Austria Population and Religion

By | October 3, 2021

The central landscape of Vorarlberg is the wide Rhine Valley, a tectonic depression shaped by the Rhine Glacier and graveled by the Alpine Rhine, which flows into eastern Lake Constance with a constantly growing delta. It forms the border between the Eastern and Western Alps. In the east, the limestones of the Bregenz Forest, embedded in flysch, rise with the karstified Hohen Ifen and the two Walser valleys (Large and Small Walser Valley). The core area of ​​southern Vorarlberg is the Illtal, which is divided into the wide valley of the Walgau and the Montafon. On both sides of the Walgau, the Kalkhochalpen join in a narrow band, to those in the southwest of the Rätikon and in the northeast the Allgäu and Lechtal Alpsbelong. On both sides of the upper Montafon there are groups of the Central Alps; between Klostertal and Montafon the Verwall group, in the south the heavily glaciated Silvretta with the highest elevation in Vorarlberg, the Piz Buin (3,312 m above sea level).

Climate: The Rhine Plain and Walgau are influenced by the local Lake Constance climate. According to Itypeusa, the annual mean temperature remains between 8 and 10 ° C; in July average values ​​of over 16 ° C are measured. In the upper area of ​​the Klostertal, the rear areas of the Großer Walsertal and in the hill areas of northern Vorarlberg, the mean annual temperatures are between 4 and 6 ° C. Due to the uphill rain, the Bregenz Forest is one of the rainiest areas in Austria (2,000–3,000 mm annually). The western roof of the Arlberg is particularly snowy in winter.


Linguistically, the population of Vorarlberg belongs to the Alemanni. Walsers immigrated from the 13th century and founded their settlements in high valleys (Kleines and Großes Walsertal, Damüls, Lanterns). As early as 1869, Vorarlberg has recorded high population growth (birth surpluses and migration gains) compared to the other Austrian federal states. The birth balance rate (natural growth rate) has been the highest of all federal states since 1961. There was no birth deficit in any single year. Up to and including 1973 the birth balance rate was in the double-digit per mille range (between 10.12 ‰ and 16.09 ‰), since 1998 it has been below 5 ‰, in 2016 it was 3.6 ‰ (Austria as a whole: 0.8 ‰). In 2017, the proportion of under 15-year-olds in Vorarlberg was 16.1%, above the Austrian average of 14.4%. In the last decade (2004–13) the migration balance was only negative in 2010 (-377), in 2016 the migration balance was positive (+ 2 570). The Rhine Valley, the Walgau and some tourist regions are particularly attractive from an economic point of view. In the Rhine Valley and the lower Illtal there is an almost closed band of settlements Bregenz via Dornbirn and Feldkirch to Bludenz; however, there is no overriding urban center. Due to its geographical location, the country is more open to the west (Switzerland) and north (Germany; commuter flows to both countries) than to the rest of Austria; There are only three traffic routes between Vorarlberg and Tyrol (Lechtal, Arlberg and Bieler Höhe).

Vor | arlberg: administrative structure

Vorarlberg: Administrative structure (1.1. 2018)
political district Area (in km 2) Ew. Ew. (per km 2)
Bludenz 1 288 63 500 49
Bregenz 863 133 800 155
Dornbirn 172 88 400 513
Feldkirch 278 106,000 381

Religion: The last census to collect data on religious affiliation was in 2001. At that time, 78% of the population were Catholic and 2.2% Protestant. Since then, only the number of members of individual religious communities can be used as a basis. The Catholics are assigned to the diocese of Feldkirch. According to ecclesiastical information, this diocese had 241 037 members in 2015. The second largest religious community in 2012 was Islam with an estimated 43,000 believers (source: statista). Protestantism in Vorarlberg is historically strongly influenced by the Reformation in neighboring Switzerland. The Protestant Christians belong to the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg and Helvetic Confessions in Austria.


Austria is almost entirely tributary to the Danube: with the exception of the extreme western edge corresponding to the valley of the Ill, a tributary of the Rhine, and a small part of the Bohemian Massif which, through the Vltava, is part of the Elbe basin. At the Danube, whose course in Austrian territory is 345 km (from Passau to the Bratislava Gate), the Inn converges with the right tributary Salzach, the Traun, the Enns and the Ybbs which collect the waters of the slope of the axial chain, and the Drava (with its tributary Mur that bathes Graz) which conveys the waters of theEast Tyrol and a large part of Carinthia and Styria. The easternmost part of the country, Burgenland, pays tribute to the Raab, also a tributary of the Danube, which also receives the Leitha on Hungarian soil. The regime of these tributaries is essentially Alpine. In Vienna the Danube is already a large river with an average flow of 1700 m 3/ s; even his regime is rather erratic, with accentuated meager winter and summer floods; for about two months a year it is blocked by ice. Of the Inn, which crosses western Tyrol from SW to NE, only the middle course belongs to Austria: in fact the river originates in Switzerland and enters Austrian territory at Hochfinstermünz, and then passes into Bavaria at Kufstein. The Drava, which was born in Italy, in Austria flows in a long longitudinal furrow between the crystalline Alps and the southern limestone Alps, receives the contribution of the Gail from the right and the Gurk from the left and, already in Slovenia, that of the Mur. Not very numerous and of modest size are the Austrian lakes, mostly of glacial origin. All ‘, while a series of pre-alpine lakes can be found in Upper Austria, in the Salzkammergut region (Mondsee, Attersee, Offensee, Fuschlsee, Mattsee, Sankt Wolfgang See, Hallstätter See, etc.). At the eastern end, on the border with Hungary, is the shallow lake of Neusiedl, with a variable extension and partly reclaimed. Another lake district is present in Carinthia, in the upper Drau basin, and in the Klagenfurt basin, where the lakes of Wörth, Weissen, Millstätt and Ossiach are located.

Austria Population and Religion