For members


REVEALED: What do Austrians think about foreigners?

A new report about migration and integration in Austria shows there are big differences in how Austrians view foreigners - depending on age, location, education and how much money they have.

REVEALED: What do Austrians think about foreigners?
How do Austrians feel about foreigners? Photo: EXPA / AFP

The latest Statistical Yearbook for Migration and Integration from Statistik Austria reveals a clear socio-demographic divide in attitudes towards foreigners in Austria.

The 2021 report shows that in larger towns and cities, and within younger, well-educated people, attitudes towards foreigners are more positive.

Whereas in smaller communities (less than 5,000 residents) and among people aged 60 and over, attitudes towards foreigners are less positive.

The annual report has been published for more than ten years and the 2021 edition includes results from three groups: people born in Austria, people from the most common countries of migration (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Turkey), and refugees in Austria (from Afghanistan, Syria and Chechnya).

Here is a breakdown of the results.

The generational divide

Overall, the opinion towards foreigners in Austria is divided, with 45 per cent saying living with migrants was “rather bad”. However, 47 per cent said living with migrants was “rather good”.

Then there are differences in age and education with 63 per cent of Austrians aged 16 to 29 considering coexistence to be “rather good”, compared to 57 per cent of people aged 60-plus viewing coexistence with foreigners as functioning poorly.

For Austrians with a university education, the rate of a positive attitude towards living with foreigners rose to 61 per cent.

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The report also shows that more than half of all Austrians (62 per cent) surveyed said they have regular contact with immigrants.

Younger people with a high level of education were more likely to have regular contact with non-Austrians, but 47 per cent of Austrian people aged 60-plus have almost no contact with immigrants.

Additionally, 46 per cent of Austrians think living with foreigners has worsened, compared with 22 per cent who saw an improvement.

Again, this can be broken by demographics with 39 per cent of 16 to 19-year-olds seeing an improvement, but only 16 per cent of people aged 60-plus saying the same.

The geographical and financial divide

The results show that in smaller communities, 42 per cent said they have no contact with the immigrant population. 

This is not surprising as the majority of Austria’s international residents live in larger towns and cities.

For example, only 29 per cent of people living in Vienna and born in Austria said they have no contact with foreigners.

Likewise, Austrian people that identified with struggling financially were less likely to have positive attitudes or even regular contact with immigrants.

The report reveals that people that are comfortable financially are more than twice as likely to have contact with immigrants when compared with those with less money.

What do international residents say?

According to the report, nine out of ten migrants said they feel at home in Austria, with those that have lived in Austria for longer expressing strong feelings of being at home.

When immigrants were asked about their living situation, 60 per cent of people born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia or Turkey said their personal life situation in Austria had improved in recent years.

For people from Afghanistan, Syria or Chechnya, 86 per cent reported a positive improvement.

READ MORE: How do foreigners feel about living in Austria?

However, these responses are also divided by age with more younger people reporting a positive improvement than the older generation.

But the report states that much of the older generation of international residents in Austria have lived in the country for longer and are already integrated, which means they will have seen less change in their situation.

People from Turkey feel most frequently discriminated against in Austria with 29 per cent saying they feel disadvantaged because of their migrant background.

For people from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia or Turkey, 49 per cent reported being discriminated against occasionally because of where they are from.

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For members


How to dispose of unwanted furniture or whitegoods in Vienna legally

Got an unwanted mattress, fridge, or sofa? Here’s how you can legally get it off your hands in Vienna.

How to dispose of unwanted furniture or whitegoods in Vienna legally

If you find yourself with a large piece of furniture or big household appliance that has seen its prime and is not bound to the trashcan, then you might be wondering where to dispose of them – legally, that is.

Even if it is not uncommon to see furniture or appliances next to the big trashcans often placed near households and apartment complexes, it is illegal to leave them there.

Different cities have different methods – some will even pick up trash at specific times and places. To know how your city deals with bulky waste (Sperrmüll), you can google “Sperrmüll + the name of your city”.

READ ALSO: Why does Vienna’s waste department have a helicopter and a military plane?

Vienna has several waste collection points where you can leave bulky waste, electrical appliances, hazardous waste (in household quantities) and other old goods for no charge.

The use of the Wiener Mistplätze is subject to certain quantity limits and requirements, but they are to avoid industrial use. Therefore, most households will have no problem with the limitations.

Here you can find several collection points in Vienna.

It is worth pointing out that delivery to those sites can only be made by cars with Viennese license plates, on foot or by bicycle. Furthermore, no trailers or company cars are allowed to leave trash at these collection points.

What can you bring to the collection centres?

This is the place to bring large sheets of plastic foil, bulky or large metal parts and electrical appliances, for example.

Additionally, you can bring small amounts of bulky waste, wood, styrofoam, large cardboard boxes, green waste and used tires to any waste collection centres.

Depending on what you are disposing of, you might need to go to the Rinter centre, one of the larger ones.

READ ALSO: Hasta la mista, baby? How to vote for your favourite Vienna trash can joke

The centres also have a separate division where it is possible to donate old items still in good condition, the so-called 48er-Tandler-Box.

Tableware, small furniture, electrical appliances, clothes, toys and other items can be reused and bought at a low price at the 48er-Tandler reuse shop.

Most centres are open only from Monday to Friday during business hours, but others are also available on Saturdays.

What to do if I don’t have a car?

If you don’t need a car but still need to dispose of a large appliance, the Viennese solution varies.

Some will take public transport with a couple of friends trying to help them carry an old sofa via the u-bahn, although that can get a little tough at peak hour. 

Alternatively, you can borrow or rent a vehicle to try and save costs.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

But Vienna City also has a service that will pick up the trash for a low fee – even if it is located in the attic, a basement or a courtyard.

It’s the Entrümpelungsdienst und Sperrmüllabfuhr der MA 48. You can also ask for the “dump service” when the city of Vienna brings a trough (the smallest can fit 12 cubic meters).

Once you fill it up, they will remove it and take it to the appropriate place.

Costs will depend on the amount of trash, the size of the appliance, and where in the household it is located.