Also See: Major Cities in Austria
The last Austrian census was conducted in 2011. Although the full results haven’t yet been released, the preliminary results indicate that the population of Austria in 2011 was 8,430,558. That represents an increase of 5% over the past ten years.
This article contains information about the current population of Austria, its historical population, and its largest cities. It also contains ethnicity, religion and language demographic data. Just scroll down for more information.
Population of Austria 2013
There isn’t an official population figure for 2012. Applying a fairly average annual increase, it would be safe to assume that the population will come close to 8.5 million this year. Other estimates, which aren’t based on the census data, suggest that the population is lower, however. The CIA Factbook, for example, estimates that in July 2012, there will be 8,219,743 people living in Austria.
Largest Cities in Austria
The largest city in Austria is Vienna. According to the 2011 census, the capital city is home to 1,724,381 people. Other major cities in Austria (cities with more than 100,000 residents) include Graz (264,351) Linz (190,802), Salzburg (148,236) and Innsbruck (121,076).
The Census and Historical Austrian Population Data
A census is held in Austria every ten years. The first census to cover the entire country was undertaken in 1869, although less comprehensive censuses had been held previously. The 1869 survey revealed that the Austrian population at the time was 4,497,880.
Since 1869 a census has been held every ten years or so, and from 1951 have been held on a regular ten year schedule. The number of people living in Austria has grown fairly steadily since then – only two surveys showed a decrease in population – between 1910-1923 and between 1934-1939. You can see a historical archive of Austrian census data here.
The last census was held in October 2011 and, although preliminary results are available, much of the official data on Austrian demographics remains ten years out of date. The population at the last census (in 2001) was 8,032,857, so in the past ten years, the population has increased by 397,701 people, or 5%. According to Statistik Austria, the organisation which runs the Austrian census, all of the country’s regions bar one (Carinthia) saw a population increase over the last ten years. The largest increase (of 11.2%) was in Vienna, the capital city.
Here is an animated video (in English) explaining how the Austrian census works:
The next census is scheduled for 2021, but expect to see data from the latest survey being gradually released over the next few years.
Austrian Ethnic Groups
There are three ‘traditional’ ethnic minorities within Austria – groups that have found themselves within Austria as a result of European boundary changes over the years. They are Carthinian Slovenes, Croats and Hungarians. None of these groups number more than 50,000, and all have their rights protected by law.
Modern immigration has resulted in the creation of a number of sizeable new ethic groups in Austria. Notably more than 300,000 people came to Austria from the former Yugoslavia during and after the wars there, as well as more than 300,000 from Turkey. Many have been naturalized and are now Austrian citizens.
Across the entire country, the majority of the population increase recorded between 2001 and 2011 is as a result of immigration into Austria – the number of people living in Austria but born elsewhere increased by 35% over the past decade.
What language is spoken in Austria?
The 2001 census revealed that while the official language of German remains the most widely spoken in Austria, others are increasing in popularity as a result of immigration.
German is the first language of 88.8% of Austrians. It is slightly different from the German spoken in Germany - in practice it doesn't differ much, though, and if you speak German you will be easily understood in Austria. The other main languages are Turkish (spoken by 2.3%), Serbain (2.2%) and Croatian (1.3%).
According to law, bilingual signs should be used in areas of the country populated by Austria's 'traditional' ethnic minorities (Carinthian Slovenes plus Croats and Hungarians in Burgenland). This law has not always been followed in practice, however, and remains a significant political hot topic.
Religion in Austria
The majority of Austrians (73.6%) in the 2001 census reported that they were Roman Catholic. Protestants made up a further 4.7% of the population and Muslims 4.2%. 12% of respondents said that they were not religious.
According to the 2001 census, there are 8,140 Jews in Austria (around 0.5% of the population). Prior to the Holocaust, Austrian Jews made up between 8 and 10% of the total population.