100 Interesting Facts About Austria

Last updated on August 24th, 2019

54. Most of the people of Austria speak Austrian German, which is a dialect of the German language.

55. Austria is ranked at the 24th spot on the Human Development Index.

56. Austria became a member of the European Union in 1995. Finland and Sweden also joined the European Union in the same year.

57. Austria became the 70th member of the United Nations Organization (UN) on 14 December 1955.

58. Austria is also the founding member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The organization has 35 member countries to this day.

59. Austria is also a part of Borderless Europe. Students from various European countries study is Austria and vice versa.

60. Bavaria (South Germany) is a close cultural relative of Austria.

61. Austria is also rated as the fifth most patriotic country in the world. Many Austrians derive their identity from the state/region they belong to.

62. Austrians are very hospitable. They enjoy eating, drinking and chit-chatting with friends and relatives.

63. Austrians also have one of the highest standards of living in the world.

64. The president of Austria is elected by the people for a term of 6 years. However, the president is just a representative. The federal chancellor runs the day-to-day operations of the country.

65. Ethnic Austrians constitute a vast majority of its population.

66. Austria is the only European Union nation that is not a member of NATO.

67. Beethoven, widely considered as the greatest pianist and composer of all time, was born in Germany on December 16, 1770. He died at the age of 56 in Austria. He composed some of his most important work during the last 10 years of his life. Notably, he was unable to hear during his last years.

68. Hitler, the famous ruler, was an Austrian and not German. He was born in Austria-Hungary on 20 April 1889.

69. Austria is also home to the world’s oldest still-operating restaurant St. Peter Stiftskeller. It was established in 803 and now it is still-operational and more than 1200 years old. It is said that Christopher Columbus, Johann Georg Faust, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart have been served here.

70. Vienna is home to more than 300,000 graves in its central cemetery. Vienna has some 52 suburban cemeteries. The Vienna Central Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the world – occupies 2.5 million square meters. Contrary to what the name suggests, the cemetery is situated not in the city of Vienna but on the outskirts.

71. Funerals have become an expensive obsession in the country and people would set aside money for their special send-off.

72. Vienna is also amongst the world’s most livable cities. It ranks at number two position on the list of world’s top ten most livable cities placed right after Melbourne which tops the list.

73. The father of psychoanalysis – Sigmund Freud (6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) is an Austrian.

74. The father of Doppler Effect, Christian Doppler (29 November 1803 – 17 March 1853) was born in Salzburg, Austria. Doppler Effect states that the observed frequency of a wave depends on the relative speed of the source and the observer.

75. The father of modern genetics – Gregor Mendel (20 July 1822 – 6 January 1884) is also an Austrian.

76. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), born in Salzburg, is also among the famous Austrians. He was widely recognized as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. He was gifted with a near-perfect memory. He composed since he was five years old.

77. Beethoven who lived most of his life in Austria experienced deafness starting the age of 26. He produced some of his life’s best work – Symphony No 9 in D minor.

78. Ernst Mach (18 February 1838 – 19 February 1916) introduced the system of Mach number in 1887. The speed of sound is measured in Mach numbers. The ratio of one’s speed to that of sound is named the Mach number in his honor. The speed of sound (1 Mach) is equal to 1234.8 kilometer per hour.

79. In 2017, Austria is the 95th most populous country in the world. (8,754,413 – July 2017 Est.)

80. Freedom of religion is a fundamental right in Austria.

81. More than 50% of men and 20% of women in Austria are overweight. These stats are the highest in the European Union.

82. The Spanish Riding School in Vienna is world famous for Lipizzan Stallions. Here horses are trained using the traditional methods that are hundreds of year old. The Lipizzan is one of Europe’s oldest breeds of horses (400 years and more.)

83. Austria also has one of the top-earning chefs in the worldWolfgang Puck. His net worth is estimated to be $75 million.

84. Austria is one of the top recyclers in Europe. The country recycles almost 63% of the waste it produces. 

85. Austrians work the longest hours – 45 hours per week among the other working population of the countries in the European Union.

86. Punctuality is a valuable trait in Austria.

87. Retail and grocery shops are closed on Sundays.

88. One can fetch money after returning beer bottles to the grocery store. This is one of the reasons why they are the leaders in recycling waste items.

89. Austrians prefer river or lake instead of the pool.

90. In Austria, people stay in a relationship longer than other countries. Couples usually marry after 8 and more years of dating.

91. Due to the confusion between Austria and Australia, a large number of postages were delivered to Australia instead of Austria. Hence, the Australian post offices had to use a special rubber stamp that read “redirected to Austria in Europe”.

About Austrian food and cuisines

92. Potatoes are popular in the country. Potatoes are served sliced and friend and panfried as well.

93. For breakfast, the Austrians like to consume bread and bread roll made from white and wholemeal flour which is coupled with muesli.

94. The country is also famous for sweet desserts and cakes – Sachertorte which is a chocolate cake and Strudel, which is a pastry roll filled with apples and cottage cheese.

95. Gelato can be found everywhere in the country.

96. Austrian food is influenced by Hungarian, German and Italian traditions.

97. Pork, beef, and veal are the main contents of some of the most favorite Austrian dishes.

Some random facts

98. Austria also has one of the oldest flags in the world.

99. Vienna, Austria’s capital city is home to the world’s largest Emerald.

100. Since 100 years, downhill skiing is the most popular sport in Austria. Speeds of up to 130 km/h (81 mph) are common in international competition. The first handbook on skiing was published in Austria in 1897 by Mathias Zdarsky. Probably Austria’s first ski instructor, he was an early ski pioneer.

Austria – country at a glance

IndependenceOctober 26, 1955
Table last updatedJuly 26, 2019
Capital CityVienna
(48°12′N 16°21′E)
Largest CityVienna
(48°12′N 16°21′E)
Areatotal: 83,871 sq km
land: 82,445 sq km
water: 1,426 sq km
Population8,793,370 (July 2018 est.)
Official LanguageGerman
BordersCzech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
CurrencyEuro (€) (EUR)
Suffrage16 years of age; universal
DemonymAustrian
ReligionCatholic, Protestant, Muslim and others
Life expectancy at birth81.7 Years (2018)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatetemperate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain and some snow in lowlands and snow in mountains; moderate summers with occasional showers
Terrainmostly mountains (Alps) in the west and south; mostly flat or gently sloping along the eastern and northern margins
Mean elevation910 m
Lowest pointNeusiedler See 115 m
Highest pointGrossglockner 3,798 m
National anthem"Bundeshymne" (Federal Hymn)
Government typefederal parliamentary republic
PresidentAlexander Van der Bellen
ChancellorBrigitte Bierlein
National colorsred, white
National symbolgolden eagle, edelweiss, Alpine gentian
Natural resourcesoil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, hydropower
Agricultural land38.4%
Birth rate9.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate9.7 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Sex ratio0.96 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Industriesconstruction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals, chemicals, lumber, paper and paperboard, communications equipment, tourism
Exports$156.7 billion (2017 est.)
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, paper and paperboard, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, foodstuffs
Imports$158.1 billion (2017 est.)
machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products, natural gas; foodstuffs
GDP - per capita (PPP)$50,000 (2017 est.)
Time ZoneCET (UTC+1)
Internet country code.at
Drives on theRight
Calling Code+43