Press release: 12.686-277/21

"How's Austria?" in the Corona Year 2020: significant drops in material prosperity, declines in energy consumption and greenhouse gases, life satisfaction stable in the first half of the year

Vienna, 2020-12-14 – "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.

Key indicators of material wealth tended to be negative in the 2020 COVID-19 crisis year: GDP (-7.1%, real, per capita vs. 2019) and consumption (-7.7%, real, per capita) showed significant declines, and the unemployment rate (from 4.5% to 5.4%) and government debt (from 70.6% to 83.2%) increased compared to pre-Corona year 2019. There were positive or tending positive ratings for a majority of the key quality of life indicators: Remarkably, the positive assessment of quality of life continued in COVID-19 year 2020. It should be noted here that the collection of the data (EU-SILC survey), took place between March and July 2020, i.e., at the beginning of the pandemic or during the first lockdown. The feelings of physical insecurity declined significantly in 2020 (from 8.4% to 5.7%). Somewhat more positively than in previous years, but still quite critically, the expert panel assessed the short-term development of most key environmental indicators. Due to the high level, energy consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions as a whole tended to be assessed neutral resp. negatively despite the decreases in 2020 (energy: -7.6%, greenhouse gases: -7.7%). The increase in organic farming and the decrease in fine dust emissions continue to be seen as very positive.

"The Corona pandemic has hit Austria hard in terms of health and economy. After overcoming the acute crisis, it will be a matter of mastering challenges that Austria already faced before the crisis: securing the high level of prosperity in the long term, financing the social security systems in times of demographic change, or sustainably protecting the climate and the environment, even if energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions have temporarily declined strongly with the Corona restrictions," says 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. alexandra.wegscheider-pichler@statistik.gv.at

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