unbekannter Gast


Family: The development of the family in Austria follows the trends prevalent in affluent Western, industrialised societies in the 20th century. Along with the drastic reduction in the numbers of workers in the agricultural sector in relation to the remaining population, the number of traditional family-run businesses has also dropped dramatically, as well as the value of the family as a production factor. Socialisation has become the predominant function of the family, a function schools are beginning to adopt more and more in the general educational process as well. For women there is an increasing separation between the two aspects of life, work and the family. The family has also increasingly become a place to spend leisure time.

In what is known as the "demographic transition", a decrease in the death rate is followed by a drop in the birth rate, albeit in different phases. As life expectancy rises, a new phase of the life cycle has emerged, where elderly people share a household. Two-person or one-person households with elderly persons have become increasingly common in the last few decades. As marriage gradually becomes less of an institution, step-families, families with single parents and families with unwedded partners are becoming more widespread as new family constellations. The number of children per family has dropped to a record low, and the average number of persons per family household is also decreasing. As in many other large Western cities, Vienna has a greater number of one-person households than family households; these statistics also include the "singles" phenomenon, a clear indication of the trend towards putting more emphasis on the individual.

A special feature of the family constellation in Austria in the past is the extraordinarily high percentage of out-of-wedlock births. The illegitimate birth rate in Carinthia, Upper Styria, in Lungau, Pongau, Pinzgau in the province of Salzburg and in western Tirol exceeded that of the rest of Europe. One of the reasons for this phenomenon was the extraordinarily high number of farm hands employed in agricultural families. Although the need for farm hands has since diminished, former attitudes toward illegitimacy have remained in these regions.