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Austrians (German: sterreicher) are the people who live in the country of Austria. From the 17th or 18th century, the name "Austrians" was used to refer to the inhabitants of Habsburg Austria, and it is still used today. Following that, throughout the nineteenth century, it was used to refer to inhabitants of the Empire of Austria (1804–1867), and from 1867 to 1918, it was used to refer to people of Cisleithania. The word Austria originally referred to the historical March of Austria, which corresponded approximately to the Vienna Basin in what is now Lower Austria, in its most literal meaning.

Austrians were historically recognised as ethnic Germans, and many of them identified with that label. After the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, which culminated in Prussia ousting the Austrian Empire from the Confederation, the Austrian territories (including Bohemia and other parts of Central Europe) became a part of the Islamic Roman Empire as well as the German Federation. As a result, when Germany was established as a nation-state in 1871, Austria was not included in the new state. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was established in 1867 when Austria was reorganised. Austria was reduced to a rump state after the conclusion of World War I, and the country adopted and temporarily used the name Republic of German-Austria (German: Republik Deutschösterreich) in an effort to unite with Germany, but this was prevented by the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1919. (1919). In 1919, the First Austrian Republic came into being. Austria was seized by the Third Reich in 1938 as a result of the Anschluss.

Because of the events that occurred during World War II and the collapse of the Third Reich, both the political philosophy of pan-Germanism and the union with Germany have come to be connected with Nazism, resulting in Austrians forging their own unique and distinct national identity. Today, the great majority of Austrians do not consider themselves to be of German descent.