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Austria Facts & Figures

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Flag of Austria

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, Austria's 1955 State Treaty declared the country "permanently neutral" as a condition of Soviet military withdrawal.
Neutrality, once ingrained as part of the Austrian cultural identity, has been called into question since the Soviet collapse of 1991 and Austria's increasingly prominent role in European affairs.
A prosperous country, Austria joined the European Union in 1995 and the euro monetary system in 1999.

Capital City: Wien (Vienna) (2003 pop. 1.5 million)
Wien online - the city of Vienna's online information service
Wiener Tourismusverband
Official site of the Vienna tourism association, with comprehensive information about Vienna.

Other Cities:
Bregenz
The City of Bregenz
Graz
The City of Graz
Innsbruck
The City of Innsbruck
Klagenfurt
The City of Klagenfurt
Linz
The City of Linz
Salzburg
City of Salzburg
Salzburg
The Tourist information Salzburg

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

Geography:
Location: Europe
Area: 83,857 sq. km. (32,377 sq. mi.) Terrain: Alpine (64%), northern highlands that form part of the Bohemian Massif (10%), lowlands to the east (26%).

Climate: Continental temperate.

People:
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Austrian(s).
Population (2003): 8,032,926. 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%.

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

Official Sites of Austria
Der Bundespräsident der Republik Österreich The Austrian Federal President.
Republik Österreich
The Federal Republic of Austria.
Bundeskanzleramt Republik Österreich
The Federal Chancellery.

Bundesministerium für auswärtige Angelegenheiten
The Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs Austria.

oesterreich.at
The Austrian e-government portal (in German)

Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations, New York
The Austrian Embassy in Ottawa
Canada.

Statistics
Statistik Austria
Statistical Office Austria. (in German)

Map
Austrian Map online
Maps and City search
Map of Austria
Political map of Austria.
Map of Europe
Political map of Europe.


Web Cam Directory

National Tourist Office Information

France Tourist Office

Internet Online Radio

Encyclopedia Online

Post and Telephone
Post & Telekom Austria
Austrian Phone and eMail Directories
Electronic Telephone Book
Telephone code directories

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History
Österreichische Biographien
Timeline, with comprehensive information about Austrian's History (in German)
WWW-VL History Index: Austria
Index of internet resources about Austrian History
History of Austria
Austro-Hungarian Empire: Primary Documents

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Geography

Area: 83,857 sq. km. (32,377 sq. mi.); slightly smaller than Maine.
Cities: Capital--Vienna (1998 pop. 1.6 million). Other cities--Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt.
Terrain: Alpine (64%), northern highlands that form part of the Bohemian Massif (10%), lowlands to the east (26%).
Climate: Continental temperate.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Austrian(s).
Population (1998): 8,078,449.
Annual growth rate (1998): 0.07%.
Ethnic groups: Germans 98%, Croats, Slovenes; other recognized minorities include Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, and Roma.
Religions: Roman Catholic 78%, Protestant 5%, Muslim and other 17%.
Language: German 92%.
Education: Years compulsory--9. Attendance--99%. Literacy--98%.
Health (1998): Infant mortality rate--4.9 deaths/1,000. Life expectancy--men 74.7 years , women 80.9 years.
Work force (1999, 3.7 million): Services--67.2%; agriculture and forestry--0.8%.

Government

Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Constitution: 1920; revised 1929 (reinstated May 1, 1945).
Branches: Executive--federal president (chief of state), chancellor (head of government), cabinet. Legislative--bicameral Federal Assembly (Parliament). Judicial--Constitutional Court, Administrative Court, Supreme Court.
Political parties: Social Democratic Party, People's Party, Freedom Party, Greens, Liberal Forum.
Suffrage: Universal over 19.
Administrative subdivisions: Nine Laender (federal provinces). Defense (2000): 0.8% of GDP.
Flag: Three horizontal bands--red, white, and red; flag also may have the national emblem (a black eagle centered in the white band).

Economy

GDP (1999): $207.9 billion.
Real GDP growth rate (1999): 2.2%.
Per capita income (1999): $25,655.
Natural resources: Iron ore, crude oil, natural gas, timber, tungsten, magnesite, lignite, cement.
Agriculture (2.4% of 1999 GDP): Products--livestock, forest products, grains, sugarbeets, potatoes.
Industry (30.0% of 1999 GDP): Types--iron and steel, chemicals, capital equipment, consumer goods.
Services: 67.6% of 1999 GDP.
Trade (1999): Exports--$63.5 billion: iron and steel products, timber, paper, textiles, electrotechnical machinery, chemical products. Imports--$68.8 billion: machinery, vehicles, chemicals, iron and steel, metal goods, fuels, raw materials, foodstuffs. Principal trade partners--European Union, U.S., Hungary, and Switzerland.

PEOPLE

Austrians are a homogeneous people; 92% are native German speakers. Only two numerically significant minority groups exist--30,000 Slovenes in Carinthia (south central Austria) and about 60,000 Croats in Burgenland (on the Hungarian border). The Slovenes form a closely knit community. Their rights as well as those of the Croats are protected by law and generally respected in practice. The present boundaries of Austria, once the center of the Habsburg Empire that constituted the second-largest state in Europe, were established in accordance with the Treaty of St. Germain in 1919. Some Austrians, particularly near Vienna, still have relatives in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. About 78% of all Austrians are Roman Catholic. The church abstains from political activity; however, lay Catholic organizations are aligned with the conservative People's Party. The Social Democratic Party long ago shed its anticlerical stance. Small Lutheran minorities are located mainly in Vienna, Carinthia, and Burgenland.

HISTORY

The Austro-Hungarian Empire played a decisive role in central European history. It occupied strategic territory containing the southeastern routes to western Europe and the north-south routes between Germany and Italy. Although present-day Austria is only a tiny remnant of the old empire, it retains this unique position.

Soon after the Republic of Austria was created at the end of World War I, it faced the strains of catastrophic inflation and of redesigning a government meant to rule a great empire into one that would govern only 6 million citizens. In the early 1930s, worldwide depression and unemployment added to these strains and shattered traditional Austrian society. Resultant economic and political conditions led in 1933 to a dictatorship under Engelbert Dollfuss. In February 1934, civil war broke out, and the Socialist Party was outlawed. In July, a coup d'etat by the National Socialists failed, but Dollfuss was assassinated by Nazis. In March 1938, Austria was incorporated into the German Reich, a development commonly known as the "Anschluss" (annexation).

At the Moscow conference in 1943, the Allies declared their intention to liberate Austria and reconstitute it as a free and independent state. In April 1945, both Eastern- and Western-front Allied forces liberated the country. Subsequently, Austria was divided into zones of occupation similar to those in Germany. Under the 1945 Potsdam agreements, the Soviets took control of German assets in their zone of occupation. These included 7% of Austria's manufacturing plants, 95% of its oil resources, and about 80% of its refinery capacity. The properties were returned to Austria under the Austrian State Treaty. This treaty, signed in Vienna on May 15, 1955, came into effect on July 27, and, under its provisions, all occupation forces were withdrawn by October 25, 1955. Austria became free and independent for the first time since 1938.

GOVERNMENT

The Austrian president convenes and concludes parliamentary sessions and under certain conditions can dissolve Parliament. However, no Austrian president has dissolved Parliament in the Second Republic. The custom is for Parliament to call for new elections if needed. The president requests a party leader, usually the leader of the strongest party, to form a government. Upon the recommendation of the Federal Chancellor, the president also appoints cabinet ministers. No one can become a member of the government without the approval of the president. The Federal Assembly (Parliament) is composed of two houses--the National Council (Nationalrat), or lower house, and the Federal Council (Bundesrat), or upper house. Legislative authority is concentrated in the National Council. Its 183 members are elected for a maximum 4-year term in a three-tiered system, based on proportional representation. The National Council may dissolve itself by a simple majority vote or it may be dissolved by the president on the recommendation of the Chancellor. The 64 members of the Federal Council are elected by the legislatures of the nine provinces for 4- to 6-year terms. The Federal Council only reviews legislation passed by the National Council and can delay but not veto its enactment.

The highest courts of Austria's independent judiciary are the Constitutional Court; the Administrative Court, which handles bureaucratic disputes; and the Supreme Court, for civil and criminal cases. Cases in the Administrative and Supreme Courts concerning constitutional issues can be appealed to the Constitutional Court. Justices of the three courts are appointed by the president for specific terms.

The governors of Austria's nine Laender (provinces) are elected by the provincial legislatures. Although most authority, including that of the police, rests with the federal government, the provinces have considerable responsibility for welfare matters and local administration. Strong provincial and local loyalties are based on tradition and history.

Principal Government Officials

Federal President--Thomas Klestil
Federal Chancellor--Wolfgang Schuessel
Vice Chancelor--Susanne Riess-Passer
Foreign Minister--Benita Ferrero-Waldner
Ambassador to the United States--Peter Moser
Ambassador to the United Nations--Gerhard Pflanzelter

Austria maintains an embassy in the United States at 3524 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (te1. 202-895-6700). Consulates general are located in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, with honorary consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Newark, Philadelphia, St. Paul, San Francisco, San Juan, and Seattle.

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Since World War II, Austria has enjoyed political stability. A Socialist elder statesman, Dr. Karl Renner, organized an Austrian administration in the aftermath of the war, and general elections were held in November 1945. In that election, the conservative People's Party (OVP) obtained 50% of the vote (85 seats) in the National Council (lower house of Parliament), the Socialists won 45% (76 seats), and the communists won 5% (4 seats). The ensuing three-party government ruled until 1947, when the communists left the government and the OVP led a governing coalition with the socialists (now called the Social Democratic Party or SPO) that governed until 1966. Between 1970 and 1999, the SPO has ruled the country either alone or in conjunction with the OVP, except from 1983-86, when it governed in coalition with the Freedom Party. In 1999, the OVP formed a coalition with the right wing-populist Freedom Party (FPO). The SPO, which was the strongest party in the 1999 elections, and the Greens now form the opposition. As a result of the inclusion of the FPO on the government, the EU imposed a series of sanctions on Austria. The U.S. and Israel, as well as various other countries, also reduced contacts with the Austrian Government.

The Social Democratic Party traditionally draws its constituency from blue- and white-collar workers. Accordingly, much of its strength lies in urban and industrialized areas. In the 1995 national elections, it garnered 38% of the vote. The SPO in the past advocated heavy state involvement in Austria's key industries, the extension of social security benefits, and a full-employment policy. Beginning in the mid-1980s, it shifted its focus to free market-oriented economic policies, balancing the federal budget, and European Union (EU) membership.

The People's Party advocates conservative financial policies and privatization of much of Austria's nationalized industry and finds support from farmers, large and small business owners, and lay Catholic groups, mostly in the rural regions of Austria. In 1995, it received 28% of the vote. The rightist Freedom Party attracts protest votes and those who desire no association with the other major parties. The party's mixture of populism and anti-establishment themes propagated by its aggressive leader Joerg Haider steadily gained support over the past years. It attracted about 27% of the vote in the 1999 elections. The Liberal Forum, founded on libertarian ideals, split from the Freedom Movement in February 1993. It received 5.5% of the vote in the 1999 election and, thus, failed to re-enter the national legislature. The Greens, a left-of-center party focusing on environmental issues, received 4.4% of the vote in 1999.

ECONOMY

Austria has a well-developed social market economy with a high standard of living in which the government has played an important role. Many of the country's largest firms were nationalized in the early post-war period to protect them from Soviet takeover as war reparations. For many years, the government and its state-owned industries conglomerate played a very important role in the Austrian economy. However, starting in the early 1990s, the group was broken apart, state-owned firms started to operate largely as private businesses, and a great number of these firms were wholly or partially privatized. Although the government's privatization work in past years has been very successful, it still operates some firms, state monopolies, utilities, and services. The new government has presented an ambitious privatization program, which, if implemented, will considerably reduce government participation in the economy. Austria enjoys well-developed industry, banking, transportation, services, and commercial facilities.

Although some industries, such as several iron and steel works and chemical plants, are large industrial enterprises employing thousands of people, most industrial and commercial enterprises in Austria are relatively small on an international scale.

Austria has a strong labor movement. The Austrian Trade Union Federation (OGB) comprises constituent unions with a total membership of about 1.5 million--more than half the country's wage and salary earners. Since 1945, the OGB has pursued a moderate, consensus-oriented wage policy, cooperating with industry, agriculture, and the government on a broad range of social and economic issues in what is known as Austria's "social partnership." The OGB has announced tough opposition against the new government's program for budget consolidation, social reform, and improving the business climate, and indications are rising that Austria's peaceful social climate could become more confrontational.

Austrian farms, like those of other west European mountainous countries, are small and fragmented, and production is relatively expensive. Since Austria's becoming a member of the EU in 1995, the Austrian agricultural sector has been undergoing substantial reform under the EU's common agricultural policy (CAP). Although Austrian farmers provide about 80% of domestic food requirements, the agricultural contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has declined since 1950 to less than 3%.

Austria has achieved sustained economic growth. During the 1950s, the average annual growth rate was more than 5% in real terms and averaged about 4.5% through most of the 1960s. Following moderate real GDP growth of 1.7%, 2.0% and 1.2%, respectively, in 1995, 1996, and 1997, the economy rebounded and with real GDP expansion of 2.9% in 1998 and 2.2% in 1999.

Austria became a member of the EU on January 1, 1995. Membership brought economic benefits and challenges and has drawn an influx of foreign investors attracted by Austria's access to the single European market. Austria also has made progress in generally increasing its international competitiveness. As a member of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), Austria's economy is closely integrated with other EU member countries, especially with Germany. On January 1, 1999, Austria introduced the new Euro currency for accounting purposes.

Starting January 2002, Euro notes and coins will be introduced and substitute for the Austrian schilling. Economists agree that the economic effects in Austria of using a common currency have been positive.

Trade with other EU countries accounts for almost 66% of Austrian imports and exports. Expanding trade and investment in the emerging markets of central and eastern Europe is a major element of Austrian economic activity. Trade with these countries accounts for almost 14% of Austrian imports and exports, and Austrian firms have sizable investments in and continue to move labor-intensive, low-tech production to these countries. Although the big investment boom has waned, Austria still has the potential to attract EU firms seeking convenient access to these developing markets.

Total trade with the United States in 1999 reached $6.6 billion. Imports from the United States amounted to $3.7 billion, constituting a U.S. market share in Austria of 5.4%. Austrian exports to the United States in 1999 were $2.9 billion or 4.6% of total Austrian exports.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

The 1955 Austrian State Treaty ended the four-power occupation and recognized Austria as an independent and sovereign state. In October 1955, the Federal Assembly passed a constitutional law in which "Austria declares of her own free will her perpetual neutrality." The second section of this law stated that "in all future times Austria will not join any military alliances and will not permit the establishment of any foreign military bases on her territory." Since then, Austria shaped its foreign policy on the basis of neutrality.

In recent years, however, Austria began to reassess its definition of neutrality, granting overflight rights for the UN-sanctioned action against Iraq in 1991, and, since 1995, contemplating participation in the EU's evolving security structure. Also in 1995, it joined the Partnership for Peace, and subsequently participated in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia. Discussion of possible Austrian NATO membership intensified during 1996. OVP and FPO aim at moving closer to NATO or a European defense arrangement. The SPO, in turn, believes continued neutrality is the cornerstone of Austria's foreign policy, and a majority of the population generally supports this stance.

Austrian leaders emphasize the unique role the country plays as East-West hub and as a moderator between industrialized and developing countries. Austria is active in the United Nations and experienced in UN peacekeeping efforts. It attaches great importance to participation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other international economic organizations, and it has played an active role in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Vienna hosts the Secretariat of the OSCE and the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Industrial Development Organization, and the UN Drug Control Program. Other international organizations based in Vienna include the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Recently, Vienna added the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization and the Wassenaar Arrangement (a technology-transfer control agency) to the list of international organizations it hosts.

Austria traditionally has been active in "bridge-building to the east," increasing contacts at all levels with eastern Europe and the states of the former Soviet Union. Austrians maintain a constant exchange of business representatives, political leaders, students, cultural groups, and tourists with the countries of central and eastern Europe. Austrian companies are active in investing and trading with the countries of central and eastern Europe. In addition, the Austrian Government and various Austrian organizations provide assistance and training to support the changes underway in the region.

U.S.-AUSTRIAN RELATIONS

Austria's political leaders and people recognize and appreciate the essential role played by U.S. economic assistance through the Marshall Plan in the reconstruction of their country after World War II, and by the U.S. in promoting the conclusion of the Austrian State Treaty. It is in the interest of the U.S. that the present friendly relations be maintained and strengthened and that Austria's political and economic stability be maintained.

Principal U.S. Officials

Ambassador--Kathryn Walt Hall
Deputy Chief of Mission--Robert S. Deutsch
Counselor for Economic and Political Affairs--Lee Brudvig
Counselor for Public Affairs (USIS)--L.W. Koengeter
Counselor for Commercial Affairs--Stephen Craven
Counselor for Administrative Affairs--Steven White
Counselor for Agricultural Affairs--Allan Mustard
Consul General--James Pettit
Defense and Army Attache--Col. Bruce Boevers
Consular Agent in Salzburg--Jeanie Mayer

The U.S. embassy in Austria is located at Boltzmanngasse 16, Vienna 1091, tel. (43) (1) 313-39 (After office hours: (43) (1) 319-5523). The U.S. Consular Agency in Salzburg is located at Alte Markt 1, 5020 Salzburg, tel. (43) (662) 848-776.

TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements. Consular Information Sheets exist for all countries and include information on entry requirements, currency regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in the country. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term conditions overseas which pose significant risks to the security of American travelers. Free copies of this information are available by calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page: http://travel.state.gov. Consular Affairs Tips for Travelers publication series, which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a safe trip abroad are on the internet and hard copies can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.

Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. For after-hours emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-4000.

Passport information can be obtained by calling the National Passport Information Center's automated system ($.35 per minute) or live operators 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday ($1.05 per minute). The number is 1-900-225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-7778). Major credit card users (for a flat rate of $4.95) may call 1-888-362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648). It also is available on the internet.

Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 877-FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747) and a web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm give the most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280) is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.

Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see "Principal Government Officials" listing in this publication).

U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas are encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country (see "Principal U.S. Embassy Officials" listing in this publication). This may help family members contact you in case of an emergency.

 

 

 

Further Electronic Information

Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet, DOSFAN provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy information. Updated daily, DOSFAN includes Background Notes; daily press briefings; Country Commercial Guides; directories of key officers of Foreign Service posts; etc. DOSFAN's World Wide Web site is at http://www.state.gov.

National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information. It is available on the Internet (www.stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. Call the NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-1986 for more information.

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Austria

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. 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: 16.89%
permanent crops: 0.99%
other: 82.12% (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:

8,188,207 (July 2003 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 16.2% (male 678,944; female 646,390)
15-64 years: 68.3% (male 2,827,736; female 2,768,480)
65 years and over: 15.5% (male 490,979; female 775,678) (2003 est.)

Median age:

total: 39.4 years
male: 38.2 years
female: 40.7 years (2002)

Population growth rate:

0.22% (2003 est.)

Birth rate:

9.43 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate:

9.69 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:

2.44 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 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: 0.63 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2003 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 4.33 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 4.38 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 78.17 years
male: 75.02 years
female: 81.48 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.41 children born/woman (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

9,900 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 100 (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:

conventional long form: Republic of Austria
conventional short form: Austria
local short form: Oesterreich
local long form: Republik 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 elections

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 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; 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; 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 - OeVP 42.3%, SPOe 36.9%, FPOe 10.2%, Greens 9%; seats by party - OeVP 79, SPOe 69, FPOe 19, Greens 16
elections: National Council - last held 24 November 2002 (next to be held in the fall of 2006)

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 [Herbert HAUPT]; 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, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, 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, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMISET, UNMOGIP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Eva NOWOTNY
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:

chief of mission: Ambassador William Lee LYONS BROWN, Jr.
embassy: Boltzmanngasse 16, A-1090, Vienna
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [43] (1) 31339, 31375, 31335
FAX: [43] (1) 5125835

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 held the economy to only 1.2% growth in 2001, 0.6% in 2002, and 0.8% in 2003.. 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. A key issue is the encouragement of much greater participation in the labor market by its ageing population.

GDP:

purchasing power parity - $227.7 billion (2002 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

1.1% (2002 est.)

GDP - per capita:

purchasing power parity - $27,900 (2002 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 2%
industry: 33%
services: 65% (2002 est.)

Population below poverty line:

NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 22.5% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

31 (1995)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.8% (2002 est.)

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% (2002 est.)

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:

58.75 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 29.3%
hydro: 67.2%
other: 3.5% (2001)
nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:

54.85 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - exports:

14.25 billion kWh (2001)

Electricity - imports:

14.47 billion kWh (2001)

Oil - production:

20,670 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - consumption:

262,400 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - exports:

35,470 bbl/day (2001)

Oil - imports:

262,000 bbl/day (2001)

Oil - proved reserves:

85.69 million bbl (37257)

Natural gas - production:

1.731 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

7.81 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - exports:

403 million cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - imports:

6.033 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

24.9 billion cu m (37257)

Agriculture - products:

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

Exports:

$70 billion f.o.b. (2001)

Exports - commodities:

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

Exports - partners:

Germany 31.5%, Italy 9.3%, Switzerland 5.4%, US 4.9%, UK 4.9%, France 4.7%, Hungary 4.3% (2002)

Imports:

$74 billion c.i.f. (2001)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products; foodstuffs

Imports - partners:

Germany 42.6%, Italy 6.6%, Hungary 5.1%, Switzerland 4.8%, Netherlands 4.4% (2002)

Debt - external:

$12.1 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid - donor:

ODA, $410 million (2000)

Currency:

euro (EUR)
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

Exchange rates:

euros per US dollar - 1.06 (2002), 1.12 (2001), 1.09 (2000), 0.94 (1999), 12.38 (1998)

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:

3.7 million (2002)

Transportation

Austria

Railways:

total: 6,024 km (3,641 km electrified)
standard gauge: 5,566 km 1.435-m gauge (3,524 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 34 km 1.000-m gauge (28 km electrified); 424 km 0.760-m gauge (89 km electrified) (2002)

Highways:

total: 200,000 km
paved: 200,000 km (including 1,633 km of expressways)
unpaved: 0 km (2000)

Waterways:

358 km (1999)

Pipelines:

gas 2,722 km; oil 687 km; refined products 149 km (2003)

Ports and harbors:

Enns, Krems, Linz, Vienna

Merchant marine:

total: 5 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 27,551 GRT/34,225 DWT
ships by type: cargo 4, container 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:

55 (2002)

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 (2002)
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 (2002)

Heliports:

1 (2002)

Military

Austria

Military branches:

Land Forces (KdoLdSK), Air Forces (KdoLuSK)

Military manpower - military age:

19 years of age (2003 est.)

Military manpower - availability:

males age 15-49: 2,093,821 (2003 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:

males age 15-49: 1,725,123 (2003 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:

males: 49,090 (2003 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:

$1.497 billion (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

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