Austrian Americans

Not to be confused with Asturian Americans.
Austrian Americans
Total population


0.3% of the U.S. population
Regions with significant populations
New York, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey
German (especially Austrian German), American English
Roman Catholic, Protestant; Jewish and other minorities
Related ethnic groups
Dutch Americans
German Americans
Swiss Americans
German diaspora

Austrian Americans (German: Austroamerikaner) are European Americans of Austrian descent. 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 were 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, as many German Americans have ancestors from Austria, the Austrian Empire or the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was a major source of immigrants to the United States before World War I. Before World War I, by which time a large percentage of Germans had immigrated to the United States, Austrians were often categorized as German people, largely because of their shared cultural-linguistic and ethnic origin and Austria being one of many historical German states of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

History of the emigration

Before World War II, Austrian migration to United States was difficult to determine, because Austria as an independent country was established in 1918, being until this moment a multicultural Empire. However, after the initial wave of settlers, Austrian immigration was low during the first half of the nineteenth century. During this period, fewer than 1,000 Austrians emigrated to the United States.

The Austrians who settled in Illinois and Iowa received religious education thanks to a shipment of 100 to 200 Catholic priests from Germany and Austria by The Leopoldine Stiftung, an Austrian foundation that funded those priests for the newly emigrated and the Native Americans, and monitored their religious education. Most of the emigrated were Tyroleans in search of land, people who fled the oppressive Metternich regime. These political refugees were mostly anticlerical and against slavery. They were liberals and adapted quickly to their new country.

The immigration of Austrians increased during the second half of 19th century, reaching 275,000 by 1900. Many Austrians worked in the United States as miners, servants, and common laborers. Many Austrians settled in New York City, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. Since 1880, when a mass emigration started from all over Europe, Austrians also emigrated massively to the United States, looking for new agricultural land on which to work, because during this time the Austrian Empire was undergoing industrialization, fields being replaced by cities, and they were disappointed upon their discovery that the same was happening in the western United States. Many of these immigrants came from Burgenland. During the years 1901-1910 alone, Austrians were one of the ten most significant immigrant groups in the United States, totalling more than 2.1 million Austrians.

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

Since the First World War and until the end of the Great Depression, Austrian immigration was low until it slowed to a trickle during the years of the Depression. During the postwar period of 1919 to 1924, fewer than 20,000 Austrians arrived in the United States, most of them from Burgenland. Also, laws restricting immigration to the U.S. imposed by the Austrian government limited Austrian emigration, further reducing it to only 1,413 persons per year. However, in the late 1930s, a new Austrian wave of immigrants began arriving in the United States. Most of them were Jews fleeing the Nazi persecution which 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 and film directors).

Much later, between 1945–1960, some 40,000 Austrians entered the United States. Since the 1960s, however, Austrian immigration has been negligible, mostly because Austria is nowadays a developed nation where poverty and political oppression is scarce. According to the 1990 U.S. census, 948,558 people claimed be of Austrian descent (only 0.4 percent of the total population), when in the 19th century, a total of 4.2 million Austrians had immigrated to the United States.[3]


Austrian immigrants adapted quickly to American society because the Austrian 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, they regard themselves as more tolerant and cosmopolitan than the Germans, but have suffered the same damages and discrimination that German immigrants have faced in United States, as they were considered by Americans to be the same because of the German language.[3]


Most Austrian Americans speak American English and German (the official language of Austria). However, most Austrians are Roman Catholic. The Austrian contribution in the 19th century regarding the missionization of Native Americans is remarkable. However, in the nineteenth century, Austrians also had to work with Irish Catholic priests, who could not speak the German language, to baptize the natives and convert them to Catholicism. Thus, the Leopoldine Stiftung sent money and priests into North America. This led to the creation of over 400 churches on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and in "Indian country" further west. Especially prominent in cities such as in Cincinnati and St. Louis. The Benedictines and Franciscans also built thousands of congregations.

However, this expansion of Catholicism conducted by Austrian priests caused a rejection of them in American society, as this could alter the religious balance in the country. Therefore, for a long time Austrians once again had to struggle to adapt to American life. The twentieth century reduced the religiosity of the average Austrian American, as did the general population. In this century, the emigration of other religious groups from Austria to the United States, especially the Jews, has also contributed to strengthen religious variety in the United States.[3]

Austrian settlements in the United States

U.S. communities with high percentages of people of Austrian ancestry

The U.S. communities with the highest percentage of people claiming Austrian ancestry are:[4]

  1. Waterville, Wisconsin 12.10%
  2. Coplay, Pennsylvania 10.60%
  3. Durand, Wisconsin 9.20%
  4. Rock Creek, Wisconsin and Northampton, Pennsylvania 5.20%
  5. Allen Township, Pennsylvania 4.50%
  6. Drammen, Wisconsin 4.40%
  7. Palenville, New York 4.30%
  8. Great Neck Plaza, New York, Upper Nazareth Township, Pennsylvania and Schuylkill Township, Pennsylvania (Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania) 4.20%
  9. Noble Township, Indiana (LaPorte County, Indiana) 4.10%
  10. Highland Beach, Florida and Mondovi, Wisconsin 4.00%
  11. North Catasauqua, Pennsylvania 3.90%
  12. Russell Gardens, New York 3.80%
  13. Washington Township, Kansas (Crawford County, Kansas) 3.70%
  14. Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, Arma, Kansas and Tuscarawas, Ohio 3.60%
  15. Hewlett Harbor, New York, East Union Township, Pennsylvania and Indian Hills, Colorado 3.30%
  16. Ellis, Kansas and Harbor Isle, New York 3.20%
  17. Brunswick, Wisconsin, Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Shelby Township, Indiana (Shelby County, Indiana) and Columbia, California 3.10%
  18. Kensington, New York, Stamford, Vermont and Jericho, New York 3.00%
  19. Sherry, Wisconsin, Beaver Meadows, Pennsylvania, Sheridan Township, Kansas (Crawford County, Kansas) and Butler Township, Pennsylvania (Luzerne County, Pennsylvania) 2.90%
  20. Berlin Township, Ohio (Knox County, Ohio), North Union Township, Pennsylvania (Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania), Frontenac, Kansas and Tipton, Pennsylvania 2.70%
  21. Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, Great Neck Estates, New York, Lake Success, New York, Barataria, Louisiana, Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Spring Brook, Wisconsin, Roslyn, New York and Roslyn Estates, New York 2.60%
  22. Black Creek Township, Pennsylvania and Morganville, New Jersey 2.50%
  23. Atlantic Beach, New York, Moore Township, Pennsylvania, Warwick Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio (Tuscarawas County, Ohio) and Woodbury, New York 2.40%
  24. South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, Tangerine, Florida, Green Township, Indiana (Madison County, Indiana), Hanover Township, Pennsylvania (Lehigh County, Pennsylvania), Jacksonport, Wisconsin and Plainview, New York 2.30%
  25. Shamokin Township, Pennsylvania, Old Bethpage, New York, Wesley Hills, New York, Bushkill Township, Pennsylvania, Cleveland Township, Pennsylvania and Atwood, Kansas 2.20%
  26. East Hills, New York, Salisbury Township, Pennsylvania (Lehigh County, Pennsylvania), Newark Valley, New York, Shippen Township, Pennsylvania (Cameron County, Pennsylvania), East Allen Township, Pennsylvania, Kingston, Washington, Palm Beach, Florida, Baiting Hollow, New York, Bridgeport, New York, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, North Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, Dunn, Wisconsin, Millburn Township, New Jersey, Atwood, Kansas, Canaan Township, Ohio (Madison County, Ohio), Pomona, New York, Macungie, Pennsylvania, Madison Lake, Minnesota, Nockamixon Township, Pennsylvania and Sunol, California 2.10%
  27. Waterloo Township, Michigan, Columbus, Kansas and Monroe Township, New Jersey (Middlesex County, New Jersey) 2.00%

U.S. communities with the most residents born in Austria

The 101 U.S. communities with the most residents born in Austria are:[5]

  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%
  15. Cairo, New York 0.9%
  16. The Meadows, Florida 0.9%
  17. Woodstock, New York 0.9%
  18. Burnt Store Marina, Florida 0.9%
  19. Century Village, Florida 0.9%
  20. Ponderay, Idaho 0.9%
  21. Whittingham, New Jersey 0.9%
  22. Sewickley Heights, Pennsylvania 0.8%
  23. Hubbell, Michigan 0.8%
  24. Big Sky, Montana 0.8%
  25. Stone Ridge, New York 0.8%
  26. Monte Sereno, California 0.8%
  27. Viola, New York 0.8%
  28. Shokan, New York 0.8%
  29. Lattingtown, New York 0.8%
  30. Waynesville, Missouri 0.7%
  31. Hamptons at Boca Raton, Florida 0.7%
  32. Bal Harbour, Florida 0.7%
  33. Pleak, Texas 0.7%
  34. Woodsburgh, New York 0.7%
  35. Crown Heights, New York 0.7%
  36. Vail, Colorado 0.7%
  37. Meiners Oaks, California 0.7%
  38. Concordia, New Jersey 0.7%
  39. South Windham, Connecticut 0.7%
  40. Heritage Hills, New York 0.7%
  41. Berkshire, Vermont 0.7%
  42. Cedar Glen West, New Jersey 0.7%
  43. East Marion, New York 0.6%
  44. South Divide, Colorado (Yuma County, Colorado) 0.6%
  45. Sewickley Hills, Pennsylvania 0.6%
  46. Underwood, Iowa 0.6%
  47. Middletown, California 0.6%
  48. Olin, Iowa 0.6%
  49. Willoughby Hills, Ohio 0.6%
  50. Villages of Oriole, Florida 0.6%
  51. Marina del Rey, California 0.6%
  52. Gettysburg, Ohio 0.6%
  53. Belgrade, Minnesota 0.5%
  54. Leavenworth, Washington 0.5%
  55. Lake Quinault, Washington (Grays Harbor County, Washington: Lake Quinault area) 0.5%
  56. Sea Breeze, North Carolina 0.5%
  57. Northlakes, North Carolina 0.5%
  58. South Coventry, Connecticut 0.5%
  59. Laguna Woods, California 0.5%
  60. FishHawk, Florida 0.5%
  61. Princeville, Hawaii 0.5%
  62. East Montpelier, Vermont 0.5%
  63. Roseland, Florida 0.5%
  64. Basalt, Colorado 0.5%
  65. Wonewoc, Wisconsin 0.5%
  66. Pompano Estates, Florida 0.5%
  67. Kensington, New York 0.5%
  68. Susquehanna Trails, Pennsylvania 0.5%
  69. Kings Point, Florida 0.5%
  70. Browns Lake, Wisconsin 0.5%
  71. Hokendauqua, Pennsylvania 0.5%
  72. Crestwood Village, New Jersey 0.5%
  73. Hamlet, Indiana 0.5%
  74. Santa Ynez, California 0.5%
  75. Julian, California 0.5%
  76. Nekoosa, Wisconsin 0.5%
  77. Franksville, Wisconsin 0.5%
  78. Willow Creek, California 0.5%
  79. Pound Ridge, New York 0.5%
  80. Hailey, Idaho 0.5%
  81. Longboat Key, Florida 0.5%
  82. Angola on the Lake, New York 0.5%
  83. Lakewood Shores, Illinois 0.5%
  84. Carlstadt, New Jersey 0.5%
  85. Poipu, Hawaii 0.5%
  86. Montverde, Florida 0.5%
  87. Armonk, New York 0.5%
  88. Saddle River, New Jersey 0.4%
  89. University Park, Maryland 0.4%
  90. DeRuyter, New York 0.4%
  91. Jackson Center, Ohio 0.4%
  92. Hidden Hills, California 0.4%
  93. Nuevo, California 0.4%
  94. St. David, Arizona 0.4%
  95. Fairfield Harbour, North Carolina 0.4%
  96. Kings Point, New York 0.4%
  97. Three Rivers, Oregon 0.4%
  98. Winhall, Vermont 0.4%
  99. Rochester, Vermont 0.4%
  100. Lake Catherine, Illinois 0.4%
  101. East Imperial, California (Imperial County, California) 0.4%

See also


External links

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