A portrait of modern Austria in ten stats

The Local Austria
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A portrait of modern Austria in ten stats
Photo: APA/Gindl

Quality of life is known to be high in Austria and the Alpine nation has registered economic growth each year since 2009. But issues such as increasing immigration and creeping unemployment mean this traditionally Catholic country is starting to change. Here's how.


Increase in the number of people on benefits

The economic crisis means that the number of people dependent on state benefits has been creeping steadily up, with an all-time high recorded in 2013. Around 260,963 people received unemployment benefits (54%) and unemployment assistance (46%) during 2013. This is an increase of 10.4 percent since 2012, when the average was 236,350. However, things are far from bleak as among Austria’s EU peers, only Germany boasts lower unemployment.

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Average monthly wages

Recent statistics indicate that the average net monthly wage is €2,114. Austrians who are employed on a standard contract receive an annual salary that is divided into 14 (not 12) payments. In 2012 the average net monthly income of full-time and part-time employees including the 13th and 14th month was €1,781. On average men (median €2,050) earned 41% more than women (median €1,454). The richest ten percent of employees (median €4,019) earned nine times more than the poorest ten percent of employees (median €455).

Low inequality

According to OECD data Austria ranks 0.28 on the Gini coefficient scale, in between Luxembourg and Switzerland. Social cohesion is strong and inequality low. Vienna is regularly ranked as one of the world’s best places to live.

16 percent of population are immigrants

Austria’s population is currently 8,507,786 according to Statistik Austria, and is growing thanks to immigration.

Figures from 2014 show that Austria has 1,37 million immigrants, equal to 16 percent of the population. The majority are from the EU, former Yugoslavia and Turkey. Vienna has the highest proportion of foreign-born residents - 31 percent.  And fully half of Vienna's residents have an immigration background.

In 2013, around 2,24 million Austrian residents had at least one foreign-born parent (in 2012 this figure was 2,19 million). 

Crime at an all-time low

In 2013 the number of convictions (34,424) decreased by 3.1 percent, compared to 2012 - falling to a historical all-time low since statistics were first compiled in 1947.

The number of convicted adults (27,652) dropped by 1.5 percent compared to 2012 and the number of convicted juveniles (14 to 17-year-olds) decreased by 12.3 percent. 

The number of criminal convictions decreased by 3.7 percent. Convictions for offences against life and limb fell by 8.5 percent, those against personal liberty by 2.9 percent and convictions for sexual offences decreased by 10.8 percent. However, there was a strong increase of 69.2 percent in convictions for violation of an official duty and corruption.

More women in the workforce

The employment rate of women aged 15 to 64 has risen from 61.2 percent in 2002, to 67.3 percent in 2012. However, this increase is mostly due to a rise in part-time work. In 2012, 44.9% of employed women worked part-time. And according to the gender pay gap published by Eurostat women earned 23.4 percent less than men in 2012. Women in Austria have lower pensions and a higher risk of poverty. Single female pensioners (24 percent) and single parents (30 percent - most of whom are single mothers) have an increased risk of poverty.

More children born out of wedlock

There has been a slight increase in the birth rate. In 2013 the number of live births was 79,330, an increase of 0.5 percent compared to 2012. During the past 12 months (October 2013 to September 2014), the provisional number of births in Austria increased by 3.4 percent over the same period the previous year, to 80,274. The proportion of live births born out of wedlock rose from 41.5 percent to 41.7 percent during this period. In 2012 there were 1.44 live births per woman in Austria, a slight increase on 2011.

Improvement in cancer survival rates.

Each year around 38,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Austria, with men affected slightly more frequently than women. After cardiovascular diseases, malignant cancer is the second most common cause of death in both sexes.

Current statistics show an improvement in five year cumulative relative survival from diagnoses in 1987 to diagnoses in 2007 - increasing from 45 percent to 61 percent for both sexes, or from 40 percent to 60 percent in men, and from 50 percent to 63 percent in women. The most common cancers are prostate, lung and colon cancer for men and breast, bowel and lung cancer for women.

Marriage less popular

The number of people choosing to tie the knot in 2013 (36,140) decreased by 6.4 percent, compared to 2012.

Since 2010 same-sex couples in Austria have been allowed registered partnerships, but do not have the right to full joint adoption (which may change due to a decision in January) of children or access to IVF. In 2010 705 same-sex couples chose a legally binding union, but since then numbers have steadily declined with just 368 registered same-sex unions in 2013 - a decrease of 4.7 percent from 2012.

Six out of ten registered partnerships were male couples and almost half of all partnerships were registered by Vienna residents. 

Homelessness - a hidden problem

There is currently no ongoing data collection on homelessness at national level. BAWO (the national federation of homeless services) says that local-level evidence suggests that homelessness is increasing in a number of cities, and that most people living rough are non-EU immigrants who are not able to claim any social assistance.

Statistics Austria only provides data about registered homelessness. In 2011 5,811 people were registered as homeless and 3,214 people lived in shelters, residential homes or other facilities for the homeless.

Caritas Austria has noticed a slight increase in the number of homeless people - especially younger people aged 18 to 30 - asking for help in its facilities. Austrian NGOs believe the true homeless figure to be much higher than the official one. 

Vienna has focussed on preventing evictions, as a way of reducing homelessness.



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