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IMMIGRATION

REVEALED: Which Austrian states have the most foreign residents?

The number of international residents in Austria is growing, but where do they all live? We took a look at the data to find out more.

REVEALED: Which Austrian states have the most foreign residents?
Vienna is the most popular place for foreigners to live in Austria, but where else are they based? (Photo by Hrayr Movsisyan / Pexels)

Earlier this year, the Austrian population passed the nine million mark for the first time – mostly due to immigration.

So who are the international residents in Austria? And where do they live?

Who is a foreigner in Austria?

Foreign nationals are defined by the Austrian Federal Government as people that do not have Austrian citizenship.

At the start of 2022, there were around 1.6 million foreigners living in Austria, according to data from Statista.

FOR MEMBERS: EXPLAINED: Who is entitled to Austrian citizenship by descent and how to apply for it?

Where do foreigners in Austria come from?

A recent report from Statistics Austria shows that German is the most common nationality among foreigners in Austria, with 218,347 Germans living in the country. 

This is followed by 140,454 Romanians, 121,643 Serbians and 117,944 Turkish people.

By comparison, there are just 11,225 British people living in Austria.

Where do most foreigners live in Austria?

Unsurprisingly, Vienna has the highest share of international residents in Austria.

Figures from the City of Vienna show that at the beginning of 2021, there were 805,039 foreigners living in the capital, which is almost 42 percent of the city’s population.

Serbians make up the biggest share of international residents in Vienna with 101,597 people. This is followed by 76,025 residents from Turkey, 64,182 people from Germany and 55,267 from Poland.

In the Viennese districts of Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, Brigittenau and Favoriten, more than half of the population are of foreign origin.

READ MORE: ‘I’ll probably return to the UK’: Moving to Austria as a Brit post-Brexit

What about the rest of Austria?

Outside of Vienna, the spread of foreigners is mostly concentrated in the state capitals.

For example, 26 percent of the population of Graz – Austria’s second largest city and the capital of Styria – are international residents. But throughout Styria, foreigners account for only 12 percent of all residents.

It’s a similar story in Linz, the capital of Upper Austria, where foreigners also make up 26 percent of the population. Statewide though, Upper Austria is only home to 214,401 international residents (around 14 percent of the population).

Vorarlberg – Austria’s most-Western province – is home to 76,200 foreigners, or 19 percent of the population.

In the state of Salzburg, 18.6 percent of the population are foreigners, with around 49,000 international residents living in the city of Salzburg. 

READ ALSO: Diversity and jobs: How migrants contribute to Vienna’s economy

In Tyrol, 131,400 foreigners were registered in the province at the start of 2022. This represents 17 percent of the entire population. 

International residents make up just 14 percent (214,500 people) of the population of Lower Austria.

In Carinthia, 67,000 residents – or around 12 percent of the population – are foreigners. The entire population of Carinthia is around 565,000.

Burgenland is least populated by foreigners with just 10 percent of non-Austrians living in the province. However, Burgenland also has the smallest population in all of Austria.

This article was updated on October 18th 2022 to correct an error in the statistics for Upper Austria.

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AUSTRIA EXPLAINED

Five books to read to understand Austria

Austria is a small landlocked country of about 9 million residents, but it was once a powerful (and enormous) empire. How did that change? Here are five books that can help you understand the country as it is now.

Five books to read to understand Austria

Austrian capital Vienna was once the political centre of one of the world’s largest and most powerful empires. The dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, led by the Habsburg family, ruled over most of central Europe and was a centre for arts and culture. 

The Alpine country, of course, is still a great producer of arts, culture and science, but from having a population of 37.5 million by 1843, Austria is now a small landlocked country of about 9 million people. 

There’s much history in between (and before) and if you want to understand Austria better, several books can help you out, according to a list published by The Economist. Here are five of the books to learn about Austria.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Why is Austria so rich?

The World of Yesterday, by Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig was a very well-known Austrian author and journalist. He was famous for his historical studies of famous writers including Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoievsky, and Honoré de Balzac. He also wrote biographies on historical figures including Marie Antoinette. 

When the Nazi party rose to power in Germany, he emigrated and then settled in Brazil. His memoir, Die Welt von Gestern (the World of Yesterday) was published in 1942 and is a long description of life during the final years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

The Economist called it a “requiem for the liberal, cosmopolitan Vienna of the late Habsburg empire”. Many see it as the most famous book on the power family that ruled much of Europe.

READ ALSO: 8 TV shows you should watch to learn about Austrian culture

Heldenplatz, by Thomas Bernhard

Heldenplatz, which is also the name of the area in front of the Hofburg Palace, a symbol of Austrian politics (and the place where Adolf Hitler was greeted happily after the annexation of the country to Nazi Germany), is a stage drama first performed in 1988.

The play reflects on nationalism, the denial of the past and the ongoing anti-Semitism in modern Austria – it created a scandal in the country at the time. 

The Austrian playwriter, Bernhard, was vilified and died of a heart attack only a few months later.

READ ALSO: One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital

Vienna, by Eva Menasse

“In “Vienna”, her first novel, published in 2005, Eva Menasse blends fact and fiction to tell the story of three generations of Menasses, a chaotic, voluble Viennese family with Jewish roots.”, wrote The Economist.

The book is a celebrated German-language novel and a lighter view of the decades it represents (which include the Holocaust period). It was, of course, criticised by many for “brushing over” such issues. 

It is still a delightful read according to reviewers and shows another side of Austrian history.

READ ALSO: 11 maps that help you understand Austria today

Leopoldstadt, by Tom Stoppard

A play that explores Jewish identity while recounting the tragic stories of a Viennese family that lived in the homonymous neighbourhood – which once had a thriving Jewish community. 

Unlike Vienna, this play brushes over none of the tragedy, crimes and horrors of the Holocaust period. However, it starts even earlier as the multigenerational story begins on Christmas Day 1899, following family members until 1955.

It’s a short but beautiful read.

READ ALSO: How Austria’s newest citizens reclaimed a birthright stolen by the Nazis

Vielgeprüftes Ӧsterreich, by Paul Lendvai

Author Paul Lendvai had already published “Inside Austria” a personal account of 50 years of the country’s history – but now, Vielgeprüftes Österreich (something like “much-tested” or “long-suffering” Austria) acts as a sequel of sorts, according to The Economist.

The book hasn’t been translated into English yet, but the writer looks into Austria’s political history from the Habsburgs to the Ukrainian war, touching on subjects such as why anti-Semitism and xenophobia continue to grow in Austria and why Austrians still fall for demagogues.

READ ALSO: Why is support for Austria’s far-right FPÖ rising?

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