Growth, but at what price?

Latest data in a report on prosperity shows that quality of life in Austria is on the rise, but experts believe optimism should reined in by concerns about social equity.

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Growth, but at what price? - NewsMavens
Vienna, Pixabay

Why this story matters:

The Austrian employee association "Arbeiterkammer" (AK) speaks of tunnel vision in surveys of the living standards in the country. They report economic growth, but people’s lives are more complex than economic data -- says Markus Marterbauer, chief economist of the AK.

Therefore, the AK is working on creating an annual report that would additionally shed light on the distribution of wealth, the quality of employment, and economic stability -- and how these conditions could change in the future based on current political developments.

While the fact that the proportion of people without educational qualifications has decreased will undoubtedly contribute to fighting poverty, the development of the housing market could hinder it, since housing costs in Austria have risen sharply recently.

And long-standing inequalities persist: the gender pay gap has barely narrowed in Austria in recent years.

Details from the story:

  • There is progress in the fight against pollution in Austria.
  • According to Austria's analysis, the level of economic stability is good and the financial and economic crisis seems to have been overcome.
  • Out of a total of 100 indicators, Austria’s Prosperity Index has attested 63 points and classified the developments as "relatively favorable".
  • However, noise reduction remains an unsolved problem, as do greenhouse gas emissions and excessive energy consumption.
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