Immigration and Longer Lives Bring Austrian Population to Nearly 9 Million

In the last two decades, Austria’s population increased from 8 million to almost 9 million – growing faster than almost any other EU country.

With the 2019 census now final, the Alpine Republic has grown to 8.9 million people in the last year – a 0.49% increase over the previous year and a post-war record – with a population that is older and more international than ever.

Contributing to this outcome is a slight birth rate increase and of course, immigration. Statistics Austria recorded 150,419 people moving to Austria from abroad in 2019, over 109,806 the previous year.

“An entire 96% of the population increase can be attributed to this [immigration],” Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas told the ORF.

Overall, Austria is becoming increasingly international, with 1,486,223 residents with foreign citizenship at the beginning of 2020, equalling 16.7% of the population nationally, in Vienna, 40.7%. Just over half of these (778,443) were from EU and EFTA countries, with another 707.780 third-country nationals. The largest immigrant group by far, is the Germans, (199,993) followed by the Serbs (122,115) and the Turks (117,607).

The largest increases were the states of Vienna and Vorarlberg, the preferred destinations for immigration, with 35.8% of total migration (an increase of 14,526 people) in the federal capital. While Upper Austria (6,956 people), Styria (4,446), Lower Austria (3,481) and Tyrol (3,414) also recorded high values.

Newborns & Grandparents

84,952 children were born in Austria in the previous year; while this was 583 fewer than in the previous year, births were still a plus of 1,560 over the 83,386 deaths recorded in the same period.  the highest birth rates were recorded in Salzburg (plus 3.2 percent) and Burgenland (plus 0.3 percent). The remaining states recorded slightly lower birth rates than usual. 

The infant mortality rate was 2.9 per million and 250 children not surviving their first year, slightly above the 2.7 per million rate of 2018.

While Austria is aging – with 25.068 more people of retirement age at the beginning of 2020, an increase of 1.5% – overall, the proportions are almost identical between young and old, with 1.720.915 children and youth below the age of 20 (19.3%), and 1.693.627 over 65 years (19,0%). In between are 5.486.522 people, at 61.1%, in their prime earning years.

Vanessa Iula
After leaving her home city Calgary, Alberta, Vanessa headed to Vienna where she gained a scholarship for communication and international business studies. Vanessa has written and photographed for a multitude of publications, does freelance marketing and now, is happily a member of the Metropole team.

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