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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 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: total population: 78 years
female: 81.31 years (2002 est.)
male: 74.85 years
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: 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 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, BIS, BSEC (observer), CCC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, 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, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WEU (observer), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
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: chief of mission: Ambassador William Lee LYONS BROWN, Jr.
embassy: Boltzmanngasse 16, A-1091, 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
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% (2001)
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

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