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Quick Facts
Governmentparliamentary democracy
CurrencySlovak koruna (SKK)
Areatotal: 48,845 sq km
water: 45 sq km
land: 48,800 sq km
Population5,422,366 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageSlovak (official), Hungarian
ReligionRoman Catholic 60.3%, atheist 9.7%, Protestant 8.4%, Orthodox 4.1%, other 17.5%

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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.


Map of 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


5,422,366 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 18.3% (male 508,256; female 484,739)
15-64 years: 70.1% (male 1,888,705; female 1,910,842)
65 years and over: 11.6% (male 237,770; female 392,054) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
0.14% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
10.09 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
9.22 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
0.53 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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: 0.61 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
8.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 74.2 years
female: 78.41 years (2002 est.)
male: 70.19 years
Total fertility rate 
1.25 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
less than 0.01% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
400 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
less than 100 (1999 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%


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)
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 - SDK, SDL, SMK, SOP, KDH
election results: Rudolf SCHUSTER elected president in the first direct, popular election; percent of vote - Rudolf SCHUSTER 57%
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)
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]; Liberal Democratic Union or LDU [Jan BUDAJ]; Movement for a Democratic Slovakia-People's Party or HZDS-LS [Vladimir MECIAR]; Party of Civic Understanding or SOP [Pavol HAMZIK]; note - SSDS and SZS joined the SOP parliamentary caucus; Party of the Democratic Left or SDL [Pavel KONCOS]; Party of the Hungarian Coalition or SMK [Bela BUGAR]; Real Slovak National Party or PSNS [Jan SLOTA]; Slovak Communist Party or KSS [leader NA]; Slovak Democratic and Christian Union or SDKU [Mikulas DZURINDA]; note - this is DZURINDA's new party for the 2002 elections; he remains chairman of a rump and splintering SDK; Slovak Democratic Coalition or SDK (loose parliamentary club grouping, representing members of the smaller SSDS, SZS, and those committed to run under SDKU in 2002) [Mikulas DZURINDA]; Slovak National Party or SNS [Anna MALIKOVA]; Yes (ANO) [Paval RUSKO]
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 Martin BUTORA
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: P.O. Box 309, 814 99 Bratislava
telephone: [421] (2) 5443-3338, 5443-0861
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 - 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 2001-02 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 2001-02, despite the general European slowdown. Unemployment, at an unacceptable 17.2% in 2002, remains the economy's Achilles heel. The government faces other strong challenges in 2003, especially the cutting of budget and current account deficits and the prevention of a revival of inflation.
purchasing power parity - $66 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
4% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $12,200 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 5%
industry: 34%
services: 61% (2000)
Population below poverty line 
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: 5%
highest 10%: 18% (1992) (1992)
Distribution of family income - Gini index 
26 (1996)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
3.3% (2002 est.)
Labor force 
3 million (1999)
Labor force - by occupation 
industry 29%, agriculture 9%, construction 8%, transport and communication 8%, services 46% (1994) (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 
27.53 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 35%
hydro: 17%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 48%
Electricity - consumption 
25.203 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
4.9 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
4.5 billion kWh (2000)
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 
EU 59.9% (Germany 27.0%, Italy 8.8%, Austria 8.1%), Czech Republic 16.6% (2001)
$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 
EU 49.8% (Germany 24.7%, Italy 6.4%), Czech Republic 15.1%, Russia 14.8% (2001)
Debt - external 
$9.6 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient 
ODA $113 million (2000 est.)
Slovak koruna (SKK)
Currency code 
Exchange rates 
koruny per US dollar - 47.792 (September 2001), 46.035 (2000), 41.363 (1999), 35.233 (1998), 33.616 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year


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)


total: 3,660 km
broad gauge: 102 km 1.520-m gauge
narrow gauge: 51 km (46 km 1,000-m gauge; 5 km 0.750-m gauge) (2001)
standard gauge: 3,507 km 1.435-m gauge (1,505 km electrified; 1,011 km double-tracked)
total: 17,710 km
paved: 17,533 km (including 288 km of expressways)
unpaved: 177 km (1998 est.)
172 km (all on the Danube)
petroleum products NA km; natural gas 2,700 km
Ports and harbors 
Bratislava, Komarno
Merchant marine 
total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 15,191 GRT/19,489 DWT
ships by type: cargo 3 (2002 est.)
34 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 17
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 7 (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 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 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 1,486,728 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 1,136,775 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually 
males: 45,502 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$406 million (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
1.89% (2002)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
Slovakia requested additional ICJ judgment in 1998, and talks continue to set modalities to assure Hungarian compliance with 1997 ICJ decision to proceed with construction of Gabcikovo-Nagymaros Dam, abandoned by Hungary in 1989
Illicit drugs 
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for regional market