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Country Facts About Austria for Kids

Updated on May 19, 2013

Austria is a country located in Central Europe. It shares borders with several countries: Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Switzerland. It’s a landlocked country. This means it doesn’t share any borders with an ocean or sea.

The Republic of Austria is a republic. In a republic, people elect representatives to a parliament. The parliament makes laws for the country. There are two important leaders in Austria. The Federal Chancellor is the head of the government. The Federal President is the head of state. The capital city of Austria is Vienna.

Demography

Austria has a population of about 8 million people. The people are called Austrians. German is the main language of the country.

White people, mainly of Austrian descent, make up most of the population. Turks make up about 1.5 percent.

Almost 3 out of 4 people practice the Roman Catholic religion. About 12 percent don’t practice any religion. Protestant Christians and Muslims make up the rest. About 98 percent of Austrians are literate, which means they can read and write.

Glöcklerlauf head covering
Glöcklerlauf head covering
A quiet street in an Austrian town
A quiet street in an Austrian town

Way of Life

About 7 out of every 10 Austrians lives in an urban area. Vienna’s population is almost 1.7 million. Austria is a wealthy country with a high standard of living.

Coffee houses are an important part of Austrian culture. People of all ages like to go to coffee houses to have coffee, chat, engage in discussions, play card games or chess, or read newspapers. Austrians love music and many people play instruments. They may gather with friends and neighbors in their homes to play music, as well as play in bands and singing in choirs.

Glöcklerlauf is an important festival. Young men and boys dress in white and wear bells on their belts. They also wear elaborate decorations on their heads. These head decorations are lit up. The festival is celebrated to drive away evil winter spirits.

In some parts of the country all shops and businesses close at lunchtime on Saturday and don’t reopen until Monday morning. Towns are often empty for much of the weekend.

Glöcklerlauf Video

Climate

Austria has a temperate climate. This means that it has winter, spring, summer and fall seasons. The Eastern part of the country has little rain, hot summers and cool winters. The mountainous Alpine regions have lots of precipitation, short summers and cold winters. Other parts of the country tend to have changeable weather.

Austrian Alps
Austrian Alps

Topography

Much of the western and central parts of the country are mountainous. Mountainous areas make up about 60% of the land area. The country has the following topographic regions: the Alps mountain range; the foothills of both the Alps and the Carpathian mountains; the Pannonian lowlands; a group of mountains called the Bohemian Massif; and the Vienna Basin. About 35% of the land area is arable, which means it can be used for agriculture or farming.

The highest peak is in the Alps. It is called Grossglockner. The Danube is the longest river. Lake Constance is the largest lake.

Austria map and flag
Austria map and flag

Economy

Austria is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Austria is part of an economic organization called the European Union (EU). Most people work in services like tourism, insurance, banking and healthcare. Only about 5% of the population is engaged in farming.

Austria exports machinery, motor vehicles and parts, paper, metal goods, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, and food. It’s major imports are machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals, metal goods, oil and oil products, and food. It’s main agriculture products are grains, potatoes, wine, fruit, dairy products and cattle.

The country’s currency is called the Euro. The Euro is the currency of most of the countries in the European Union.

The city of Vienna
The city of Vienna

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