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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 jobs and earnings, subjective well-being,  personal security, civic engagement, health status, environmental quality, education and skills, but below average in work-life balance.

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 31 173 a year, higher than the OECD average of USD 25 908. 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, over 72% of people aged 15 to 64 in Austria have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 77% of men are in paid work, compared with 66% of women.  In Austria, 8% of employees work very long hours, lower than the OECD average of 13%, with 12% of men working very long hours compared with just 3% for women.

Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In Austria, 83% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, more than the OECD average of 75%. This is truer of men than women, as 88% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 78% of women. In terms of education quality, the average student scored 500 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is slightly higher than the OECD average of 497. On average in Austria, girls outperformed boys by 2 points, below the average OECD gap of 8 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Austria is 81 years, one year higher than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 84 years, compared with 78 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 27.4 micrograms per cubic meter in large urban areas, higher than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. Austria performs better in terms of water quality, as 94% 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 89% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 88%. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 75% during recent elections, higher than the OECD average of 68%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 82% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 72%, a narrower gap than the OECD average gap of 13 percentage points.

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 6.9 grade on average, higher than the OECD average of 6.6.

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


OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Austria 2015

This 2015 OECD Economic Survey of Austria examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. Special chapters cover gender equality.

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Austria in Detail