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Austrian Americans

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Austrian Americans
Total population
646,438 (2019)[1]
Regions with significant populations
New York, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Connecticut, Kansas
German, American English
Roman Catholic, Protestant; Jewish and other minorities
Related ethnic groups
Dutch Americans
German Americans
Swiss Americans
German diasporas

Austrian Americans (German: Österreichamerikaner, pronounced [ˈøːstɐʁaɪçʔameʁiˌkaːnɐ]) are Americans of Austrian descent, chiefly German-speaking Catholics and Jews. According to the 2000 U.S. census, there were 735,128 Americans of full or partial Austrian descent, accounting for 0.3% of the population. The states with the largest Austrian American populations are New York (93,083), California (84,959), Pennsylvania (58,002) (most of them in the Lehigh Valley), Florida (54,214), New Jersey (45,154), and Ohio (27,017).[2]

This may be an undercount since many German Americans, Czech Americans, Polish Americans, Slovak Americans, and Ukrainian Americans, and other Americans with Central European ancestry can trace their roots from the Habsburg territories of Austria, the Austrian Empire, or Cisleithania in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, regions which were major sources of immigrants to the United States before World War I, and whose inhabitants often assimilated into larger immigrant and ethnic communities throughout the United States.[3][4]

Migration history[edit]

Early migrations[edit]

The Austrian migration to the U.S. probably started in 1734, when a group of 50 families from the city of Salzburg, Austria, migrated to the newly founded Georgia. Having a Protestant background, they migrated because of Catholic repression in their country.

Most of these newly immigrated Austrians were cosmopolitan and were left-wing. They found employment in Chicago stockyards and in Pennsylvania, in jobs related to cement and steel factories. Many of them, more than 35 percent, returned to Austria with the savings that they had made by their employment.

World War II & Post-War Migrations[edit]

In the late 1930s, more and more Austrians migrated to the United States, most of which were Jews fleeing the Nazi persecution that started with the Annexation of Austria in 1938. In 1941, some 29,000 Jewish Austrians had emigrated to the United States. Most of them were doctors, lawyers, architects and artists (such as composers, writers and stage/ film directors).[5] After WW II had ended, some further 40,000 Austrians emigrated to the United States (1945-1960).

Present day[edit]

Since the 1960s, however, Austrian immigration has been very small, mostly because Austria is now a developed nation, where poverty and political oppression are scarce. According to the 1990 U.S. census, 948,558 people identified their origins in Austria.[6] Most of the present-day immigrants who currently live in the United States who were born in Austria identify themselves as being of Austrian ancestry, but the percentage who identify themselves as being of German ancestry is larger than the one expected on the basis of the opinion polls in Austria. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2015, there were 26,603 individuals living in the U.S. born in Austria who identified themselves as being of Austrian ancestry.[7] By contrast, in the same year, there were 6,200 individuals living in the U.S. born in Austria who identified themselves as being of German ancestry.[8] Most of the immigrants from South Tyrol in Italy to the United States identify themselves as being of German rather than Austrian ancestry. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2015, there were 365 individuals living in the U.S. born in Italy who identified themselves as being of Austrian ancestry.[7] By contrast, in the same year, there were 1040 individuals living in the U.S. born in Italy who identified themselves as being of German ancestry.[8]


Austrian immigrants adapted quickly to American society because the Austro-Hungarian Empire had also been a melting pot of many cultures and languages. On the other hand, despite the rejection that Austrians feel toward the behavior of the Germans, regarded by Austrians as less tolerants and cosmopolitans, they have suffered the same damages and discrimination that German immigrants have faced in the United States. They were considered by Americans to be the same because of their language and both world wars.[6]


The emigration of other religious groups from Austria to the United States, especially the Jews from Vienna after 1938, has also contributed to strengthen religious variety in the United States.[6][9] Isidor Bush (1822–98) emigrated from Vienna in 1849 and became a leading Jewish citizen of the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri through his business ventures, religious work, and political activities. His vineyards were famous and profitable.[10]

Austrian-American communities in the United States[edit]

The U.S. communities with the highest percentage of self-professed Austrian Americans are:[11]

Top U.S. communities by Austrian American Population
Percentage Community State
1 12.10% Waterville Wisconsin
2 10.60% Coplay Pennsylvania
3 9.20% Durand Wisconsin
4 5.20% Rock Creek Wisconsin
4 5.20% Northampton Pennsylvania
5 4.50% Allen Township Pennsylvania
6 4.40% Drammen Wisconsin
7 4.30% Palenville New York
8 4.20% Great Neck Plaza New York
8 4.20% Upper Nazareth Township Pennsylvania
8 4.20% Schuylkill Township Pennsylvania
9 4.10% Noble Township Indiana
10 4.00% Highland Beach Florida
10 4.00% Mondovi Wisconsin
11 3.90% North Catasauqua Pennsylvania
11 3.80% Russell Gardens New York
12 3.70% Washington Township Kansas
13 3.60% Whitehall Township Pennsylvania
13 3.60% Arma Kansas
13 3.60% Tuscarawas Ohio
14 3.30% Hewlett Harbor New York
14 3.30% East Union Township Pennsylvania
14 3.30% Indian Hills Colorado
15 3.20% Ellis Kansas
15 3.20% Harbor Isle New York

U.S. communities with the most residents born in Austria[edit]

The U.S. communities where born Austrians make up more than 1% of the total population are:[12]

  1. Hillside Lake, New York 1.4%
  2. Redway, California 1.3%
  3. Black Diamond, Florida 1.2%
  4. Smallwood, New York 1.2%
  5. Highland Beach, Florida 1.2%
  6. Cordova, Maryland 1.2%
  7. Keystone, Colorado 1.2%
  8. North Lynbrook, New York 1.1%
  9. Cedar Glen Lakes, New Jersey 1.1%
  10. Center City, Minnesota 1.1%
  11. Scotts Corners, New York 1.0%
  12. Killington, Vermont 1.0%
  13. Lexington, New York 1.0%
  14. Tuxedo Park, New York 1.0%

Notable people[edit]


Science and medicine[edit]


Arts & literature[edit]

Law and politics[edit]

Business and technology[edit]


  • Corey Kluber – Major League Baseball pitcher, 2014 Cy Young pitcher


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 American Community Survey - 1-Year Estimates - Table B04006". data.census.gov. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  2. ^ American Fact Finder
  3. ^ Jones (2014)
  4. ^ Spaulding, (1968)
  5. ^ Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia. p. 307.
  6. ^ a b c Everyculture:Austrian-Americans. Posted by Syd Jones. Retrieved in December 08, 2011, to 13:05 pm.
  7. ^ a b "Explore Census Data".
  8. ^ a b "Explore Census Data".
  9. ^ Melissa Jane Taylor, "Family matters: the emigration of elderly Jews from Vienna to the United States, 1938-1941." Journal of Social History 45.1 (2011): 238-260. online
  10. ^ Siegmar Muehl, "Isidor Bush and the Bushberg Vineyards of Jefferson County," Missouri Historical Review (1999) 94#1 pp 42-58.
  11. ^ "Ancestry Map of Austrian Communities". Epodunk.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2008. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  12. ^ "Top 101 cities with the most residents born in Austria (population 500+)". city-data.com. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
  13. ^ Baxter, John (1998). Woody Allen: A Biography. New York: Carroll & Graf. p. 11. ISBN 978-0786708079.
  14. ^ Norwood, Stephen Harlan; Pollack, Eunice G. (2008). Encyclopedia of American Jewish history – Stephen Harlan Norwood, Eunice G. Pollack – Google Books. ISBN 9781851096381. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  15. ^ "It's a Jungle Out There". The State. October 6, 1990. Retrieved October 22, 2010.
  16. ^ [1][permanent dead link] "Fritz Austerlitz, the Austrian American who went to Hollywood and emerged as Fred Astaire."
  17. ^ [2] Archived 2006-07-28 at the Wayback Machine "Bibi Besch was an Austrian actress."
  18. ^ [3] Archived February 1, 2016, at the Wayback Machine "Though his professional name was suggestive of a Latin Lover type, actor Ricardo Cortez was actually an Austrian Jew, born Jacob Krantz. He arrived in Hollywood in 1922, at a time when the Rudolph Valentino craze was at its height."
  19. ^ [4] regarding an Austrian decoration: "I have focused on Austrian studies most of my academic life. As an Austrian-American, it makes me especially proud."
  20. ^ Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood By Teri Garr, Henriette Mantel
  21. ^ [5] "Austrian born film star, Hedy Lamarr, of the 1930 and 40s was also a gifted electrical engineer." "The Hedy Lamarr Story: Part 1". Archived from the original on February 28, 2005. Retrieved April 13, 2006. "Hedy Lamarr had been an American citizen since 1953."
  22. ^ [6] "Elissa Landi Austrian/Italian leading lady."
  23. ^ Brady, James (October 26, 2003). "Leah Remini (TV and film actress)". Parade. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010.
  24. ^ Remini, Leah; Paley, Rebecca (2015). Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. Ballantine Books. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-2500-9693-7.
  25. ^ [7] "Arnold Schwarzenegger, "The Austrian Oak", was a bodybuilding prodigy who won the ..." [8] "Arnold was the embodiment of the American (a naturalized citizen since 1983) dream ..."
  26. ^ [9] "Galvanizing, stern-featured Viennese character actress with extensive Broadway experience ..."
  27. ^ [10] "That's Erika Slezak, daughter of the famous Austrian-American actor Walter Slezak ..."
  28. ^ [11] "Wilder, Austrian-born, but in the US since 1934, directed his last film in 1981."
  29. ^ Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Vol 2, Volume 2
  30. ^ "Hans Holzer". The Guardian. June 17, 2009. Archived from the original on April 27, 2023.
  31. ^ [12] "Wilhelm Reich, an Austrian-Ukrainian of Jewish background."
  32. ^ Wolfgang Pauli: "… in 1946 he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Following World War II he returned to Zurich."
  33. ^ Alfred schutz, Austrian Economists and the Knowledge Problem - Knudsen 16 (1): 45 - Rationality and Society
  34. ^ Wendel, Ray A. (2007). "In Honor Of Paul Watzlawick". Journal of Marital & Family Therapy. 33.3 (2007): 293–294.
  35. ^ [13] "Growing up in Vienna in a well-to-do Jewish family ..." [14] "One of the most brilliant Jewish scientists to be driven from Germany by Nazi persecution ..."
  36. ^ [15] "A study of the life and work of Austrian composer Korngold ..."
  37. ^ Rudhyar, Dane (1982). The Magic of Tone and the Art of Music. Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  38. ^ "Insight on the News: Painting for Posterity - comments on the portraits of former presidents - Brief Article". Archived from the original on November 9, 2004. Retrieved May 17, 2006. "sat for Austrian native Greta Kempton five times in 1947 ..."
  39. ^ "Joseph Keppler". Archived from the original on January 22, 2008. Retrieved January 24, 2008. "Joseph Keppler was born in Vienna, Austria, on 1st February, 1838."
  40. ^ MacDonald, Kerri (2016). "A Peek Into Vivian Maier's Family Album". Lens Blog. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  41. ^ [16] "Born and educated in Vienna. Immigrated to the United States and served in the 33rd Congressional District (Pittsburgh, PA)."
  42. ^ [17] "Austrian-American legal philosopher, teacher, jurist, and writer on international law ..."
  43. ^ "National Building Museum: Windshield: Richard Neutra's House for the John Nicholas Brown Family". Archived from the original on April 24, 2006. Retrieved May 17, 2006. "Austrian-American modernist architect Richard Neutra."
  44. ^ Obituary of Schuschnigg in The Times, London, 19 November 1977
  45. ^ "WolfgangPuck.com:Company". Archived from the original on September 12, 2006. Retrieved August 31, 2006. "The Austrian-born Puck began ..."; WolfgangPuck.com (2005); retrieved 2006-08-31
  46. ^ "Toni Fritsch", Wikipedia, May 27, 2024, retrieved May 28, 2024

Further reading[edit]

  • Jones, J. Sydney. "Austrian Americans." Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, edited by Thomas Riggs, (3rd ed., vol. 1, Gale, 2014), pp. 189–202. online
  • Pochmann, Henry A. German Culture in America: Philosophical and Literary Influences 1600–1900 (1957). 890pp; comprehensive review of German influence on Americans esp 19th century. online
  • Pochmann, Henry A. and Arthur R. Schult. Bibliography of German Culture in America to 1940 (2nd ed 1982); massive listing, but no annotations.
  • Spaulding, E. Wilder. The Quiet Invaders: The Story of the Austrian Impact upon America (Vienna: Österreichische Bundesverlag, 1968).
  • Thernstrom, Stephen, ed. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (1980) pp 164–170. Online free to borrow

External links[edit]