This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Demographics of the Austrian Presidential Election

On Sunday voters in Austria went to the polls to decide who would be their next President--a far-right candidate (Norbert Hofer) or the Green Party economics professor (Alexander Van der Bellen). Let's hear it for the economics professor, who won by a very slim margin, as noted by the NYTimes:
The result averted the prospect of the first right-wing populist head of state in post-Nazi Europe taking office in a democratic election. Yet the close result illustrated how deeply divided Austria is between left and right, and how thoroughly the centrist elites who have run the country since 1945 have fallen from public grace.
Those divisions are demographic and spatial. The NYTimes summarizes them as follows:
Polling experts said Mr. Van der Bellen had won the election with support from city dwellers — particularly in Vienna, which voted 61 percent for him — women and the highly educated.
Thanks go to PopulationData.Net for linking us to the details of that demographic analysis, which appears in the French paper, Le Monde. Graphs in the story show the rather remarkable divide between men and women in their support for the candidates (see below), with women more likely to vote for Van der Bellen while men were more likely to go for Hofer. 

The higher the level of education, the more likely were people to vote for Van der Bellen, and the map below shows that support for Van der Bellen came from the urban part of Austria, whereas the rural populations were more likely to support Hofer.

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