Austria (Österreich), officially the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich), is a landlocked country of over 8.8 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The territory of Austria covers 83,879 km2. The terrain is highly mountainous, lying within the Alps; only 32% of the country is below 500 m, and its highest point is 3,798 m (the Grossglockner mountain). The majority of the population speaks local Bavarian dialects of German as their native language, and German in its standard form is the country’s official language. Other local official languages are Hungarian, Burgenland Croatian, and Slovene.
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The sovereign state of Austria is a federal republic with a parliamentary representative democracy comprising nine federated states. The capital and largest city, with a population exceeding 1.8 million, is Vienna. Other major urban areas of Austria include Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Austria is consistently ranked as one of the richest countries in the world by per capita GDP terms. The country has developed a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. The republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, joined the European Union in 1995, and is a founder of the OECD. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the euro currency in 1999.