Vienna - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

People of Middle Eastern descent may also feel some discrimination. Overall, no, but there is a far-right segment of Austria that is openly hostile to Arabs and Muslims. - Sep 2022

Austria was until recently a very homogeneous society, and there are a lot of prejudices against people of other races. In particular, I heard a lot of disparaging comments about people from the Balkans, Turkey, etc. There were also a lot of disparaging comments about refugees. This seems to be somewhat generational/down political lines. - Sep 2021

I didn't personally see any, though I've heard of some, particularly a growing anti-refugee sentiment in some circles. - Jul 2018

Gender inequality simmers below the surface, but seems to be less so of an issue with the passage of time. - Nov 2017

Austrians are surprisingly behind-the-times in gender equality and thought. - Jun 2016

Some racial/ethnic prejudice. Austrians are typically a homogeneous society and the influx of Turks and Yugoslavs in the past few years has some Austrians up in arms. Watch out for nationalism, and keep an open mind, too, to listen to both sides: some Austrians resent immigrants coming in and going on the generous welfare system, while they (Austrians) feel they have worked hard for 30 years and that this isn't fair. You can see their point, but's just one step away from prejudice and often crosses the line. - Jul 2014

I haven't witnessed any problems first hand, but I gather there are some areas for concern. - Mar 2014

People of Roma descent still report problems, but overall, nothing major. There was one hate crime this year when an African woman was pushed in front of the subway (an accident was averted thanks to the emergency brakes that bystanders were able to pull from the platform) but this seems to be an anomaly. - Aug 2013

Yes. Vienna itself is OK about this (though racial stereotypes abound in advertising etc., and I know of some people of color who have experienced minor hassles) but the rest of the country can be pretty weird. There is a major political party that is basically neo-Nazi and still blames Jews and immigrants for everything. I am not making this up. That said, the xenophobia here is probably less than in many other parts of Central and Eastern Europe. It is a very Catholic culture, which can be odd when you are not used to it. All the major holidays are Catholic, and everything shuts down on Sundays and about two dozen saint's days scattered throughout the year. - May 2013

I've heard some reports of bias against darker-skinned individuals, and they still seem to hold a 300-year-old grudge against the Turks. - Jan 2013

There is a lot of immigration right now, which the Austrians aren't necessarily happy about. I never personally experienced problems, but I heard stories of people being harassed - Aug 2011

This is a very xenophobic society. There is no attempt at hiding it, either. - Aug 2011

Some --- but better than it used to be. The city is quite international, with lots of immigrants from Turkey, the Balkans, Africa, and Asia. - Aug 2009

Yes, white Austrians can be very racist and sometimes anti-Semitic. Police tend to profile darker-skinned people and peg them as drug dealers. - Aug 2009

Very little. As a black man, I found the Viennese to be quite reserved, but accepting. None of the big-city "hostility" that you sometimes feel in other places. They seem more laid back. - Jul 2009

None. - May 2008

Maybe. Vienna is very international, but I don't think they are color-blind. - Apr 2008

None that I know of. - Jan 2008


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