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indicator value unit
Population 8.4 mil.
Visitors per year 17.2 mil.
Renewable energy 28.11 %

How’s Life?

Austria performs well in many measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top ten countries in several topics in the Better Life Index.

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 29 256 USD a year, higher than the OECD average of 23 938 USD. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn nearly four times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, over 73% of people aged 15 to 64 in Austria have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 78% of men are in paid work, compared with 67% of women. People in Austria work 1 699 hours a year, less than the OECD average of 1 765 hours. Another key measure, however, is how many people work very long hours. Some 9% of employees work very long hours, in line with the OECD average, with 13% of men working very long hours compared with just 4% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Austria, 82% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, more than the OECD average of 75%. This is truer of men than women, as 87% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 78% of women. This difference is higher than the OECD average and suggests women’s participation in higher education could be strengthened. 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, 1 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, higher than the OECD average of 20.1 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 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation in Austria, where 95% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 89%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 75% during recent elections, higher than the OECD average of 72%.

In general, Austrians are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 82% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc. ) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.). This figure is higher than the OECD average of 76%.

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


OECD in Action

Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Austria 2014

Austria has low levels of labour migration from non-EU/EFTA countries. At the same time, intra-EU free mobility has grown significantly and since 2011, overall migration for employment is above the OECD average. It recently reformed its labour migration system, making it more ready to accept labour migrants where they are needed, especially in medium-skilled occupations in which there were limited admission possibilities previously. This publication analyses the reform and the Austrian labour migration management system in international comparison.

Read this report

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Austria in Detail