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Flag of Austria
Map of Austria
Introduction 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. Following the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995, some Austrians have called into question this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.
Geography Austria
Location:
Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia
Geographic coordinates:
47 20 N, 13 20 E
Map references:
Europe
Area:
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
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: 16.59%
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
Population:
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.)
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), Slovene (official in Carinthia), Croatian (official in Burgenland), Hungarian (official in Burgenland)
Literacy:
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
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, Kaernten (Carinthia), Niederoesterreich, Oberoesterreich, Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria), Tirol, Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna)
Independence:
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
Constitution:
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
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Heinz FISCHER (since 8 July 2004)
head of government: Chancellor Wolfgang SCHUESSEL (OeVP)(since 4 February 2000); Vice Chancellor Hubert GORBACH (since 21 October 2003)
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 traditionally chosen by the president from the plurality party in the National Council; 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 represent each of the states on the basis of population, but with each state having at least 3 representatives; 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 24 November 2002 (next to be held in the fall of 2006)
election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - OeVP 42.3%, SPOe 36.5%, FPOe 10.0%, Greens 9.5%; seats by party - OeVP 79, SPOe 69, FPOe 18, Greens 17; seating as of May 2005 after split within the Freedom Party: OeVP 79, SPOe 69, Greens 17, BZOe 11, FPOe 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 [Joerg HAIDER]; 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 Socialist) 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:
ACCT (observer), AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIS, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
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, pursuing a balanced budget, and implementing effective pension reforms. Weak domestic consumption and slow growth in Europe have held the economy to growth rates of 0.4% in 2002, 1.4% in 2003, 2.4% in 2004, and 1.8% in 2005. 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):
$267.6 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$293.4 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.9% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$32,700 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.8%
industry: 30.4%
services: 67.8% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
3.49 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 27%
services: 70% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
5.2% (2005 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):
2.3% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
20.8% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $148.6 billion
expenditures: $154.5 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
65.1% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
grains, potatoes, sugar beets, 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:
4.7% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
63.69 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 29.3%
hydro: 67.2%
nuclear: 0%
other: 3.5% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
64.78 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
13.53 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
16.63 billion kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
17,810 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - consumption:
249,000 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:
1.96 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - consumption:
9.01 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2004)
Natural gas - imports:
7.05 billion cu m (2004)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
23.2 billion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:
$1.467 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
$122.5 billion f.o.b. (2005 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)
Imports:
$118.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 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:
$11.83 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$510.6 billion (30 June 2005 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:
EUR
Exchange rates:
euros per US dollar - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Austria
Telephones - main lines in use:
3.791 million (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
7.99 million (2004)
Telephone system:
general assessment: highly developed and efficient
domestic: there are 48 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)
Radios:
6.08 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
10 (plus more than 1,000 repeaters) (2001)
Televisions:
4.25 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.at
Internet hosts:
1,812,776 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
37 (2000)
Internet users:
4.65 million (2005)
Transportation Austria
Airports:
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)
Heliports:
1 (2006)
Pipelines:
gas 2,722 km; oil 663 km; refined products 149 km (2004)
Railways:
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)
Roadways:
total: 133,718 km
paved: 133,718 km (including 1,677 km of expressways) (2003)
Waterways:
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: 15 (Liberia 14, Malta 1) (2005)
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 19 September, 2006