Slovakia

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON NOVEMBER 15, 2011
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Location of Slovakia
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OF SLOVAKIA
 

Introduction

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Slovakia's roots can be traced to the 9th century state of Great Moravia. Subsequently, the Slovaks became part of the Hungarian Kingdom, where they remained for the next 1,000 years. Following the formation of the dual Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1867, language and education policies favoring the use of Hungarian (Magyarization) resulted in a strengthening of Slovak nationalism and a cultivation of cultural ties with the closely related Czechs, who were themselves ruled by the Austrians. After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the close of World War I, the Slovaks joined the Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Following the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia became a Communist nation within Soviet-dominated 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 and the euro area on 1 January 2009.
 
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Geography

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Central Europe, south of Poland
 
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48 40 N, 19 30 E
 
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total: 49,035 sq km
country comparison to the world: 131
land: 48,105 sq km
water: 930 sq km
 
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about twice the size of New Hampshire
 
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total: 1,474 km
border countries: Austria 91 km, Czech Republic 197 km, Hungary 676 km, Poland 420 km, Ukraine 90 km
 
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0 km (landlocked)
 
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none (landlocked)
 
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temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
 
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rugged mountains in the central and northern part and lowlands in the south
 
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lowest point: Bodrok River 94 m
highest point: Gerlachovsky Stit 2,655 m
 
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brown coal and lignite; small amounts of iron ore, copper and manganese ore; salt; arable land
 
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arable land: 29.23%
permanent crops: 2.67%
other: 68.1% (2005)
 
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1,660 sq km (2008)
 
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50.1 cu km (2003)
 
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total: 1.04
per capita: 193 cu m/yr (2003)
 
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NA
 
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air pollution from metallurgical plants presents human health risks; acid rain damaging forests
 
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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, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
 
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landlocked; most of the country is rugged and mountainous; the Tatra Mountains in the north are interspersed with many scenic lakes and valleys
 
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People and Society

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noun: Slovak(s)
adjective: Slovak
 
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Slovak 85.8%, Hungarian 9.7%, Roma 1.7%, Ruthenian/Ukrainian 1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
 
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Slovak (official) 83.9%, Hungarian 10.7%, Roma 1.8%, Ukrainian 1%, other or unspecified 2.6% (2001 census)
 
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Roman Catholic 68.9%, Protestant 10.8%, Greek Catholic 4.1%, other or unspecified 3.2%, none 13% (2001 census)
 
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5,477,038 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
 
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0-14 years: 15.6% (male 437,755/female 417,797)
15-64 years: 71.6% (male 1,955,031/female 1,965,554)
65 years and over: 12.8% (male 262,363/female 438,538) (2011 est.)
 
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total: 37.6 years
male: 36.1 years
female: 39.2 years (2011 est.)
 
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0.117% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184
 
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10.48 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 182
 
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9.6 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
 
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0.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
 
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urban population: 55% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 0.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
 
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BRATISLAVA (capital) 428,000 (2009)
 
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at birth: 1.051 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 (2011 est.)
 
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6 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
country comparison to the world: 163
 
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total: 6.59 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 169
male: 7.69 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.43 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
 
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total population: 75.83 years
country comparison to the world: 80
male: 71.92 years
female: 79.93 years (2011 est.)
 
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1.37 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205
 
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8.5% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 46
 
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3 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
country comparison to the world: 38
 
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6.56 beds/1,000 population (2008)
country comparison to the world: 18
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2008)
 
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improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0% of population (2008)
 
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less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
 
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fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
 
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fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
 
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14.3% (2002)
country comparison to the world: 39
 
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3.6% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 114
 
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.6% (2004)
 
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total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 16 years (2008)
 
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total: 27.3%
country comparison to the world: 19
male: 27.9%
female: 26.6% (2009)
 
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Government

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conventional long form: Slovak Republic
conventional short form: Slovakia
local long form: Slovenska Republika
local short form: Slovensko
 
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parliamentary democracy
 
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name: Bratislava
geographic coordinates: 48 09 N, 17 07 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
 
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8 regions (kraje, singular - kraj); Banskobystricky, Bratislavsky, Kosicky, Nitriansky, Presovsky, Trenciansky, Trnavsky, Zilinsky
 
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1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
 
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Constitution Day, 1 September (1992)
 
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ratified 1 September 1992, effective 1 January 1993; changed September 1998; amended February 2001
note: the change in September 1998 allowed direct election of the president; the amendment of February 2001 allowed Slovakia to apply for NATO and EU membership
 
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civil law system based on Austro-Hungarian codes; note - legal code modified to comply with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe and to expunge Marxist-Leninist legal system
 
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accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
 
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18 years of age; universal
 
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chief of state: President Ivan GASPAROVIC (since 15 June 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Iveta RADICOVA (since 8 July 2010); Deputy Prime Ministers Jan FIGEL, Ivan MIKLOS, Jozef MIHAL, Rudolf CHMEL (since 9 July 2010)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
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elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 March and 4 April 2009 (next to be held no later than April 2014); following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the president
election results: Ivan GASPAROVIC reelected president in runoff; percent of vote - Ivan GASPAROVIC 55.5%, Iveta RADICOVA 44.5%
 
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unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic or Narodna Rada Slovenskej Republiky (150 seats; members elected on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 12 June 2010 (next to be held in June 2014)
election results: percent of vote by party - Smer 34.8%, SDKU-DS 15%, SaS 12.1%, KDH 8.5%, Most-Hid 8.1%, SNS 5.1%, other 16.2%; seats by party - Smer 62, SDKU-DS 28, SaS 22, KDH 15, Most-Hid 14, SNS 9
 
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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)
 
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parties in the Parliament:: Bridge or Most-Hid [Bela BUGAR]; Christian Democratic Movement or KDH [Jan FIGEL]; Direction-Social Democracy or Smer-SD [Robert FICO]; Freedom and Solidarity or SaS [Richard SULIK]; Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-Democratic Party or SDKU-DS [Mikulas DZURINDA]; Slovak National Party or SNS [Jan SLOTA]
selected parties outside the Parliament:: Alliance for a Europe of Nations or AZEN [Milan URBANI]; Association of Slovak Workers or ZRS [Jan LUPTAK]; Civic Conservative Party or OKS [Peter ZAJAC]; Green Party or SZ [Peter PILINSKY]; Party of the Democratic Left or SDL [Marek BLAHA]; Party of the Hungarian Coalition or SMK [Jozsef BERENYI]; People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia or LS-HZDS [Vladimir MECIAR]; People's Party - Our Slovakia or LSNS [Marian KOTLEBA]; Slovak Communist Party or KSS [Jozef HRDLICKA]; Union - Party for Slovakia or Unia [Milan CELIK]
 
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Association of Towns and Villages or ZMOS; Confederation of Trade Unions or KOZ; Entrepreneurs Association of Slovakia or ZPS; Federation of Employers' Associations of the Slovak Republic; National Union of Employers or RUZ; Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry or SOPK; Slovenska Pospolitost; The Business Alliance of Slovakia or PAS
 
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Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Peter BURIAN
chancery: 3523 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 237-1054
FAX: [1] (202) 237-6438
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York
 
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chief of mission: Ambassador Theodore SEDGWICK
embassy: Hviezdoslavovo Namestie 4, 81102 Bratislava
mailing address: P.O. Box 309, 814 99 Bratislava
telephone: [421] (2) 5443-3338
FAX: [421] (2) 5441-8861
 
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three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red derive from the Pan-Slav colors; the Slovakian coat of arms (consisting of a red shield bordered in white and bearing a white Cross of Lorraine surmounting three blue hills) is centered over the bands but offset slightly to the hoist side
note: the Pan-Slav colors were inspired by the 19th-century flag of Russia
 
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double-barred cross (Cross of Lorraine) surmounting three peaks
 
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name: "Nad Tatrou sa blyska" (Storm Over the Tatras)
lyrics/music: Janko MATUSKA/traditional
note: adopted 1993, in use since 1844; the anthem's music is based on the Slovak folk song "Kopala studienku"
 
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Economy

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Slovakia has made significant economic reforms since its separation from the Czech Republic in 1993. Reforms to the taxation, healthcare, pension, and social welfare systems helped Slovakia consolidate its budget and get on track to join the EU in 2004 and to adopt the euro in January 2009. Major privatizations are nearly complete, the banking sector is almost entirely in foreign hands, and the government has helped facilitate a foreign investment boom with business friendly policies. Slovakia's economic growth exceeded expectations in 2001-08 despite a general European slowdown. Unemployment, at an unacceptable 18% in 2003-04, dropped to 7.7% in 2008 but remains the economy's Achilles heel. Foreign direct investment (FDI) accounted for much of the growth until 2008. Cheap and skilled labor, low taxes, a 19% flat tax for corporations and individuals, no dividend taxes, a relatively liberal labor code and a favorable geographical location are Slovakia's main advantages for foreign investors. Foreign investment in the automotive and electronic sectors has been especially strong. To maintain a stable operating environment for investors, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development advised the Slovak government to refrain from intervening in important sectors of the economy. However, Bratislava's approach to mitigating the economic slowdown has included substantial government intervention and the option to nationalize strategic companies. RADICOVA's government, in power since July 2010, has allowed the budget deficit to rise slightly, to 7.9% of GDP in 2010. GDP fell nearly 5% in 2009 before gaining back 4% in 2010, and unemployment rose above 12% in 2010, as the global recession impacted many segments of the economy.
 
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$120.2 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
$115.5 billion (2009 est.)
$121.3 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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$87.45 billion (2010 est.)
 
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4% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
-4.8% (2009 est.)
5.8% (2008 est.)
 
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$22,000 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
$21,100 (2009 est.)
$22,200 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
 
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agriculture: 3.8%
industry: 34.8%
services: 61.4% (2010 est.)
 
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2.707 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
 
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agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 27%
services: 69.4% (December 2009)
 
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12.5% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
11.4% (2009 est.)
 
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21% (2002)
 
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lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 20.9% (1996)
 
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26 (2005)
country comparison to the world: 133
26.3 (1996)
 
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20.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
 
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revenues: $28.92 billion
expenditures: $35.82 billion (2010 est.)
 
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33.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
 
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-7.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 187
 
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41% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
35.4% of GDP (2009 est.)
 
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1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
1.6% (2009 est.)
 
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1.75% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
1.75% (31 December 2009)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks from the euro area; as of 1 January 2009 Slovakia became a member of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
 
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3.39% (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 180
2.91% (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$35.41 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
$35.08 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
note: this figure represents the US dollar value of Slovak koruny in circulation prior to Slovakia joining the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); see entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
 
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$51.92 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
$54.21 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$66.62 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
$66.11 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$4.15 billion (31 December 2010)
country comparison to the world: 82
$4.672 billion (31 December 2009)
$5.079 billion (31 December 2008)
 
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grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, cattle, poultry; forest products
 
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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
 
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18.8% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
 
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24.7 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
 
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28.75 billion kWh (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
 
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7.682 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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1.312 billion kWh (2009 est.)
 
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8,281 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
 
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83,810 bbl/day (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
 
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78,940 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
 
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139,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
 
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9 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 91
 
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103 million cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
 
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6.413 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 55
 
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808 million cu m (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
 
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6.425 billion cu m (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
 
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14.16 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
 
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-$3.173 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
-$2.819 billion (2009 est.)
 
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$67.97 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
$55.32 billion (2009 est.)
 
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machinery and electrical equipment 35.9%, vehicles 21%, base metals 11.3%, chemicals and minerals 8.1%, plastics 4.9% (2009 est.)
 
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Germany 20.1%, Czech Republic 14.8%, Poland 7.9%, Hungary 7.3%, France 7.2%, Austria 7.1%, Italy 5.8% (2010)
 
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$67.77 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
$53.67 billion (2009 est.)
 
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machinery and transport equipment 31%, mineral products 13%, vehicles 12%, base metals 9%, chemicals 8%, plastics 6% (2009 est.)
 
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Czech Republic 18.9%, Germany 18.3%, Russia 9.5%, Hungary 7.4%, Poland 5.6%, South Korea 5.1%, Austria 4.9%, Italy 4.1% (2010)
 
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$2.161 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114
$1.821 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$75.9 billion (30 June 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
$59.33 billion (30 June 2010 est.)
 
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$50.68 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
$52.64 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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$2.83 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$3.697 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
 
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euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.755 (2010)
0.7198 (2009)
Slovak koruny (SKK) per US dollar -
21.05 (2008)
24.919 (2007)
29.611 (2006)
note: on 1 January 2009 Slovakia adopted the euro as legal tender
 
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Communications

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1.099 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 74
 
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5.925 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 96
 
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general assessment: Slovakia has a modern telecommunications system that has expanded dramatically in recent years with the growth in cellular services
domestic: analog system is now receiving digital equipment and is being enlarged with fiber-optic cable, especially in the larger cities; 3 companies provide nationwide cellular services
international: country code - 421; 3 international exchanges (1 in Bratislava and 2 in Banska Bystrica) are available; Slovakia is participating in several international telecommunications projects that will increase the availability of external services
 
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state-owned public broadcaster, Slovak Television (STV), operates 3 national TV stations; roughly 35 privately-owned television broadcast stations operating nationally, regionally, and locally; about 40% of households are connected to multi-channel cable or satellite TV systems; channels from the Czech Republic and Hungary are widely viewed; state-owned public radio operates multiple national and regional networks; more than 20 privately-owned radio stations (2008)
 
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.sk
 
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1.133 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 41
 
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4.063 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 58
 
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Transportation

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36 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 108
 
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total: 20
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 10 (2010)
 
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total: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 7 (2010)
 
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1 (2010)
 
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gas 6,769 km; oil 416 km (2010)
 
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total: 3,622 km
country comparison to the world: 48
broad gauge: 99 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 3,473 km 1.435-m gauge (1,615 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 50 km 1.000-m or 0.750-m gauge (2010)
 
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total: 43,761 km
country comparison to the world: 84
paved: 38,085 km (includes 384 km of expressways)
unpaved: 5,676 km (2008)
 
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172 km (on Danube River) (2009)
country comparison to the world: 100
 
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total: 23
country comparison to the world: 96
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 19, refrigerated cargo 3
foreign-owned: 21 (Germany 4, Greece 1, Ireland 1, Italy 2, Montenegro 1, Poland 2, Slovenia 1, Turkey 2, Ukraine 7) (2010)
 
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Bratislava, Komarno
 
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Military

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Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic (Ozbrojene Sily Slovenskej Republiky): Land Forces (Pozemne Sily), Air Forces (Vzdusne Sily) (2010)
 
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18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women are eligible to serve (2011)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,405,310
females age 16-49: 1,369,897 (2010 est.)
 
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males age 16-49: 1,156,113
females age 16-49: 1,139,380 (2010 est.)
 
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male: 31,646
female: 30,219 (2010 est.)
 
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1.87% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
 
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Transnational Issues

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bilateral government, legal, technical and economic working group negotiations continued in 2006 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 has implemented the strict Schengen border rules
 
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transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for regional market; consumer of ecstasy
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