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Europe :: Austria
page last updated on May 28, 2009
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(CONTAINS DESCRIPTION)
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Introduction ::Austria
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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.
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Geography ::Austria
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Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia
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47 20 N, 13 20 E
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total: 83,870 sq km
country comparison to the world: 120
land: 82,444 sq km
water: 1,426 sq km
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slightly smaller than Maine
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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
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0 km (landlocked)
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none (landlocked)
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temperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers
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in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping
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lowest point: Neusiedler See 115 m
highest point: Grossglockner 3,798 m
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oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower
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arable land: 16.59%
permanent crops: 0.85%
other: 82.56% (2005)
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40 sq km (2003)
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84 cu km (2005)
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total: 3.67 cu km/yr (35%/64%/1%)
per capita: 448 cu m/yr (1999)
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landslides; avalanches; earthquakes
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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
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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
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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
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People ::Austria
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8,210,281 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
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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.)
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total: 42.2 years
male: 41.1 years
female: 43.2 years (2009 est.)
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0.052% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
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8.65 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 218
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9.91 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
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1.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
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urban population: 67% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.7% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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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.)
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total: 4.42 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 202
male: 5.39 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 79.5 years
country comparison to the world: 27
male: 76.6 years
female: 82.56 years (2009 est.)
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1.39 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
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0.2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93
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9,800 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
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fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
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noun: Austrian(s)
adjective: Austrian
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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)
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Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)
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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)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: NA
female: NA
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total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2006)
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5.4% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 52
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Government ::Austria
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conventional long form: Republic of Austria
conventional short form: Austria
local long form: Republik Oesterreich
local short form: Oesterreich
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federal republic
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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
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9 states (Bundeslaender, singular - Bundesland); Burgenland, Kaernten (Carinthia), Niederoesterreich (Lower Austria), Oberoesterreich (Upper Austria), Salzburg, Steiermark (Styria), Tirol (Tyrol), Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna)
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976 (Margravate of Austria established); 17 September 1156 (Duchy of Austria founded); 11 August 1804 (Austrian Empire proclaimed); 12 November 1918 (republic proclaimed)
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National Day, 26 October (1955); note - commemorates the passage of the law on permanent neutrality
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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
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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
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16 years of age; universal; note - reduced from 18 years of age in 2007
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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
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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 in proportion to its population; members serve five- or six-year terms) 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 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
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Supreme Judicial Court or Oberster Gerichtshof; Administrative Court or Verwaltungsgerichtshof; Constitutional Court or Verfassungsgerichtshof
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Alliance for the Future of Austria or BZOe [Josef BUCHER]; 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]
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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
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ACCT (observer), ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), 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
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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
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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
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three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red
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Economy ::Austria
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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. Following several years of solid foreign demand for Austrian exports and record employment growth, the global economic downturn in 2008 led to a recession that is likely to persist through 2009. The government's stabilization measures could increase the budget deficit to about 2.8% of GDP in 2009 and above 3% in 2010, from about 0.6% in 2008. 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.
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$325 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37
$319.9 billion (2007)
$314 billion (2006)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$432.4 billion (2008 est.)
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1.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
3.1% (2007 est.)
3.4% (2006 est.)
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$39,200 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
$39,500 (2007 est.)
$38,300 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 1.9%
industry: 30.6%
services: 67.4% (2008 est.)
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3.493 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
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agriculture: 5.5%
industry: 27.5%
services: 67% (2005 est.)
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3.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
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lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 22.5% (2004)
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26 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 126
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20.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
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revenues: $198.6 billion
expenditures: $203 billion (2008 est.)
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58.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
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3.7% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
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4%
country comparison to the world: 102
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
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6.3% (31 December 2007)
country comparison to the world: 141
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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
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NA