Vienna’s population 2021 - facts and figures on migration and integration

Changes to Vienna’s population since 1961

Over the past 60 years, Vienna has experienced a very dynamic population development. Within a few decades, population numbers in the city first went from stagnant to shrinking and then started to grow rapidly. At the same time, a previously strongly ageing city was turned into a young metropolis - mostly due to international immigration.

The fall of the Iron Curtain, the wars in the former Yugoslavia, Austria’s accession to the EU, the EU’s Eastern enlargements and refugee migration from Syria and Afghanistan have caused the City of Vienna to grow significantly. Since Austria joined the European Union in 1995, Vienna’s population has grown by 378,282 due to its net migration and its natural population increase, which has been positive since 2004. At the beginning of 2021, Vienna had a population of 1,920,949 residents.

Vienna’s population by nationality and country of birth

Chart showing the composition of Vienna's population by nationality and country of birth

The immigration of mainly young women and men is clearly reflected in the composition of Vienna’s population. At the beginning of 2021, 31.5 per cent of Vienna’s residents were foreign nationals, 37.1 per cent were born abroad and 41.9 per cent were of foreign origin, i.e. they either held a foreign citizenship or were Austrian nationals born abroad.

Composition of Vienna’s population by origin

At the beginning of 2021, 1,115,910 Viennese were of Austrian origin, while 805,039 were of foreign origin. The main countries of origin of Viennese who are foreign nationals or were born abroad have hardly changed over the past years: at the beginning of 2021, 101,597 people originated from Serbia, 76,025 from Turkey, 64,182 from Germany and 55,267 from Poland.

Population of foreign origin by municipal districts

The average share of Vienna’s foreign-born population was 41.9 per cent in 2021. In 3 municipal districts, more than half of the population was of foreign origin - in the districts of Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus (since 2015), Brigittenau (since 2018) and Favoriten (since 2021). In the district of Margareten the share of people of foreign origin is slightly below 50 per cent. The districts of Liesing and Hietzing are farthest below the Viennese average in foreign-born residents, with a share of 30 per cent each.

Migration between Vienna and abroad

Each year, tens of thousands of people move to Vienna from abroad or move from Vienna to another country. In 2020 for example, 49,641 people moved to Vienna from abroad and 37,369 people left Vienna to move to another country. The difference between the number of people coming to Vienna and the number of people leaving Vienna results in the City of Vienna’s foreign net migration.

Between 2002 and 2005, the number of third-country citizens coming to Vienna was higher than the number of EU or EFTA citizens. But since 2006, there has been a reversal and the annual inflow of migrants from EU or EFTA countries is higher than that from third countries. The only exception is the year 2015, when an extremely high number of third-country citizens came to Vienna with the recent refugee movement.

Viennese residents without voting rights

In Austria, the right to vote is tied to Austrian citizenship. Viennese residents who do not hold Austrian citizenship are not entitled to vote in municipal, provincial or federal elections. Thus, an increasing part of Vienna's population is excluded from the most prominent form of political participation. At the beginning of 2021, 30.7 per cent of Vienna's residents above the voting age of 16 were not allowed to participate in federal, provincial or municipal elections.

  • 69.3 per cent of Vienna’s residents above voting age are Austrian citizens and are entitled to vote in all elections.
  • 13.9 per cent of Vienna’s residents are EU citizens and thus entitled to vote at least in municipal district elections.
  • 16.9 per cent of Vienna’s residents are third-country citizens and are not entitled to vote in any elections.

In some of Vienna’s municipal districts, the share of people who are not entitled to vote is far higher than the city average. In the district of Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, 42.0 per cent of the population above voting age have no right to vote. No other municipal district has a lower share of residents who are allowed to participate in democratic processes. In the district of Hietzing, by contrast, "only" 20.4 per cent of the population are excluded from democratic participation.


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