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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Austrians Like to Stay for a While

Austrians abroad are highly educated and speak a fair number of languages, which comes in handy during their many and long stays abroad.
  • Half consider the weather before moving
  • Most have lived abroad before
  • About a quarter speak four languages
  • 29% of Austrian partners are unhappy with move

Expat Statistics 2016

Expat Statistics on Austrians Abroad — infographic

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Work and Adventure Calling

Two-ninths of Austrian expats (22%) indicate that being sent abroad by their employer was their main motivation for moving, while 11% say they found a job in their new country of residence on their own. However, it’s not all work and no play for the Austrian expats. In fact, another 13% of the respondents claim that the most important reason for their relocation was that they were simply looking for an adventure, which is seven percentage points higher than the global average. Prior to moving abroad, Austrian respondents say they considered the climate and weather (50%), the general living standards (49%), as well the language (44%) potential benefits of their relocation.

Established Expats

Generally, Austrians are not new to living abroad. Not quite one-quarter of the respondents (23%) say they have lived in two other countries before their current stay, followed by 22% who have lived in one other country before. For only 17% is this the first stay abroad, in contrast to the global average of 27%. Furthermore, a considerable 15% have previously lived in five or more countries, a statement made by only 11% of all respondents worldwide.

Quite a large percentage has also been living abroad for a long while: close to a third of Austrian expats (31%) — against 22% worldwide — say the length of their stay in their current country of residence already exceeds ten years. Incidentally, 31% of Austrians also hope to stay in their host country possibly forever, a sentiment that is echoed by the same percentage of expats worldwide.

Scaling the Heights of Education

Austrians abroad are generally very well educated: 46% of respondents have obtained a postgraduate degree or a Master’s degree while globally the average is 41%. What is more, an impressive 14% even have a PhD or similar degree, which is a significantly higher percentage than the global average of 6%.

Speaking Not Only the Mother Tongue

The local languages of the respective countries of residence are spoken very well by an impressive half of the Austrian respondents, in contrast to the global average of 28%. Across all survey respondents, 12% admit to not speaking the local tongue at all; among Austrians abroad, only a third of this percentage (4%) say the same. One in ten also claims that their mother tongue is the same language as in their host country. Therefore, it seems hardly surprising that 68% of the Austrian expats generally disagree that the language barrier is a problem for them. Indeed, four-ninths of the Austrians (44%) even saw language as a potential benefit before moving.

All in all, over two in five (42%) say they speak three languages, which is significantly higher than the global average of 31%. Furthermore, 24% speak four languages, five percentage points more than the global average again. Not one Austrian survey participant speaks only their mother tongue (vs. 12% globally). However, as the Expat Insider survey was conducted in English, this is hardly a surprise.

From Self-Employed Professionals to Top Managers

As is the case on a worldwide level (41%), the largest group of Austrian expats also works as either employees or managers (38%). Of these, close to a quarter each (24%) are employed in top management and middle management positions. The second most common employment statuses among Austrians abroad with 9% each are retirees and self-employed professionals. While the percentage of the former is close to the general average (8%), the latter is clearly overrepresented among Austrian expats when compared to all survey respondents (5%).

Stable Relationships

Most of the Austrian respondents are in a relationship; 72% have a partner as opposed to the global average of 63%. When it comes to the nationality of their significant others, things are rather mixed. While across all survey participants there is a tendency towards couples with the same nationality (45%), among Austrian expats in a relationship only 36% say the same. More than three in ten (31%) have a partner who is from the same country they are living in, and one-third are with someone from another country altogether. The vast majority lives in the same country as their partner, but there are 18% of Austrian expats in a relationship who do not.

Unfortunately, 29% of the respondents from Austria say that their partner is not happy with the move abroad, while globally the average is only 18%. Nevertheless, around two-thirds (66%) are generally satisfied with their relationship.

Further Reading