country profile - SLOVAKIA
Background: The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the close of World War I allowed the Slovaks to join the closely related 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.
geography  
Location: Central Europe, south of Poland
Area: total: 49,035 sq km
land: 48,105 sq km
water: 930 sq km
Land boundaries: total: 1,474 km
border countries: Austria 91 km, Czech Republic 197 km, Hungary 676 km, Poland 420 km, Ukraine 90 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
Natural resources: brown coal and lignite; small amounts of iron ore, copper and manganese ore; salt; arable land
people  
Population: 5,445,027 (July 2015 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.14% (male 422,297/female 402,154)
15-24 years: 11.78% (male 330,116/female 311,144)
25-54 years: 45.17% (male 1,241,594/female 1,217,885)
55-64 years: 13.56% (male 349,304/female 388,904)
65 years and over: 14.35% (male 299,097/female 482,532) (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 39.6 years
male: 37.9 years
female: 41.4 years (2015 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.02% (2015 est.)
Birth rate: 9.91 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate: 9.74 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Net migration rate 0.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
Nationality: noun: Slovak(s)
adjective: Slovak
Ethnic groups: Slovak 80.7%, Hungarian 8.5%, Roma 2%, other and unspecified 8.8% (2011 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 8.2%, Greek Catholic 3.8%, other or unspecified 12.5%, none 13.4% (2011 est.)
Languages: Slovak (official) 78.6%, Hungarian 9.4%, Roma 2.3%, Ruthenian 1%, other or unspecified 8.8% (2011 est.)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.6%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.6% (2004)
government  
Country name: conventional long form: Slovak Republic
conventional short form: Slovakia
local long form: Slovenska Republika
local short form: Slovensko
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: 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
Administrative divisions: 8 regions (kraje, singular - kraj); Banskobystricky, Bratislavsky, Kosicky, Nitriansky, Presovsky, Trenciansky, Trnavsky, Zilinsky
Independence: 1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)
National holiday: Constitution Day, 1 September (1992)
Legal system: 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
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Andrej KISKA (since 15 June 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Robert FICO (since 4 April 2012); Deputy Prime Ministers Robert KALINAK, Peter KAZIMIR, Miroslav LAJCAK (since 4 April 2012), Lubomir VAZNY (since 26 November 2012)
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 (eligible for a second term); election last held in 2 rounds on 15 and 29 March 2014 (next to be held in March 2019); following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the president
election results: Andrej KISKA elected president; percent of vote in second round - Andrej KISKA (independent) 59.4%, Robert FICO (Smer-SD) 40.6%
Legislative branch: unicameral National Council or Narodna Rada (150 seats; members directly elected in a single national constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 10 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - Smer-SD 44.4%, KDH 8.8%, OLaNO 8.6%, Most-Hid 6.9%, SDKU-DS 6.1%, SaS 5.9%, other 19.3%; seats by party - Smer-SD 83, KDH 16, OLaNO 16, Most-Hid 13, SDKU-DS 11, SaS 11
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (consists of 84 judges - as of 2015 - organized into criminal, civil, commercial, and administrative divisions with 3- and 5-judge panels; Constitutional Court (consists of 13 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judge candidates proposed by the Judicial Council of the Slovak Republic, a 17-member independent body to include the Supreme Court chief justice and presidential and governmental appointees; judges appointed by the president for life with mandatory retirement at age 65; Constitutional Court judges nominated by the National Council of the Republic and appointed by the president; judges appointed for 12-year terms
subordinate courts: regional and district civil courts; Higher Military Court; military district courts; Court of Audit
Political parties and leaders: parties in the Parliament:
Christian Democratic Movement or KDH [Jan FIGEL]
Direction-Social Democracy or Smer-SD [Robert FICO]
Freedom and Solidarity or SaS [Richard SULIK]
Most-Hid or Bridge [Bela BUGAR]
Ordinary People and Independent Personalities or OLaNO [Igor MATOVIC]
Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-Democratic Party or SDKU-DS [Pavol FRESO]
selected parties outside the Parliament:
Civic Conservative Party or OKS [Ondrej DOSTAL]
Nation and Justice - Our Party or NAS [Anna BELOUSOVOVA]
Network or Siet [Radoslav PROCHAZKA]
New Majority or NOVA [Daniel LIPSIC]
Party of the Hungarian Coalition or SMK [Jozsef BERENYI]
People's Party - Our Slovakia or LSNS [Marian KOTLEBA]
Slovak National Party or SNS [Andrej DANKO]
Political pressure groups and leaders: 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 or AZZZ; Medical Trade Association or LOZ; National Union of Employers or RUZ; Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry or SOPK; The Business Alliance of Slovakia or PAS
International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNIDO, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red derive from the pan-Slavic 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
communications  
Telephones - fixed lines: total subscriptions: 920,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17 (2014 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular: total: 6.4 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 117 (2014 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: a modern telecommunications system that has expanded dramatically in recent years with the growth of 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 (2011)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 22, shortwave 1 (2008)
Television broadcast stations: 37 (2008)
Internet country code: .sk
Internet hosts: 867,615 (2009)
Internet users: total: 4.5 million
percent of population: 82.7% (2014 est.)
transportation  
Airports: 35 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 21
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: 11 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 6,774 km; oil 419 km (2013)
Railways: total: 3,624 km
broad gauge: 99 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 3,475 km 1.435-m gauge (1,616 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 50 km 1.000-m or 0.750-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total: 54,869 km (includes local roads, national roads, and 420 km of highways) (2012)
Waterways: 172 km (on Danube River) (2012)
Merchant marine: total: 11
by type: cargo 9, refrigerated cargo 2
foreign-owned: 11 (Germany 3, Ireland 1, Italy 2, Montenegro 1, Slovenia 1, Turkey 1, Ukraine 2) (2010)
Ports and terminals: river port(s): Bratislava, Komarno (Danube)
transnational issues  
Disputes - international: 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
Refugees and internally displaced persons: stateless persons: 1,523 (2014)
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for regional market; consumer of ecstasy
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/lo.html