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General information
Common nameAustria
Anthem  (German)
Land of Mountains, Land by the River

Official languagesGerman
Spoken languagesAustro-Bavarian, Alemannic in Vorarlberg. Locally also Slovene, Burgenland Croatian and Hungarian
Ethnic groups91.1% Austrians,
8.9% foreigners -
4% former Yugoslavs,
1.6% Turks,
2.4% others and unspecified (2001)
GovernmentFederal Parliamentary republic
PresidentHeinz Fischer
ChancellorWerner Faymann (SPÖ)
President of the National CouncilBarbara Prammer (SPÖ)
Austrian State Treaty in force27 July 1955 (Duchy: 1156, Austrian Empire: 1804, First Austrian Republic: 1918 1938, Second Republic since 1945)
EU accession1 January 1995
Total Area32377 sq mi (83856.4 km2) (115th)
Water %1.7
Population Est.8,414,638 (92nd)
Population census8032926 (2001)
Density (pop.)99.2/km2 (99th) (257/sq mi)
GDP PPP$343 billion (2011)
GDP (PPP) per capita$40.979
GDP (nominal)$405 billion (2011)
GDP (nominal) per capita$48,350
Other information
Gini26 (2007) (low)
HDI(-) 0.851 (2010) (very high) (25th)
CurrencyEuro (-) 2 (EUR)
Time zoneCET (UTC+01)
- Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+02)
Drives on theright
Internet ³
Calling code43

     Home | Country | Austria

Austria (c-enaudio=en-us-Austria.oggˈɒstriə or c-enˈɔːstriə; -deˈøːstəˌʁaɪçÖsterreich, officially the Republic of Austria ( ), is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83855 km2 (32376.6 sqmi) and has a temperate and alpine climate. Austria's terrain is highly mountainous due to the presence of the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m (1640.4 ft), and its highest point is 3798 m (12460.6 ft). The majority of the population speak local Austro-Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country's official language. Other local official languages are Burgenland Croatian, Hungarian and Slovene.

The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria became one of the great powers of Europe and, in response to the coronation of Napoleon I as the Emperor of the French, the Austrian Empire was officially proclaimed in 1804. In 1867, the Austrian Empire was reformed into Austria-Hungary.

When the Habsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire collapsed in 1918 with the end of World War I, Austria used German Austria („Deutschösterreich”, later „Österreich”) as the state name in an attempt for union with Germany but was forbidden due to the Treaty of Saint Germain. The First Austrian Republic was established in 1919. In the 1938 Anschluss, Austria was occupied and annexed by Nazi Germany. This lasted until the end of World War II in 1945, after which Nazi Germany was occupied by the Allies and Austria's former democratic constitution was restored. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty re-established Austria as a sovereign state, ending the occupation. In the same year, the Austrian Parliament created the Declaration of Neutrality which declared that the Second Austrian Republic would become permanently neutral.

Today, Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federal states. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.6 million, is Vienna. Austria is one of the richest countries in the world, with a nominal per capita GDP of $43,723 (2010 est.). The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2010 was ranked 25th in the world for its Human Development Index. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, and is a founder of the OECD. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the European currency, the euro, in 1999.

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