Upper Austria

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Upper Austria
Flag of Oberosterreich.svg
Oberoesterreich Wappen.svg
Anthem: Hoamatgsang
Oberosterreich in Austria.svg
CountryFlag of Austria.svg  Austria
Capital Linz
   Governor Thomas Stelzer (ÖVP)
  Deputy Governors
  • Christine Haberlander (ÖVP)
  • Manfred Haimbuchner (FPÖ)
  Total11,981.92 km2 (4,626.25 sq mi)
 (1 January 2020)
  Density120/km2 (320/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code AT-4
HDI (2019)0.913 [1]
very high · 5th of 9
NUTS Region AT3
Votes in Bundesrat 12 (of 62)
Website www.land-oberoesterreich.gv.at OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Upper Austria (German : Oberösterreich [ˈoːbɐˌʔøːstɐʁaɪç] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Bavarian : Obaöstareich) is one of the nine states or Länder of Austria. Its capital is Linz. Upper Austria borders on Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as on the other Austrian states of Lower Austria, Styria, and Salzburg. With an area of 11,982 km2 (4,626 sq mi) and 1.49 million inhabitants, Upper Austria is the fourth-largest Austrian state by land area and the third-largest by population.




For a long period of the Middle Ages, much of what would become Upper Austria constituted Traungau, a region of the Duchy of Bavaria. In the mid-13th century, it became known as the Principality above the Enns River (Fürstentum ob der Enns), this name being first recorded in 1264. (At the time, the term "Upper Austria" also included Tyrol and various scattered Habsburg possessions in South Germany.)

Early modern era

In 1490, the area was given a measure of independence within the Holy Roman Empire, with the status of a principality. By 1550, there was a Protestant majority. In 1564, Upper Austria, together with Lower Austria and the Bohemian territories, fell under Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II.

At the start of the 17th century, the counter-reformation was instituted under Emperor Rudolf II and his successor Matthias. After a military campaign, the area was under the control of Bavaria for some years in the early 17th century.

The Innviertel was ceded from the Electorate of Bavaria to Upper Austria in the Treaty of Teschen in 1779. During the Napoleonic Wars, Upper Austria was occupied by the French army on more than one occasion.

20th century

Hallstatt, a village in Upper Austria inside the Salzkammergut Hallstatt - Zentrum .JPG
Hallstatt, a village in Upper Austria inside the Salzkammergut

In 1918, after the collapse of Austria-Hungary, the name Oberösterreich was used to describe the province of the new Austria. After Austria was annexed by Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator, who had been born in the Upper Austrian town of Braunau am Inn and raised in Upper Austria, Upper Austria became Reichsgau Oberdonau, although this also included the southern part of the Sudetenland, annexed from Czechoslovakia, and a small part of Styria. In 1945, Upper Austria was partitioned between the American zone to the south and the Soviet zone to the north.

Today, Upper Austria is Austria's leading industrial region. As of 2009, it accounted for approximately a quarter of the country's exports. [2]


As of January 1, 2021, 1,495,608 people resided in the state, of which 107,318 (7.17%) were EU/EEA/CH/UK citizens and 96,623 (6.46%) were third-country nationals. [3] The majority of the immigrant population in recent decades has come from Germany, Southeastern Europe, and Turkey, with 1.77% from Germany, 1.48% from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1.19% from Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo, and 1.03% from Turkey. Due to the large wave of refugees since the second half of 2015, the number of people from Afghanistan has increased to 6,721 (0.45%) and from Syria to 6,023 (0.4%). The Mühlviertel has been inhabited by a few hundred Sinti since the Middle Ages, very few of whom actually profess to belong to their ethnic group in censuses.

The majority of Upper Austrians are Christian: in 2001, 79.4% of the people still belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, about 4.4% were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4.0% where Muslims and 8.8% were of no confession. [4] By the end of 2020, the proportion of Catholics [5] had fallen to 62%, while the corresponding proportion of Protestants was about 3.1% of the Upper Austrian population.

Population development

The historical population is given in the following chart:

Upper Austria


The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the state was 65.9 billion € in 2018, accounting for 17.1% of the Austria's economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 39,500 € or 131% of the EU27 average in the same year. [6]


The Upper Austrian state constitution defines Upper Austria as an independent state of the democratic Republic of Austria. In its constitution, Upper Austria also declares its support for a united Europe that is committed to democratic, constitutional, social and federal principles as well as the principle of subsidiarity, preserves the autonomy of the regions and ensures their participation in European decision-making. In its regional constitution, Upper Austria defines its position in Europe as an independent, future-oriented and self-confident region that participates in the further development of a united Europe. [7]

Like Styria, Upper Austria is a swing state that usually has a signal character in nationwide elections. The conservative Austrian People's Party dominates in rural areas, the Social Democratic Party of Austria has its strongholds in the cities of Linz, Wels and Steyr or in the Attnang-Puchheim railroad junction, but the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria has also traditionally had a strong presence, for example in the Innviertel.

Administrative divisions

Upper Austria Districts.png

Administratively, the state is divided into 15 districts ( Bezirke ), three Statutarstädte and 442 municipalities.

Statutory Cities

  1. Linz
  2. Steyr
  3. Wels
Linz, New Cathedral Neuer Dom Linz (DFdB).JPG
Linz, New Cathedral


  1. Braunau am Inn
  2. Eferding
  3. Freistadt
  4. Gmunden
  5. Grieskirchen
  6. Kirchdorf an der Krems
  7. Linz-Land
  8. Perg
  9. Ried im Innkreis
  10. Rohrbach
  11. Schärding
  12. Steyr-Land
  13. Urfahr-Umgebung
  14. Vöcklabruck
  15. Wels-Land

Historical regions

Historically, Upper Austria was traditionally divided into four viertel or regions: Hausruckviertel, Innviertel, Mühlviertel, and Traunviertel.

Today these do not exist as administrative regions, but are often still spoken about and referred to: for instance, as the term for the local language dialect (e.g. Innviertlerisch), as the term for the local regional cuisine (e.g. Innviertler Küche), or in regional tourism campaigns (e.g. s'Innviertel).

See also


  1. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. Upper Austria Technology and Marketing Company. "Upper Austria in figures" . Retrieved 2014-05-03.
  3. Statistik Austria
  4. "Glaube & Religion" (PDF).
  5. katholisch.at. "Kirchliche Statistik: Eintritte, Austritte, Pastoraldaten". www.katholisch.at (in German). Retrieved 2022-01-26.
  6. "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  7. https://www.land-oberoesterreich.gv.at/files/publikationen/Verf_schriftenreihe_Nr1.pdf [ bare URL PDF ]

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Steyr City in Upper Austria, Austria

Steyr is a statutory city, located in the Austrian federal state of Upper Austria. It is the administrative capital, though not part of Steyr-Land District. Steyr is Austria's 12th most populated town and the 3rd largest town in Upper Austria.

Enns (river)

The Enns is a southern tributary of the river Danube, joining northward at Enns, Austria. The Enns spans 253 kilometres (157 mi), in a flat-J-shape. It flows from its source near the village Flachau, generally eastward through Radstadt, Schladming, and Liezen, then turns north near Hieflau, to flow past Weyer and Ternberg through Steyr, and further north to the Danube at Enns.

Enns (town) Place in Upper Austria, Austria

Enns is a town in the Austrian state of Upper Austria on the river Enns, which forms the border with the state of Lower Austria.

Innviertel Traditional region of Upper Austria

The Innviertel is a traditional Austrian region southeast of the Inn river. It forms the western part of the state of Upper Austria and borders the German state of Bavaria. The Innviertel is one of the four traditional "quarters" of Upper Austria, the others being Hausruckviertel, Mühlviertel, and Traunviertel.

Ried im Innkreis Place in Upper Austria, Austria

Ried im Innkreis is a town in the Austrian state of Upper Austria, approximately 70 km (43 mi) west of Linz and 60 km (37 mi) north of Salzburg. It is the capital of the district of Ried im Innkreis, and it serves as the administrative centre for the Innviertel region.


The Traunviertel is an Austrian region belonging to the state of Upper Austria: it is one of four "quarters" of Upper Austria the others being Hausruckviertel, Mühlviertel, and Innviertel. Its name refers to the river Traun which passes through the area.


The Mühlviertel is an Austrian region belonging to the state of Upper Austria: it is one of four "quarters" of Upper Austria, the others being Hausruckviertel, Traunviertel, and Innviertel. It is named after the three rivers Große Mühl,Kleine Mühl, and Steinerne Mühl.

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Peasants War in Upper Austria

The Peasants' War in Upper Austria was a rebellion led by farmers in 1626 whose goal was to free Upper Austria from Bavarian rule. The motive was an escalation of the Bavarian Electorate's attempt to press the country into the Catholic faith at the time of the Thirty Years' War.