|• Governor||Hermann Schützenhöfer (ÖVP)|
|• Total||16,401.04 km2 (6,332.48 sq mi)|
(1 January 2016)
|• Density||75/km2 (190/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||AT-6|
very high · 4th
|Votes in Bundesrat||9 (of 62)|
Styria (German: Steiermark [ˈʃtaɪɐˌmaʁk] (listen); Croatian and Slovene: Štajerska; Hungarian: Stájerország; Czech: Štýrsko; Slovak: Štajersko) is a state, or Bundesland, located in the southeast of Austria. Covering 16,401 km2 (6,332 sq mi), Styria is the second largest of the nine component states of Austria (also sometimes referred to as provinces in English), after Lower Austria. Styria's neighbor to the South is Slovenia (Carinthia Statistical Region, Drava Statistical Region and Mura Statistical Region). Within Austria, the contiguous states are Carinthia, Salzburg, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, and The Burgenland, The capital city is Graz, which had 276,526 inhabitants at the beginning of 2015.
The March of Styria derived its name from the original seat of its ruling Otakar dynasty: Steyr, in today's Upper Austria. In German, the area is still called "Steiermark" while in English the Latin name "Styria" is used. The ancient link between Steyr and Styria is also apparent in their nearly identical coats of arms, a white Panther on a green background.
The term "Upper Styria" (German: Obersteiermark) refers to the northern and northwestern parts of the federal-state (districts Liezen, Murau, Judenburg, Knittelfeld, Leoben, Bruck an der Mur, and Mürzzuschlag). The term "West Styria" (Weststeiermark) is used for the districts to the west of Graz (Voitsberg, Deutschlandsberg, western part of the district Leibnitz); the districts east of Graz (Weiz, Hartberg, Feldbach, Fürstenfeld, and Radkersburg) are referred to as "East Styria" (Oststeiermark). The western and eastern parts of the district Graz-Umgebung (literally, surroundings of Graz) may or may not be considered parts of West and East Styria, respectively. The southern parts of the Duchy of Styria, which formed part of former Yugoslavia and later Slovenia (with the exception of World War II), were (and sometimes colloquially still are) referred to as "Lower Styria" (Untersteiermark; Slovene: Štajerska).
During early Roman times, Styria was inhabited by Celtic tribes. After its conquest by the Romans, the eastern part of what is now Styria was part of Pannonia, while the western one was included in Noricum. During the Barbarian invasions, it was conquered or crossed by the Visigoths, the Huns, the Ostrogoths, the Rugii, and the Lombards. Slavs, who first were under the domination of the Avars, settled in the valleys of this country (around 600 and onwards). At the same time Bavarian people (under Frankish domination) began to expand their area to the south and east and absorbed the Slavic population.
In 1180 Styria separated from the Duchy of Carinthia and became a Duchy of its own; in 1192 the Austrian Duke Leopold V became also Duke of Styria. Later, Styria formed the central part of Inner Austria.
Styria developed culturally and economically under Archduke John of Austria between 1809 and 1859.
In 1918, after World War I, it was divided into a northern section (forming what is the current Austrian state), and a southern one, called Lower Styria, now inhabited by Slovenians, and which was annexed to Yugoslavia, and later became part of Slovenia. As a result of the turbulence of the two world wars, the German-speaking population of Lower Styria, which had been concentrated in the cities, migrated out of the region or was expelled.
As elsewhere in the developed world, there has been a shift away from the manufacturing sector towards the service sector in Styria. This has had negative consequences for the industrial regions of upper Styria, which have suffered a steady decline in population in recent years.
In 2004 Styria had the strongest economic growth rate in Austria at 3.8%—mainly due to the Graz area which saw strong economic growth that year and has continued to grow in economic and population terms since then.
Styria is home to more than 150 clean technology companies, of which one dozen are world technology leaders in their field. The revenue of Styrian cleantech companies totals €2.7 billion. This equals to 8 percent of the Gross Regional Product (GRP), and is one of the highest concentrations of leading clean technology companies in Europe. The companies have an average (real) growth rate of 22 percent per year—well above the worldwide cleantech market growth of 18 percent per year. The region created roughly 2,000 additional green jobs in 2008 alone.
The state had been a stronghold of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) since 1945. Graz however is more left leaning than the more rural parts of the province, with strong representation of the Green Party in local politics and elections, and a less-than-marginal presence of the far left Communist Party (KPÖ).
The governor (Austrian political term: Landeshauptmann) has usually been a member of the ÖVP.
In the 2005 elections for state parliament the Social Democrats (SPÖ) under their regional chairman Franz Voves won the majority after the ÖVP had damaged its credibility through scandals and the secession of a high-ranking party member who took part in the 2005 elections after setting up his own party. In these elections, the KPÖ also received many votes after it had gained much popularity through its role in local politics in Graz during the preceding few years. The two right-wing populist parties, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ), failed to win seats.
In subsequent elections in 2010 and 2015, the Social Democrats, the Austrian People's Party, and the Communist Party each lost between one fourth and one third of their shares of the vote relative to 2005. The Freedom Party grew from 4.6 percent to 26.8 percent. The current government of Styria is a coalition of Social Democrats and People's Party, with each party holding 4 seats of the 8 seats available. The governor, Hermann Schützenhöfer, is a representative of the People's Party. His deputy, Michael Schickhofer, is a Social Democrat.