By law of 13 March 1938, following the events that we will briefly narrate below, the Austrian Republic decided to merge with the Germanic Reich, of which it has thus become a Land. We therefore limit ourselves to updating here the data that can be updated, that is, those that do not presuppose a state entity that does not exist now. We will also give some information on the trend of Austrian finances from 1929 to the Anschluss, which retain a retrospective interest.
Population. – At the census of March 22, 1934, the Austrian republic had 6,762,687 residents with an absolute increase on the previous census (1923) of 227,945 residents, That is to say, equal to 20,722 residents per year. The average percentage increase was thus 0.3% with considerable variations from one province to another. In fact, the alpine mountainous districts of Vorarlberg (1.2%), Tyrol (1.2%) and Salzburg (1.0%) had an increase significantly above the average; Carinthia followed with 0.9% and Burgenland (0.4). A lower than average increase occurred in Lower Austria (0.2%) and in the district of Vienna which actually marked a decrease. The capital, which in 1900 had 1,728,738 residents and in 1910 it had exceeded two million (2,031,498), in fact it decreased again compared to 1923 (it counted 1,860,308 residents in 1934). Among other important centers, Graz is stationary (153,849 residents); Linz (108,884), Innsbruck (61,010) and Salzburg (40,834) slightly increased. As can be seen, the population increase is very low and this is due to a very low natural increase. In fact, the number of births from 22.7 per thousand in 1922 has progressively reduced to 13.5 in 1934, with a tendency to further decrease (13.2 per thousand in 1935). Even mortality, having gone from 17.2 per thousand (1922) to 12.7 per thousand (1934), marks a notable decline, but not sufficient to compensate for the low birth rate, among the lowest in Europe. From the ethnic point of view, the 1934 census finds greater homogeneity since the Germans now represent 97.4%; of the remaining 2.6% the Czechoslovakians are in first place with 0.8%, however in sharp decline compared to the previous census; followed by the Croats (0.6%) and the Slovenes (0.5%).
As regards the social composition, there is a gradual decrease in people employed in agriculture and forests: their percentage has dropped to 31.9% (43% in 1923), while the number of people employed in industries is increasing (36, 4%) and in the free professions. From the following table of occupations it can be seen that the greater number of ab. devoted to agriculture and forests is found in Burgenland; while Vienna ranks first in terms of industries, followed by Vorarlberg. For Austria democracy and rights, please check intershippingrates.com.
Economic conditions. – Regarding the distribution and production of crops, the changes that occurred from 1923 to 1930 were minimal. Starting from this date, following the various measures taken by the state to increase agricultural production and decrease imports of food which weighed too heavily on the foreign budget, there was a significant and constant increase in agricultural production. The production of potatoes (23,000 thousand q. In 1935; 24,994 in 1936), wheat (3678 thousand q. In 1936), barley (2331 in 1936) and sugar beets (11,500) is in fact a considerable increase. in 1935).
Significant differences are also found in breeding, since the livestock patrimony has undergone a very significant contraction in recent years. In particular, the cattle which decreased from 3,137,000 in 1923 to 2,348,000 and sheep reduced to 589,000 against 979,559 (1923). Equines also show a slight decrease; on the other hand, pigs are on the increase, reaching 2,822,000 heads (1,473,000 in 1923).
The world crisis hit Austria hard, whose internal and foreign trade was just beginning to find a balance again. Imports from 3,306,492 (thousands of shillings) in 1928 decreased to 1,152,802 in 1934. However, a slight recovery followed and in 1936 imports, mainly from Germany and Czechoslovakia, were 1,247,199. Thus exports fell from 2,241,123 (1928; the year in which they reached the highest figures) to 773,000 in 1933, to go back to 952,554 in 1934. The trade balance therefore accused in 1934 a deficit of 294,645 thousand shillings.
Communications. – While the railways and waterways have remained virtually unchanged, the road network is 31,252 km long. it rose to 34,203, a very significant figure given the mainly mountainous nature of the area. Among the newly built arteries, the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which opened in 1935, joins the Salzach region to that of the Drava should be mentioned. Of great commercial and tourist interest, the new artery unfolds with grandiose works for 57 km. reaching the maximum altitude of 2571 m.
Civil aviation. – The Austrian air network included, in March 1938, the following lines: Vienna-Salzburg-Munich-Zurich, operated by Osterreichische Luftverkehrs AG. in collaboration with Luft-Hansa and the Hungarian Air Transport Company; Vienna-Zurich, managed by the Swiss company “Swissair”; Berlin-Vienna-Budapest-Belgrade-Sofia-Thessaloniki, managed by Österr. Luftverkehrs AG. in collaboration with Luft-Hansa; Vienna-Prague-Dresden-Berlin, managed by Österr. Luftverk. in collaboration with Luft-Hansa and the Czechoslovakian Air Transport Company; Vienna-Prague-Nuremberg-Strasbourg-Paris, managed by Air France; Vienna-Salzburg-Munich-Frankfurt am Main-Brussels-London, managed by Luft-Hansa; Budapest-Vienna-Prague-Rotterdam-Amsterdam, managed by the KLM; Vienna-Prague-Amsterdam, operated by the Czechoslovakian Air Transport Company; Vienna-Budapest-Belgrade-Bucharest, managed by Air France; Vienna-Budapest, operated by the Hungarian Air Transport Company; Vienna- (Graz) -Klagenfurt-Venice, managed by Österr. Luftverk .; Budapest-Vienna-Venice, managed by the Ala Littoria; Vienna-Graz-Klagenfurt-Ljubljana-Sušak, managed by Österr. Luftverk.; Vienna-Zagreb, managed by the Yugoslav company “Aeroput”; Linz-Salzburg-Innsbruck, managed by Österr. Luftverk .; Prague-Bratislava-Klagenfurt – (Trieste) – Venice, managed by the Czechoslovakian Air Transport Company, in collaboration with the Ala Littoria. Vienna- (Graz) -Klagenfurt-Venice, managed by Österr. Luftverk .; Budapest-Vienna-Venice, managed by the Ala Littoria; Vienna-Graz-Klagenfurt-Ljubljana-Sušak, managed by Österr. Luftverk.; Vienna-Zagreb, managed by the Yugoslav company “Aeroput”; Linz-Salzburg-Innsbruck, managed by Österr. Luftverk .; Prague-Bratislava-Klagenfurt – (Trieste) – Venice, managed by the Czechoslovakian Air Transport Company, in collaboration with the Ala Littoria. Vienna- (Graz) -Klagenfurt-Venice, managed by Österr. Luftverk .; Budapest-Vienna-Venice, managed by the Ala Littoria; Vienna-Graz-Klagenfurt-Ljubljana-Sušak, managed by Österr. Luftverk.; Vienna-Zagreb, managed by the Yugoslav company “Aeroput”; Linz-Salzburg-Innsbruck, managed by Österr. Luftverk .; Prague-Bratislava-Klagenfurt – (Trieste) – Venice, managed by the Czechoslovakian Air Transport Company, in collaboration with the Ala Littoria.
This network has the following air bases: Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Kottingbrunn, Linz, Salzburg, Vienna (Aspern), Wiener Neustadt airports; water stalls of the Wörther Zee, as well as the following makeshift camps: Admont, Haidkirchen, Knittelfeld, Nötsch, St. Martin ad Sulm, Stadl ad Mur, Stockerau, Weitenfeld, Wels, Wolfsberg.
The industrial sites are represented by the three consortiums: Hirtenberger Patronen, Zündhütchen-und Metallwarenfabrik, AG (founded in 1935, builds civil and military equipment); Wiener Neustadter Flughafenbetriebs G. mb H. (builds civil and touring equipment); Pintsch-Officine in Vienna (builds school and military type apparatus).
Finance. – As can be seen from the following figures, the deficit reappeared in the ordinary budget in 1930 and worsened in 1931 (the year of the collapse of Creditanstalt) to the point of inducing repeated severe measures to increase taxes and reduce expenses (October 1931 and summer 1932). However, the crisis largely neutralized these efforts, so that investment expenses first had to be almost eliminated and then moved to an extraordinary balance sheet fueled by loans (1933). Despite this, and despite the new budget review made in 1933, the deficit, however attenuated, has not disappeared. However, 1937, following the more favorable economic situation, despite the growing military spending, marked an improvement (millions of shillings):
The pound and the dollar having devalued more than the shilling, the external debt, despite the new international loans 1930, 1933 and 1935, on the whole decreased; the total debt instead after 1929 increased almost double not only as a result of internal loans (1933 and 1937) but also for the assumption of part of the liabilities of Creditanstalt and for the registration of the pre-war debts. As of December 31, 1937 the total was 3.9 billion, of which 2, 2 of internal debt (1.1 consolidated) and 1.7 of external debt.
In September 1931 a new depreciation of the Austrian currency began and only in April 1932, it was possible to stabilize it de facto on the basis of a devaluation of about 21%.
Since then the shilling was no longer devalued and its gold content was indirectly calculated on the basis of a count that the National Bank made every six months for the evaluation of its gold reserve.
Foreign exchange control was introduced in October 1931 and systematic price surveillance was then decided in October 1936. As of December 31, 1937, notes in circulation amounted to 944 million and reserves in gold and foreign currencies to 404.
Besides the National Bank (1923), the main credit institutions of the Austrian Republic were the Creditanstalt-Wienerbankverein (resulting from the 1934 merger between the Creditanstalt of 1855 and the Wienerbankverein), the Österreichische Industrie Kredit-Actiengesellschaft (of 1853), the Merkurbank (from 1887) and the Österreichisches Creditinstitut für öffentliche Unternehmung und Arbeiten (from 1896).