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Slovakia[Country flag of Slovakia]

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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 joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.
Geography Slovakia
Central Europe, south of Poland
Geographic coordinates:
48 40 N, 19 30 E
Map references:
total: 48,845 sq km
land: 48,800 sq km
water: 45 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: 30.16%
permanent crops: 2.62%
other: 67.22% (2001)
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-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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
5,431,363 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 17.1% (male 475,263/female 453,340)
15-64 years: 71% (male 1,919,222/female 1,939,097)
65 years and over: 11.9% (male 241,610/female 402,831) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 35.43 years
male: 33.85 years
female: 37.25 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.15% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
10.62 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
9.43 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 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: 0.94 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 7.41 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.65 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.5 years
male: 70.52 years
female: 78.68 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.32 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 200 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2001 est.)
noun: Slovak(s)
adjective: Slovak
Ethnic groups:
Slovak 85.8%, Hungarian 9.7%, Roma 1.7%, Ruthenian/Ukrainian 1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
Roman Catholic 68.9%, Protestant 10.8%, Greek Catholic 4.1%, other or unspecified 3.2%, none 13% (2001 census)
Slovak (official) 83.9%, Hungarian 10.7%, Roma 1.8%, Ukrainian 1%, other or unspecified 2.6% (2001 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.6% (2001 est.)
Government Slovakia
Country name:
conventional long form: Slovak Republic
conventional short form: Slovakia
local long form: Slovenska Republika
local short form: Slovensko
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, 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 Ivan GASPAROVIC (since 15 June 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Mikulas DZURINDA (since 30 October 1998); Deputy Prime Minister Ivan MIKLOS (since 30 October 1998); Deputy Prime Minister Pal CSAKY (since 30 October 1998); Deputy Prime Minister Pavol RUSKO (since May 2004)
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 3 April and 17 April 2004 (next to be held April 2009); 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
election results: Ivan GASPAROVIC elected president in runoff; percent of vote - Ivan GASPAROVIC 59.9%, Vladimir MECIAR 40.1%; Mikulas DZURINDA reelected prime minister October 2002
note: government coalition - SDKU, SMK, KDH, ANO
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)
elections: last held 20-21 September 2002 (next to be held September 2006)
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 69 (SDKU 22, SMK 20, KDH 15, ANO 12), opposition 81 (HZDS 26, Smer 25, KSS 9, Free Forum 6, People's Union 5, and independents 10)
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]; Direction (Smer) [Robert FICO]; Free Forum [Zuzana MARTINAKOVA]; Movement for Democracy or HZD [Jozef GRAPA]; 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]; People's Union or LU [Gustav KRAJCI]; Slovak Communist Party or KSS [Jozef SEVC]; Slovak Democratic and Christian Union or SDKU [Mikulas DZURINDA]; Slovak National Party or SNS [Peter SULOVSKY]
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
telephone: [1] (202) 237-1054
FAX: [1] (202) 237-6438
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Scott N. THAYER
embassy: Hviezdoslavovo Namestie 4, 81102 Bratislava
mailing address: P.O. Box 309, 814 99 Bratislava
telephone: [421] (2) 5443-3338
FAX: [421] (2) 5443-0096
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 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. Slovakia's economic growth exceeded expectations in 2001-04, despite the general European slowdown. Unemployment, at an unacceptable 15% in 2003-04, remains the economy's Achilles heel. Slovakia joined the EU on 1 May 2004.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$78.89 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.3% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $14,500 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 30.1%
services: 66.4% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
2.2 million (3rd quarter, 2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 5.8%, industry 29.3%, construction 9%, services 55.9% (2003)
Unemployment rate:
13.1% (31 December 2004 est.)
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):
7.5% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
24% of GDP (2004 est.)
revenues: $15.44 billion
expenditures: $16.7 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Public debt:
46.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, cattle, poultry; forest products
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:
5.1% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
31.15 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 30.3%
hydro: 16%
nuclear: 53.6%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
28.89 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
8 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
6 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
1,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
82,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Oil - imports:
Oil - proved reserves:
4.5 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
190 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
6.8 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
6.6 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
7.504 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$-1.4 billion (2004 est.)
$29.24 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
vehicles 25.9%, machinery and electrical equipment 21.3%, base metals 14.6%, chemicals and minerals 10.1%, plastics 5.4%% (2004 est.)
Exports - partners:
Germany 34.4%, Czech Republic 14.7%, Austria 8.2%, Italy 5.8%, Poland 5.3%, US 4.5%, Hungary 4.3% (2004)
$29.67 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment 41.1%, intermediate manufactured goods 19.3%, fuels 12.3%, chemicals 9.8%, miscellaneous manufactured goods 10.2% (2003)
Imports - partners:
Germany 26.1%, Czech Republic 21.3%, Russia 9.1%, Austria 6.6%, Poland 4.9%, Italy 4.9% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$14.91 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$19.54 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$2.2 billion in available EU structural adjustment and cohesion funds (2004-06)
Currency (code):
Slovak koruna (SKK)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
koruny per US dollar - 32.257 (2004), 36.773 (2003), 45.327 (2002), 48.355 (2001), 46.035 (2000)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Slovakia
Telephones - main lines in use:
1,294,700 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
3,678,800 (2003)
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: country code - 421; 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:
6 national broadcasting, 7 regional, 67 local (2004)
2.62 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
89,592 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
6 (2000)
Internet users:
1,375,800 (2003)
Transportation Slovakia
total: 3,662 km
broad gauge: 100 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 3,512 km 1.435-m gauge (1,588 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 50 km (1.000-m or 0.750-m gauge) (2004)
total: 42,970 km
paved: 37,698 km (including 302 km of expressways)
unpaved: 5,272 km (2002)
172 km (on Danube River) (2004)
gas 6,769 km; oil 449 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Bratislava, Komarno
Merchant marine:
total: 24 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 41,891 GRT/63,185 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 5, cargo 18, chemical tanker 1
foreign-owned: 18 (Bulgaria 8, Estonia 1, Greece 1, Syria 1, Turkey 6, United Kingdom 1) (2005)
34 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 17
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 7 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 17
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 7 (2004 est.)
1 (2004 est.)
Military Slovakia
Military branches:
Army of the Slovak Republic (Armady Slovenskej Republika): Land Command, Air Forces (Vozdushne Sily), Training and Support Command, Logistics Command (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
complete transition to an all-volunteer professional force is planned for 1 January 2007; 82% of Slovak armed forces were volunteers as of January 2005; volunteers include women, with minimum age of 17 years; 18 years of age for compulsory military service (January 2005)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,351,848 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,089,645 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 41,544 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$406 million (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.87% FY05 (2005)
Transnational Issues Slovakia
Disputes - international:
Hungary amended its status law extending special social and cultural benefits to ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia, to which Slovakia had protested; consultations continue between Slovakia and Hungary over Hungary's completion of its portion of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric dam project along the Danube; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Slovakia must implement the strict Schengen border rules
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for regional market

This page was last updated on 1 November, 2005


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