country profile - CZECH REPUBLIC
Background: Following the First World War, the closely related Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, the new country's leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). After World War II, a truncated Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize Communist party rule and create "socialism with a human face." Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of harsh repression. With the collapse of Soviet authority in 1989, Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet Revolution." On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a "velvet divorce" into its two national components, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
geography  
Location: Central Europe, between Germany, Poland, Slovikia, and Austria
Area: total: 78,867 sq km
land: 77,247 sq km
water: 1,620 sq km
Land boundaries: total: 1,989 km
border countries: Austria 362 km, Germany 815 km, Poland 615 km, Slovakia 197 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
Natural resources: hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber
people  
Population: 10,644,842 (July 2015 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15% (male 819,864/female 776,639)
15-24 years: 10.23% (male 559,108/female 529,598)
25-54 years: 43.7% (male 2,387,303/female 2,264,774)
55-64 years: 13.06% (male 673,060/female 717,296)
65 years and over: 18.01% (male 791,823/female 1,125,377) (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 41.3 years
male: 40 years
female: 42.6 years (2015 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.16% (2015 est.)
Birth rate: 9.63 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate: 10.34 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Net migration rate 2.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
Nationality: noun: Czech(s)
adjective: Czech
Ethnic groups: Czech 64.3%, Moravian 5%, Slovak 1.4%, other 1.8%, unspecified 27.5% (2011 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 10.4%, Protestant (includes Czech Brethren and Hussite) 1.1%, other and unspecified 54%, none 34.5% (2011 est.)
Languages: Czech (official) 95.4%, Slovak 1.6%, other 3% (2011 census)
Literacy: definition: NA
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2011 est.)
government  
Country name: conventional long form: Czech Republic
conventional short form: Czech Republic
local long form: Ceska Republika
local short form: Cesko
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Prague
geographic coordinates: 50 05 N, 14 28 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
Administrative divisions: 13 regions (kraje, singular - kraj) and 1 capital city* (hlavni mesto); Jihocesky (South Bohemia), Jihomoravsky (South Moravia), Karlovarsky, Kralovehradecky, Liberecky, Moravskoslezsky (Moravia-Silesia), Olomoucky, Pardubicky, Plzensky (Pilsen), Praha (Prague)*, Stredocesky (Central Bohemia), Ustecky, Vysocina, Zlinsky
Independence: 1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia); note - although 1 January is the day the Czech Republic came into being, the Czechs generally consider 28 October 1918, the day the former Czechoslovakia declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as their independence day
National holiday: Czech Founding Day, 28 October (1918)
Legal system: new civil code enacted in 2014, replacing civil code of 1964 - based on former Austro-Hungarian civil codes and socialist theory - and reintroducing former Czech legal terminology
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Milos ZEMAN (since 8 March 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister Bohuslav SOBOTKA (since 17 January 2014); First Deputy Prime Minister Andrej BABIS and Deputy Prime Minister Pavel BELOBRADEK (both since 29 January 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (limited to 2 consecutive terms); elections last held on 11-12 January 2013 with a runoff on 25-26 January 2013 (next to be held in January 2018); prime minister appointed by the president for a 5-year term
election results: Milos ZEMAN elected president; percent of popular vote - Milos ZEMAN (SPO) 54.8%, Karel SCHWARZENBERG (TOP 09) 45.2%
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate or Senat (81 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote in two-rounds if needed; members serve 6-year terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 2 years) and the Chamber of Deputies or Poslanecka Snemovna (200 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held in two rounds on 10-11 and 17-18 October 2014 (next to be held in October 2016); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 25-26 October 2013 (next to be held in 2017)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CSSD 33, ODS 14, KDU-CSL 11, ANO 4, SPO 2, Green 2, KSCM 1, S.cz 1, STAN 1, HOPB 1, SLK 1, independent 10; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - CSSD 20.5%, ANO 2011 18.7%, KSCM 14.9%, TOP 09 12%, ODS 7.7%, Usvit 6.9%, KDU-CSL 6.8% other 12.5%; seats by party - CSSD 50, ANO 2011 47, KSCM 33, TOP 09 26, ODS 16, Usvit 14, KDU-CSL 14
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (organized into Civil Law and Commercial Division, and Criminal Division each with a court chief justice, vice justice, and several judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 15 justices); Supreme Administrative Court (consists of 28 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges proposed by the Chamber of Deputies and appointed by the president; judges appointed for life; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate; judges appointed for 10-year, renewable terms; Supreme Administrative Court judges selected by the president of the Court; judge term NA
subordinate courts: High Court; superior, regional, and district courts
Political parties and leaders: parties in parliament: Christian Democratic Union-Czechoslovak People's Party or KDU-CSL [Pavel BELOBRADEK]
Citizens for Budejovice or HOPB [Juraj THOMA]
Civic Democratic Party or ODS [Petr FIALA]
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia or KSCM [Vojtech FILIP]
Czech Social Democratic Party or CSSD [Bohuslav SOBOTKA]
Dawn of Direct Democracy or Usvit [Tomio OKAMURA]
Green Party or SZ [Jana DRAPALOVA]
Mayors and Independents or STAN [Martin PUTA]
Mayors for Liberec Region or SLK [Marek PIETER]
Movement of Dissatisfied Citizens or ANO [Andrej BABIS]
North Bohemians or S.cz [Bronislav SCHWARZ]
Party of Civic Rights or SPO [Jan VELEBA]
Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 09 or TOP 09 [Karel SCHWARZENBERG]
parties outside parliament: Czech Pirate Party [Lukas CERNOHORSKY]
Free Citizens Party or Svobodni [Petr MACH]
Liberal Reform Party or Ostravak [Eva SCHWARZOVA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions or CMKOS [Josef STREDULA]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions or CMKOS [Josef STREDULA]
International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Flag description: two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side
communications  
Telephones - fixed lines: total subscriptions: 1.89 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (2014 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular: total: 14 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 131 (2014 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: privatization and modernization of the Czech telecommunication system got a late start but is advancing steadily; virtually all exchanges now digital; existing copper subscriber systems enhanced with Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) equipment to accommodate Internet and other digital signals; trunk systems include fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay
domestic: access to the fixed-line telephone network expanded throughout the 1990s, but the number of fixed line connections has been dropping since then; mobile telephone usage increased sharply beginning in the mid-1990s, and the number of cellular telephone subscriptions now greatly exceeds the population
international: country code - 420; satellite earth stations - 6 (2 Intersputnik - Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions, 1 Intelsat, 1 Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat, 1 Globalstar) (2011)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 31, FM 304, shortwave 17 (2000)
Television broadcast stations: 71 (2008)
Internet country code: .cz
Internet hosts: 3.233 million (2009)
Internet users: total: 8.2 million
percent of population: 77.5% (2014 est.)
transportation  
Airports: 128 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 41
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 16 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 87
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 61 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 7,160 km; oil 536 km; refined products 94 km (2013)
Railways: total: 9,621.5 km
standard gauge: 9,519.5 km 1.435-m gauge (3,240.5 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 102 km 0.760-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total: 130,661 km (includes urban roads)
paved: 130,661 km (includes 730 km of expressways) (2011)
Waterways: 664 km (principally on Elbe, Vltava, Oder, and other navigable rivers, lakes, and canals) (2010)
Merchant marine: registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: river port(s): Prague (Vltava); Decin, Usti nad Labem (Elbe)
transnational issues  
Disputes - international: while threats of international legal action never materialized in 2007, 915,220 Austrians, with the support of the popular Freedom Party, signed a petition in January 2008, demanding that Austria block the Czech Republic's accession to the EU unless Prague closes its controversial Soviet-style nuclear plant in Temelin, bordering Austria
Refugees and internally displaced persons: stateless persons: 1,502 (2014)
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and minor transit point for Latin American cocaine to Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for local and regional markets; susceptible to money laundering related to drug trafficking, organized crime; significant consumer of ecstasy (2008)
Update: This page was last updated on 10 November 2015
Sources: CIA, The World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ez.html