Austria is renowned for its stunning Alpine landscapes, charming villages, and vibrant cities like Vienna and Salzburg, which offer a high quality of life enriched by history, music, and the arts.

Austria’s strategic location in Europe, excellent infrastructure, and efficient transportation network make it an ideal hub for businesses seeking access to both Western and Eastern European markets. It has a well-developed industrial base, particularly in manufacturing, engineering, and automotive industries. Austria’s blend of economic opportunity, cultural richness, and natural beauty makes it an appealing choice for those looking to invest, work, and live in a dynamic and stable environment.

Let’s take a closer look at what leading rankings say about:

  • Austria’s soft power and country brand strength
  • Its appeal to skilled labour, investors and visitors
  • The country’s global contribution to peace and well-being
  • How well it fares in terms of happiness and sustainability

Austria’s soft power and country brand strength

How does Austria compare in terms of reputation and brand value globally? 

In the Global Soft Power Index 2024 by Brand Finance, Austria secures the 23rd spot, above Finland (24th) and Türkiye (25th). Austria’s score has grown by +4.30, and the position improved by two places from last year’s index.

In the U.S. News Best Countries 2023 ranking, Austria secures 22nd position behind South Korea (21st) and China (20th). Austria ranks the best in those key areas: Social Purpose (11th), Quality of Life (12th), Adventure (17th), Open for Business (18th) and Heritage (18th). However, the critical area Movers (73rd) needs improvement.

Talent attraction and competitiveness in Austria

How well is Austria performing in attracting and retaining talent?

The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index 2019 places Austria at 21st position among 141 countries. However, it’s important to note that an updated version of this report hasn’t been released in the past five years, and rankings may have shifted since then.

Austria, classified as a high-income country within the European regional group, currently holds the 17th overall position in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023. Austria ranks 25th or better in all pillars, the strongest being RETAIN (5th) and VT SKILLS (5th). The GT skills pillar presents Austria’s biggest challenge, ranking 92nd.

In terms of education excellence, Austria does not have any universities within the top 100 worldwide, according to the World University Rankings 2024. However, the University of Vienna ranked 119th.

Is Austria a ‘good’ country?

What is Austria’s contribution to global well-being?

In the Caf World Giving Index 2024, Austria ranked 46th, trailing behind Germany (45th) and Libya (44th). Notably, Austria performs best in the subfactor of donated money, with 55% of the adult population partaking in such activity. Austria experiences a significant drop from the 33rd position in the Caf World Giving Index 2022.

In the Good Country Index, Austria currently holds the 10th overall position, climbing from 14th position in 2022. Austria was admirably ranked 4th in Culture, 7th in Science and Technology, 6th in World Order, 12th in Planet and Climate and 14th in Prosperity and Equality. Other vital factors: 33rd in Health and Well-Being and 84th in International Peace and Security.

Austria experienced the most significant improvements in Prosperity and Equality (from 32nd place in 2022 to 14th place in 2023) and Planet and Climate (from 22nd place in 2022 to 12th place in 2023).

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2023, Austria ranks in the darker blue (8-9 range) with an 8.20 out of 10. This is a similar score to other neighbouring countries, such as the Czech Republic (8.00), Germany (8.80), Slovenia (7.80), and Italy (7.70).

The 2022 Corruption Perception Index ranks Austria 22nd, behind France (21st) and above the Seychelles (23rd).

The Sustainable Development Report 2023 ranks Austria 5th. The Report highlights that, despite its position in the top 10, Austria still faces significant challenges in certain SDGs (notably SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 13 Climate Action). That said, Austria is not experiencing any downward trend.

Austria’s appeal to digital nomads, business, trade and travel 

What is the global perception of Austria as a destination for living, conducting business, and tourism?

The Expat Insider 2023 ranks Austria 42nd. The country performs well in the areas of Environment and Climate (6th), Travel and Transit (3rd), Healthcare (8th), Salary and Job Security (10th). However, it ranks relatively low in Local Friendliness (53rd), Culture and Welcome (52nd), Finding Friends (52nd), Work Culture and Satisfaction (39th), and Language (47th). These figures show Austria is a well-developed country. However, expats might experience a hard time integrating into society, making friends and feeling good at work.

The Bloom Consulting biannual Country Brand Ranking Trade Edition 2022-2023 assesses investment-related variables, emphasising perceptions of a country’s trade-specific brand and evaluating branding performance. Regionally, Austria ranks 33rd, behind Croatia (32nd) and Slovakia (31st). Worldwide, Austria ranks 81st.

In addition, the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Tourism Edition 2022-2023 places Austria at 8th position in Europe, climbing by two positions since last year’s ranking. Austria ranks behind Portugal (7th) and the UK (6th). Worldwide, Austria ranks 13th, behind Mexico (12th) and surpasses Croatia (14th).

In the IMD 2023 World Competitiveness Ranking, Austria secured the 24th position, dropping by four positions since 2022. Currently, it sits just behind Israel (23rd) and Germany (22nd) while surpassing Bahrain (25th) and Estonia (26th). Regarding specific characteristics, Austria ranked 22nd in economic performance in 2023, improving from 24th position in 2022. Government efficiency ranked 36th and experienced a drop from 34th position in 2022. Austria also dropped its position for business efficiency, from 18th in 2022 to 26th in 2023. Infrastructure in the country ranked 15th in 2023, with a slight drop from 10th place in 2022.

How peaceful is Austria?

Is Austria a peaceful and safe place to be in?

The Global Peace Index 2023 ranks Austria 5th, dropping by one position since last year’s edition. Austria now sits ahead of Singapore (6th) and Portugal (7th). It sits at the very high end of the ‘State of Peace’ spectrum, as defined by the Institute for Economics & Peace. Austria is positioned 4th regionally. In other words, a very peaceful country.

The Institute for Economics & Peace ranks Austria within the very low zone regarding the ‘Impact of Terrorism’ in the 2024 Global Terrorism Index. Austria ranks 68th, behind Mexico (67th).

Meanwhile, the World Happiness Report 2024, which displays the Ranking of Happiness based on a three-year average (2021–2023), ranks Austria (14th), behind Kuwait (13th) and ahead of Costa Rica (12th). Austria dropped by two positions since 2023. Austria also ranked 12th for happiness amongst the Youth (age below 30) and 15th for happiness amongst the old (age 60 and above).

Austria’s environmental performance

How does Austria perform in rankings measuring environmental sustainability?

The 2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) edition ranks Austria 8th. The EPI analyses the performance of 180 countries, scoring and ranking these countries on their environmental performance using the most recent year of data available, as well as providing calculable changes in scores over the previous decade. Austria has experienced a positive change in score of 5.80 in the past ten years.

Last updated in May 2024. More country profiles here.

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