Press release: 12.374-214/20

Population forecast 2020: from 2021, more elderly people than children and teenagers

Vienna, 2020-11-19 – The current trend of a growing and ageing population in Austria will continue in the future, as the population forecast published today by Statistics Austria shows. According to the forecast, Austria's population will grow from 8.88 million in 2019 by 6% to 9.45 million by 2040, and finally by 12% to 9.93 million by 2080. From 2021, there will be more people of the generation 65+ than under 20-year-olds.

Migration gains exceed projected birth deficits

The expected increase in population is exclusively due to supposed migration gains of about 30 000 people per year. This continues a long-standing trend: Since the turn of the century, the Austrian population has increased mainly due to migration surpluses. In the 2001 census, Austria counted just over 8 million inhabitants for the first time, the annual average in 2010 was 8.36 million. By 2019, there was a further increase by 6% to 8.88 million. Of the growth since the turn of the century, only just below 5% were due to birth surpluses, while the majority was due to migration gains. As the number of deaths is expected to rise above the number of births in the coming years, the birth balance will thus become negative. Nevertheless, according to current calculations, the population will exceed the nine million mark in 2022. A further increase is also likely for the period thereafter, as the projected migration gains will exceed the losses from natural population change.

Strongest population growth at retirement age

The population aged 65 and over will continue to grow strongly in number and proportion. From 2021, more people aged 65+ will be living in Austria than children and young people under 20. Apart from stagnating birth rates and a presumably continuing increase in life expectancy, this is mainly due to the strong birth cohorts of the 1950s and 1960s, who are gradually moving into retirement age. In 2040, the population aged 65+ should be by 48% (or more than 800 000 persons) larger than in 2019, while at the same time their share in the population will increase from 18.9% to 26.4%. The number of people in working age from 20 to under 65 years will remain slightly above the 2019 level until 2021, but, until 2040, will fall by almost 300 000 people (5%) below the current level (see table 1). After 2040, the number of people of working age is projected to remain largely constant. Although the absolute number of children and young people under the age of 20 will still increase slightly, their share in the total population will decline in the medium term from 19.3% (2019) to 18.8% (2040).

Proportion of foreign-born population to increase from 20% to 27% in the long term

Assuming continued international immigration, the number of foreign-born people in Austria will continue to increase in the future. In 2019, 1.75 million foreign-born people (20% of the total population) were living in Austria (see table 1). According to the forecast, their number will rise to 2.23 million (+28%) by 2040 and finally to 2.67 million by 2080 (+53% compared to the base year 2019). According to the forecast, the share of people not born in Austria will thus increase to 24% by 2040 and to 27% by 2080 (see table 1).

Eastern regions of Austria show strongest growth

The 12% population growth forecast for Austria up to 2080 will be distributed very unevenly across the regions. Above-average increases are expected in Vienna. The federal capital alone attracts almost 40% of the international immigration to Austria. According to the forecast, Vienna will exceed the two million mark in 2028, as it last did at the beginning of the 20th century. In Carinthia, on the other hand, slight population losses are expected, as was already the case between 2010 and 2013 and in 2018, which will cause the population to fall behind Salzburg from 2021 onwards. Salzburg will thus become the sixth largest federal state in terms of population. Besides Vienna, above-average population growth is also forecasted for Lower Austria, while the trend in Salzburg and Styria is below the federal average. The expected population growth in Burgenland as well as in Upper Austria, Tyrol and Vorarlberg is largely in line with the forecasted average for Austria. (see table 2).

For more detailed results or information on the population forecast please refer to our website. An interactive population pyramid (available in German only) can be found on our website as well.

Information on methods, definitions: To calculate the forecast, the population differentiated by age, gender and country of birth is extrapolated into the future as of 1 January 2020. The population ages by one year per calendar year. The new birth cohorts of a forecast year are calculated using age-specific fertility rates (live births by age of mother). Deaths are calculated by multiplying age- and gender-specific mortality rates by population size. While international emigration is calculated from rates in the same way as deaths, immigration is given in absolute figures (also according to age and gender). In the long term, 145 000 immigrants are expected annually. With around 115 000 people moving away, this results in annual migration gains of around 30 000 people. The internal migration between the nine federal states of Austria is modelled by means of age-, gender- and direction-specific migration rates.  
When interpreting the results according to the characteristic "born in Austria/abroad", it should be noted that this is not a forecast of the population of Austria according to nationality ("foreigner forecast"). The future development of the population according to citizenship depends not only on international immigration and emigration (and of course also on their fertility and mortality), but in particular on the development of naturalisation rates. These depend largely on future political conditions and are therefore difficult to anticipate. In contrast, the feature chosen here, "country of birth", remains unchanged for the lifetime of the respective person.

 

Table 1: Population projection 2019 to 2080 by age and country of birth
YearTotal population, absoluteIn percentForeign born
Total0–19 years20–65 years65 and more years0–19 years20–64 years65 and more yearstotalin percent
20198 877 6371 717 8205 478 2941 681 52319.361.718.91 746 20619.7
20208 921 7891 723 1645 490 9821 707 64319.361.519.11 781 85320.0
20309 225 2711 777 7475 306 8072 140 71719.357.523.22 027 01722.0
20409 446 7591 775 1875 180 6562 490 91618.854.826.42 230 01423.6
20509 605 9261 778 5185 173 7622 653 64618.553.927.62 394 50124.9
20609 688 0721 813 0925 111 7332 763 24718.752.828.52 520 69226.0
20709 796 7231 834 4005 131 9912 830 33218.752.428.92 609 52526.6
20809 929 7921 844 6485 171 9742 913 17018.652.129.32 666 09126.8
Table 2: Population projection 2019 to 2080 by NUTS 2-Regions
NUTS2 Region20192020203020402050206020702080
Burgenland293 861295 001305 992315 125320 819323 946328 317333 920
Carinthia561 062561 078555 204548 034539 045528 201523 449523 838
Lower Austria1 680 5881 688 1691 757 6441 816 6101 865 0641 895 4051 930 4701 970 491
Upper Austria1 486 1411 493 5901 549 6961 590 5981 616 3731 628 0541 646 8251 669 460
Salzburg556 627559 444572 864580 766585 626587 116590 884596 639
Styria1 244 4741 247 8401 267 0241 278 3061 281 4661 275 5111 277 2661 286 180
Tyrol755 695759 600786 706804 975816 540820 437826 260834 257
Vorarlberg395 949398 186412 279421 743427 821430 351433 132436 884
Vienna1 903 2401 918 8812 017 8622 090 6022 153 1722 199 0512 240 1202 278 123
Austria in total8 877 6378 921 7899 225 2719 446 7599 605 9269 688 0729 796 7239 929 792

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Social Statistics. Statistics Austria:  
Alexander HANIKA, Tel. +43 1 71128-7279 resp. alexander.hanika@statistik gv at

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