Press release: 12.384-224/20

"How's Austria?": life satisfaction in 2019 remained high, material wealth has increased significantly, but so have emissions and resource consumption; study offers first outlook on the impact of the Corona crisis

Vienna, 2020-12-01 – "How is Austria" doing in terms of material wealth, quality of life and environment? In the study by Statistics Austria, an independent scientific panel of experts annually evaluates the development of 31 key indicators in Austria.

The majority of the material wealth indicators have been assessed very positively or positively for the last three years: In 2019, for example, gross domestic product (+1.0% per capita, real), income (+1.0% per capita, real) and consumption (+0.7% per capita, real) increased, as did the employment rate, which rose from 76.2% to 76.8%. In the area of quality of life, there is no negative assessment in the short term. Subjective life satisfaction remained at a very high level, and the proportion of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion was low and has fallen further in comparison with other EU countries. The panel of experts assessed the environmental indicators much more heterogeneously and critically. The high resource and energy consumption and rising greenhouse gas emissions (2019: +1.8%, preliminary data) are considered problematic. Two bright spots regarding the environment are the increase in organically farmed agricultural land (indicator is developing very positively) and the decrease in exposure to fine dust (indicator is developing positively).

Based on the observation of the year 2019, the report also offers a first outlook on the consequences of the Corona crisis, which will have a negative effect on the indicators in the areas of material wealth and quality of life and a positive effect on at least some of the environmental indicators.

"The corona crisis has hit Austria hard with health consequences, the largest economic downturn since World War II and massive restrictions on social life. At the same time, Austria was in an excellent position to face the crisis in terms of prosperity and quality of life. Apart from containing the pandemic and coping with the economic and social consequences, however, there are other challenges that Austria had to face already before the crisis, such as the sustainable protection of climate and environment as well as the effects of demographic change on the social security systems," said Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

For more detailed information please refer to the German version.

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For further inquiries please contact Directorate Social Statistics, Statistics Austria:  
Alexandra WEGSCHEIDER-PICHLER, Tel. +43 1 71128-7838 resp.

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