Romani in Austria
Chromolithograph entitled Enfants Tsiganes (Autriche) [Gipsy Children, Austria]; published by Garnier, Paris, printed by Testu & Massin, Paris.
|6,273 (2001 census)
10,000 to 25,000 Unofficial estimations
|Sinte Romani, German|
The Romani are an ethnic group that has lived in Austria since the Middle Ages. According to the 2001 census, there were 6,273 Romani in Austria or less than 0.1% of the population. Unofficial estimations count between 10,000 to 25,000. Most Romani in Austria belong to the Sinti sub-group of Romani. 80% of the Romani speak the Sinte Romani dialect of the Romani language.
In the Habsburg Monarchy under Maria Theresa (1740–1780), a series of decrees tried to force the Romanies to permanently settle, removed rights to horse and wagon ownership (1754), renamed them as "New Citizens" and forced Romani boys into military service if they had no trade (1761), forced them to register with the local authorities (1767), and prohibited marriage between Romanies (1773). Her successor Josef II prohibited the wearing of traditional Romani clothing and the use of the Romani language, punishable by flogging.
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