Official Name: Republic of Austria
Total area: 83 870 km2
GDP per capita: $42,408
Native Language: German
Government: Federal parliamentary republic
Major Religion: Roman Catholicism
Monetary Unit: Euro (EUR)
The Alps dominate the west and south of Austria, while the eastern federal states - including the capital Vienna - lie in the Danube basin.
By the end of World War I, Austria was the center of a vast empire that controlled much of Central Europe for centuries. Today Austria is a federal republic consisting of nine federal states.
Vienna is home to a number of international organizations including the Secretariat of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Austria has a rich cultural heritage. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has his own place as a composer, but the music of Franz Schubert also enjoys great popularity. In the world of philosophy and ideas, the work of Siegmund Freud continues to stir controversy, while Ludwig Wittgenstein was one of the most important influences on 20th-century philosophical thought. In art, the paintings of Gustav Klimt from the late 18th century are widely admired.
Austria has a mixed industrial and agricultural economy, and tourism is also an important source of income.
In the kitchen, Austrian specialties such as Wiener Schnitzel and apple strudel have become international dishes that need no translation.
Health & Welfare
Social insurance is comprehensive including sickness, disability, accident, old-age, and unemployment benefits, allowances for families with children, and rent aid.
Economy & Jobs
Oil production and refining, banking, railroad equipment, electric machinery, appliances, mining, iron, steel, chemical manufacturing, natural-gas, and electric power production. Jobs in machinery, textiles, iron & steel, timber, and tourism.
Vienna, Eisriesenwelt Caves, Grossglockner Road, Salzburg, and St Anton skiing resorts.
Austria is the 12th richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita, has a well-developed social market economy, and a high standard of living. Until the 1980s, many of Austria's largest industry firms were nationalised; in recent years, however, privatisation has reduced state holdings to a level comparable to other European economies. Labour movements are particularly strong in Austria and have large influence on labour politics. Next to a highly developed industry, international tourism is the most important part of the national economy. Mariahilf shopping avenue in Vienna.
Germany has historically been the main trading partner of Austria, making it vulnerable to rapid changes in the German economy. Since Austria became a member state of the European Union it has gained closer ties to other EU economies, reducing its economic dependence on Germany. In addition, membership in the EU has drawn an influx of foreign investors attracted by Austria's access to the single European market and proximity to the aspiring economies of the European Union. Growth in GDP accelerated in recent years and reached 3.3% in 2006.