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Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastli ...

Austria
is a
federal republic A federal republic is a federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of In ...

federal republic
made up of nine states (
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
: ''Länder''). Since ''Land'' is also the German word for "country", the term ''Bundesländer'' (literally ''federal states'') is often used instead to avoid ambiguity. The
Constitution of Austria The Constitution of Austria (german: Österreichische Bundesverfassung) is the body of all constitutional law of the Republic of Austria on the federal level. It is split up over many different acts. Its centerpiece is the Federal Constitutional ...
uses both terms. Austrian states can pass laws that stay within the limits of the constitution, and each state has representatives in the main Austrian parliament.


Geography

The majority of the land area in the states of Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Vienna, and Burgenland is situated in the
Danube The Danube ( ; ) is the List of rivers of Europe#Longest rivers, second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Russia. It flows through much of Central Europe, Central and Southeastern Europe, from the Black Forest into the Black Sea. It ...

Danube
valley and thus consists almost completely of accessible and easily arable terrain. The other five states, in contrast, are located in the
Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest and most extensive mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt ...

Alps
and thus are comparatively unsuitable for agriculture. Their terrain is also relatively unfavourable to
heavy industry Heavy industry is an industry Industry may refer to: Economics * Industry (economics) In macroeconomics, an industry is a branch of an economy that produces a closely related set of raw materials, goods, or services. For example, one ...
and long-distance trade. Accordingly, the population of what now is the Republic of Austria has been concentrated in the former four states since prehistoric times. Austria's most densely populated state is the city-state of Vienna, the heart of what is Austria's only
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the cul ...

metropolitan area
. Lower Austria ranks only fourth in population density even though it contains Vienna's suburbs; this is due to large areas of land being predominantly agricultural. The alpine state of Tyrol, the less alpine but geographically more remote state of Carinthia, and the non-alpine but near-exclusively agricultural state of Burgenland are Austria's least densely populated states. The wealthy alpine state of Vorarlberg is something of an anomaly due to its small size, isolated location and distinct Alemannic culture. The following ranked list of Austrian states cites official
Statistik Austria Statistics Austria, known locally as Statistik Austria, is the official name of Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked ...
population on 1 January 2015.
Area Area is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value in ...

Area
s are given in square kilometres,
population density Population density (in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise tr ...

population density
is expressed in inhabitants per square kilometre. For the purpose of the above list, a
city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can be defined as a ...

city
is a community defined to be a city by Austrian law; a town is a community not defined to be a city. Many of Austria's cities have population figures on the order of ten thousand inhabitants; some are even smaller.


Politics

The nine states (Bundesländer) of Austria in alphabetical order are:


Federalism and state powers

Each Austrian state has an elected
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
, the ''
Landtag A Landtag (State Diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition), the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group * Dieting, the deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake ** Diet food, foods that aid in creating ...

Landtag
'', and a state government (''Landesregierung'') headed by a governor ( ''Landeshauptmann'' or ''Landeshauptfrau''). Elections are held every five years (six years in
Upper Austria Upper Austria (german: Oberösterreich ; bar, Obaöstareich) is one of the nine states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The Stat ...
). The state constitution, among other things, determines how the seats in the state government are assigned to political parties, with most states having a system of proportional representation based on the number of delegates in the ''Landtag'' in place. The ''Landeshauptmann'' is elected by the ''Landtag'', though in practice he or she is the leader of the majority party or coalition in the ''Landtag.''
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
, the capital of Austria, plays a double role as city and "Bundesland." The mayor has the rank of a state governor, while the
city council A municipal council is the legislature, legislative body of a municipality or local government area. Depending on the location and classification of the municipality it may be known as a city council, town council, town board, community council, ...
also functions as a ''Landtag.'' Under the municipal constitution, however, city and state business must be kept separate. Hence, while the city council and ''Landtag'' have identical memberships, they hold separate meetings, and each body has separate presiding officers. When meeting as a city council, the deputies can only deal with city affairs; when meeting as a ''Landtag,'' they can only deal with state affairs. Austrian
federalism Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Maga ...

federalism
is largely theoretical as the states are granted few legislative powers. The federal constitution initially granted all legislative powers to the states, but many powers have been subsequently taken away, and only a few remain, such as planning and zoning codes, nature protection, hunting, fishing, farming, youth protection, certain issues of public health and welfare and the right to levy certain taxes. All other matters, including but not limited to criminal law, civil law, corporate law, most aspects of economic law, defense, most educational matters and academia, telecommunications, and much of the healthcare system are regulated by federal laws. There is also no
judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of court A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government i ...
of the Länder, since the federal constitution defines the judiciary as an exclusively federal matter. This centralisation follows a historic model where central power during the time of the empire was largely concentrated in Vienna. However, the state governor (''
Landeshauptmann Landeshauptmann (if male) or Landeshauptfrau (if female) (, "state captain", plural ''Landeshauptleute'') is the chairman The chairperson (also chair, chairman, or chairwoman) is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board Boar ...
'') is in charge of the administration of much of federal administrative law within the respective state, which makes this post an important political position. Furthermore, state competences include zoning laws, planning issues and public procurement on the regional level, which adds considerable weight to state politics. As a practical matter, there have been cases where states have been able to block projects endorsed by the federal government, as in the case of a railway tunnel that was to be built below the Semmering. Austrian ''Länder'' are endowed formally and practically with a much smaller degree of autonomy than
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
or
German states The Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , d ...

German states
. Even so, Austrians tend to identify passionately with their respective ''Land'' and often defend what little independent governance their states have. It is not unheard of for Austrians to consider themselves, for instance,
Tyrol Tyrol (; historically the Tyrole; german: Tirol ; it, Tirolo) is a historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Gre ...
ean first, Austrian second.


Historical development

In terms of boundaries, the present-day states arose from the
crown land Crown land (sometimes spelled crownland), also known as royal domain, is a territorial area belonging to the monarch, who personifies . It is the equivalent of an and passes with the monarchy, being inseparable from it. Today, in s such as Cana ...
s of
Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exe ...

Austria-Hungary
, an extensive multiethnic realm whose German-speaking nucleus emerged as the Republic of Austria after the dissolution of the Dual Monarchy in the end of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. The states of Upper Austria and Lower Austria are essentially equivalent to what were since 1783/84 the two autonomous halves of the
Archduchy of Austria Archduke (feminine: Archduchess; German: ''Erzherzog'', feminine form: ''Erzherzogin'') was the title borne from 1358 by the Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de ...
, a principality which formed the empire's historic heartland. Salzburg is coterminous with the former Austro-Hungarian
Duchy of Salzburg The Duchy of Salzburg () was a Cisleithania Cisleithania (german: Cisleithanien, also ''Zisleithanien'', sl, Cislajtanija, hu, Ciszlajtánia, cz, Předlitavsko, sk, Predlitavsko, pl, Przedlitawia, hr, Cislajtanija, sr, Цислајтани ...
(the former
Archbishopric In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted ...
). Similarly, the state of Carinthia descends from the
Duchy of Carinthia The Duchy of Carinthia (german: Herzogtum Kärnten; sl, Vojvodina Koroška) was a duchy A duchy is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization a ...

Duchy of Carinthia
, the state of Styria descends from the
Duchy of Styria The Duchy of Styria (german: Herzogtum Steiermark; sl, Vojvodina Štajerska; hu, Stájer Hercegség) was a duchy A duchy is a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection ...
, and the state of Tyrol descends from the Princely County of Tyrol; these states had to cede territories to
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
and
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...

Yugoslavia
when Austria emerged in its present form. Also, the state of
Vorarlberg Vorarlberg ( , ; gsw, label=Vorarlbergisch, Vorarlbearg, , or ) is the westernmost States of Austria, state () of Austria. It has the second-smallest geographical area after Vienna and, although it has the second-smallest population, it also has ...

Vorarlberg
had been a semi-autonomous part of the County of Tyrol since 1861. The
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
of Vienna was a part of Lower Austria up until 1921. The state of Burgenland is made up of the predominantly German-speaking area that the
Kingdom of Hungary The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy A monarchy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, an ...
until 1921 had to cede to the
First Austrian Republic The First Austrian Republic (german: Republik Österreich) was created after the signing of the on 10 September 1919—the settlement after the end of which ended the of —and ended with the establishment of the Austrofascist based upon a ...
after World War I as a result of the Treaties of Trianon and
Saint-Germain-en-Laye Saint-Germain-en-Laye () is a Communes of France, commune in the Yvelines Departments of France, department in the Île-de-France (region), Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris, from the Kilometr ...
.Encyclopedia of Austria - Burgenland
retrieved 18 May 2010


See also

*
Distribution of seats in the Austrian Landtage The Austrian Landtage are the unicameralism, unicameral legislatures of the nine Austrian States of Austria, states, according to the Constitution of Austria deciding in all matters unless explicitly subject of federal legislation. On federal level ...
*
Districts of Austria In Politics of Austria, Austrian politics, a district (german: Bezirk) is a second-level division of the executive (government), executive arm of the country's government. District offices are the primary point of contact between resident and sta ...
* Flags of Austrian states * Coats of arms of the Austrian states * ISO 3166-2:AT * List of Austrian states by GDP *
List of Austrian states by Human Development Index This is a list of Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:States Of Austria Subdivisions of Austria Austria, States Austria 1 States, Austria Austria-related lists