Austria has designated a variety of geographic and political concepts. In its narrowest sense Austria has included only the present-day provinces of Upper and Lower Austria, including Vienna; in its widest meaning the term has covered the far-flung domains of the imperial house of Hapsburg. Its present connotation—German-speaking Austria—dates only from 1918. This article deals mainly with the history of German-speaking Austria. For wider historical background, see Holy Roman Empire; Hapsburg; Austro-Hungarian Monarchy; Hungary; Bohemia; and Netherlands, Austrian and Spanish.

  • The Rise of Austria

Austria is located at the crossroads of Europe; Vienna is at the gate of the Danubian plain, and the Brenner Pass in W Austria links Germany and Italy. From earliest times Austrian territory has been a thoroughfare, a battleground, and a border area. It was occupied by Celts and Suebi when the Romans conquered (15 B.C.–A.D. 10) and divided it among the provinces of Rhaetia, Noricum, and Upper Pannonia. After the 5th cent. A.D., Huns, Ostrogoths, Lombards, and Bavarians overran and devastated the provinces. By c.600, Slavs from the east had occupied all of modern Styria, Lower Austria, and Carinthia.

In 788, Charlemagne conquered the area and set up the first Austrian (i.e., Eastern) March in the present Upper and Lower Austria, to halt the inroads of the Avars. Colonization was encouraged, and Christianity (which had been introduced under the Romans) was again spread energetically. After Charlemagne's death (814) the march soon fell to the Moravians and later to the Magyars, from whom it was taken (955) by Emperor Otto I. Otto reconstituted the march and attached it to Bavaria, but, in 976, Otto II bestowed it as a separate fief on Leopold of Babenberg, founder of the first Austrian dynasty. Emperor Frederick I raised (1156) Austria to a duchy, and, in 1192, Styria also passed under Babenberg rule.

The 11th and 12th cent. saw the height of Austrian feudalism and also witnessed the marked development of towns as the Danube was converted to a great trade route. After the death (1246) of the last Babenberg, King Ottocar II of Bohemia acquired (1251–69) Austria, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola. Fearing his power, the German princes elected (1273) Rudolf of Hapsburg German king. Rudolf I asserted (1282) his royal prerogative to reclaim the four duchies from Ottocar and incorporate them in his domains. After the murder (1308) of Rudolf's son, Albert I, the German princes balked at electing another member of the ambitious family.

Albert's ducal successors enlarged the Hapsburg holdings by acquiring Tyrol (1363) and Trieste (1382) and extended their influence over the ecclesiastic states of Salzburg, Trent, and Brixen (see Bressanone), which, however, remained independent until 1803. Marriage allowed Albert II to be elected German king in 1438. Beginning with Albert II, the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire were always chosen from the Hapsburg dynasty. Despite their vast imperial preoccupations, the emperors always considered German Austria the prized core of their dominions. During the long reign of Frederick III (1440–93), the protracted Hapsburg wars with France began. In 1526, Austria, Bohemia, and Hungary were united under one crown (see Ferdinand I, emperor). In the same year Vienna was besieged for two weeks by troops of the Ottoman Empire under Sulayman the Magnificent, who had made a forceful advance into Europe. The Turkish threat to Austria ebbed and then climaxed again in the second siege of Vienna in 1683.

The patterns of medievalism were weakening in Austria, especially as the money economy spread, and in the 16th cent. the commercial revolution diminished the importance of Austrian trade routes and of the ancient gold and silver mines of Tyrol and Carinthia. Economic and political instability in the 16th cent. precipitated the spread of the Protestant Reformation, which the Hapsburg rulers attempted to counter by nurturing the Counter Reformation. The alliance then formed between church and state continued throughout the history of the monarchy.

The Austrian peasantry, especially in Tyrol, had gained some advantages in the Peasants' War of 1524–26; in general, however, the rising, backed by some Protestants but not by Luther, was defeated. Suppression of Protestantism was at first impossible, and, under Maximilian II, Lutheran nobles were granted considerable toleration. Rudolph II and Matthias pursued policies of partial Catholicization, and, under Ferdinand II, anti-Protestant vigor helped to precipitate the Thirty Years War (1618–48). Protestant Bohemia and Moravia, defeated by the Austrians at the White Mt. (1620), became virtual Austrian provinces. Austria proper remained relatively unscathed in the long holocaust; after the Peace of Westphalia the Hapsburg lands emerged as a distinct empire, whereas the Holy Roman Empire drifted into a mere shadow existence.

  • The Austrian Empire

The monarchy, although repressive of free speech and worship, was far from absolute; taxation and other powers rested with the provincial estates for a further century. Emperor Charles VI (1711–40), whose dynastic wars had drained the state, secured the succession to the Hapsburg lands for his daughter, Maria Theresa, by means of the pragmatic sanction. Maria Theresa's struggle with Frederick II of Prussia in the War of the Austrian Succession (see Austrian Succession, War of the) and the Seven Years War opened a long struggle for dominance in the German lands.

Except for the loss of Silesia, Maria Theresa held her own. The provincial estates were reduced in power, and an efficient centralized bureaucracy was created; as the nobles were attracted to bureaucratic service their power as a class was weakened. Maria Theresa's husband, Francis I, became Holy Roman emperor in 1745, but his position was largely titular. The major event of Maria Theresa's later reign was the first partition of Poland (1772; see Poland, partitions of); in that transaction and in the third partition (1795) Austria renewed its eastward expansion.

Joseph II, who succeeded her, impetuously carried forward the reforms which his mother had cautiously begun. His attempts to further centralize and Germanize his scattered and disparate dominions met stubborn resistance; his project to consolidate his state by exchanging the Austrian Netherlands for Bavaria was balked by Frederick II. An exemplar of "benevolent despotism" and a disciple of the Enlightenment, Joseph also decreed a series of revolutionary agrarian, fiscal, religious, and judicial reforms; however, opposition, especially from among the clergy and the landowners, forced his successor, Leopold II, to rescind many of them. In Joseph's reign the Austrian bourgeoisie began to emerge as a social and cultural force. Music and architecture (see Vienna) flourished in 18th-century Austria, and modern Austrian literature (see German literature) emerged early in the 19th cent.

In the reign of Francis II, Austria was drawn (1792) into war with revolutionary France (see French Revolutionary Wars) and with Napoleon I. The treaties of Campo Formio (1797) and Lunéville (1801) preluded the dissolution (1806) of the Holy Roman Empire, and in 1804, Francis II took the title "Francis I, emperor of Austria." His rout at Austerlitz (1805) led to the severe Treaty of Pressburg (see Pressburg, Treaty of).

An upsurge of patriotism resulted in the renewal of war with Napoleon in 1809; Austria's defeat at Wagram led to the even more humiliating Peace of Schönbrunn (see under Schönbrunn). Austria was forced to side with Napoleon in the Russian campaign of 1812, but in 1813 it again joined the coalition against Napoleon; an Austrian, Prince Karl Philipp von Schwarzenberg, headed the allied forces. The Congress of Vienna (1814–15; see Vienna, Congress of) did not restore to Austria its former possessions in the Netherlands and in Baden but awarded it Lombardy, Venetia, Istria, and Dalmatia.

As the leading power of both the German Confederation and the Holy Alliance, Austria under the ministry of Metternich dominated European politics. Conservatism and the repression of nationalistic strivings characterized the age. Nevertheless, the Metternich period was one of great cultural achievement, particularly in music and literature.

The revolutions of 1848 shook the Hapsburg empire but ultimately failed because of the conflicting economic goals of the middle and lower classes and because of the conflicting nationalist aspirations that set the revolutionary movements of Germans, Slavs, Hungarians, and Italians against each other. Revolts were at first successful throughout the empire (see Risorgimento; Galicia; Bohemia; Hungary); in Vienna the revolutionists drove out Metternich (Mar., 1848). Emperor Ferdinand granted (April) a liberal constitution, which a constituent assembly replaced (July) with a more democratic one. After a new outbreak Vienna was bombarded, and the revolutionists were punished by troops under General Windischgrätz. Prince Felix zu Schwarzenberg became premier and engineered the abdication of Ferdinand in favor of Francis Joseph.

Absolutism returned with the dissolution of the constituent assembly. Austrian leadership in Germany was reasserted at the Convention of Olmütz in 1850. Alexander Bach intensified (1852–59) Schwarzenberg's centralizing policy, thus heightening national tensions within the empire. But economic prosperity was promoted by the lowering of internal tariff barriers, and several reforms dating from 1848 were upheld, notably the complete abolition of feudal dues.

The military and political weakness of the empire was demonstrated by the Austrian loss of Lombardy in the Italian War of 1859. Attempts to solve the nationalities problem—the "October Diploma" (1860), which created a central legislature and gave increased powers to the provincial assemblies of nobles, and the "February Patent," which transferred many of these powers to the central legislature—failed. Prussia seized the opportunity to drive Austria out of Germany. After involving Austria in the war over Schleswig-Holstein in 1864, Bismarck found an easy pretext for attacking. Overwhelmingly defeated by Prussia at Sadová (or Sadowa; also know as the battle of Königgrätz) in 1866 (see Austro-Prussian War), Austria was forced to cede Venetia to Italy. With this debacle Austria's political role in Germany came to an end.

A reorganization of the government of the empire became inevitable, and in 1867 a compromise (Ger. Ausgleich ) with Hungarian moderate nationalists established a dual state, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. But the realm, a land of diverse peoples ruled by a German-Magyar minority, increasingly became an anachronism in a nationalistic age. Failure to provide a satisfactory status for the other nationalities, notably the Slavs, played a major role in bringing about World War I. Important developments in Austrian society during this period were the continued irresponsibility of the nobility and the backwardness of the peasantry, the growth of a socialist working class, widespread anti-Semitism stimulated by the large-scale movement to Austria of poor Jews from the eastern provinces, and extraordinary cultural creativity in Vienna.

The disastrous course of the war led to the breakup of the monarchy in 1918. Charles I renounced power; after a peaceful revolution staged by the Socialist and Pan-German parties, German Austria was proclaimed (Nov. 12) a republic and a part of Greater Germany.

  • Modern Austria

The Treaty of Saint-Germain (1919) fixed the present Austrian borders and forbade (as did the Treaty of Versailles) any political or economic union (Ger. Anschluss ) with Germany. This left Austria a small country with some 7 million inhabitants, one third of whom lived in a single large city (Vienna) that had been geared to be the financial and industrial hub of a large state. The Dual Monarchy had been virtually self-sufficient economically; its breakup and the consequent erection of tariff walls deprived Austria of raw materials, food, and markets. In the postwar period, starvation and influenza exacted a heavy toll, especially in Vienna. These ills were followed by currency inflation, ended only in 1924 by means of League of Nations aid, following upon chronic unemployment, financial scandals and crises, and growing political unrest.

"Red" Vienna, under the moderate socialist government of Karl Seitz, became increasingly opposed by the "Black" (i.e., clericalist) rural faction, which won the elections of 1921. The cabinet of Social Democrat Karl Renner was succeeded by Christian Socialist and Pan-German coalitions under Schober, Seipel, and others. Unrest culminated, in 1927, in violent riots in Vienna; two rival private militias—the Heimwehr of the monarchist leader E. R. von Starhemberg and the Schutzbund of the socialists—posed a threat to the authority of the state. Economic crisis loomed again in the late 1920s. National Socialism, feeding in part on anti-Semitism, gained rapidly and soon absorbed the Pan-German party.

Engelbert Dollfuss, who became chancellor in 1932, though irreconcilably opposed to Anschluss and to National Socialism, tended increasingly toward corporative fascism and relied heavily on Italian support. His stern suppression of the socialists precipitated a serious revolt (1934), which was bloodily suppressed by the army. Soon afterward a totalitarian state was set up, and all independent political parties were outlawed. In July, 1934, the National Socialists assassinated Dollfuss but failed to seize the government.

Kurt von Schuschnigg succeeded Dollfuss. German pressure on Austria increased; Schuschnigg was forced to legalize the operations of the National Socialists and to appoint members of that party to cabinet posts. Schuschnigg planned a last-minute effort to avoid Anschluss by holding a plebiscite, but Hitler forced him to resign. In Mar., 1938, Austria was occupied by German troops and became part of the Reich. Arthur Seyss-Inquart became the Nazi governor.

In 1943, the Allies agreed to reestablish an independent Austria at the end of World War II. In 1945, Austria was conquered by Soviet and American troops, and a provisional government was set up under Karl Renner. The pre-Dollfuss constitution was restored with revisions; the country was divided into separate occupation zones, each controlled by an Allied power.

Economic recovery was hindered by the decline of trade between Western and Eastern Europe and by the division into zones. Austria was formally recognized by the Western powers in 1946, but because of Soviet disagreement with the West over reparations, the occupation continued. On May 15, 1955, a formal treaty between Great Britain, France, the United States, the USSR, and Austria restored full sovereignty to the country. The treaty prohibited the possession of major offensive weapons and required Austria to pay heavy reparations to the USSR. Austria proclaimed its perpetual neutrality. In 1955 it was admitted to the United Nations.

By the 1960s unprecedented prosperity had been attained. Austria had joined the European Free Trade Association in 1959, but association with the European Economic Community (Common Market) was held back by Soviet opposition. Politically, a nearly equal balance of power between the conservative People's party and the Socialist party resulted in successive coalition cabinets until 1966, when the People's party won a clear majority. They were ousted by the Socialists in the 1970 elections, and Bruno Kreisky became chancellor. A long-standing dispute with Italy over the German-speaking population of the Trentino–Alto Adige region of Italy was dealt with in a treaty ratified in 1971.

In 1983 the Socialist government fell, and the Socialists were forced to form a coalition with the far-right Freedom party. Austria captured world attention in 1986 when former UN secretary-general Kurt Waldheim was elected president despite allegations that he had been involved in atrocities as a German army staff officer in the Balkans during World War II. Also in 1986 the Socialists (subsequently the Social Democrats) and the People's party again joined together in a "grand coalition," with Social Democrat Franz Vranitzky as chancellor; it retained control of the government through the 1990s.

Austria began a partial privatization of state-owned industries in the late 1980s and entered the European Union (EU) in 1995. Waldheim was succeeded as president in 1992 by Thomas Klestil, the candidate of the People's party; Klestil was reelected in 1998. In 1997, Chancellor Vranitzky resigned and was replaced by Social Democrat Viktor Klima.

In the Oct., 1999, elections, the People's party placed third, just barely behind the far-right Freedom party, whose leader, Jörg Haider, was criticized as demagogic and nativist. The electoral results complicated the formation of a stable new government, which was only achieved in Feb., 2000, when Wolfgang Schüssel of the People's party became chancellor of a People's party–Freedom party coalition. Austria was quickly ostracized by other EU nations because of the Freedom party's participation in the government, and Haider—who had not joined the government—subsequently resigned as party leader. The sanctions imposed by the EU came to be regarded as threatening by smaller EU countries, however, and on the recommendation of an EU fact-finding commission they were lifted in Sept., 2000. Feuding within the Freedom party led to the collapse of the government two years later.

Elections in Nov., 2002, were a major setback for the Freedom party, which was a distant third, while the People's party won a plurality. Despite the collapse of their coalition several months before, the People's party again formed (Feb., 2003) a government with the Freedom party, with Schüssel as chancellor. A little more than a year later, in Apr., 2004, Heinz Fischer, a Social Democrat, was elected president; his victory, the first by a Social Democrat since 1986, was regarded as a sign of voter unhappiness with the government. A split in the Freedom party led party leader Haider to form (2005) the Alliance for Austria's Future and exclude extremist Freedom party members, and the Alliance replaced the Freedom party in the government.

In the Oct., 2006, parliamentary elections the Social Democrats won the largest number of seats, besting the People's party, but Social Democratic leader Alfred Gusenbauer needed to form a coalition in order to govern, and by the end of 2006 he had not succeeded in doing so. The Freedom party finished third in the voting, while Haider's Alliance finished fifth, after the Greens. In Jan., 2007, the Social Democratic and People's parties formed a coalition government with Gusenbauer as chancellor, but the government collapsed in July, 2008.

The Sept., 2008, elections saw the Social Democrats again win a plurality, but with slightly less than 30% of the vote; the two far-right parties combined nearly equaled that. Haider died in an automobile accident the following month. In December, the Social Democratic–People's party coalition was re-formed, with Social Democrat Werner Faymann as chancellor. Fischer was reelected president in Apr., 2010. The share of the vote won by the Social Democratic and People's parties further eroded, to 27% and 24% respectively, in the Sept., 2013, parliamentary elections; two months later, they again formed a coalition government, with Faymann as chancellor.


Austria-Hungary
Historical empire, Europe

Austria-Hungary, also called Austro-Hungarian Empire or Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, byname Dual Monarchy, German Österreich-Ungarn, Österreichisch-Ungarisches Reich, Österreichisch-Ungarische Monarchie,or Doppelmonarchie, the Habsburg empire from the constitutional Compromise (Ausgleich) of 1867 between Austria and Hungary until the empire’s collapse in 1918.---->read on

Energy of Austria

  • GDP (purchasing power parity)
$361 billion (2013 est.)
$359.6 billion (2012 est.)
$356.5 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
  • GDP (official exchange rate): $417.9 billion (2013 est.)
  • GDP - real growth rate
0.4% (2013 est.)
0.9% (2012 est.)
2.8% (2011 est.)
  • GDP - per capita (PPP)
$42,600 (2013 est.)
$42,500 (2012 est.)
$42,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars


  • Gross national saving
23.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
24.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
24.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
  • GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 54.6%
government consumption: 19.2%
investment in fixed capital: 20.8%
investment in inventories: 0.5%
exports of goods and services: 56.9%
imports of goods and services: -52%

(2013 est.)

  • GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 1.6%
industry: 28.6%
services: 69.8% (2013 est.
  • Population below poverty line 6.2% (2012)
  • Labor force 3.737 million (2013 est.)
  • Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 5.5%
industry: 26%
services: 68.5% (2012 est.)
  • Unemployment rate
4.9% (2013 est.)
4.4% (2012 est.)
  • Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 8.3%
male: 8.8%
female: 8.7% (2012)
  • Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 22% (2011)
  • Distribution of family income - Gini index
26.3 (2007)
31 (1995)
  • Budget revenues: $200 billion
  • expenditures: $212.1 billion (2013 est.)
  • Taxes and other revenues:47.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
  • Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -2.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
  • Public debt
75.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
74.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: this is general government gross debt, defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year; it covers the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); the general government sector comprises the sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government and social security funds; as a percentage of GDP, the GDP used as a denominator is the gross domestic product in current year prices
  • Inflation rate (consumer prices)
2.1% (2013 est.)
2.6% (2012 est.)
  • Commercial bank prime lending rate
2.2% (31 December 2013 est.)
2.5% (31 December 2012 est.)
  • Stock of narrow money
$204.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$201.1 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
  • Stock of broad money
$419 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$414 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
  • Stock of domestic credit
$544.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$543 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
  • Market value of publicly traded shares
$106 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$82.37 billion (31 December 2011)
$NA (31 December 2010 est.)
  • Agriculture - products grains, potatoes, wine, fruit; dairy products, cattle, pigs, poultry; lumber
  • Industries construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals, chemicals, lumber and wood, paper and paperboard, communications equipment, tourism
  • Industrial production growth rate 0.5% (2013 est.)
  • Current Account Balance
$10.6 billion (2013 est.)
$7.085 billion (2012 est.)
  • Exports
$165.6 billion (2013 est.)
$160.1 billion (2012 est.)
  • Exports - commodities machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs
  • Exports - partners Germany 29.31%, Italy 6.25%, Switzerland 5.08%, United States 5%, France 4.27% (2013 est.)
  • Imports
$167.9 billion (2013 est.)
$163.2 billion (2012 est.)
  • Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products; foodstuffs
  • Imports - partners
Germany 40.39%, Italy 6.13%, Switzerland 5.36% (2013 est.)
  • Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$27.21 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$25.16 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
  • Debt - external
$812 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$786.1 billion (31 December 2011)
  • Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$269.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$265.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
  • Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$345.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$331.4 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
  • Exchange rates euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
0.755 (2010 est.)
0.7198 (2009 est.)
0.6827 (2008 est.)
  • Fiscal year calendar year

Austria Telecommunications Profile 2014

  • Telephones - main lines in use 3.342 million (2012)
  • Telephones - mobile cellular 13.59 million (2012)
  • Telephone system
general assessment: highly developed and efficient
domestic: fixed-line subscribership has been in decline since the mid-1990s with mobile-cellular subscribership eclipsing it by the late 1990s; the fiber-optic net is very extensive; all telephone applications and Internet services are available
international: country code - 43; satellite earth stations - 15; in addition, there are about 600 VSATs (very small aperture terminals) (2007)
  • Broadcast media Austria's public broadcaster, Osterreichischer Rundfunk (ORF), was the main broadcast source until commercial radio and TV service was introduced in the 1990s; cable and satellite TV are available, including German TV stations (2008)
  • Internet country code .at
  • Internet hosts 3.512 million (2012)
  • Internet users 6.143 million (2009)

Austria Military Profile 2014

  • Military branches Land Forces (KdoLdSK), Air Forces (KdoLuSK)
  • Military service age and obligation registration requirement at age 17, the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory service; males under the age of 35 must complete basic military training (6 month duration); males 18 to 50 years old in the militia or inactive reserve are subject to compulsory service (2012)
  • Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49: 1,941,110
females age 16-49: 1,910,434 (2010 est.)
  • Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 1,579,862
females age 16-49: 1,554,130 (2010 est.)
  • Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 48,108
female: 45,752 (2010 est.)
  • Military expenditures
0.81% of GDP (2012)
0.82% of GDP (2011)
0.81% of GDP (2010)

Austria Transportation Profile 2014

  • Railways
total: 6,399 km
standard gauge: 5,927 km 1.435-m gauge (3,853 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 384 km 1.000-m gauge (15 km electrified); 88 km 0.760-m gauge (10 km electrified) (2008)
  • Roadways
total: 124,508 km
paved: 124,508 km (includes 1,719 km of expressways) (2012)
  • Waterways 358 km (2011)
  • Pipelines gas 4,736 km; oil 663 km; refined products 157 km (2013)
  • Ports and terminals river port(s): Enns, Krems, Linz, Vienna (Danube)
  • Merchant marine registered in other countries: 3 (Cyprus 1, Kazakhstan 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)
  • Airports 52 (2013)
  • Airports - with paved runways total: 24
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 13 (2013)
  • Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 28
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m:
24 (2013)
  • Heliports 1 (2013)

Austria Transnational Issues Profile 2014

  • Disputes - international none
  • Illicit drugs transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; increasing consumption of European-produced synthetic drugs
  • Refugees and internally displaced persons
refugees (country of origin): 19,577 (Russia); 11,906 (Afghanistan) (2013)
stateless persons: 542 (2012)


Environment of Austria

Health of Austria

Austria in 2011

Austria Area: 83,879 sq km (32,386 sq mi) Population (2011 est.): 8,419,000 Capital: Vienna Head of state: President Heinz Fischer Head of government: Chancellor Werner Faymann Though Austria ...>>>read on<<<


Disclaimer

This is not the official site of this country. Most of the information in this site were taken from the U.S. Department of State, The Central Intelligence Agency, The United Nations, [1],[2], [3], [4], [5],[6], [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14],[15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21], [22], [23], [24],[25], [26], [27], [28], [29], [30],[31], [32], [33], [34], and the [35].

Other sources of information will be mentioned as they are posted.