Austria is located in southern Central Europe. Geographically, its territory encompasses both the Eastern Alps (which cover some two thirds of its surface area) and the Danube Region. Austria has a land surface of 83,858 square kilometres (32,369 square miles). Austria has common borders with eight other countries: Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Austria is a federal state consisting of nine independent federal states: Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria, Vienna and Vorarlberg.
The Austrian population totals slightly more than eight million, some 98% of whom are German-speaking. The six ethnic groups officially recognised in Austria are concentrated on the east and south of the country. In 1999 the population was made up of 4.1 million (51,5%) female and 3.9 million (48,5%) male Austrians.