Migration Patterns

Vienna is a long - established city of immigration. Since the 2000s, Viennese immigration is characterised by vast regional and social diversity, which can aptly be described by the term “superdiversity”. As of 2016, more than one third (34.5%) of the resident population had been born abroad and 42% had either migrated to Austria or had been born to a migrant. The long history of migration to Vienna is also reflected in a high share of naturalised immigrants. As of 2013, 15 % of Austrian citizens resident in Vienna had been born abroad.

International migration to Vienna has risen considerably in recent years. After a peak of some 54 000 in 2004, annual net migration declined until 2009 and started to rise ever since. Annual net migration doubled between 2009 and 2012 (51 001 people), and, due to the refugee crisis in 2015, more than doubled again that year (119 299 people).

Immigrants are not evenly dispersed in the City of Vienna. The highest proportions are to be found in the area bordering the city centre from southwest to the north west, and to the northeast of the city centre. Only the region east of the Danube is sparsely inhibited by migrants, as are the more remote areas of the Western and Southern districts. This dispersal largely reflects the traditional socio – spatial structure of the city, where the larger working class districts have been located in the western parts of the city.

Migrant Population

38.5% of Vienna´s immigrant population were born in a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area (EEA). Persons born in countries joining the EU since 2004 vastly outnumber those born in one of the other EU member states. Among the latter, immigrants born in Germany vastly outnumber all others (48 841 out of 77 337). Immigrants born in Poland (47 040), Romania (29 936) and Hungary (21 618) are the largest groups from the “new” EU member states.

Among the residents born outside of the EU, the largest groups are from Serbia (86 122), Turkey (67 049) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (44 633). Among immigrants born in Africa, those born in Nigeria (8 927) and Egypt (4 331) are the largest groups.

Among migrants from Asia, persons born in Afghanistan (13 418), Syria (12 417) and Iran (12 382) are the largest groups, who came mainly as refugees. Migrants from China (9 678) and India (9 159) have entered Austria mainly as labour migrants and under family reunification.

Whereas the overall gender composition of the migrant and the non – migrant population does not differ significantly, in the last few years, the gender balance has become stronger biased towards male migrants, which is largely due to the predominantly male influx of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The age structure of migrants reflects the long history of migration. Among persons born abroad, the age group 30 to 44 is about double the size as among the Austrian born inhabitants. Meanwhile, for Austrian born populations the age group of those younger than 30 is higher than among the immigrant population. The population with “migration background” (migrants and persons with a least one migrant parent) contains a significantly higher share of persons below the age of 15, and a significantly lower share of persons above the age of 65.


ICMPD, MC2CM, (2016). City Migration Profile: Vienna; Mediterranean City-to-City Migration; Dialogue, Knowledge and Action.

Other Sources

OECD (2018). Working Together for Local Integration of Migrants and Refugees in Vienna; OECD Publishing, Paris.

City of Vienna. The Vienna Integration concept.

City of Vienna, Municipal Department 17 – Integration and Diversity (2017). Monitoring Integration Diversity Vienna; Druckerei der Stadt Wien, Wien.

Fujikura, R., Asadi, S., Kraus, L. and Nakayama, M., (2019). Toward Successful Integration of Climate Immigrants: Lessons Learned from the Good Practice of the City of Vienna; International Journal of Environmental Science and Development, 10(6).

Eurocities (2016). Migration into theatre: building bridges through dance and theater in Vienna.

Womack, H. (2018). Vienna learns the benefit of giving warm welcome to refugees.


MC2CM Publications
City Practice Poster
Attachment Size
City Practice Poster - Vienna 4.89 MB
General Overview
Political and Administrative Context

Vienna is the capital city of Austria, and one of its nine provinces. It is Austria ́s primary city and the only city with a population above 1 million. It is the seat of the Austrian parliament, the Office of the Chancellery, ministries, and the Office of the President of the Austrian Federal Republic.

City and Migrant Population Data
Total population 1,867,582
Migrant population 759,563
Year 2018
Source City of Vienna
Metadata Here, migrants is defined as "residents with a migration background" (City of Vienna)


City Migration Profile Executive Summary - Vienna
Amman Migration Vienna