Slovakia's roots can be traced to the 9th century state of Great Moravia. Subsequently, the Slovaks became part of the Hungarian Kingdom, where they remained for the next 1,000 years. Following the formation of the dual Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1867, language and education policies favoring the use of Hungarian (Magyarization) resulted in a strengthening of Slovak nationalism and a cultivation of cultural ties with the closely related Czechs, who were under Austrian rule. After the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the close of World War I, the Slovaks joined the Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar period, Slovak nationalist leaders pushed for autonomy within Czechoslovakia, and in 1939 Slovakia became an independent state allied with Nazi Germany. Following World War II, Czechoslovakia was reconstituted and came under communist rule within Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalize communist rule and create "socialism with a human face," ushering in a period of repression known as "normalization." The peaceful "Velvet Revolution" swept the Communist Party from power at the end of 1989 and inaugurated a return to democratic rule and a market economy. On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a nonviolent "velvet divorce" into its two national components, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Slovakia joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004 and the euro zone on 1 January 2009.



Central Europe, south of Poland

Geographic coordinates

48 40 N, 19 30 E

Map references



total: 49,035 sq km
land: 48,105 sq km
water: 930 sq km

Area - comparative

about twice the size of New Hampshire

Land boundaries

total: 1,611 km
border countries (5): Austria 105 km, Czech Republic 241 km, Hungary 627 km, Poland 541 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


mean elevation: 458 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Bodrok River 94 m
highest point: Gerlachovsky Stit 2,655 m

Natural resources

lignite, small amounts of iron ore, copper and manganese ore; salt; arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 40.1%
arable land 28.9%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 10.8%
forest: 40.2%
other: 19.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

869 sq km (2012)

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-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

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 and Society


5,445,802 (July 2016 est.)


noun: Slovak(s)
adjective: Slovak

Ethnic groups

Slovak 80.7%, Hungarian 8.5%, Roma 2%, other and unspecified 8.8% (2011 est.)


Slovak (official) 78.6%, Hungarian 9.4%, Roma 2.3%, Ruthenian 1%, other or unspecified 8.8% (2011 est.)


Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 8.2%, Greek Catholic 3.8%, other or unspecified 12.5%, none 13.4% (2011 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 15.14% (male 422,797/female 401,718)
15-24 years: 11.32% (male 317,775/female 298,954)
25-54 years: 45.13% (male 1,241,212/female 1,216,596)
55-64 years: 13.52% (male 349,089/female 387,394)
65 years and over: 14.88% (male 312,042/female 498,225) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 40.8%
youth dependency ratio: 21.3%
elderly dependency ratio: 19.5%
potential support ratio: 5.1% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 40.1 years
male: 38.4 years
female: 41.9 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

0.01% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

9.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

9.8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country; slightly larger concentration in the west in proximity to the Czech border


urban population: 53.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.31% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BRATISLAVA (capital) 401,000 (2015)

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 (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

6 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 5.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.1 years
male: 73.5 years
female: 80.9 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.4 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Health expenditures

8.1% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

3.32 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 99.4% of population
rural: 98.2% of population
total: 98.8% of population
urban: 0.6% of population
rural: 1.8% of population
total: 1.2% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.02% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths

less than 100 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

27.4% (2014)

Education expenditures

4.1% of GDP (2013)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years
male: 14 years
female: 16 years (2014)

Mother's mean age at first birth

27.4 (2013 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 29.7%
male: 29.5%
female: 30.1% (2014 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Slovak Republic
conventional short form: Slovakia
local long form: Slovenska republika
local short form: Slovensko
etymology: related to the Slavic autonym (self-designation) "Slovenin," a derivation from "slovo" (word), denoting "people who speak (the same language)" (i.e., people who understand each other)

Government type

parliamentary republic


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


1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)

National holiday

Constitution Day, 1 September (1992)


history: several previous (preindependence); latest passed by the National Council 1 September 1992, signed 3 September 1992, effective 1 October 1992
amendments: proposed by the National Council; passage requires at least three-fifths majority vote of Council members; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)

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

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Slovakia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


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

description: 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 5 March 2016 (next to be held in March 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - Smer-SD 28.3%, SaS 12.1%, OLaNO-NOVA 11%, SNS 8.6%, LSNS 8%, SME-Rodina 6.6%, Most-Hid 6.5%, Siet 5.6%, other 13.3%; seats by party - Smer-SD 49, SaS 21, OLaNO-NOVA 19, SNS 15, LSNS 14, SME-Rodina 11, Most-Hid 11, Siet 10

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic (consists of the court president, vice president, and 84 judges 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:
Direction-Social Democracy or Smer-SD [Robert FICO]
Bridge or Most-Hid [Bela BUGAR]
Freedom and Solidarity or SaS [Richard SULIK]
Network or Siet [Radoslav PROCHAZKA]
Ordinary People and Independent Personalities - New Majority or OLaNO-NOVA [Igor MATOVIC]
People's Party - Our Slovakia or LSNS [Marian KOTLEBA]
Slovak National Party or SNS [Andrej DANKO]
We Are Family or SME-Rodina [Boris KOLLAR]

selected parties outside the Parliament:
Christian Democratic Movement or KDH [Jan FIGEL]
Party of the Hungarian Coalition or SMK [Jozsef BERENYI]
Slovak Democratic and Christian Union-Democratic Party or SDKU-DS [Pavol FRESO]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Alliance of Companies Employing 500 or More Employees or Klub500
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

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Peter KMEC (since 17 September 2012)
chancery: 3523 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 237-1054
FAX: [1] (202) 237-6438
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Charge d’Affaires J. Liam WASLEY (since September 2015)
embassy: Hviezdoslavovo Namestie 4, 81102 Bratislava
mailing address: P.O. Box 309, 814 99 Bratislava
telephone: [421] (2) 5443-3338
FAX: [421] (2) 5441-8861

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red derive from the Pan-Slav colors; the Slovakian coat of arms (consisting of a red shield bordered in white and bearing a white double-barred cross of St. Cyril and St. Methodius surmounting three blue hills) is centered over the bands but offset slightly to the hoist side
note: the Pan-Slav colors were inspired by the 19th-century flag of Russia

National symbol(s)

double-barred cross (Cross of St. Cyril and St. Methodius) surmounting three peaks; national colors: white, blue, red

National anthem

name: "Nad Tatrou sa blyska" (Lightning Over the Tatras)
lyrics/music: Janko MATUSKA/traditional
note: adopted 1993, in use since 1844; music based on the Slovak folk song "Kopala studienku"


Economy - overview

Slovakia has made significant economic reforms since its separation from the Czech Republic in 1993. With a population of 5.4 million, the Slovak Republic has a small, open economy, with exports, at about 95% of GDP, serving as the main driver of GDP grow

Slovakia has led the region garnering FDI, because of its relatively low-cost, highly-skilled labor force, reasonable tax rates, and favorable geographic location in the heart of Central Europe. However, recent increases in corporate taxes, as well as cha

GDP (official exchange rate)

$90.26 billion (2015 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$169.1 billion (2016 est.)
$163.4 billion (2015 est.)
$157.8 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP - real growth rate

3.4% (2016 est.)
3.6% (2015 est.)
2.5% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$31,200 (2016 est.)
$30,200 (2015 est.)
$29,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

21.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
21.1% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 55.9%
government consumption: 18.9%
investment in fixed capital: 22.2%
investment in inventories: -0.2%
exports of goods and services: 94.8%
imports of goods and services: -91.6% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 31.6%
services: 64.8% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

grains, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, cattle, poultry; forest products


automobiles; metal and metal products; electricity, gas, coke, oil, nuclear fuel; chemicals, synthetic fibers, wood and paper products; machinery; earthenware and ceramics; textiles; electrical and optical apparatus; rubber products; food and beverages; p

Industrial production growth rate

4.3% (2016 est.)

Labor force

2.724 million (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 4.2%
industry: 22.6%
services: 73.2% (2015)

Unemployment rate

9.8% (2016 est.)
11.5% (2015 est.)

Population below poverty line

12.6% (2014 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.4%
highest 10%: 26% (2013 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

26 (2013)
25.7 (2011)


revenues: $34.87 billion
expenditures: $37.04 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

38.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

52.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
52.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general Government Gross Debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by Government entities, including sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government, and social security funds

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.3% (2016 est.)
-0.3% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

0.05% (9 December 2015)
0.05% (10 September 2014)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks from the euro area; Slovakia became a member of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) on 1 January 2009

Commercial bank prime lending rate

2.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
2.78% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$42.43 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$43 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of

Stock of broad money

$58.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$58.41 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$66.15 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$67.67 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$4.634 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.732 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$4.801 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Current account balance

-$885 million (2016 est.)
-$1.128 billion (2015 est.)


$74.35 billion (2016 est.)
$73.12 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

vehicles and related parts 27%, machinery and electrical equipment 20%, nuclear reactors and furnaces 12%, iron and steel 4%, mineral oils and fuels 5% (2015 est.)

Exports - partners

Germany 22.7%, Czech Republic 12.5%, Poland 8.5%, Austria 5.7%, Hungary 5.7%, France 5.6%, UK 5.5%, Italy 4.5% (2015)


$71.47 billion (2016 est.)
$71.09 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery and electrical equipment 20%, vehicles and related parts 14%, nuclear reactors and furnaces 12%, fuel and mineral oils 9% (2015 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 19.4%, Czech Republic 17.4%, Austria 9.1%, Hungary 6.3%, Poland 6.3%, South Korea 5.5%, Russia 5.2%, China 4.1% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.657 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.892 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$75.04 billion (31 March 2016 est.)
$74.19 billion (31 March 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$59.81 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$56.31 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$12.11 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$10.71 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity - production

27.25 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

28.36 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

11.86 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

12.96 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

8.076 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

33.2% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

24% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

31.4% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

11.2% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Crude oil - production

200 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

501.5 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - imports

119,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

9 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

142,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

82,620 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

83,390 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

28,870 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas - production

100 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

4.535 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

3 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports

4.757 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

14.16 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

33 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 866,630
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 6.676 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 123 (July 2015 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)

Broadcast media

state-owned public broadcaster, Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS), operates 2 national TV stations and multiple national and regional radio networks; roughly 50 privately owned TV stations operating nationally, regionally, and locally; about 40% of (2016)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 4.629 million
percent of population: 85% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 4
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 23
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 11,100
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 0 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

OM (2016)


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)


1 (2013)


gas 6,774 km; oil 419 km (2013)


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)


total: 54,869 km (includes local roads, national roads, and 420 km of highways) (2012)


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)


Military branches

Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic (Ozbrojene Sily Slovenskej Republiky): Land Forces (Pozemne Sily), Air Forces (Vzdusne Sily) (2010)

Military service age and obligation

18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription in peacetime suspended in 2006; women are eligible to serve (2012)

Military expenditures

1.03% of GDP (2015)
1.01% of GDP (2014)
1% of GDP (2013)
1.12% of GDP (2012)
1.1% of GDP (2011)

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 (2015)

Illicit drugs

transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for regional market; consumer of ecstasy