Linz is located on the banks of the River Danube in the north center of Austria, 30 kilometers south of the Czech border. In 2018 the population of Linz was an estimated 204,846 with a density of 2,100/km2 (5,500/sq mi), making it the third-largest city in Austria. In the metro area, the estimated population is around 271,234 people. The city covers an area of 95.99 km2 (37.06 sq mi).
Traditionally an industrial city, Linz has transformed over recent years, investing in many cultural initiatives, including the construction of the Lentos Museum of Modern Art and the Linz Opera House. The city is also home to the international festival for Electronic Art that attracts large numbers of visitors each year. As a result of its cultural development and innovative arts scene, Linz was awarded the European Capital of Culture in 2009.
The capital of Upper Austria, Linz, is a statutory city that operates its administration, directed by a locally elected City Council. Klaus Luger is currently city Mayor and chairs the City Council and City Senate.
Linz is the principal economic and industrial center of Upper Austria and the second-largest in Austria. Statistics Austria reported the regional GDP in 2018 at €65.850 billion, which accounted for 15.3% of total Austrian GDP.
The region’s key industries are metal production and processing, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, electronics, mechanical engineering, IT, and food production.
For over fifty years, Linz has been the heart of the Austrian steel industry. Today the industry still dominates, and, in 2022, the largest employer was the steel producer, Voestalpine, with over 48,792 workers. Voestalpine forms one of the significant components of Austrian Industries and pioneered worldwide steel production methods. Iron and steel production, in turn, have formed the basis for other industries, such as mechanical and factory engineering, machine tools, and automobile components.
Linz’s other primary employers are Siemens, ÖBB (federal railways), MCE and Linz plc (public transport, energy, etecera), Raiffeisenlandesbank and Schachermayer.
The creative industry in Linz comprises around 2,000 enterprises dealing with advertisement, communication, multimedia, architecture, and cultural heritage. The sector is currently undergoing rapid expansion and is expected to establish itself as a long-lasting growth industry.
Linz is home to over 6,000 businesses, the most significant of which are private and public services, followed by the trade sector. Around 80% of the city’s companies have fewer than 20 employees, and only 4.5% have more than 100 workers.
Due to its location, Linz serves as a primary transportation hub for both Upper Austria and Southern Bohemia. The city has an extensive road network that stretches 700 kilometers and acts as the main transit route between eastern and western European markets.
Linz also has a well-developed public transport system. The bus system has many lines that carry passengers from the busy railway station to suburban areas and is complemented by a tram network.
The city had the second-highest share of public transport in Austria behind Vienna. Trams and buses were responsible for 22% of overall traffic, transporting 120,000 passengers a year.
Linz Hauptbahnhof is the central railway station in Linz, which operates all Eurocity and Intercity trains to Vienna, Salzburg, and numerous other European cities. The station is considered one of the most modern and attractive in Austria, and from the entire Europe.
The largest airport in Linz is known as Blue Danube Airport and is located 12 kilometers southwest of the city center. First opened to the public in the 1950s, the airport was extended between 1998 and 2003 to handle growing passenger traffic. Several airlines, including Ryanair, Lufthansa, and Austrian Airlines, operate international flights from Linz, moving in 2018 over 465,000 passengers.
Blue Danube is also Austria’s most prominent regional cargo airport, moving 52.414 tons of freight in 2018.
The Rein-Main-Danube waterway is an essential route for the transportation of goods and plays a vital role in the economy of Linz.
Linz enjoys a sizeable skilled workforce of over 285.800 people (est. 2019) who work across many industry sectors. The workforce is predominantly composed of Austrian citizens, with German being the primary spoken language.
The city is known to be in the unique position of having 285.800 potential jobs, more than there are inhabitants. It consistently has the lowest unemployment rate of all the capitals of the federal provinces. In 2021 unemployment was estimated at 8.4%.
The average gross monthly income for men in Linz is €3,960.
Linz enjoys the benefits of Austria’s free public school system, where nine years of education are mandatory. The city has developed an excellent education system with over 75 primary and secondary schools and more than ten vocational and polytechnical schools.
The city also hosts many Universities and colleges, including Johannes Kepler Universität, with over 19,493 students (est. 2020). The University is located in the northeast of the city and has established business, law, social sciences, engineering, and science faculties.
Business Costs in Linz
Austria’s individual income tax rates work on a progressive scale of 0%-55%, with 7 tax brackets:
- Up to €11,000 0%
- €11,000 – €18,000 25%
- €18,000 – €31,000 35%
- €31,000 – €60,000 42%
- €60,000 – €90,000 48%
- €90,000 – €1,000,000 50%
- Over €1,000,000 55%
The Austrian corporate tax rate is 25%, making it an attractive place for companies and investors. Capital gains of companies were set at 25%, and corporations are also expected to pay municipal tax (non-profit related) and property tax.
The standard VAT rate in Austria is 20%, while some reduced VATs of 0%, 10%, 13%, and %20 can be applied to the tourism, food, and agriculture sectors.