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indicator value unit
Population 8.5 mil.
Visitors per year 18.9 mil.
Renewable energy 29.5 %

How’s Life?

Austria performs well in many measures of well-being relative to most other countries in the Better Life Index. Austria ranks above the average in income and wealth, jobs and earnings, housing, health status, subjective well-being, personal security, social connections, environmental quality, and education and skills. These rankings are based on available selected data.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Austria, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 32 544 a year, higher than the OECD average of USD 30 563. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn about four times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, 72% of people aged 15 to 64 in Austria have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 67%. Some 75% of men are in paid work, compared with 68% of women. In Austria, almost 7% of employees work very long hours, less than the OECD average of 13%, with 10% of men working very long hours compared with just 3% of women.

Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In Austria, 85% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, more than the OECD average of 74%. This is truer of men than women, as 88% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 81% of women. In terms of education quality, the average student scored 492 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score ishigher than the OECD average of 486. Although girls outperformed boys in many OECD countries, in Austria boys scored 8 points higher than girls.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Austria is around 81 years, one year higher than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 84 years, compared with 79 for men. The level of atmospheric PM2.5 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 16.3 micrograms per cubic meter, higher than the OECD average of 13.9 micrograms per cubic meter. Austria performs better in terms of water quality, as 93% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, higher than the OECD average of 81%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation in Austria, where 92% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, slightly morethan the OECD average of 89%. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens' participation in the political process, was 75% during recent elections, higher than the OECD average of 69%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; but in Austria there is little difference across society.

In general, Austrians are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average. When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Austrians gave it a 7.0 grade on average, higher than the OECD average of 6.5.

For more information on estimates and years of reference, see FAQ section and BLI database.

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OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Austria 2017

Austria is a stable and wealthy economy and growth has picked up following the 2016 tax reform and the recovery of export demand. Employment has expanded, driven by rising participation of women and elderly and by immigration, although hours worked per worker have declined.

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Austria in Detail