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Austria: country overview

17 May 2012
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 21 September 2021

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 that same year declared the country's "perpetual neutrality" as a condition for Soviet military withdrawal. The Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 and Austria's entry into the EU in 1995 have altered the meaning of this neutrality. A prosperous, democratic country, Austria entered the EU Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.



Austrian flag

Capital: Vienna

Geographical size: 83 879 km²

Population: 8 576 261 (2015)

Population as % of total EU: 1.7 % (2015)

Gross domestic product (GDP): € 337.162 billion (2015)

Official EU language(s): German

Political system: federal parliamentary republic

EU member country since: 1 January 1995

Seats in the European Parliament: 18

Currency: Euro. Member of the eurozone since 1 January 1999

Schengen area member? Yes, Schengen Area member since 1 December 2007.

Presidency of the Council: Austria has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU twice: in 1998 and 2006. The next time will be in 2018.

Economy and Trade

Map of AustriaThe most important sectors of Austria’s economy in 2018 were wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (22.9%), industry (22%) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (17.3%).

In terms of imports, 78% come from EU Member States (Germany 41%, Italy 6% and Czechia and the Netherlands 4%), while outside the EU 4% come from Switzerland and 3% from China.

Useful links

The Commission's Representation in Austria

European Parliament office in Austria

Federal Chancellery

Tourist information

Source: European Commission, CIA - The World Factbook