Facts about Slovakia

World Facts Index

In 1918 the Slovaks joined the closely related Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Following the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia became a Communist nation within Soviet-ruled Eastern Europe. Soviet influence collapsed in 1989 and Czechoslovakia once more became free. The Slovaks and the Czechs agreed to separate peacefully on 1 January 1993. Slovakia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

Geography of Slovakia

Location:
Central Europe, south of Poland
Coordinates:
48 40 N, 19 30 E
Area:
total: 48,845 sq km
water: 45 sq km
land: 48,800 sq km
Area comparative:
about twice the size of New Hampshire
Land boundaries:
total: 1,524 km
border countries: Austria 91 km, Czech Republic 215 km, Hungary 677 km, Poland 444 km, Ukraine 97 km
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
Terrain:
rugged mountains in the central and northern part and lowlands in the south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Bodrok River 94 m
highest point: Gerlachovsky Stit 2,655 m
Natural resources:
brown coal and lignite; small amounts of iron ore, copper and manganese ore; salt; arable land
Environment current issues:
air pollution from metallurgical plants presents human health risks; acid rain damaging forests
Geography - note:
landlocked; most of the country is rugged and mountainous; the Tatra Mountains in the north are interspersed with many scenic lakes and valleys

Population of Slovakia

Population:
5,455,407 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.7% (male 465,304/female 443,967)
15-64 years: 71.3% (male 1,929,448/female 1,947,735)
65 years and over: 12% (male 244,609/female 408,385)
Median age:
35.8 years
Growth rate:
0.15%
Infant mortality:
7.26 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.73 years
male: 70.76 years
female: 78.89 years
Fertility rate:
1.33 children born/woman
Nationality:
noun: Slovak(s)
adjective: Slovak
Ethnic groups:
Slovak 85.8%, Hungarian 9.7%, Roma 1.7%, Ruthenian/Ukrainian 1%, other and unspecified 1.8%
Religions:
Roman Catholic 68.9%, Protestant 10.8%, Greek Catholic 4.1%, other or unspecified 3.2%, none 13%
Languages:
Slovak (official) 83.9%, Hungarian 10.7%, Roma 1.8%, Ukrainian 1%, other or unspecified 2.6%

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Slovak Republic
conventional short form: Slovakia
local short form: Slovensko
local long form: Slovenska Republika
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
Capital:
Bratislava
Administrative divisions:
8 regions (kraje, singular - kraj); Banskobystricky, Bratislavsky, Kosicky, Nitriansky, Presovsky, Trenciansky, Trnavsky, Zilinsky
Independence:
1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
National holiday:
Constitution Day, 1 September (1992)
Constitution:
ratified 1 September 1992, fully effective 1 January 1993; changed in September 1998 to allow direct election of the president; amended February 2001 to allow Slovakia to apply for NATO and EU membership
Legal system:
civil law system based on Austro-Hungarian codes; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; legal code modified to comply with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to expunge Marxist-Leninist legal theory
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Ivan GASPAROVIC (since 15 June 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Robert FICO (since 4 July 2006); Deputy Prime Ministers Dusan CAPLOVIC, Robert KALINAK, Stefan HARABIN, Jan MIKOLAJ (since 4 July 2006)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president.
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic or Narodna Rada Slovenskej Republiky (150 seats; members are elected on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are elected by the National Council); Constitutional Court (judges appointed by president from group of nominees approved by the National Council); Special Court (judges elected by a council of judges and appointed by president)

Economy

Slovakia has mastered much of the difficult transition from a centrally planned economy to a modern market economy. The DZURINDA government made excellent progress during 2001-04 in macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform. Major privatizations are nearly complete, the banking sector is almost completely in foreign hands, and the government has helped facilitate a foreign investment boom with business friendly policies such as labor market liberalization and a 19% flat tax. Foreign investment in the automotive sector has been strong. Slovakia's economic growth exceeded expectations in 2001-07 despite the general European slowdown. Unemployment, at an unacceptable 18% in 2003-04, dropped to 8.6% in 2007 but remains the economy's Achilles heel. Slovakia joined the EU on 1 May 2004 and will be the second of the new EU member states to adopt the euro in 2009 if it continues to meet euro adoption criteria in 2008. Despite its 2006 pre-election promises to loosen fiscal policy and reverse the previous DZURINDA government's pro-market reforms, FICO's cabinet has thus far been careful to keep a lid on spending in order to meet euro adoption criteria. The FICO government is pursuing a state-interventionist economic policy, however, and has pushed to regulate energy and food prices.

GDP:
$110.2 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
5.5%
GDP per capita:
$16,100
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 29.4%
services: 67.2%
Inflation rate:
2.7%
Labor force:
2.24 million
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 5.8%, industry 29.3%, construction 9%, services 55.9%
Unemployment:
11.7%
Budget:
revenues: $22.7 billion
expenditures: $23.2 billion
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 30.3%
hydro: 16%
other: 0%
nuclear: 53.6%
Industries:
metal and metal products; food and beverages; electricity, gas, coke, oil, nuclear fuel; chemicals and manmade fibers; machinery; paper and printing; earthenware and ceramics; transport vehicles; textiles; electrical and optical apparatus; rubber products
Agriculture:
grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, cattle, poultry; forest products
Exports:
vehicles 25.9%, machinery and electrical equipment 21.3%, base metals 14.6%, chemicals and minerals 10.1%, plastics 5.4%
Export partners:
Germany 30.2%, Czech Republic 15.6%, Italy 7%, Austria 6.6%, Poland 6.3%, Hungary 5% 
Imports:
machinery and transport equipment 41.1%, intermediate manufactured goods 19.3%, fuels 12.3%, chemicals 9.8%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 10.2%
Import partners:
Germany 23.3%, Czech Republic 21.6%, Russia 9.9%, Austria 6.3%, Poland 5.4%, Hungary 5.1%, Italy 4.7% 
Currency:
Slovak koruna (SKK)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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