According to 800zipcodes, the average density of the population, which reaches 78 residents for all of Austria, if only the production areas are taken into account, it is 40 residents per sq. km. in the Alpine area and 117 in the peripheral area (excluding Vienna). But the density also varies according to the nature of the soil, its morphology, the presence of traffic lines and intersections: absolute densities above 75 residents they occur mainly along the right bank of the Danube, on the hills around Linz, along the terraced foothills, in the hilly region of Graz; around the industrial centers and in the Vienna basin (excluding the city) there are densities above 250 residents per sq. km., while it exceeds 100 only in some hollows of the granitic area of the beyond-Danube.
In the Alpine mass, the flysch area has an average of 56 residents. per sq. km, the median Alps 27 and the limestone Alps 14; the long longitudinal valleys collect most of the population.
In the Danube valley, rich in industries, in the middle one of the Inn, as in the mining area of the Mur there are densities that are close to 150 residents per sq. km. In the Bludenz basin, in the Mürz valley, in the Klagenfurt basin, in the Drava valley, there are areas with 80 and 90 residents. per sq. km., and then even over 200, around the city centers. In the other valleys, in a genuine agricultural-pastoral settlement, the density is less than 50 residents per sq. km. and less than 20 in the highest valleys, especially in the limestone Alps (Allgäu Alps 8 residents per sq. km, Lechtal Alps 6, Tyrolean limestone Alps 9, Salzburg Alps 9); while in the middle Alps the density is almost double. Indeed, it is due to the extension of the uninhabited limestone area, if the average density of the Austrian population is lower than that of Switzerland.
In the heart of the imposing massifs of the median Alps, the inhabited areas are very limited to the valley floor and end with a blind bottom, while towards the east, due to the lowering of the mountain masses and the outcrop of mineral deposits, the population spreads out more widely on the mountain sides, and connects, through depressed saddles, with that of the neighboring valleys, in a characteristic closed mesh settlement, which is also typical of the external limestone area.
The ethnic character of the residents also influenced the distribution and density of the population. The Baiuvian peasants, settled in the heart of the Alps and on the Danube highlands, usually need more space around their isolated homes than the Alemanians at the western end, and the Slavs at the southern end. Furthermore, at the south-eastern extremity of Styria and Carinthia, as well as in Upper and Lower Austria, the small property dominates, which gives a greater division to human settlements, with average densities above 65 residents. per sq. km. while in the other agricultural regions of Alpine Austria they are below 50.
The prevailing type of agricultural settlement is with isolated dwellings in the immediate vicinity of cultivated lands and with demographically reduced centers, with houses piled up, but separated from each other; except in the Frankish colonization area (east of Lower Austria), where the villages are stretched along the way. Thus in Upper Austria 61% of the population lives in countries of less than 500 residents, in Salzburg 48%, in Tyrol 58%, while in Lower Austria only 15%, and 13% in Vorarlberg, colonization regions. alemanna. Also in the Slavic area, around Graz, in the Klagenfurt basin and in Burgenland, 75% of the population is gathered in small street villages.
The limit of permanent dwellings is about 1800 m. in the Ötz Alps, 1500-1600 in the Tyrolean Alps and Tauern, 1200 in the Noric Alps, 900-1000 in the northern limestone Alps and below 800 m. between the Traun and the Ybbs. But in the alpine area and on the flanks of Šumava, above the permanent residences, with which they are sometimes confused, up to the area of natural pastures there are the temporary abodes for the estivation of animals (Almen or Sennhütten), which in the Alps of Allgäu group in summer villages.
Cases of splitting of temporary residences are not rare (Vor – and Hinteralmen ; Unter – and Oberalmen), depending on the height from the valley floor and the nature of the pasture; the lower ones are also called Asten or Kasern (see casere in Italian) in Tyrol and Salzburg, and also belong to private individuals, while in the limestone Alps, there are only the upper ones.
In the last decades the agricultural and alpine areas have undergone an emigration towards the industrial regions. This between 1880 and 1910 was highest in Vorarlberg, in the Lech valley, in the upper Inn, in the high Tauern, in the Gurktaler Alpen, in the Sau Alpe and Kor Alpe, where the population has been in decline; while it remained only stationary in the pre-Alpine areas of Upper Austria, in the Enns valley, in the Styrian hilly region, in the Gail valley and in the upper Drava. The greatest increase in immigration occurred in the mining region of Mur, in the lower reaches of the Traun, Erlauf and Traisen, around the industrial cities of Wels, Linz and St. Pölten, as well as around Graz. The post-war crisis has reported part of the population to the regions of origin, which are still increasing,
Also new railway lines, such as those of Arlberg and Tauern, or rapid communications with tourist centers, such as Salzkammergut, Maria-Zell, Semmering, etc., or railway crossing centers, such as Selztal and St. Michael in the Upper Styria led to a positive increase in the population and its settlement in previously uninhabited areas.
The city centers are almost all very old and peripheral to the territory of the state, as a consequence of its mountainous area. Some are cities of roads or bridges, at the junction of ancient communication routes, river or land, and have therefore arisen as markets or political centers (Innsbruck, Salzburg, Steyr, Graz, Klagenfurt); others are old mining centers developed with modern industry (Leoben, Hallein, Schwaz, etc.); still others are strong places near ancient borders (Linz, Vienna, Wiener-Neustadt, etc.); on the other hand, they are missing beyond the Danube, where there are only rural centers.
Of the cities, in 1923, only three exceeded 100,000 residents (Linz residents 102.081; Graz residents 152.706; Vienna residents 1.866.147), and they grouped together 31.8% of the entire Austrian population, with a very strong imbalance between the city population of these three cities and the total population.
The enormous demographic value of Vienna (30.5% of all the residents of Austria) is certainly due to the historical, political and economic importance that it had in the ancient monarchy, and which it still retains in part due to its situation in the center of four spheres of influence: the German, the Hungarian, the Bohemian and the Alpine, which still converge towards her today, although she is no longer at the head of that last. Add to its European value, at the intersection of traffic between Central Europe and the Balkan Peninsula, the Mediterranean and the Slavic world, and this explains its increase in space, which was about a quarter between 1900 and 1910, and which it still retains today, after the brief contraction of the immediate postwar period (see vienna).