Austria is a very beautiful country with many mountains and lakes, located in the central part of Europe. A great place both for short-term holidays and for permanent residence. The state has a fascinating history and traditions, a comfortable geographical location and a strong economy, which confirms the fact that Austria is one of the top 10 richest countries in Europe.

The population of Austria has about 9 million people. Each year the number of local residents added by tens of thousands of foreigners from different countries. According to the forecast of Austrian statistical services the total population of Austria by 2030 will amount to 9.4 million people. Below, let's talk more about prices and costs of living, tax rates, jobs and salaries, pros and cons of immigration and living in Austria in 2024.

Living in Austria

Pros and cons of living in Austria

Austria with enviable regularity in the list of the most prosperous and attractive countries in the world in various international rankings. For example, according to the report "Global Peace Index" by the Institute for Economics and Peace, it ranks fourth (after Iceland, New Zealand and Portugal) in the list of the safest countries. Nevertheless, let us highlight both the pros and cons of living in Austria.

The pros of living in Austria

  • Austria is a member of the European Union, but in many controversial issues, including the military-political, is neutral.

  • Austria has stunning nature and beautiful architecture. Interesting cultural and sports events are held everywhere. Despite its small size, it is one of the most visited countries in the world.

  • Austrian economy is quite stable, high-tech and diverse, which greatly expands the options of finding a job and doing business in Austria.

  • Austria is one of the few European countries with virtually free higher education for both locals and foreigners (see below).

  • According to the Legatum Institute in London, Austria is one of the top 5 countries with the best medicine. In addition, the country has a low crime rate and good transport infrastructure.

Pros and cons of living in Austria

The cons of living in Austria

  • Citizens of Austria are not particularly friendly to foreigners, so integrate into local society is quite difficult.

  • For a full life in Austria it is necessary to learn German.

  • Relatively expensive to live in Austria.

  • High taxes.

  • It is very difficult to find a prestigious job in Austria, and even harder to build a successful professional career.

Prices and costs of living in Austria

Rent a studio apartment in Austria in the central part of town will cost about 765 euros, and in remote areas about 600 euros. The price of one square meter of real estate in the center – 5,685 euros, and 4,075 euros outside the city. Compared with other developed EU countries, the cost of living in most Austrian cities is quite acceptable.

The most expensive cities to live in Austria are Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, Linz and Vienna. For example, the average rent of a room in the center of the Austrian capital is about 800 euros per month. Somewhat cheaper to live in cities such as Klagenfurt and Fillach.

Prices in Austria in 2024*

  • Bread (500 g) – 2.41 euros

  • Milk (1 L) – 1.40 euros

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 3.95 euros

  • Chicken Fillets (1 kg) – 12.45 euros

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 1.82 euros

  • Austrian cheese (1 kg) – 15.56 euros

  • Banana (1 kg) – 2.00 euros

  • Apples (1 kg) – 2.41 euros

  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 1.69 euros

  • Cab (1 km) – 1.80 euros

  • Public transport (one-way ticket) – 2.50 euros

  • Monthly pass – 50.50 euros

  • Utilities (85 sq. m.) – 327.55 euros per month

  • Mobile Tariff Local (month) – 19.65 euros

  • Internet – 33.24 euros per month

Note. *Average prices in different Austrian cities.

Taxes in Austria

Taxes in Austria

One of the most significant disadvantages of living in Austria is high taxes. For example, the maximum rate of income tax is 55%. However, the level of earnings must exceed 1 million euros per year. Nevertheless, the overall tax burden in Austria is lower than in Germany and France.

Tax rates in Austria in 2024

Corporate income tax is 24%. Thus even unprofitable companies are obliged to pay the tax not less than 1,750 euros.

VAT. The basic rate is 20%.

Reduced rates:

  • 13%. Tickets for sports and cultural events, hotel accommodation, wine production, agricultural products, domestic flights.

  • 10%. Food, medical supplies, printed publications and books, public transportation, household waste collection, paid and cable TV.

  • 0%. Domestic and international transport (excluding road and rail transport).

Real Estate Income Tax – 30%

Capital Gains tax (interest, dividends) – 27.5%

Income tax:

  • Annual income up to 12,816 euros – 0%

  • Annual income from 12,816 to 20,818 euros – 20%

  • Annual income from 20,818 to 34,513 euros – 30%

  • Annual income from 34,513 to 66,612 euros – 40%

  • Annual income from 66,612 to 99,266 euros – 48%

  • Annual income from 99,266 to 1,000,000 euros – 50%

  • Annual income over 1,000,000 euros – 55%

Social contributions:

  • Health insurance – 7.65% (employer – 3.78, employee – 3.87)

  • Accident insurance – 1.2% (employer – 1.2, employee – 0)

  • Unemployment insurance – 6% (employer – 3, employee – 3)

  • Pension insurance – 22.8% (employer – 12.55, employee – 10.25), and for the self-employed – 18.5%

Jobs and wages in Austria

For a successful job search in Vienna and other Austrian cities the applicant must have sufficient experience, education and knowledge of German/English. It is very difficult for foreigners from third countries to compete for jobs with Austrians and Europeans. The most realistic chance for employment is to obtain the EU Blue Card or RWR Card, which is based on a point system.

In addition, in order to find a job on Austrian territory already for foreign applicants with high qualifications there is a special permit The Jobseeker Visa, which is issued for 6 months. During this period it is necessary to find a vacancy. The most sought-after professions in Austria in 2024 are experienced engineers and construction workers, registered nurses and certified social care workers for the elderly and sick.

There are no statutory minimum wages in Austria. In every branch of the economy this issue is regulated through nationwide collective bargaining agreements. In general, workers receive at least 1.5 thousand euros per month (give or take 200 euros). The average gross wage in Austria in 2024 is about 40,900 euros per year or 3,400 euros per month. After all deductions there is about 2.2 thousand euros left over.

Higher education in Austria

Higher education in Austria

Higher education in Austria consists of public and private universities, as well as colleges. The standard academic year lasts from October 1 to September 30 and consists of two semesters. Most courses are offered in German. To enter it is necessary to have knowledge of German at B2 or C1 level. The best universities in Austria are the University of Vienna and Salzburg, as well as the Graz Technical University.

Higher education in Austria is practically free of charge. Austrians, citizens of the European Union and EEA citizens when studying at state universities pay nothing or make a symbolic fee of 363.36 euros per semester, and foreigners from other countries just twice as much – 726.72 euros. Plus the student fee of 17.5 euros. For accommodation and food in Austria will need about 1,000 euros per month.

Medicine in Austria

Health care system of Austria is recognized as one of the most efficient and high quality in the world. Almost all Austrians and permanent residents are covered by health insurance, which enables you to receive free services in public clinics. In addition, many Austrians purchase private health insurance as a supplement.

Hospitals offer a high level of care and are located throughout Austria. Medical services in the public health care system include dental care. Funding comes mainly from taxes levied on the salaries of employees. All in all, annual health care expenditures in Austria exceed 10% of GDP.

In conclusion, Vienna has been regarded as the best city to live in the world for at least a decade. Many reputable rating agencies agree with this. The average life expectancy at birth in Austria in 2024 is 82 years, with men living about 79 years and women 84.

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