Slovakia Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Slovakia > Map Economy History

Nature and National Parks
Nature and Biodiversity in Slovakia
Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst

Facts About Slovakia

Background: 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. Historic, political, and geographic factors have caused Slovakia to experience more difficulty in developing a modern market economy than some of its Central European neighbors.
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: Bratislava
Currency: 1 Slovak koruna (SKK) = 100 halierov

Geography of Slovakia

Location: Central Europe, south of Poland
Geographic coordinates: 48 40 N, 19 30 E
total: 48,845 sq km
land: 48,800 sq km
water: 45 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,355 km
border countries: Austria 91 km, Czech Republic 215 km, Hungary 515 km, Poland 444 km, Ukraine 90 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: Gerlachovka 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: 31%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 17%
forests and woodland: 41%
other: 8% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 800 sq km (1993 est.)
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, 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 of Slovakia

The majority of the 5.4 million inhabitants of the Slovak Republic are Slovak (86%). Hungarians are the largest ethnic minority (11%) and are concentrated in the southern and eastern regions of Slovakia. Other ethnic groups include Roma, Czechs, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Germans, and Poles.

The Slovak constitution guarantees freedom of religion. The majority of Slovak citizens (60%) practice Roman Catholicism; the second-largest group are Protestants. About 3,000 Jews remain of the estimated pre-WWII population of 120,000. The official state language is Slovak, and Hungarian is widely spoken in the southern region.

Despite its modern European economy and society, Slovakia has a significant rural element. About 45% of Slovaks live in villages of less than 5,000 people, and 14% in villages of less than 1,000.

Population: 5,431,363 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  18.86% 
15-64 years:  69.6% 
65 years and over:  11.54%
Population growth rate: 0.13% 
Birth rate: 10.05 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 9.25 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 8.97 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  73.97 years
male:  69.95 years
female:  78.2 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.25 children born/woman 
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)
Religions: Roman Catholic 60.3%, atheist 9.7%, Protestant 8.4%, Orthodox 4.1%, other 17.5%
Languages: Slovak (official), Hungarian

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Slovakia > Map Economy History