Exploring Austria: A Gem in the Heart of Europe

Nestled in Central Europe, with Italy and Slovenia to its south, Austria stands as a testament to natural beauty, rich history, and cultural vibrancy. Covering a total area of 83,871 sq km, of which 82,445 sq km is land and 1,426 sq km is water, this country offers a diverse landscape that ranges from the majestic Alps to serene lakes and forests. Although Austria has no coastline, its terrain and climate make it a year-round destination for tourists and an important hub in Europe.

Geography and Climate

Austria is bordered by eight countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland, summing up to a total land boundary of 2,524 km. The Austrian landscape is predominantly characterized by the Alps in the west and south, providing breathtaking views and a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. Conversely, the eastern and northern margins of the country present mostly flat or gently sloping terrains.

The climate in Austria is as varied as its landscape, offering temperate and continental weather patterns. Winters are generally cold with frequent rain and snow in the lowlands, while the mountains experience heavier snowfall. Summers are moderately warm with occasional showers, making it an ideal time for hiking and exploring the countryside.

Natural Resources and Land Use

Austria is blessed with a wealth of natural resources such as oil, coal, lignite, timber, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, magnesite, tungsten, graphite, salt, and significant hydropower potential. The country utilizes 38.40% of its land for agricultural purposes and has an impressive forest coverage of 47.20%. With a focus on sustainability and environmental preservation, Austria promotes green energy and responsible land management.

Agriculture and Industries

Agriculturally, Austria produces grains, potatoes, wine, fruits, dairy products, cattle, pigs, poultry, lumber, and other forestry products. These industries, alongside construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals, chemicals, lumber, paper, electronics, and tourism, form the backbone of the Austrian economy. The diverse industrial sector reflects Austria’s robust economic health and its role as a significant player in the European market.

Population and Urbanization

As of July 2020, Austria’s estimated population was 8,859,449, with the majority residing in urban areas. Vienna, the capital city, alone houses approximately 1.93 million inhabitants, embodying the cultural and economic heart of the country. The population distribution leans towards the northern and eastern regions, where the topography is more accommodating for urban development.

Urbanization continues to be a trend, with 58.70% of the population living in cities as of 2020. Austrians enjoy a high quality of life, bolstered by efficient public services, a strong education system, and exceptional healthcare.

Economy and Trade

Austria boasts a high GDP per capita of $50,000 (2017 est.), underlining the country’s prosperous economy. It has established itself as a pivotal trading partner in Europe, engaging in substantial trade activities with Germany, the US, Italy, Switzerland, France, and Slovakia. The country’s export portfolio includes machinery and equipment, motor vehicles and parts, manufactured goods, chemicals, iron and steel, and foodstuffs, while imports revolve around similar categories emphasizing the interdependence within European markets.

With a 100% electrification rate as of 2016, Austria’s infrastructure supports its industries and ensures that both urban and rural areas have access to reliable power. This achievement reflects the nation’s commitment to modernization and sustainability.


Austria’s charm lies in its blend of natural beauty, historical richness, and modern vitality. From the snowy peaks of the Alps to the cultural vigor of Vienna, this Central European nation offers a unique experience that bridges past and present. Its robust economy, sustainable use of natural resources, and vibrant urban centers make Austria not just a desirable destination for travelers but also a model of balanced development in Europe.

Country data

Country Code AU
Region Europe
Surface 83871 sq km
Land Surface 82445 sq km
Water Surface 1426 sq km
Agricultural Surface 38.40%
Forest Surface 47.20%
Lowest Elevation Point Neusiedler See 115 m
Highest Elevation Point Grossglockner 3,798 m
GDP / capita $50,000 (2017 est.)