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Map of Austria
Introduction Austria
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 Monetary Union in 1999.
Geography Austria
Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia
Geographic coordinates:
47 20 N, 13 20 E
Map references:
total: 83,870 sq km
land: 82,444 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
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers
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: 16.59%
permanent crops: 0.85%
other: 82.56% (2005)
Irrigated land:
40 sq km (2003)
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 Austria
8,192,880 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 15.4% (male 645,337/female 614,602)
15-64 years: 67.5% (male 2,782,712/female 2,749,620)
65 years and over: 17.1% (male 567,752/female 832,857) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 40.9 years
male: 39.8 years
female: 42 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.09% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
8.74 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
9.76 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
1.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.65 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.07 years
male: 76.17 years
female: 82.11 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.36 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.3% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
10,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2003 est.)
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)
Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)
German (official nationwide), Slovene (official in Carinthia), Croatian (official in Burgenland), Hungarian (official in Burgenland)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: NA
female: NA
Government 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
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, Kaernten (Carinthia), Niederoesterreich, Oberoesterreich, Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria), Tirol, Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna)
17 September 1156 (Duchy of Austria founded); 11 August 1804 (Austrian Empire proclaimed); 12 November 1918 (republic proclaimed)
National holiday:
National Day, 26 October (1955); note - commemorates the State Treaty restoring national sovereignty and the end of occupation and the passage of the law on permanent neutrality
1920; revised 1929 (reinstated 1 May 1945)
Legal system:
civil law system with Roman law origin; judicial review of legislative acts by the Constitutional Court; separate administrative and civil/penal supreme courts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Heinz FISCHER (since 8 July 2004)
head of government: Chancellor Alfred GUSENBAUER (since 11 January 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers chosen by the president on the advice of the chancellor
elections: president elected by direct popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); presidential election last held 25 April 2004 (next to be held April 2010); 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 elected president; percent of vote - Heinz FISCHER (SPOe) 52.4%, Benita FERRERO-WALDNER (OeVP) 47.6%
note: government coalition - OeVP and FPOe
Legislative branch:
bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung consists of Federal Council or Bundesrat (62 members; members chosen by state parliaments with each state receiving 3 to 12 members according to its population; members serve a five- or six-year term) and the National Council or Nationalrat (183 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: National Council - last held 1 October 2006 (next scheduled for the fall of 2010)
election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - SPOe 35.3%, OeVP 34.3%, Greens 11.1%, FPOe 11.0%, BZOe 4.1%; seats by party - SPOe 68, OeVP 66, Greens 21, FPOe 21, BZOe 7
Judicial branch:
Supreme Judicial Court or Oberster Gerichtshof; Administrative Court or Verwaltungsgerichtshof; Constitutional Court or Verfassungsgerichtshof
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for the Future of Austria or BZOe [Peter WESENTHALER]; Austrian People's Party or OeVP [Wolfgang SCHUESSEL]; Freedom Party of Austria or FPOe [Heinz Christian STRACHE]; Social Democratic Party of Austria or SPOe [Alfred GUSENBAUER]; The Greens [Alexander VAN DER BELLEN]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Austrian Trade Union Federation (nominally independent but primarily Social Democratic) or OeGB; Federal Economic Chamber; OeVP-oriented League of Austrian Industrialists or VOeI; Roman Catholic Church, including its chief lay organization, Catholic Action; three composite leagues of the Austrian People's Party or OeVP representing business, labor, and farmers and other non-government organizations in the areas of environment and human rights
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Eva NOWOTNY
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 Susan R. McCAW
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
Economy Austria
Economy - overview:
Austria, with its well-developed market economy and high standard of living, is closely tied to other EU economies, especially Germany's. The Austrian economy also benefits greatly from strong commercial relations, especially in the banking and insurance sectors, with central, eastern, and southeastern Europe. The economy features a large service sector, a sound industrial sector, and a small, but highly developed agricultural sector. Membership in the EU has drawn an influx of foreign investors attracted by Austria's access to the single European market and proximity to the new EU economies. The current government has successfully pursued a comprehensive economic reform program, aimed at streamlining government, creating a more competitive business environment, further strengthening Austria's attractiveness as an investment location, and implementing effective pension reforms; however, lower taxes last year have lead to a small budget deficit this year. Weak domestic consumption and slow growth in Europe have held the economy to growth rates below 3% in 2002-05. Due to higher growth across Europe, Austrian grew 3.2 percent in 2006. To meet increased competition from both EU and Central European countries, particularly the new EU members, Austria will need to continue restructuring, emphasizing knowledge-based sectors of the economy, and encouraging greater labor flexibility and greater labor participation by its aging population.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$279.5 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$309.3 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.2% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$34,100 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.8%
industry: 30.4%
services: 67.8% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
3.52 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 27%
services: 70% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4.9% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line:
5.9% (2004)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 22.5% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
31 (2002)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.6% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
21% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $155.9 billion
expenditures: $161.6 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt:
63% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
grains, potatoes, sugar beets, wine, fruit; dairy products, cattle, pigs, poultry; lumber
construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals, chemicals, lumber and wood processing, paper and paperboard, communications equipment, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
5.7% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:
65.56 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 29.3%
hydro: 67.2%
nuclear: 0%
other: 3.5% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
64.07 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
13.5 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
16.6 billion kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
25,360 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:
282,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
30,140 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
152,600 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
84.3 million bbl (2004)
Natural gas - production:
1.963 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - consumption:
8.981 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - exports:
1.324 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
8.407 billion cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
15.01 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance:
$5.913 billion (2006 est.)
$144.4 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partners:
Germany 31.2%, Italy 8.7%, US 5.8%, Switzerland 5.2%, France 4.2% (2005)
$138.6 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products; foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Germany 45.9%, Italy 6.6%, Switzerland 4.5% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$8.413 billion (August 2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$593.9 billion (30 June 2006 est.)
Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $681 million (2004)
Currency (code):
euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
euros per US dollar - 0.79669 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Austria
Telephones - main lines in use:
3.705 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
8.16 million (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: highly developed and efficient
domestic: there are 45 main lines for every 100 persons; 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 VSAT (very small aperture terminals) (2005)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 65 (plus several hundred repeaters), shortwave 1 (2001)
6.08 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
10 (plus more than 1,000 repeaters) (2001)
4.25 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
2,062,035 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
37 (2000)
Internet users:
4.65 million (2005)
Transportation Austria
55 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 25
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 15 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 30
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 26 (2006)
1 (2006)
gas 2,722 km; oil 663 km; refined products 149 km (2006)
total: 6,011 km
standard gauge: 5,568 km 1.435-m gauge (3,427 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 21 km 1.000-m gauge; 422 km 0.760-m gauge (109 km electrified) (2005)
total: 133,718 km
paved: 133,718 km (including 1,677 km of expressways) (2003)
358 km (2003)
Merchant marine:
total: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 34,072 GRT/44,437 DWT
by type: cargo 6, container 2
foreign-owned: 2 (Netherlands 2)
registered in other countries: 14 (Liberia 13, Malta 1) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Enns, Krems, Linz, Vienna
Military Austria
Military branches:
Land Forces (KdoLdSK), Air Forces (KdoLuSK)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for voluntary service; from 2007, at the earliest, compulsory military service obligation will be reduced from eight months to six (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,914,800
females age 18-49: 1,870,134 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,550,441
females age 18-49: 1,515,365 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 48,967
females age 18-49: 46,633 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$1.497 billion (FY01/02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.9% (2004)
Transnational Issues Austria
Disputes - international:
Austrian anti-nuclear activists have revived blockades of the Czech-Austrian border to protest operation of the Temelin nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for Western Europe

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007