AUSTRIA

MARCH 25, 2009 BY RANG WHAM
   Introduction    Austria Top of Page
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. In January 2009, Austria assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2009-10 term.
   Geography    Austria Top of Page
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)
Total renewable water resources:
84 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 3.67 cu km/yr (35%/64%/1%)
per capita: 448 cu m/yr (1999)
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 Top of Page
Population:
8,210,281 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.5% (male 609,748/female 581,144)
15-64 years: 67.5% (male 2,785,091/female 2,756,402)
65 years and over: 18% (male 612,613/female 865,283) (2009 est.)
Median age:
total: 42.2 years
male: 41.1 years
female: 43.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.052% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:
8.66 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
9.91 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
1.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 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: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.42 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.39 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.5 years
male: 76.6 years
female: 82.56 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.39 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
9,800 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer 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) 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: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
5.4% of GDP (2005)
   Government    Austria Top of Page
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 (Lower Austria), Oberoesterreich (Upper Austria), Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria), Tirol (Tyrol), Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna)
Independence:
976 (Margravate of Austria established); 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 passage of the law on permanent neutrality
Constitution:
1920; revised 1929; reinstated 1 May 1945; note - during the period 1 May 1934-1 May 1945 there was a fascist (corporative) constitution in place
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:
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 Josef PROELL (OeVP) (since 2 December 2008)
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 in 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 52.4%, Benita FERRERO-WALDNER 47.6%
note: government coalition - SPOe and OeVP
Legislative branch:
bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung consists of Federal Council or Bundesrat (62 seats; 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 five-year terms)
elections: National Council - last held 28 September 2008 (next to be held by Fall September 2013)
election results: National Council - percent of vote by party - SPOe 29.3%, OeVP 26%, FPOe 17.5%, BZOe 10.7%, Greens 10.4%, other 6.1%; seats by party - SPOe 57, OeVP 51, FPOe 34, BZOe 21, Greens 20
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 [Herbert SCHEIBNER]; note - new party chairman will be elected in April 2009; Austrian People's Party or OeVP [Josef PROELL]; Freedom Party of Austria or FPOe [Heinz Christian STRACHE]; Social Democratic Party of Austria or SPOe [Werner FAYMANN]; The Greens [Eva GLAWISCHNIG]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Austrian Trade Union Federation or OeGB (nominally independent but primarily Social Democratic); Federal Economic Chamber; 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:
ACCT (observer), ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Deputy Chief of Mission Andreas Riecken
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 (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Scott F. KILNER
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 Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Austria, with its well-developed market economy 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. The global economic downturn led in 2008 to a recession that is widely expected to persist through 2009, following several years of solid demand for Austrian exports and record employment growth in 2008. During the recession, investment is likely to suffer and the Austrian government's economic stabilization measures could drive up the budget deficit from about 0.6% of GDP in 2008 to about 2.8% in 2009 and possibly above 3% in 2010. The Austrian economy has benefited greatly in the past from strong commercial relations, especially in the banking and insurance sectors, with central, eastern, and southeastern Europe, but these sectors have been vulnerable to recent international financial instabilities, and some of Austria's largest banks have required government support. Even after the global economic outlook improves, Austria will need to continue restructuring, emphasizing knowledge-based sectors of the economy, and encouraging greater labor flexibility and greater labor participation to offset its aging population and exceedingly low fertility rate.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$325 billion (2008 est.)
$319.9 billion (2007)
$314 billion (2006)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$432.4 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.6% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$39,200 (2008 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 30.6%
services: 67.4% (2008 est.)
Labor force:
3.493 million (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 5.5%
industry: 27.5%
services: 67% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
3.7% (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 22.5% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
26 (2007)
Investment (gross fixed):
20.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $198.6 billion
expenditures: $203 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt:
58.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.7% (2008 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
6.3% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
NA
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the Euro Area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 16 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi money circulating within their own borders
Stock of quasi money:
NA
Stock of domestic credit:
$548.5 billion (31 December 2008)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$228.7 billion (31 December 2007)
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:
4.4% (2008 est.)
Electricity - production:
59.31 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
62.35 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports:
18.47 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
28.5 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
24,920 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
289,400 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports:
46,300 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
313,500 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves:
50 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production:
1.848 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
8.436 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
2.767 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
9.658 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
16.14 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance:
$10.63 billion (2008 est.)
Exports:
$163.3 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs
Exports - partners:
Germany 29.8%, Italy 8.8%, US 4.9%, Switzerland 4.3% (2007)
Imports:
$183.4 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products; foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Germany 45.5%, Italy 7.1%, Switzerland 5%, Netherlands 4.3% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$18.22 billion (2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$752.5 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$276.9 billion (2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$275.2 billion (2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6734 (2008 est.), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)
   Communications    Austria Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
3.374 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
9.768 million (2007)
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)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 65 (plus several hundred repeaters), shortwave 1 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
10 (plus more than 1,000 repeaters) (2001)
Internet country code:
.at
Internet hosts:
2.806 million (2008)
Internet users:
4.277 million (2007)
   Transportation    Austria Top of Page
Airports:
55 (2007)
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 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 30
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 26 (2007)
Heliports:
1 (2007)
Pipelines:
gas 2,721 km; oil 663 km; refined products 157 km (2008)
Railways:
total: 6,383 km
standard gauge: 5,924 km 1.435-m gauge (3,772 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 371 km 1.000-m gauge; 88 km 0.760-m gauge (25 km electrified) (2006)
Roadways:
total: 107,262 km
paved: 107,262 km (includes 1,677 km of expressways) (2006)
Waterways:
358 km (2007)
Merchant marine:
total: 4
by type: cargo 2, container 2
foreign-owned: 2 (Netherlands 2)
registered in other countries: 4 (Cyprus 1, Malta 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Enns, Krems, Linz, Vienna
   Military    Austria Top of Page
Military branches:
Land Forces (KdoLdSK), Air Forces (KdoLuSK)
Military service age and obligation:
18-35 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for male or female voluntary service; service obligation 7 months of training, followed by an 8-year reserve obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,986,411
females age 16-49: 1,944,834 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,607,456
females age 16-49: 1,576,335 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 50,540
female: 48,042 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures:
0.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Austria Top of Page
Disputes - international:
while threats of international legal action never materialized in 2007, 915,220 Austrians, with the support of the newly elected Freedom Party, signed a petition in January 2008, demanding that Austria block the Czech Republic's accession to the EU unless Prague closes its nuclear power plant in Temelin, bordering Austria
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; increasing consumption of European-produced synthetic drugs

This page was last updated on 9 April 2009


About

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam facilisis. Morbi aliquet massa quis turpis. Aenean nonummy, mauris non aliquet commodo, nisi lacus facilisis ipsum, id bibendum turpis purus vitae sem.

Something

Another thing

Third and last