Austria is in the fourth stage of the demographic transition model because of its low death rates and low but fluctuating birth rates.
However, it is beginning to enter stage 5 of the model. The population pyramid for Austria is in a cup shape, showing that it is a developed nation that is beginning to have negative growth. This justifies the claim made earlier of Austria falling under late stage four and early stage 5. This European country has a shrinking population but also a long life expectancy which increases the dependency ratio. Currently, Austria’s dependency ratio is 49.
2 which accounts for almost half of the population not in the labor force. This calculation provides further evidence to Austria being a developed country from the population living longer, which implies it has a strong health care system. Also, women are not having as many kids to pursue educational opportunities and the prevalence of contraceptives in the country is about 65.
7%. Therefore, as there are less children being born and the population continues to age, the workforce will need to provide for an elderly population. Based on Rostow’s Modernization Model, Austria would be under the high mass consumption category (the highest stage) because it has increased their provision of services (tertiary economic activity) and a majority of the country receives high incomes. Also, it has a high GDP and about 74% of the population mainly takes part in service centered jobs. In Wallerstein’s core-periphery model, Austria would be centered in the core because it is an industrialized country and the semi-periphery and periphery depend on them as they have strong governmental institutions, a relatively strong military compared to other superpower countries, and they participate in the global market. Austria’s economic system is based on a few core tenants consisting of: a stable political system, cooperation between political parties, social groups and corporations, a stable protection of the country (homeland security), and involvement in the global economy.
Austria’s government is a Federal Parliamentary Republic with 9 federal regions. After the end of WWII, Austria had a difficult time adjusting economically and socially because of the devastating impacts on transportation and industry, as well as the significant loss of life. Despite this set back, the government tried to improve the country’s standards by focusing on social, economic, and environmental issues from the war. In the 1990s, Austria underwent a recession which decreased the country’s GDP. However, in 1995 (with the help of the EU) they experienced growth in their economy from exporting merchandise and taking part in investments. The government played a significant role in regaining the country’s economy through creating state owned industries in which the labor force increased and strengthened. Austria is considered a developed country because its GDP per capita incomes are high with only 4% of the population under the poverty line.
They are the 32nd ranked country for GDP per capita compared to the rest of the world. Also, the service and manufacturing sector dominates the economy with about 98.7% contributing to the GDP and agriculture is commercialized with a small labor force in which advances in technology contribute to mass production.
About 66.1% of the population lives in urban areas and the annual rate of urbanization is 0.51% which proves the cities are growing slowly. Another factor that Austria is developed is that the birth rate (9.5/1,000) and the death rate (9.6/1,000) are both low and the population is starting to age where a large percentage of the people are elderly.
The population has generally good conditions with sufficient resources, food supplies and abilities to pursue educational opportunities. After the devastation of World War II, Austria had to take action towards the recovery of their economy with the help of Western countries, including the United States with the Marshall Plan, which lessened the post-war control of the Soviet Union. Also, as they joined alliance with the EU, Austria became less dependent on Germany (so they were not as vulnerable) and are now one of the higher ranked countries in the world as far as wealth. Despite the increase of economic growth, Austria still has much to improve in order to sustain their status as a developed country. This includes increasing the employment rate as 5.8% unemployment is relatively high in comparison to previous rates since World War II due to an influx of immigrants in the country. To alleviate this issue, Austria must focus on providing education that aims to teach people the skills required for a specific occupation that is needed to drive the economy.