Press release: 12.401-241/20

Austrians rate environmental quality positively overall, greenhouse gas effect and climate change are most frequently cited problems

Vienna, 2020-12-18 – The population's assessment of the state of the environment in Austria is predominantly positive, according to a survey conducted by Statistics Austria in 2019. The water quality of lakes and rivers, drinking water quality, availability of high-quality food and green space are each rated as good by more than 90% of the Austrian people (see table). In contrast, the noise situation was only rated as good by 72.3%. The greenhouse effect and climate change (29.8%) and an increasing traffic volume (21.1%) proportionally represent the major environmental problems for the respondents, followed by the increasing amount of waste (19.6%) and the destruction of nature and landscape (17.4%). Almost 53% of Austrians rate their quality of life as very good and 45% as good, with the most important influencing factors being the state of health (80.8%) and their social network (68.4%). 56.4% of the Austrians think that continuous economic growth is not relevant for their well-being.

Women buy environmentally friendly and socially responsible products more often than men

In general, women stated more frequently than men that they pay attention to the environmental and social compatibility of products when shopping. Almost all people (98.5%) who pay attention to environmentally friendly and socially responsible products when making purchases do so for food. In the case of cleaning products, these criteria are important for 78.4%. Differentiation by gender shows that environmentally friendly and socially responsible products are more important for women than for men, especially in case of cosmetics (75.5%, men: 40.4%) and cleaning agents (85.1%, men: 70.8%).

Men and women are looking for clean air, clean water and quiet on vacation

High environmental quality (clean air, clean water, quiet) as well as the offer of regional products are among the most important assessment criteria for vacation trips for about 70% of respondents. The possibility of environmentally friendly travel and environmentally friendly mobility options in the vacation region are also decisive factors for about 40% when choosing their vacation destination. There are only minor gender differences according to the data.

Public transport is less popular among men

Mobility behaviour showed significant differences: women used public transport more frequently (30.3% daily or several times a week) than men (27.5% daily or several times a week), who were more likely to travel by car than women. At the same time, women were more likely to be car passengers (23.9%) than men (15.0%).

However, the more environmentally-friendly traffic behaviour of female respondents due to lower car use is at least partly explained by influencing factors such as lower purchasing power or lack of a driving licence – especially among older women – and not exclusively by a higher environmental awareness.

For more detailed results and further information concerning statistics of environmental conditions and behaviour please refer to our website.


Information on methods, definitions: In three to five-year cycles, the Austrian population, as part of a voluntary special program of the micro census survey, is questioned about their attitude to environmental conditions, environmental quality in general as well as to important parameters of environmental behaviour, such as purchasing or mobility. Socio-demographic factors such as gender, age, schooling and regional breakdowns are compared with the environmentally relevant characteristics.  
The current special program on "Environmental conditions and environmental behaviour" was carried out in the third quarter of 2019. The respondents were asked, after completion of the mandatory part of the micro census survey "Labour Force and Housing", to answer on a voluntary basis some questions on the environmental conditions and their environmental behaviour. The Special Program 2019 on "Environmental conditions, environmental behaviour" was addressed to all persons aged 15 and over; grossed up by approx. 7.4 million persons (without persons in institutional care).

Environmental quality evaluation
Assessment of environmental quality (in %)Environmental quality in generalWater quality (lakes, rivers)Green space (quantity and condition)AirNoiseAvailability of premium foodDrinking water qualityAvailability of environmental friendly products

For further inquiries please contact Directorate Spatial Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Milla NEUBAUER, Tel. +43 1 71128-7230 resp. and 
Sacha BAUD, Tel. +43 1 71128-7304 resp.

Media owner, producer and publisher: 
STATISTICS AUSTRIA, Federal Institution under Public Law 
1110 Vienna, Austria, Guglgasse 13, Tel.: +43 1 71128-7777