As of January 2013, 8 451 860 people were living in Austria according to final results of Statistics Austria. 43739 people (+0.52%) more than at the beginning of 2012. As in previous years, the population growth could be mainly attributed to gains from international migration, while birth surpluses and statistical adjustments only made for comparatively small increases of the population figure.
Fertility78 952 children were born in Austria in 2012, which corresponds to a crude birth rate of 9.4 live births per 1 000 population. The total fertility rate was 1.44 children per woman. This average is therefore well below the “replacement level” of approx. 2 children per woman. Measured by the “net reproduction rate”, the generation currently at reproductive ages will numerically reproduce itself by 70 per cent. The fact that the period fertility is so low in Austria is also due to the ever rising age at childbirth (“postponement” of births). The mean fertility age in 2012 was 30.2 years, i.e. 1.6 years higher than in 2002. Detailed studies show that the mean fertility age at the birth of the first child has risen particularly fast: it is currently 28.7 years, i.e. 1.9 years higher than in 2002.
Mortality and life expectancy (incl. infant mortality)79 436 deaths were recorded in Austria in 2012, which corresponds to a crude death rate of 9.4 deaths per 1 000 population. In 2012 the life expectancy of an Austrian male at birth was 78.3 years, i.e. 2.5 years higher than in 2002. The life expectancy at birth for women has risen by 1.6 years since 2002, to a current figure of 83.3 years.
The infant mortality rate – infant deaths per 1 000 live births – was 3.2 per thousand in Austria in 2012. Since 1997 this figure has always been below the 5-per-thousand mark, since 2006 even below the 4-per-thousand mark. The total of infant deaths in the first week of life and stillbirths is called the number of “perinatal deaths”. In 2012 there were 5.1 per 1000 live births.
International migrationAustria recorded an international net-migration gain of 43 797 people, about 40% more than in the previous year (2011: +30 705). Migration statistics, calculated by Statistics Austria and derived from data of the Central Register of Residence, showed an inflow of 140 358 people in 2012 and an outflow of 96 604. As in previous years, Austrian citizens had a negative migration balance of 7414, meaning a significant increase of migration loss over the previous year (-5 759). However, a migration gain of 51 211 people was recorded for foreign citizens, this was significantly higher than in 2011 (+37 109).
Components of population changeFrom a demographic perspective, Austria’s population growth can be attributed first and foremost to a positive net migration (balance of immigration and emigration). In contrast, the natural increase (balance of births and deaths) makes only a comparatively small contribution to population growth. Marked differences, however, occurred between federal territories: Population gains mainly resulted from natural population increases in Vorarlberg, while migration gains accounted for a small part. In contrast, there was a surplus of deaths over births registered in Burgenland, Lower Austria, Styria and Carinthia. In Vienna, the large population increase was nearly exclusively the result of net-migration gains.
In 2012 on average some 1.579 million people (18.9% of the population) with foreign background were living in Austria. 1.167 million of them were born abroad, while 412 000 people were descendants of foreign-born parents but born in Austria and thus counted as “second generation”.
The figure of 140 358 arrivals from abroad and 96 561 departures to foreign countries produced an international net migration of 43 797 people in 2012. In relation to Austria’s resident population, this corresponded to a migration balance rate of 5.2 per 1 000. Migration gains thus were about 40% higher than in 2011 (+30 705 people). As in previous years, Austrian citizens had a negative migration balance of 7414, meaning a significant increase of migration loss compared to the previous year (-6 404). However, a migration gain of 51 211 people was recorded for foreign citizens, significantly higher than in 2011 (+37 109).
About 62% of migration gains with foreign citizens could be allotted to EU citizens (+31 518 people). The largest sub-group was formed of Hungarian citizens (+6 609 people), followed by Germans (+6 229 people) and Romanians (+5 358).
The migration balance of third country nationals reached +19 491 people in 2012, which was about 64% higher than in 2011 (+ 11 855). Almost 45% of migration gains with third-country nationals were with citizens of European states outside the EU. The largest sub-group were Russian citizens (+1 838 people), followed by Serbs (+1 749 people) and citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina (+1 536).
At the level of the federal provinces, Vienna remained the prime destination for international immigration to Austria. The federal capital accounted for about 44% of net migration (+19 121 people), followed by Upper Austria (+6 548), Lower Austria (+5 465) and Styria (+3 673). Within the federal provinces, international immigration focused on the provincial capitals and their environs; in Tyrol, Salzburg and Carinthia, it also gravitated towards tourist regions and in the case of Lower Austria towards the southern suburbs of Vienna.
Migration within AustriaSince the beginning of the 1970s Austria`s population change is determined almost exclusively by migratory movements, since births and deaths are largely balanced. Corresponding to the relation of the numbers of births and deaths, internal migration has a regionally varying influence on the evolution of the population.
There were 714 697 cases of people migrating within Austria in 2012, up from 701 242 in 2011. The majority of these internal migrations involved relatively short distances, with around 54.2% of cases concerning moves within a municipality.
As a result of Vienna being the single city in Austria with more than 1 million inhabitants and the resulting intensified functional linkages with surrounding regions, migration gains from internal migration occurred more frequently in the East of Austria than in other parts of the country. Most migrants are between 20 and 34 years old and are Austrian nationals, albeit the relative frequency of internal migration is higher with foreigners. Age-specific patterns of internal migration show a pronounced trend for suburbanisation, which with increasing age, also extends to further outlying areas. Only young adults aged 18 to 26 years predominantly move to central cities to benefit from their larger offer of educational and vocational opportunities.The total internal migration rate at birth (which is the average number of changes of residence in a lifetime) in 2012 stood at 6.78 for men and 6.88 for women.
Population by demographic characteristicsDecline in the surplus of women, aging population, continuing growth of the Austrian population with a foreign background: These headlines reflect some of the principal results of the 2011 Register-based Census relating to the demographic topics.
The gender ratio of 866 men to 1 000 women calculated by the 1951 Population Census had, by 2011, increased to 950 men to 1 000 women. One reason for the excess of women – the men who fell during the two World Wars – has become ever less significant as more and more war widows have died. The fact that there is nevertheless a larger proportion of women is related to the higher life expectancy of females. The fact that women live to a greater age than men can be shown by average ages. In 2011, the average age was 43.2 for women, while men were 2.8 years younger on average.
Owing to the increasing life expectancy of both genders and declining birth rates, the population is aging.
For instance, the average age has increased by 5.8 years since 1971 (2011: 41.8). The proportion of elderly people in 2011 was 17.8%; the “quotient of seniors” (ratio of people aged 65 and above to 100 people of primary working age between 20 and 64 years) was 28.7. The quotient of young people (ratio of children and youngsters up to 19 years to 100 people of primary working age) was 33.1 in 2011. Despite a growing number and proportion of seniors, the “overall dependency quotient” has slightly decreased compared to 2001 (61.8 against 62.2 in 2001).
Population by the Level of EducationThe level of education of the population relates to the highest level of education completed. In Austria, 1 065 008 people have completed a tertiary education according to the Register-based Census 2011. Compared to the last census 2001 this number has risen by about 333600 people, or 45.6%. The number of graduates on the secondary level has also risen. Young women reached already a higher level of education than their male companions.
During the last ten years the overall education level has risen again: the younger generation is better educated, and the old, generally less educated (because of worse education possibilities in the past) people are dying away. The percentage of the population with more than just a lower secondary degree has risen from 60.8% to 71.7% or in other words by almost one million people.
Demographic ForecastAccording to the assumptions for fertility, mortality and migration by Statistics Austria, the total population of Austria will increase to 8.99 million people (+7%) until 2030 and to 9.37 million (+11%) until 2060. In 2012, the reference year for the new population projection, Austria had a population of 8.43 million.
Diverse regional development: Vienna will see the highest growth
According to the main scenario, the population development will vary substantially among the nine provinces during the next decades. Vienna (+27%) and Lower Austria (+16%) are expected to have the most marked population growth until 2060, followed by Burgenland (+12%), Vorarlberg (+11%), Upper Austria and Tyrol (+7%), Salzburg (+5%) and Styria (+2%). Carinthia is the only province being expected to lose some population until 2060 (-8%).
Population growth will be accompanied by ageingChildren and youngsters under 20 years are projected to account for a slightly smaller proportion of the total population, namely 19% in 2060 as compared to 20% in 2012. The majority of the provinces will follow this trend, except Vienna, where rising proportions are expected. As the “baby-boom generation” (those born between 1955 and 1970) will reach the retirement age after 2015, the size of the elderly population (ages 65 and over) is projected to increase in all of the nine provinces. Thus for Austria as a whole, the proportion of the elderly population will grow from 18% in 2012 to 29% by 2060. By then, Carinthia (34%) as well as Burgenland (33%) are expected to remain the “oldest” regions while the western part of Austria (Tyrol and Vorarlberg) as well as Vienna will still rank as the “youngest” regions. Vienna will hold a share of 23% elderly people by 2060. The average age of Austria’s population will significantly increase over the next decades from 42.0 (2012) to 47.0 years (2060).
Increase of the foreign born populationA further increase of the foreign born population due to migration is expected. In the year 2012, 1.34 million people born in a foreign country lived in Austria. This averages 16% of the total population. The number of this population group will rise to 1.76 million (+31%) until the year 2030, and to 2.19 million (+63%) until 2060. The share of foreign born population will increase to 20% (2030) and 23% (2060), respectively. Currently, Vienna holds a population ratio of 31% of foreign born persons. This share will increase to slightly more than 34% in the year 2040.
The majority of the population speaks German, which is also the country's official language. It is the language used in media, in schools, and formal announcements. The variety of German used, Austrian German is partially influenced by Austro-Bavarian and uses many “Germanized” words and expressions deriving from it.
Languages of Austria
The main native language of Austria outside Vorarlberg is Austro-Bavarian, which is spoken using many different dialects. The northern parts of Austria (including Vienna) speak Central Austro-Bavarian dialects and the southern parts Southern Austro-Bavarian dialects. Austro-Bavarian differs heavily from high German, making it hard for German speakers of different regions to understand the native population.
Alemannic is spoken in Vorarlberg. Vorarlberg uses a High Alemannic, the same dialect group as that spoken in Northern Switzerland (outside Basel) and parts of southern Alsace, France. To most Germans and Austrians outside of Vorarlberg it is very difficult to understand, as it is more similar to Swiss German, with many grammatical and pronunciation differences.
A number of minority languages are spoken in Austria, some of which have official status.
- Serbian: is the largest minority language, with usage by 2.4% of Austrians.
- Turkish: is the second minority language, spoken by some 2.3% of the population.
- Burgenland Croatian: Burgenland Croatian, an official language in Burgenland, is spoken by 2.5% of Austrians, and Burgenland Croats are recognized as a minority and have enjoyed special rights following the Austrian State Treaty (Staatsvertrag) of 1955.
- Hungarian: While little spoken today, Hungarian has traditionally held an important position in Austria (or, more correctly, Austria-Hungary). Today, Hungarian is spoken by around 20,000 people (.05% of the Austrian population) in Burgenland.
- Slovene: an official language in Carinthia, is spoken by 0.3% of Austrians. Carinthian Slovenes are recognized as a minority and have enjoyed special rights following the Austrian State Treaty (Staatsvertrag) of 1955.
Austria ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages on 28 June 2001 for the following languages in respect of specific Länder
- Croatian of Burgenland
- Slovene (in Carinthia and Styria)
- Hungarian (in Burgenland and Vienna)
- Czech (in Vienna)
- Slovak (in Vienna)
- Romani (in Burgenland)
The Austrian Federal Constitution calls for the respect and promotion of ethnic groups resident in Austria. Special rights for Croatian (around 30,000), Slovenian (13,000 to 40,000 Slovenes in the Austrian state of Carinthia), Hungarian, Czech and Slovak ethnic groups and for Roma are established in the Ethnic Group Act [Volksgruppengesetz] of 1976 and a number of other laws and regulations. The rights of the Croatian and Slovenian ethnic groups are also set forth in the State Treaty of Vienna (1955).The Slovenes in the Austrian state of Styria (estimated at a number between 1,600 and 5,000) are not recognised as a minority and do not enjoy special rights, although the State Treaty of 27 July 1955 states otherwise. The Ethnic Groups Act of 1976 only recognises members of indigenous (autochthonous) ethnic groups, a term that applies to Austrian citizens whose families have been living in Austria for at least three generations.
Image: Österreich Werbung/ Wolfgang Zajc