Austria Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Austria
About 8.86 million people live in Austria (2019). The average population density is 106 residents per km². 20% of the Austrian population lives in the greater Vienna area. The annual population growth is over one percent and is mainly due to ongoing immigration. The average age of the Austrian population is around 43 years. Ethnically, the population of Austria is made up of over 90% Austrians and 9% foreigners, including Germans, Serbs, Turks, Bosnians and Turks. In addition to German, Croatian, Slovenian and Hungarian are spoken as regional official languages in Austria.
According to directoryaah, about 80% of Austrians belong to the Christian faith (Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox churches), about 2% of the population are Muslims and 10% are non-denominational or atheists. There are also minorities of Buddhists, Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses represented in Austria. A major problem, especially in economically weak areas, is the migration (rural exodus) of the rural population to the urban agglomerations.
Politics and economy in Austria
Austria is a democratic and federal state, in particular a semi-presidential republic. The head of state is the Federal President, who is directly elected by the people for six years; a single re-election is permitted. At the federal level, the head of government is the Federal Chancellor, who is appointed by the Federal President. Usually, after an election to the National Council, the top candidate of the party with the strongest vote is charged with forming a government. The National Council and the Federal Council usually exercise federal legislation together (bicameral system). The National Council, with its 183 members, is the dominant chamber and is elected for 5 years by all citizens over 16 years of age. The Federal Council is sent by the parliaments of the federal states according to the population and thus represents the interests of the states in federal legislation in accordance with the federal principle. A special feature of the political system in Austria are public interest groups with compulsory membership, legally designated as chambers, which are often supplemented by private law associations. The Austrian Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber for Workers and Salaried Employees and the Chamber of Agriculture are considered to be “large chambers”.
According to ebizdir, with a gross domestic product per capita of almost 40,000 euros, Austria is one of the wealthiest countries in the European Union. Economic growth in recent years has been around 1.5%. Despite the high economic output, the unemployment rate in Austria is just under 5%. The sectors agriculture, forestry and fisheries with 1.2 percent, the sectors material goods production, mining, energy and water supply and construction with 28 percent and the sector of market and market-based services are at the nominal BPI of approx. 350 billion euros tourism has a not inconsiderable share, with 70.7 percent. The high proportion of industrial production is due to highly developed mechanical engineering, numerous automotive suppliers and a number of large medium-sized companies, who are highly specialized and some of the world market leaders in their segment. The mining of rock salt is important for mining products. Crude oil and natural gas are extracted in the foothills of the Alps and in the Vienna Basin. Tungsten is mined in Mittersill and magnesite in Styria and Carinthia. 78% of Austria’s area is used for agriculture and forestry. In Austria, hydropower is of great importance for energy generation.
Transport network in Austria
The Austrian road network comprises around 114,600 km, mostly paved and well-developed roads. The logistical development of the Alps requires many tunnels and bridges, the construction of which was driven forward with the increasing importance of Austria as a transit country and for the financing of which tolls are levied on motorways and expressways, among other things.
The approximately 5800 km long rail network in Austria is largely operated by the Austrian Federal Railways, the largest Austrian railway company. The most important rail connection in Austria, the Westbahn, has been gradually expanded to a high-performance line between Vienna and Salzburg since 1990 with the necessary bridges and tunnels. The expansion of the southern runway is also being promoted accordingly. Austria is very easy to travel to by public transport and is connected to many European capitals by rail. In addition to public rail transport, bus services are operated to more remote areas. Local public transport is also very well developed in the area of settlement centers. Vienna is the only Austrian city with a classic underground network.
The most important airport is Vienna-Schwechat Airport, Graz, Linz, Klagenfurt, Salzburg and Innsbruck also have international connections.
The most important shipping route for both passenger and freight traffic is the Danube. While passenger ship traffic is mainly used for tourism, freight transport has been significantly upgraded with the construction of the Main-Danube Canal and mainly transports bulk goods from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Austrian freight ports are Linz, Enns, Krems and Vienna.
Cities and regions in Austria
Austria consists of the nine federal states of Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg and Vienna. The states are divided into a total of 79 districts with the municipalities below.
By far the largest settlement area in Austria is the metropolitan region of Vienna with a population of 2.7 million (2015). This means that more than a quarter of the state’s population is concentrated in the capital region.
Other larger urban regions surround the provincial capitals Graz (Styria), Linz (Upper Austria), Salzburg (Salzburg) and Innsbruck (Tyrol). The more important cities also include (from west to east) Feldkirch, Dornbirn and Bregenz (Vorarlberg), Villach and Klagenfurt (Carinthia), Wels (Upper Austria), St. Pölten and Wiener Neustadt (Lower Austria).