Historically, Austria has a unified population with only small elements of ethnic minorities. Large immigration since the end of the 20th century means that one fifth of the residents today have roots in another country.
Some ethnic groups that have lived in the country for at least a hundred years have official status as minorities. This applies to Hungarians and Croats who live in the state of Burgenland in the east, Slovenians who live mainly in Carinthia in the south, and small groups of Czechs and Slovaks in Vienna and in the state of Lower Austria in the northeast. In 1993, Roma, living in the country for at least three generations, were also recognized as a national minority.
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of Austria, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.
Before World War II, over 200,000 Jews lived in Austria. The vast majority of them were murdered in Nazi extermination camps or emigrated. Today, up to 15,000 Jews are expected to live in the country. At the beginning of the 2000s, the Austrian government and several companies agreed to pay compensation equivalent to a total of several hundred million dollars to Jews whose assets were stolen by the Nazis and to Jews who were forced into slave labor.
Most Austrians live in the north or east, in the neighborhood of Vienna. There, the number of residents increased sharply during the first half of the 1990s, mainly due to an influx of refugees from the war in former Yugoslavia but also due to growing immigration of job seekers from Eastern and Central Europe. The largest single immigrant group is from Turkey, where many came as guest workers as early as the 1960s.
Immigration and asylum laws then became more restrictive. However, in connection with the large migration wave in Europe in 2015, almost 90,000 people sought asylum in Austria, just over five times more than two years earlier (see further Current policy).
The German spoken belongs to the West Germanic branch of the Germanic language family. In the time of Karl the Great (the 8th century), the word deutsch (German) became customary in the language spoken by the Germanic tribes of France as Germany and Austria were then part of.
The spoken language has always been varied. A fairly standard pronunciation standard for Germany and Austria is included in the term “high German”. But the dialects within the German language area are alive and there are marked differences both within and between the countries. The Austrian dialects belong to the same group as the dialects spoken in the German state of Bavaria.
FACTS – POPULATION AND LANGUAGE
Austrians 98%, others (including Croats, Slovenes, Hungarians and Czechs) 2%
Number of residents
8 809 212 (2017)
Number of residents per square kilometer
Percentage of residents in the cities
58.1 percent (2017)
Nativity / birth
10.0 per 1000 residents (2016)
Mortality / mortality
9.2 per 1000 residents (2016)
0.8 percent (2017)
1.5 number of births per woman (2016)
Percentage of women
51.0 percent (2017)
81 years (2016)
Life expectancy for women
83 years (2016)
Life expectancy for men
79 years (2016)
German is the official language
A new government coalition between ÖVP and SPÖ takes up. The new SPÖ leader Walter Faymann becomes new Chancellor.
Jörg Haider dies
The leader of the right-wing populist BZÖ (and earlier of FPÖ, see Modern History) dies in a traffic accident near Klagenfurt in Carinthia.
Election to the National Council
The two major parties are backing and making both of their worst results since World War II. SPÖ receives 29 percent and ÖVP 26 percent, which gives 57 and 51 seats in parliament, respectively. The right-wing populist parties are strongly advancing: FPÖ receives 17.5 percent voter support (34 seats) and BZÖ close to 11 percent (21 seats). The Greens receive 10 percent (20 seats). Wilhelm Molterer resigns as chairman of the ÖVP and is succeeded by Agriculture and Environment Minister Josef Pröll.
The government is falling
The bourgeois OVP leaves government cooperation with SPÖ and new elections are announced.
The Chancellor leaves the party leader post
Prime Minister Alfred Gusenbauer resigns as party leader for the Social Democratic Party and is succeeded by Werner Faymann.