Austria has one of the world’s most generous social welfare systems with compulsory sickness, pension and unemployment insurance and more. Legislation and practices in relation to working hours, job security, holidays, study leave and other types of leave are largely reminiscent of Swedish conditions.
There are free basic government healthcare funded by workers and employers. The Austrians also have access to private health care and can buy private health insurance.
- Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Austria, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
The retirement age is by law 60 years for women and 65 years for men. However, for women, the retirement age should be gradually increased to the men’s level, to 2032.
In practice, the average retirement age is just under 60 for everyone. Through various generous rules, many Austrians have been able to retire as early as the 50s. A controversial pension reform that began to apply in 2005 reduces the state’s costs for pensions, while gradually reducing the possibility of retiring early.
Equality between women and men is statutory and there is an Ombudsman for Gender Equality and a special commission that oversees this.
A partnership law has been in effect since 2010 for same-sex couples and entitles them to pension and maintenance on the same terms as married. In 2013, same-sex couples were given the right to adopt each other’s children and, following a decision in the Constitutional Court, the right to all forms of adoption was extended in 2016.
Prostitution is not prohibited, but it is illegal to carry out trafficking in human beings with prostitution, which occurs in Austria with women in particular from Eastern and Central European countries.
FACTS – SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Infant Mortality: 3 per 1000 births (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean water: 100.0 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 100.0 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 10.3 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person: US $ 4,688 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament: 34 percent (2018)
Faymann forms new government
In a government reshuffle, Chancellor Werner Faymann appoints integration minister Sebastian Kurz, 27, as new Foreign Minister after Michael Spindelegger, who takes over the post of finance minister. Kurz also continues to be responsible for integration issues in the coalition between the Social Democratic SPÖ and Conservative ÖVP.
Judgment against ex-minister is alleviated
The sentence against Ernst Strasser is reduced to three years in prison and he is given the right to spend the days outside the prison (see January 2013).
Election to the National Council
The government parties back but retain their majority in the National Council: SPÖ receives 27 percent and ÖVP 24 percent of the votes. FPÖ goes up strongly to 21 percent and the two newly formed parties Team Stronach and Neos gain 5.7 percent and 5.0 percent respectively. BZÖ falls below the four percent block and disappears from Parliament, while the Greens go up to 12 percent. The turnout decreases from close to 79 percent in the previous election to just under 75 percent.
A neo-Nazi is sentenced to one and a half years in prison for posting photos of Adolf Hitler and hook crosses on Facebook.
UN effort ends
After the violence of the Syrian civil war spread, Austria takes home its UN troops from the Golan Heights after close to 40 years of guarding the buffer zone between Syria and Israel.
The Vienna Philharmonic confesses
In connection with the 75-year commemoration of Austria’s accession to Nazi Germany, the famous orc is publishing information about its own history during the Nazi era. Nearly half of the musicians were members of the Nazi Party, and there were also SS men among them. At the same time, seven orchestra members were murdered by the Nazis and nine others were driven into exile. The Vienna Philharmonic has been criticized for previously trying to hide its unpleasant past.
Referendum on military service
Nearly 60 percent of voters vote to retain the general military duty when they are allowed to decide on the issue in a referendum.
Ex-Interior Minister gets jail
Former Interior Minister Ernst Strasser is sentenced to four years in prison for bribery, committed when he was an EU parliamentarian (see March 2011). Strasser convicted of receiving € 100,000 in exchange for working for amended EU legislation, including waste management.