the Country Name

■officially: the Republic of Austria
■German: About this sound Republik Österreich
■Capital: Vienna


The flag of Austria has three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red. The Austrian triband is the second-oldest flag in use at least since 1230, after the Danish flag (which is claimed to originate in 1219). (In reality the Danish flag is only documented from the 1340s, and its dating to 1219 only occurs in the 16th century.)


Austria is a largely mountainous country due to its location in the Alps. The Central Eastern Alps, Northern Limestone Alps and Southern Limestone Alps are all partly in Austria. Of the total area of Austria (84,000 km2 or 32,433 sq mi), only about a quarter can be considered low lying, and only 32% of the country is below 500 metres (1,640 ft). The Alps of western Austria give way somewhat into low lands and plains in the eastern part of the country.

Austria lies between latitudes 46° and 49° N, and longitudes 9° and 18° E.

It can be divided into five areas, the biggest being the Eastern Alps, which constitute 62% of nation's total area. The Austrian foothills at the base of the Alps and the Carpathians account for around 12% and the foothills in the east and areas surrounding the periphery of the Pannoni low country amount to about 12% of the total landmass. The second greater mountain area (much lower than the Alps) is situated in the north. Known as the Austrian granite plateau, it is located in the central area of the Bohemian Mass and accounts for 10% of Austria. The Austrian portion of the Vienna basin comprises the remaining 4%.


German is Austria's official language and is spoken natively by 88.6% of the population—followed by Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian (4.2%), Turkish (2.3%), Hungarian (0.5%) and Polish (0.5%).


NameRepublic of Austria
Official LanguageGerman
CurrencyEuro (€)(EUR)
PresidentHeinz Fischer
Religionabout 74% of Austria's population were registered as Roman Catholic