In the last twenty years the Austrian population has grown very little (see table 1). Natural growth, already traditionally weak, has remained low, especially due to the low birth rate: the average annual birth rate rose to 18.7 ‰ in the three-year period 1961-63 and then dropped to 14.5 ‰ in 1970-72, while that of mortality rose, in the same years, to 12.8 ‰ and 13.1 ‰. This dynamic expresses the lacerations caused in the composition of the population by age since the Second World War (as already the first) and also the improvement in living conditions, which is also related to the more recent contraction in the fertility rate.
On the other hand, the migratory movement was not lively either: the still negative balance in the decade 1951-61 became weakly positive in the following decade. Foreign residents rose to 176,773 by 1971.
As for internal geographic mobility, after the Second World War the tendency – manifested by the end of the first – of the demographic center of gravity, as well as of the economic one, to move westward: towards the regions (A. western: Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Salzburg ) bordering the countries of Western Europe, and in particular with the Federal Republic of Germany, with which the A. strengthens its economic relations. In addition, the tendency towards urbanization of the population is accentuated, especially in the main cities. This process – which however is less intense than in other Western European countries – appears evident, especially in the decade 1961-71, also considering the significant process of suburbanization, as shown by the demographic increase of the municipalities close to the cities, large and even medium.
In each region, the depopulation of the countryside has affected more peripheral areas than the main urban-industrial centers, areas that are economically less developed and less equipped with services. Particularly subject to depopulation were the areas along the borders with the Eastern countries.
Overall the Austria alpina differs from the Alpine regions of other countries for not having been subjected to an intense process of economic decay and depopulation, thanks to a traditionally less fragmented and dispersed land structure, a fair availability of mineral resources and a fair amount of urban centers -industrial, to the development of tourism and, last but not least, to the articulation of the territory in Länder which enjoy considerable political and administrative autonomy. The population of the Austria alpina grew by 14.5% from 1951 to 1971 (by 28% in the western Länder), while that of the Austria, opportunely excluding Vienna (decreased by 7.5%), increased by 9.8 ‰.
The demographic movement and the geographical mobility of the population are strictly connected to the transformations of the economic-social structure.
The activity rate fell from 48.3% in 1951 to 47.6% in 1961 and to 41.5% in 1971. This evolution is mainly connected with the aging of the population and the increase in schooling. At the same time the composition by sector of economic activity has changed profoundly (see table 2).
In the last decade the Austria it has entered among the industrialized nations of Europe, thanks to its constant and balanced development; in fact, the gross national product increased, in real terms, at an average annual rate of about 5%, up to 1974. In 1975, on the other hand, due to the international economic recession and a certain decline in domestic demand and, consequently, in the industrial production (−7.5%), the Austrian national product marked a decline of 2%.
The structure of demand and the corresponding distribution of resources has changed over time to the advantage of investments; private consumption in relation to gross product remained almost unchanged (about 58%), public consumption went from 13% to 11%, while gross fixed investments went from 24% to about 28%, data that indicate a growing industrialization.
The movement of consumer prices, which in the period 1960-72 had averaged 3.3% per annum, rose to 6% in 1973, and reached its peak in 1974, reaching an increase of 9.5%, while in 1975 fell to + 8.4%. For 1976, compared to 1975, an increase of approximately 7.3% was calculated, a figure which is also valid for the inflation rate for the corresponding period.
The relative stability of the Austrian economy was also reflected in the labor market, despite the inevitable fluctuations of the economic situation. It registered, from 1969 to 1973, a period of rapid expansion of productive activity which was joined by a very marked process of accumulation and such as to considerably increase the level of potential production. For Austria 2010, please check programingplease.com.
Thus, a state of full employment was reached, which resulted in a strong increase in the use of foreign labor, which went from 62,000 workers in 1968 to 180,000 in 1975, for an incidence of 7% of employed employees. in Austria. In 1976 the number of unemployed (76,000) corresponded to an unemployment rate of 2.8%, one of the lowest in Europe.
It is also interesting to note how the trade union organization in Austria, through the collaboration between employers and trade unions within the “Joint Commission”, has managed to maintain a social peace which it has, so far, avoided, even in difficult economic times, an uncontrolled chase of prices and wages, always keeping the number of strikes within insignificant values. For 1975, in fact, only 44,098 hours of work were lost due to strikes in Austria, equal to one minute per worker per year.
Net foreign currency revenues from tourism have always had a strong influence on the balance of payments, at times even managing to cover the trade deficit (see above). Monetary policy in Austria has always aimed at the maximum stability obtainable in the context of the balance of payments. The two revaluations of the shilling in March (+ 2.25%) and in July (+ 4.8%) of 1973 aimed at avoiding a too pronounced rise in prices for imported products.
As inflationary pressures subsequently worsen, deriving from a sharp rise in costs, especially those relating to raw materials and imported energy sources, the Austrian authorities have set their income policy more restrictively; since March 1973 the shilling has started to fluctuate, and its fluctuation margin since May 1974 has been widened to ± 4.5 per cent. If on the one hand the strong position of the shilling contributes to the containment of prices, on the other hand it has become a serious burden for exporters; precisely in order to help economic operators, reduce credit costs and stimulate investment, the Austrian National Bank reduced the discount rate from 6 to 5% in January 1976.
If one observes the evolution of Austrian foreign trade, it can be seen that although it cannot directly benefit from the establishment of the European Common Market, it has obtained a significant increase from its integration with the world economy. In 1975, however, Austrian foreign trade underwent a decline both in imports, equal to 163.4 billion schillings (−3%), and in exports, amounting to 131 billion schillings (−2%).
As for the Italian-Austrian trade, over the last few years it has steadily increased. In 1975, however, there was an exceptional 20% increase in Italian exports to Austria, corresponding to 479 billion lire, while Italian imports of Austrian products, equal to 391 billion lire, recorded a decline of 13%. The result is a balance in favor of Italy of 88 billion lire. Even more striking is the decline in the share of the Italian market on total Austrian exports, which in 1958 amounted to 17%, while in 1975 it fell to 8%.