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Introduction Slovakia
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 was invited to join NATO and the EU in 2002.
Geography Slovakia
Central Europe, south of Poland
Geographic coordinates:
48 40 N, 19 30 E
Map references:
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
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
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
Land use:
arable land: 30.74%
permanent crops: 2.64%
other: 66.62% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
1,740 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
air pollution from metallurgical plants presents human health risks; acid rain damaging forests
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
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
People Slovakia
5,430,033 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 17.8% (male 495,316; female 471,823)
15-64 years: 70.5% (male 1,903,335; female 1,924,065)
65 years and over: 11.7% (male 238,912; female 396,582) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 35 years
male: 33.3 years
female: 36.7 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
0.14% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
10.1 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
9.22 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 8.55 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 9.39 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.43 years
male: 70.44 years
female: 78.64 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.25 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 100 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2001 est.)
noun: Slovak(s)
adjective: Slovak
Ethnic groups:
Slovak 85.7%, Hungarian 10.6%, Roma 1.6% (the 1992 census figures underreport the Gypsy/Romany community, which is about 500,000), Czech, Moravian, Silesian 1.1%, Ruthenian and Ukrainian 0.6%, German 0.1%, Polish 0.1%, other 0.2% (1996)
Roman Catholic 60.3%, atheist 9.7%, Protestant 8.4%, Orthodox 4.1%, other 17.5%
Slovak (official), Hungarian
definition: NA
total population: NA%
male: NA%
female: NA%
Government Slovakia
Country name:
conventional long form: Slovak Republic
conventional short form: Slovakia
local short form: Slovensko
local long form: Slovenska Republika
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
Administrative divisions:
8 regions (kraje, singular - kraj); Banskobystricky, Bratislavsky, Kosicky, Nitriansky, Presovsky, Trenciansky, Trnavsky, Zilinsky
1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
National holiday:
Constitution Day, 1 September (1992)
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
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Rudolf SCHUSTER (since 15 June 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Mikulas DZURINDA (since 30 October 1998); Deputy Prime Minister Pavol RUSKO (since 24 September 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections: president elected by direct, popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 29 May 1999 (next to be held NA May/June 2004); 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
note: government coalition - SDKU, SMK, KDH, ANO
election results: Rudolf SCHUSTER elected president in the first direct, popular election; percent of vote - Rudolf SCHUSTER 57%; Mikulas DZURINDA reelected prime minister October 2002
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)
election results: percent of vote by party - HZDS-LS 19.5%, SDKU 15.1%, SMER 13.5%, SMK 11.2%, KDH 8.3%, ANO 8%, KSS 6.3%; seats by party - governing coalition 78 (SDKU 28, SMK 20, KDH 15, ANO 15), opposition 72 (HZDS 36, SMER 25, KSS 11) (as of February 2003, 12 deputies had split from HZDS and formed an independent faction)
elections: last held 20-21 September 2002 (next to be held NA September 2006)
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)
Political parties and leaders:
Christian Democratic Movement or KDH [Pavol HRUSOVSKY]; Democratic Party or DS [Ludovit KANIK]; Direction (Smer) [Robert FICO]; Movement for a Democratic Slovakia-People's Party or HZDS-LS [Vladimir MECIAR]; New Citizens Alliance or ANO [Pavol RUSKO]; Party of the Hungarian Coalition or SMK [Bela BUGAR]; Slovak Communist Party or KSS [Jozef SEVC]; Slovak Democratic and Christian Union or SDKU [Mikulas DZURINDA]; Slovak National Party or SNS [Jan SLOTA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Association of Employers of Slovakia; Association of Towns and Villages or ZMOS; Confederation of Trade Unions or KOZ; Metal Workers Unions or KOVO and METALURG
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Rastislav KACER
chancery: 3523 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
FAX: [1] (202) 237-6438
telephone: [1] (202) 237-1054
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ronald WEISER
embassy: Hviezdoslavovo Namestie 4, 81102 Bratislava
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [421] (2) 5443-3338
FAX: [421] (2) 5441-5148
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red superimposed with the Slovak cross in a shield centered on the hoist side; the cross is white centered on a background of red and blue
Economy Slovakia
Economy - overview:
Slovakia has mastered much of the difficult transition from a centrally planned economy to a modern market economy. The DZURINDA government has made excellent progress in 2001-03 in macroeconomic stabilization and structural reform. Major privatizations are nearly complete, the banking sector is almost completely in foreign hands, and foreign investment has picked up. Slovakia's economy exceeded expectations in 2001-03, despite the general European slowdown. Unemployment, at an unacceptable 15% in 2003, remains the economy's Achilles heel. The government faces other strong challenges in 2004, especially the cutting of budget and current account deficits, the containment of inflation, and the strengthening of the health care system.
purchasing power parity - $67.34 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.4% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $12,400 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4.5%
industry: 34.1%
services: 61.4% (2000)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 5.1%
highest 10%: 18.2% (1992)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
26.3 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.3% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
3 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
industry 29.3%, agriculture 8.9%, construction 8%, transport and communication 8.2%, services 45.6% (1994)
Unemployment rate:
17.2% (2002 est.)
revenues: $5.2 billion
expenditures: $5.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999)
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
Industrial production growth rate:
4.4% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
30.29 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 30.3%
hydro: 16%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 53.6%
Electricity - consumption:
24.41 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
5.141 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
1.381 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
1,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
82,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
4.5 million bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
292 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
7.932 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
7.205 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
7.504 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, cattle, poultry; forest products
$12.9 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment 39.4%, intermediate manufactured goods 27.5%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 13%, chemicals 8% (1999)
Exports - partners:
Germany 30.1%, Czech Republic 16.4%, Austria 10.7%, Italy 7.2%, Poland 5.7%, Hungary 4.6% (2002)
$15.4 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment 37.7%, intermediate manufactured goods 18%, fuels 13%, chemicals 11%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 9.5% (1999)
Imports - partners:
Germany 24.8%, Czech Republic 16%, Russia 13.5%, Austria 7%, Italy 6.4%, France 4% (2002)
Debt - external:
$9.6 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA $113 million (2000),; $92 million EU structural adjustment funds (2000 est.)
Slovak koruna (SKK)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
koruny per US dollar - 45.33 (2002), 48.35 (2001), 46.04 (2000), 41.36 (1999), 35.23 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Slovakia
Telephones - main lines in use:
1,934,558 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
736,662 (April 1999)
Telephone system:
general assessment: a modernization and privatization program is increasing accessibility to telephone service, reducing the waiting time for new subscribers, and generally improving service quality
domestic: predominantly an analog system that is now receiving digital equipment and is being enlarged with fiber-optic cable, especially in the larger cities; mobile cellular capability has been added
international: three international exchanges (one in Bratislava and two in Banska Bystrica) are available; Slovakia is participating in several international telecommunications projects that will increase the availability of external services
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 15, FM 78, shortwave 2 (1998)
3.12 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
38 (plus 864 repeaters) (1995)
2.62 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
6 (2000)
Internet users:
700,000 (2000)
Transportation Slovakia
total: 3,668 km
broad gauge: 106 km 1.520-m gauge
narrow gauge: 51 km (46 km 1,000-m gauge; 5 km 0.750-m gauge) (2002)
standard gauge: 3,511 km 1.435-m gauge (1,567 km electrified)
total: 42,717 km
paved: 37,036 km (including 296 km of expressways)
unpaved: 5,681 km (2000)
172 km (all on the Danube)
gas 6,769 km; oil 449 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Bratislava, Komarno
Merchant marine:
total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 11,574 GRT/16,330 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 1 (2002 est.)
37 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 20
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 9 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 17
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 7 (2002)
1 (2002)
Military Slovakia
Military branches:
Army (Ground Forces), Air and Air Defense Forces, Home Guards (Territorial Defense Forces), Civil Defense Force, Railway Armed Forces (subordinate to the Ministry of Transportation, Post, and Telecommunications)
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,484,950 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 1,135,612 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 44,287 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$406 million (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.89% (2002)
Transnational Issues Slovakia
Disputes - international:
small boundary changes made with Poland in 2003; Hungary has yet to amend status law extending special social and cultural benefits to ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia, who protest the law
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for regional market