Austria

Austria


Background

Once the center of power for the large Austro-Hungarian Empire, Austria was reduced to a small republic after its defeat in World War I. Following annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 and subsequent occupation by the victorious Allies in 1945, Austria’s status remained unclear for a decade. A State Treaty signed in 1955 ended the occupation, recognized Austria’s independence, and forbade unification with Germany. A constitutional law that same year declared the country’s “perpetual neutrality” as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. The Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 and Austria’s entry into the European Union in 1995 have altered the meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the EU Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.

Geography

Location:
Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia

Geographic coordinates:
47 20 N, 13 20 E

Map references:
Europe

Area:
total: 83,871 sq km
country comparison to the world: 114
land: 82,445 sq km
water: 1,426 sq km

Area – comparative:
slightly smaller than Maine

Land boundaries:
total: 2,562 km
border countries: Czech Republic 362 km, Germany 784 km, Hungary 366 km, Italy 430 km,
Liechtenstein 35 km, Slovakia 91 km, Slovenia 330 km, Switzerland 164 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)

Total renewable water resources:
77.7 cu km (2011)

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
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

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

People & Society

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)

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)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)

Population:
8,223,062 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95

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: 19.2% (male 515,913/female 528,988)
65 years and over: 18.9% (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.)
country comparison to the world: 191

Birth rate:
8.76 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214

Death rate:
10.38 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42

Net migration rate:
1.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50

Urbanization:
urban population: 67.7% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0.48% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas – 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.)

Maternal mortality rate:
4 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 178

Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.16 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 196
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
country comparison to the world: 32
male: 77.25 years
female: 83.24 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.43 children born/woman (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
69.6%
note: percent of women aged 18-46 (2009)

Health expenditures:
10.6% of GDP (2011)
country comparison to the world: 19

Physicians density:
4.86 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density:
7.6 beds/1,000 population (2010)

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 (2011 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
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 (2011 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
0.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
15,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90

HIV/AIDS – deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:
20.9% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 93

Education expenditures:
5.9% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 44

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)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 8.3%
country comparison to the world: 120
male: 8.8%
female: 8.7% (2012)

Government

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; note – reduced from 18 years of age in 2007

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
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
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

Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red; the flag design is certainly one of the oldest – if not the oldest – national banners in the world; according to tradition, in 1191, following a fierce battle in the Third Crusade, Duke Leopold V of Austria’s white tunic became completely blood-spattered; upon removal of his wide belt or sash, a white band was revealed; the red-white-red color combination was subsequently adopted as his banner

National symbol(s):
golden eagle, Alpine gentian, edelweiss

National anthem:
name: “Bundeshymne” (Federal Hymn)

Economy

Economy – overview:
Austria, with its well-developed market economy, skilled labor force, and high standard of living, is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany’s. Its economy features a large service sector, a sound industrial sector, and a small, but highly developed agricultural sector. Following several years of solid foreign demand for Austrian exports and record employment growth, the international financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent global economic downturn led to a sharp but brief recession. Austrian GDP contracted 3.8% in 2009 but saw positive growth of about 2% in 2010 and 2.7% in 2011. Growth fell to 0.6% in 2012. Unemployment did not rise as steeply in Austria as elsewhere in Europe, partly because the government subsidized reduced working hour schemes to allow companies to retain employees. The 2012 unemployment rate of 4.3% was the lowest within the EU. Stabilization measures, stimulus spending, and an income tax reform pushed the budget deficit to 4.5% in 2010 and 2.6% in 2011, from only about 0.9% in 2008. The international financial crisis of 2008 caused difficulties for Austria’s largest banks whose extensive operations in central, eastern, and southeastern Europe faced large losses. The government provided bank support – including in some instances, nationalization – to support aggregate demand and stabilize the banking system. Austria’s fiscal position compares favorably with other euro-zone countries, but it faces external risks, such as Austrian banks’ continued exposure to Central and Eastern Europe as well as political and economic uncertainties caused by the European sovereign debt crisis. In 2011 the government attempted to pass a constitutional amendment limiting public debt to 60% of GDP by 2020, but it was unable to obtain sufficient support in parliament and instead passed the measure as a simple law. In March 2012, the Austrian parliament approved an austerity package consisting of a mix of expenditure cuts and new revenues that will bring public finances into balance by 2016. In 2012, the budget deficit rose to 3.1% of GDP.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$361 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
$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.)
country comparison to the world: 187
0.9% (2012 est.)
2.8% (2011 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):
$42,600 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
$42,500 (2012 est.)
$42,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Gross national saving:
23.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
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 of origin:
agriculture: 1.6%
industry: 28.6%
services: 69.8% (2013 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 processing, paper and paperboard, communications equipment, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:
0.5% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158

Labor force:
3.737 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94

Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 5.5%
industry: 26%
services: 68.5% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate:
4.9% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
4.4% (2012 est.)

Population below poverty line:
6.2% (2012)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 22% (2011)

Distribution of family income – Gini index:
26.3 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 132
31 (1995)

Budget:
revenues: $200 billion
expenditures: $212.1 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
47.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118

Public debt:
75.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
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

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.1% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
2.6% (2012 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
2.2% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
2.5% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$204.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
$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.)
country comparison to the world: 25
$414 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$544.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
$543 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$106 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 40
$82.37 billion (31 December 2011)
$NA (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance:
$10.6 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
$7.085 billion (2012 est.)

Exports:
$165.6 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
$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.)
country comparison to the world: 29
$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.)
country comparison to the world: 54
$25.16 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt – external:
$812 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20
$786.1 billion (31 December 2011)

Stock of direct foreign investment – at home:
$269.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
$265.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad:
$345.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
$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.)

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