[Country map of Slovakia]



Location: Central Europe, south of Poland

Map references: Ethnic Groups in Eastern Europe, Europe

total area: 48,845 sq km
land area: 48,800 sq km
comparative area: about twice the size of New Hampshire

Land boundaries: total 1,355 km, Austria 91 km, Czech Republic 215 km, Hungary 515 km, Poland 444 km, Ukraine 90 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none; landlocked

International disputes: Gabcikovo Dam dispute with Hungary; unresolved property issues with Czech Republic over redistribution of former Czechoslovak federal property

Climate: temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters

Terrain: rugged mountains in the central and northern part and lowlands in the south

Natural resources: brown coal and lignite; small amounts of iron ore, copper and manganese ore; salt

Land use:
arable land: NA%
permanent crops: NA%
meadows and pastures: NA%
forest and woodland: NA%
other: NA%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: air pollution from metallurgical plants presents human health risks; acid rain damaging forests
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea

Note: landlocked


Population: 5,432,383 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 23% (female 609,795; male 638,346)
15-64 years: 66% (female 1,807,312; male 1,778,712)
65 years and over: 11% (female 364,610; male 233,608) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.54% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 14.51 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 9.12 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 10 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.24 years
male: 69.15 years
female: 77.57 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.93 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Slovak(s)
adjective: Slovak

Ethnic divisions: Slovak 85.7%, Hungarian 10.7%, Gypsy 1.5% (the 1992 census figures underreport the Gypsy/Romany community, which could reach 500,000 or more), Czech 1%, Ruthenian 0.3%, Ukrainian 0.3%, German 0.1%, Polish 0.1%, other 0.3%

Religions: Roman Catholic 60.3%, atheist 9.7%, Protestant 8.4%, Orthodox 4.1%, other 17.5%

Languages: Slovak (official), Hungarian

Literacy: NA%

Labor force: 2.484 million
by occupation: industry 33.2%, agriculture 12.2%, construction 10.3%, communication and other 44.3% (1990)


conventional long form: Slovak Republic
conventional short form: Slovakia
local long form: Slovenska Republika
local short form: Slovensko

Digraph: LO

Type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Bratislava

Administrative divisions: 4 departments (kraje, singular - kraj) Bratislava, Zapadoslovensky, Stredoslovensky, Vychodoslovensky

Independence: 1 January 1993 (from Czechoslovakia)

National holiday: Anniversary of Slovak National Uprising, August 29 (1944)

Constitution: ratified 1 September 1992, fully effective 1 January 1993

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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Michal KOVAC (since 8 February 1993); election last held 8 February 1993 (next to be held NA 1998); results - Michal KOVAC elected by the National Council
head of government: Prime Minister Vladimir MECIAR (since 12 December 1994)
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president on recommendation of the prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Council (Narodni Rada): elections last held 30 September-1 October 1994 (next to be held by October 1998); results - HZDS 35%, SDL 10.4%, Hungarian coalition (Hungarian Christian Democrats, Hungarian Civic Party, Coexistence) 10.2%, KDH 10.1%, DU 8.6%, ZRS 7.3%, SNS 5.4%; seats - (150 total) governing coalition 83 (HZDS 61, ZRS 13, SNS 9), opposition 67 (SDL 18, Hungarian coalition 17, KDH 17, DU 15)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), Vladimir MECIAR, chairman; Common Choice/Party of the Democratic Left (SDL), Peter WEISS, chairman; Hungarian Christian Democrats, Vojtech BUGAR; Hungarian Civic Party; Coexistence, Miklos DURAY, chairman; Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Jan CARNOGURSKY; Democratic Union (DU), Jozef MORAVCIK, chairman; Association of Slovak Workers (ZRS), Jan LUPTAK, chairman; Slovak National Party (SNS), Jan SLOTA, chairman

Other political or pressure groups: Green Party; Social Democratic Party of Slovakia; Slovak Christian Union


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Branislav LICHARDUS
chancery: (temporary) Suite 380, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 965-5161
FAX: [1] (202) 965-5166

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Theodore E. RUSSELL
embassy: Hviezdoslavovo Namestie 4, 81102 Bratislava
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [42] (7) 330-861, 333-338
FAX: [42] (7) 330-096

Flag: 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


Overview: In 1994 macroeconomic performance improved steadily but privatization progressed only in fits and starts. Most of Slovakia's IMF-approved targets were met by an interim government that lasted 9 months. Annual inflation fell from 23% in 1993 to 12%; unemployment at 14.6% was still well below forecasts of 17%; and the budget deficit was around half that in 1993. Slovakia's nearly $200 million trade surplus also compares favorably with a more than $800 million deficit in 1993. Furthermore, after contracting almost 25% in the three years following 1990, GDP grew 4.3% in 1994, according to official statistics. Bratislava in June qualified for a $254 million IMF stand-by loan and the second $90 million tranche of its Systemic Transformation Facility and, in December, received approval for a European Union loan worth about $160 million. By the end of September 1994, the Central Bank's foreign currency reserves had tripled since the end of 1993. Slovakia continued to have difficulty attracting foreign investment, however, because of perceived political instability and halting progress in privatization. The interim government prepared property worth nearly $2 billion for the second wave of coupon privatization and sold participation in the program to over 80% of Slovakia's eligible citizens. Parties controlling the new Parliament in November 1994, however, put the second wave of coupon privatization on hold and suspended sales of 38 firms until the new government could evaluate the interim government's decisions in early 1995. The new government's targets for 1995 include GDP growth of 3%, inflation of 8%-10%, unemployment of 15%, and a budget deficit under 3% of GDP. Continuing economic recovery in western Europe should boost Slovak exports and production, but Slovakia's image with foreign creditors and investors could suffer setbacks in 1995 if progress on privatization stalls or budget deficits mount beyond IMF-recommended levels.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $32.8 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 4.3% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $6,070 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 12% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 14.6% (1994 est.)

revenues: $4.4 billion
expenditures: $4.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $350 million (1994 est.)

Exports: $6.3 billion (f.o.b., January-November 1994)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment; chemicals; fuels, minerals, and metals; agricultural products
partners: Czech Republic 37.7%, Germany 17.1%, Hungary 5.3%, Austria 5.3%, Italy 4.6%, Russia 4.0%, Poland 2.6%, Ukraine 1.8%, US 1.6% (January-September 1994)

Imports: $6.1 billion (f.o.b., January-November 1994)
commodities: machinery and transport equipment; fuels and lubricants; manufactured goods; raw materials; chemicals; agricultural products
partners: Czech Republic 29.9%, Russia 19.0%, Germany 13.2%, Austria 5.8%, Italy 4.3%, US 2.6%, Poland 2.4%, Ukraine 1.9%, Hungary 1.6% (January-September 1994)

External debt: $4.2 billion hard currency indebtedness (1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 6,300,000 kW
production: 20.9 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 3,609 kWh (1993)

Industries: metal and metal products; food and beverages; electricity, gas, and water; coking, oil production, and nuclear fuel production; chemicals and manmade fibers; machinery; paper and printing; earthenware and ceramics; transport vehicles; textiles; electrical and optical apparatus; rubber products

Agriculture: largely self-sufficient in food production; diversified crop and livestock production, including grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit, hogs, cattle, and poultry; exporter of forest products

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe

Economic aid:
donor: the former Czechoslovakia was a donor - $4.2 billion in bilateral aid to non-Communist less developed countries (1954-89)

Currency: 1 koruna (Sk) = 100 halierov

Exchange rates: koruny (Sk) per US$1 - 31.14 (September 1994), 32.9 (December 1993), 28.59 (December 1992), 28.26 (1992), 29.53 (1991), 17.95 (1990), 15.05 (1989); note - values before 1993 reflect Czechoslovak exchange rate

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 3,660 km (electrified 635 km)
broad gauge: 102 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 3,511 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 47 km (35 km 1,000-m gauge; 12 km 0.750-m gauge) (1994)

total: 17,650 km (1990)
paved: NA
unpaved: NA

Inland waterways: NA km

Pipelines: petroleum products NA km; natural gas 2,700 km

Ports: Bratislava, Komarno

Merchant marine:
total: 2 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,160 GRT/6,163 DWT

total: 37
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2
with paved runways under 914 m: 4
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 10
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 11


Telephone system: NA telephones
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: NA

broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
radios: NA

broadcast stations: NA
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Air and Air Defense Forces, Civil Defense, Railroad Units

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,443,719; males fit for military service 1,107,453; males reach military age (18) annually 49,045 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: 9.59 billion koruny, 3.1% of GDP (1994 est.); note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the current exchange rate could produce misleading results