Native Tiroleans are mainly of Bavarian origin, with the exception of the Außerfern region, whose population are of Alemanic provenance. Tirol was initially populated by Rhaeto-Romans who were gradually displaced by other peoples;
From the 6th century AD the Rhaeto-Romans were infiltrated by the Germanic Bavarians. Only in some valleys - the Montafon and the Upper Inntal Valley namely - the Rhaeto-Romans remained longer. The peopling of Tirol´s mountainous regions took place in different phases and was characterized by isolated farmhouses. The most important centers developed along traffic junctions and transit routes (Innsbruck, Kufstein, Landeck) or near mining sites like Hall in Tirol (salt), Schwaz (silver), Rattenberg (silver) and Kitzbühel (copper).
The Inntal valley forms Tirol´s main axis and is the province´s most populated area. Beautiful villages developed on cones of scree and flat terraces. The central Inntal valley between Zirl and Zillertal owes its position of pre-eminence to its settlement area and proximity to the Brenner pass. In East Tirol, the Lienz basin is the main settlement area. Self-contained rural settlements can be found in the Lechtal and Drautal valley.