Austria - Poverty and wealth

The World Bank ranks Austria seventh in the world in terms of annual per capita income. The annual gross

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Austria 18,857 22,200 23,828 27,261 30,869
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Germany N/A N/A N/A N/A 31,141
Hungary 3,581 4,199 4,637 4,857 4,920
SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.

domestic product per capita is estimated to have surpassed US$30,000 by the late-1990s. Living standards are very high, and due to socialist policies of the federal government, the incidence of poverty is minimal. In 2000, the mean unemployment rate stood at 7.1 percent, and the mean gross monthly income was US$1,922.

There is no legally mandated minimum wage in Austria. Instead, minimum wage scales are set in annual collective bargaining agreements between employers and employee organizations. Workers whose incomes fall below the poverty line are eligible for social welfare benefits. Over half of the workforce works a maximum of about 38.5 hours per week, a result of collective bargaining agreements. The Labor Inspectorate ensures the effective protection of workers by requiring companies to meet Austria's extensive occupational health and safety standards. The Austrian system of social insurance is comprehensive, including sickness, disability, accident, old-age, and unemployment benefits; allowances for families with children; and rent aid. The program is financed by compulsory employer and employee contributions. Health insurance and some other types of insurance are voluntary for individuals who are self-employed. Health conditions and facilities in Austria are considered excellent.

Distribution of Income or Consumption by Percentage Share: Austria
Lowest 10% 4.4
Lowest 20% 10.4
Second 20% 14.8
Third 20% 18.5
Fourth 20% 22.9
Highest 20% 33.3
Highest 10% 19.3
Survey year: 1987
Note: This information refers to income shares by percentiles of the population and is ranked by per capita income.
SOURCE: 2000 World Development Indicators [CD-ROM].

Household Consumption in PPP Terms
Country All Food Clothing and footwear Fuel and power a Health care b Education b Transport & Communications Other
Austria 20 10 11 4 9 9 38
United States 13 9 9 4 6 8 51
Germany 14 6 7 2 10 7 53
Hungary 25 5 17 6 20 12 15
Data represent percentage of consumption in PPP terms.
a Excludes energy used for transport.
b Includes government and private expenditures.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.
Also read article about Austria from Wikipedia

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