Austria is a land-locked country located at the very centre of Europe. The population is 8.4 million, of which 1.7 million live in the capital, Vienna. The population is expected to reach 8.8 million by 2030, with the proportion of people over 65 expected to increase from 27% to 39% over the same period. German is the official language, although there are Slovenian and Croatian minorities in the south and east. English is taught in schools and most people engaged in business speak English. Over 70% of the population are Catholic. The Euro is the official currency. The standard VAT rate is 20%.

 Austria                               Capital: Vienna



8.4 million à 8.8 million (2030)

Proportion of people over 65 is 27% à 39% (2030)


Mostly German


70% Catholic

GDP / head

€ 35,800   (EU average: € 25,100)





GDP growth (volume)



0.7% in 2012 (f)

1.9% in 2013 (f)

Unemployment rate

(Feb 2012)

4.2%   (EU average: 10.2%)

Inflation rate

3.6%   (EU average: 3.1%)


Figures relate to 2011, except where indicated.                                      Source: Eurostat, Searce (2012)










Austria has a GDP per capita of €34,100, compared to the EU average of €24,400 in 2010. According to the OECD, the Austrian economy grew by 3.2% in 2011, and is expected to grow by 0.6% in 2012 and 1.8% in 2013 (compared to the Eurozone average of 1.6%, 0.2% and 1.4% respectively). The inflation rate was 3.4% in 2011, compared to 3% in the EU. The unemployment rate was 4%, compared to 9.8% in the EU as a whole in 2011.

For Austrians, life revolves around the family. They are generally quite conservative and organised. In business, presentation and appearance are important, and greetings tend to be formal. The use of titles is important, as are first impressions. Austrians tend not to need a personal relationship when doing business. Punctuality is also important, as is attention to close detail and long term relationships are preferred to doing a quick sale.