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Flag of Austria

Country Profile

Capital City: Wien (Vienna) (pop. 1.5 million)

Other Cities: Bregenz, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, Salzburg.

Local Time: UTC +1h

Location: Central Europe
Area: 83,145 sq. km. (32,377 sq. mi.) Terrain: Alpine (64%), northern highlands that form part of the Bohemian Massif (10%), lowlands to the east (26%).

Border countries
: Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland

Climate: Continental temperate.

Parliamentary democracy.
Constitution: 1920; revised 1929 (reinstated May 1, 1945).

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Austrian(s).
Population: 8 million.
GNI per capita PPP: $ 32 962 (year) Ethnic groups: Germans 98%, Croats, Slovenes; other recognized minorities include Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, and Roma. Religions: Roman Catholic 73.6%, Lutheran 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 5.5, no confession 12.0%. Language: German 92%. Literacy: 98%.


Currency: Euro (EUR)

Natural resources: Iron ore, crude oil, natural gas, timber, tungsten, magnesite, lignite, cement.

Agriculture products: Drains, potatoes, sugar beets, wine, fruit; dairy products, cattle, pigs, poultry; lumber.

Industries: Construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, chemicals, lumber and wood processing, paper and paperboard, communications equipment, tourism.

Exports partners: Germany 31.9%, Italy 9.6%, Switzerland 5.2%, USA 4.9%, France 4.8%, UK 4.7% (2003)

Imports partners: Germany 43.2%, Italy 6.7%, Hungary 5.4%, Switzerland 5%, Netherlands 4.2% (2003)



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 of that same year declared the country's
"perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. This
neutrality, once ingrained as part of the Austrian cultural identity,
has been called into question since the Soviet collapse of 1991 and
Austria's entry into the European Union in 1995. A prosperous country,
Austria entered the European 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: 83,858 sq km water: 1,120 sq km land: 82,738 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
in lowlands and snow in mountains; cool 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:  iron ore, oil, timber, magnesite, lead, coal, lignite,
copper, hydropower

Land use:  arable land: 17% permanent crops: 1% other: 82% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  457 sq km (2000 est.)

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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur
94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty,
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species,
Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear
Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83,
Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Air
Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol,
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

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:  8,169,929 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 16.4% (male 686,205; female 652,840) 15-64
years: 68.2% (male 2,814,866; female 2,756,777) 65 years and over: 15.4%
(male 484,313; female 774,928) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  0.23% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  9.58 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  9.73 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  2.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.62 male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  4.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   81.31 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  1.4 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  843 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  8 (2001 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Austrian(s) adjective: Austrian

Ethnic groups:  German 88%, non-nationals 9.3% (includes Croatians,
Slovenes, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, Roma), naturalized 2% (includes
those who have lived in Austria at least three generations)

Religions:  Roman Catholic 78%, Protestant 5%, Muslim and other 17%

Languages:  German

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 98% male: NA% female: NA%

Government Austria

Country name:   Republic of Austria conventional short form:  Oesterreich

Government type:  federal republic

Capital:  Vienna

Administrative divisions:  9 states (Bundeslaender, singular -
Bundesland); Burgenland, Kaernten, Niederoesterreich, Oberoesterreich,
Salzburg, Steiermark, Tirol, Vorarlberg, Wien

Independence:  1156 (from Bavaria)

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; compulsory for presidential

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Thomas KLESTIL (since 8 July
1992) head of government: Chancellor Wolfgang SCHUESSEL (OeVP)(since
4 February 2000); Vice Chancellor Susanne RIESS-PASSER (FPOe) (since
4 February 2000) 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; presidential election last held 19 April
1998 (next to be held in the spring of 2004); chancellor traditionally
chosen by the president from the plurality party in the National Council;
in the case of the current coalition, the chancellor was chosen from
another party after the plurality party failed to form a government;
vice chancellor chosen by the president on the advice of the chancellor
note: government coalition - OeVP and FPOe election results: Thomas
KLESTIL reelected president; percent of vote - Thomas KLESTIL 63%,
Gertraud KNOLL 14%, Heide SCHMIDT 11%, Richard LUGNER 10%, Karl NOWAK 2%

Legislative branch:  bicameral Federal Assembly or Bundesversammlung
consists of Federal Council or Bundesrat (64 members; members represent
each of the states on the basis of population, but with each state having
at least three representatives; members serve a four- or six-year term)
and the National Council or Nationalrat (183 seats; members elected
by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms) election results:
National Council - percent of vote by party - SPOe 33.2%, OeVP 26.9%,
FPOe 26.9%, Greens 7.4%; seats by party - SPOe 65, OeVP 52, FPOe 52,
Greens 14 elections: National Council - last held 3 October 1999 (next
to be held in the fall of 2003)

Judicial branch:  Supreme Judicial Court or Oberster Gerichtshof;
Administrative Court or Verwaltungsgerichtshof; Constitutional Court
or Verfassungsgerichtshof

Political parties and leaders:  Austrian People's Party or OeVP [Wolfgang
SCHUESSEL]; Freedom Party of Austria or FPOe [Susanne RIESS-PASSER];
Social Democratic Party of Austria or SPOe [Alfred GUSENBAUER]; The
Greens Alternative or GA [Alexander VAN DER BELLEN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Austrian Trade Union Federation
(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

International organization participation:  AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group,
NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Peter
MOSER chancery: 3524 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008-3035
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York FAX: [1] (202)
895-6750 telephone: [1] (202) 895-6700

Diplomatic representation from the US:   Ambassador William Lee LYONS
BROWN, Jr.  embassy:  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.  Membership in the EU has drawn an influx of foreign
investors attracted by Austria's access to the single European market
and proximity to EU aspirant economies. Slowing growth in Germany and
elsewhere in the world slowed the economy to only 1.2% growth in 2001;
the economy is expected to do little better in 2002. To meet increased
competition from both EU and Central European countries, Austria will
need to emphasize knowledge-based sectors of the economy, continue to
deregulate the service sector, and lower its tax burden.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $220 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  1.2% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $27,000 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 2% industry: 29% services: 69%

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 4.4%
highest 10%: 19.3% (1992)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  23.1 (1987)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  2.6% (2001)

Labor force:  4.3 million (2001)

Labor force - by occupation:  services 67%, industry and crafts 29%,
agriculture and forestry 4% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate:  4.8% (2001)

Budget:  revenues: $53 billion expenditures: $54 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries:  construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, chemicals,
lumber and wood processing, paper and paperboard, communications
equipment, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:  3.8% (2001 est.)

Electricity - production:  60.285 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 28.46% hydro: 68.64%
other: 2.9% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  54.764 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  15.11 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  13.809 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  grains, potatoes, sugar beets, wine, fruit;
dairy products, cattle, pigs, poultry; lumber

Exports:  $70 billion (f.o.b., 2001) (2000 est.)

Exports - commodities:  machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and
parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel;
textiles, foodstuffs

Exports - partners:  EU 63% (Germany 35%, Italy 9%, France 5%),
Switzerland 5%, US 5%, Hungary 4% (2000)

Imports:  $73 billion (c.i.f., 2001)

Imports - commodities:  machinery and equipment, motor vehicles,
chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products; foodstuffs

Imports - partners:  EU 68% (Germany 42%, Italy 7%, France 5%), US 6%,
Switzerland 3%, Hungary 2% (2000)

Debt - external:  $12.1 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid - donor:  ODA, $410 million (2000)

Currency:  euro (EUR); Austrian schilling (ATS) note: on 1 January 1999,
the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to
be used by the 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; ATS

Exchange rates:  euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175
(2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); Austrian schillings per US dollar -
11.86 (January 1999), 12.91 (1999), 12.379 (1998), 12.204 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Austria

Telephones - main lines in use:  4 million (consisting of 3,600,000 analog
main lines plus 400,000 Integrated Services Digital Network connections);
in addition, there are 100,000 Asymmetric Digital Services lines (2001)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  6 million (2001)

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: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat
(1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Eutelsat; in addition,
there are about 600 VSAT (very small aperture terminals) (2002)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 2, FM 160 (plus several hundred repeaters),
shortwave 1 (2001)

Radios:  6.08 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  45 (plus more than 1,000 repeaters) (2001)

Televisions:  4.25 million (1997)

Internet country code:  .at

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  37 (2000)

Internet users:  3 million (2000)

Transportation Austria

Railways:  total: 6,095.2 km (3,643.3 km electrified) standard gauge:
5,564.2 km 1.435-m gauge (3,521.2 km electrified) narrow gauge: 33.9
km 1.000-m gauge (28.1 km electrified); 497.1 km 0.760-m gauge (94 km
electrified) (2001 est.)

Highways:  total: 133,361 km paved: 133,361 km (including 1,613 km of
expressways) unpaved: 0 km (1998)

Waterways:  358 km (1999)

Pipelines:  crude oil 777 km; natural gas 840 km (1999)

Ports and harbors:  Linz, Vienna, Enns, Krems

Merchant marine:  total: 10 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 46,563
GRT/59,278 DWT ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 6, combination bulk 1,
container 2 (2002 est.)

Airports:  55 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 24 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047
m: 5 914 to 1,523 m: 3 under 914 m: 14 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 31 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to
1,523 m: 3 under 914 m: 27 (2001)

Heliports:  1 (2001)

Military Austria

Military branches:  Land Forces (KdoLdSK), Air Forces (KdoLuSK)

Military manpower - military age:  19 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 2,092,623 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 1,728,191
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 50,580
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $1,497,100,000 (FY01/02)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  0.8% (FY01/02)

Transnational Issues Austria

Disputes - international:  minor disputes with Czech Republic and Slovenia
continue over nuclear power plants and post-World War II treatment of
German-speaking minorities

Illicit drugs:  transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and South
American cocaine destined for Western Europe

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Internet Sites

Official Sites of Austria

Der Bundespräsident der Republik Österreich

Republik Österreich

Bundeskanzleramt Republik Österreich

Bundesministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten

Diplomatic Missions
Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations, New York

The Austrian Embassy in Ottawa

Austrian representations Abroad

Foreign Diplomatic Missions in Austria

Statistik Austria

Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG)

Austrian Map online

Vienna City Map

Map of Austria

Austrian News
Austrian Press & Information Service

APA - Austria Presse Agentur

Kurier Online

Die Presse

Salzburger Nachrichten

Der Standard

Wiener Zeitung

Arts & Culture

AEIOU * Österreich-Online

Ars Electronica Center

Bregenzer Festspiele

Empress Elisabeth of Austria - Eternal Beauty

Kunsthalle Wien

Österreichische Bundesmuseen

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Salzburger Festspiele

Sammlung Essl

Schloß Schönbrunn

Swarovski Crystal Worlds

Wiener Philharmoniker

Wiener Symphoniker

Wiener Secession

Wiener Staatsoper

Business & Economy
OeNB: Die Oesterreichische Nationalbank

Wiener Börse

Austrian Business Agency das - Portal der Wirtschaftskammern

Austrian Airlines

Lauda Air

Tyrolean Airways

Destination Austria - Travel and Tour Guides

Austria Tourism Information

Austria Culture Net

Austrian Views

Austria Cafe

Burgenland Tourist Board

Carinthia Information

Lower Austrian Tourist Board

Upper Austria Information

Styria Tourist Board

Tyrol Tourist Office

Vorarlberg Tourism

Salzburger Land Tourism

City Guides
Wien (Vienna)

Wiener Tourismusverband

Vienna Online








Education & Libraries
Technische Universität Graz

Paris-Lodron-Universität Salzburg

University of Art and Industrial Design

University of Innsbruck

Universität Klagenfurt

Universität Wien

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Universitätsbibliothek Wien

Österreichische Biographien

WWW-VL History Index: Austria

History of Austria

Austrian WWW


Newsgroup of Austria




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