Austria Emigration and Immigration

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Online Records[edit | edit source]

Passports[edit | edit source]

Finding the Town of Origin in Austria[edit | edit source]

If you are using emigration/immigration records to find the name of your ancestors' town in Austria, see Austria Finding Town of Origin for additional research strategies.

Austria Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

"Emigration" means moving out of a country. "Immigration" means moving into a country.
Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or arriving (immigrating) in the country. These sources may be passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, or records of passports issued. The information in these records may include the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, destinations, and places of origin or birthplaces. Sometimes they also show family groups.

Emigration from Austria[edit | edit source]

  • Austrian emigration patterns have been difficult to determine. There was no official country known as Austria until 1918. Prior to that time the sprawling Habsburg Empire, an amalgam of a dozen nationalities, encompassed the idea of Austria.
  • Between 1860 and 1974 Austria provided 4.3 million emigrants to the United States. These included ethnic German, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Slovene, Romanian, Italian, Croatian and Serbian peoples. During many of these years Latin America also received many Austrian emigrants. [1]

Austrian Americans[edit | edit source]

  • 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). This may be an undercount, as 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.
  • The Austrian migration to the USA 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.
  • In the first fifty years of the 19th century, many more Austrians emigrated to the United States, although the number of Austrian emigrants did not exceed a thousand people. Prior to the year 1918, the precise number of Austrians who emigrated to the USA is unknown since Austria was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so the U.S. Census recorded the number of people from all over the empire in the same group (the Austro-Hungarian group).
  • In this period, most of the emigrants were Tyroleans who lacked of lands or that fled the Metternich regime.
  • The immigration of Austrians increased during the second half of 19th century, and in 1900 had 275,000 Austrians living in the USA. Many Austrians settled in New York City, Pittsburgh, and Chicago.
  • Since 1880, when a great wave of emigration started from all over Europe, Austrians also emigrated massively to the United States, looking for new agricultural land on which to work because as the Austrian Empire was undergoing industrialization, fields were being replaced by cities.
  • From 1901 to 1910 alone, Austrians were one of the ten most significant immigrant groups in the United States, with more than 2.1 million Austrians.
  • Many of them, more than 35 percent, returned to Austria with the savings that they had made by their employment.
  • In 1914–1938, Austrian immigration was low, until it slowed to a trickle during the years of the Depression. Between 1919 and 1924, fewer than 20,000 Austrians emigrated to the North American country, mainly from Burgenland.
  • However, since the late 1930s, many other Austrians migrated to 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 and 1960, some 40,000 Austrians emigrated to the United States. 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.[2]

Austrian Argentines[edit | edit source]

  • Austrian immigrants who came to Argentina did during the two great migratory waves, i.e., about the First and Second World War.
  • The main settlement sites were Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Misiones; in the south, cities like San Carlos de Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes were among the main destinations for Austrians.
  • In the early thirties, approximately 9,000 people of Austrian descent resided in Buenos Aires. These figures are similar to those recorded in the Austrian Embassy, approximately 7,000 people of Austrian descent in Buenos Aires, considering the probability of being greater.
  • Since the mid-nineteenth century there had been established a German-speaking colony in the neighbourhood of Belgrano, Buenos Aires. The Austrian and Swiss residents in Buenos Aires were integrated into this colony by the language and cultural affinity in general. [3]

Austrian Canadians[edit | edit source]

  • According to the 2016 Census there were 207,050 Canadians who claimed either full or partial Austrian ancestry. Austrian Canadian communities can be found throughout the country but with a higher concentration mainly in Western Canada.
  • In the 17th century, soldiers from the Austro Hungarian Empire settled in New France. Numbers increased following the passing of the Staatsgrundgesetz (constitutional law) in 1867 which allowed free migration from the empire for civilians. Emigration to Canada increased throughout the late 19th century and into the early 20th, until this was tightened in 1914 at the onset of World War I.


Austrian Canadian largest populations by provincein Canada in 2011:

Province or territory Austrian Canadians Percentage
Canada 197,990
Ontario 68,785 0.05%
British Columbia 45,675 1.0%
Alberta 36,670
Saskatchewan 18,600
Manitoba 12,660
Quebec 11,815

Records of Austria Emigrants in Their Destination Nations[edit | edit source]

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png One option is to look for records about the ancestor in the country of destination, the country they immigrated into. See links to immigration records for major destination countries below.

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

There are additional sources listed in the FamilySearch Catalog:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Austria,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1999.
  2. "Austrian Americans", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_Americans, accessed 9 June 2021.
  3. "Austrian Argentines", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austrian_Argentines, accessed 9 June 2021.