What if Austria-Hungary Reunited Today?
Last updated: Tuesday September 21st, 2021
At its height in 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War, and after annexing Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or Austria-Hungary, was among the most powerful European powers at its time and controlled a huge chunk of Europe. However, like all empires, its extensive power and glory didn't last for ever. During WWI, Allied Powers began to slowly capture its territories it once held firmly until the empire finally surrendered 1918, giving up all of its land and finally marking the end of Austria-Hungary. But what if the empire reunited today?
Population and Land
As always, the first thing we need to think about a reunited Austria-Hungary would be the population and land it would control. To start off, a total of 13 different, modern-day countries would lose all or some of their territory to the empire: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine. All of these countries would be located in Europe.
Due to a vast amount of countries making up the empire, its land area would also be a significant amount, standing at 240,500 Square miles (620,000 Sq km). This would make the empire the 2nd largest country in Europe, only just behind Russia, and the 44th largest country in the entire world, larger than Ukraine (603,500 Sq km) and South Sudan (619,745 Sq km), but slightly smaller than the Central African Republic (240,535 Sq km).
The population of a reunited Austria-Hungary would also be huge, standing at 71.2 Million, which would be enough to make the empire the 20th most populous country in the world, ahead of other very populated countries like Thailand (69.8 Million) and the United Kingdom (68 Million), but quite behind the other contenders, Germany (83.8 Million) and Iran (84 Million). The most populous country within the empire would be the Czech Republic with a population of 10,670,000, or just 14% of its entire population.
As well as a huge population count and land area, Austria-Hungary would also boast some big cities. The capital city of the empire would most likely be Budapest and Vienna as joint capital cities as they were both the two historic capitals in 1914, and are still two of the most populous and significant cities in the region, and Europe. Out of these two, Budapest would be the most populous urban-area within its borders, with just a slightly larger population of 2,630,000. However, Austria would fall behind to the 3rd most populous city, just behind Katowice, too. Here would be the rest of the top 10 most populous urban-areas within the empire:
- Budapest (2,630,000)
- Katowice (2,300,000)
- Vienna (2,230,000)
- Prague (1,460,000)
- Kraków (819,000)
- Zagreb (809,000)
- Lviv (725,000)
- Bratislava (660,000)
- Sarajevo (368,000)
- Graz (294,600)
Money and GDP
A reunited Austria-Hungary's economy would also be big, which brings us to the next topic. The empire's Nominal GDP would stand at around a total of $1.211 Trillion, which is huge and would be enough to put it in 15th place, in terms of Nominal GDP, ahead of other significant economies like Mexico ($1.192 Trillion), Indonesia ($1.158 Trillion) and the Netherlands ($1.012 Trillion), but behind the economies of Spain ($1.461 Trillion) and Brazil ($1.491 Trillion).
The empire's Nominal GDP Per Capita, however, would not be as impressive as its Nominal GDP, standing at around a moderate $17,008. This would still, though, put it in 64th place, ahead of many other countries and quite above the Global Average of $11,339, slightly richer than Poland ($16,930) and Croatia ($16,249), but poorer than the living standards in Hungary ($18,075) and Latvia ($19,824).
Religion and Ethnic Groups
The interesting next topic we need to think about a reunited Austria-Hungary are the religious and ethnic groups prevalent within its borders.
Beginning with religion, Catholics would be the largest followed faith in the empire, with just under half of the population at 44.37%, while Orthodox Christians would be the second largest, represented at 18.2%, followed by Protestants at only 4%. Islam would be the last major religion in the empire, at 3.3%, split between 3.2% Sunni and 0.1% Shia. The remaining population would be Atheists or irreligious people, accounting for a huge 20% of the empire.
Focusing on ethnic groups now, Hungarians would be the largest ethnicity in the empire, at 15.6% of the population. Germans would be next, at 11.85% of the population, which, in fact, would actually be a massive decrease by more than half its prevalence at 23.36% in 1914! Ukrainians would be the third largest ethnic group, at 10.1%, followed by Czechs at 9.8%, Romanians at 8.7%, Poles at 7.8%, and Croats at 6.4%. The final 29.7% of the population would be a mix of various other Ethnicities.
Green = Islam
Purple = Christianity
Grey = Atheism
Like its religion and ethnic groups prevalent within its borders, Austria-Hungary would also have a diverse range of Linguistic groups too. Hungarian would be the most spoken language within the empire, at 17.5%, similar to its ethnic presence. German would make up a further 16% of the population, which would be the second most spoken language. This would be followed by Czech at 14.6%, Ukrainian at 11.1% and Romanian at 8.4%. Polish would make up 7.8% of the population and the final 25% being a mix of various other languages in the empire.
The last topic we need to think about a reunited Austria-Hungary is its military, which would of course be no disappointment. Starting with manpower, the empire would possess a moderately sized force of around 188,250 active-duty troops, which would be the 30th force in the world, ahead of some significant militaries like Germany (183,000 troops) and Syria (169,000 troops), but remaining smaller than both Morocco (195,800 troops) and France (203,250 troops). In addition to this, the empire would have an extra 80,000 troops placed in reserves, bringing its entire army to a total of 268,250 troops.
The budget to fund this military would also be an average amount, standing at $14.97 Billion, or 1.2% of the empire's entire Nominal GDP, which would be the 19th highest budget in the world, ahead of other countries' budgets like Iran's ($12.6 Billion) and the Netherlands' ($12.1 Billion), but behind the larger budgets of Spain ($17.2 Billion) and Turkey ($20.5 Billion).
Nazi Germany | Yugoslavia | Poland-Lithuania | First Mexican Empire
And finally, that brings us to the end of this part of the series. If you have any other new suggestions for any significant empires you want me to cover then please let me know in the comments. But for now, I would like to thank you all so much for reading and goodbye! :)