February 2012, Susanne Halmer, Barbara Hauenschild, 35 pages
Does Austria have too many politicians? The opinions on this emotionally charged issue are divided. But how many elected representatives of the people does Austria actually have? On which political levels are they active? How many politicians represent the individual parties? What about regional differences? And what do they cost? Is the political system in Austria too elaborate and too expensive for a small country? This study provides answers to many of these questions. Of the over 44,000 paid politicians in Austria, 98 percent work at local level; only 2 percent are federal or regional politicians. Hence, almost three quarters of politicians’ earnings in Austria (total about EUR 317 million) have to be spent on local politics (EUR 228 million). Also worth mentioning are regional particularities: whilst Vienna manages on just under EUR 23 million for its regional and local politicians, Lower Austria, which almost has the same number of residents, needs over EUR 80 million for regional and local politicians. 48 percent of all politicians in Austria represent the ÖVP, only 30 percent the SPÖ. However, compared to other countries, when it comes to the number of representatives of the people, Austria only ranks midfield.
report, in German (pdf)