Czech Republic( Europe )

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At the close of World War I, the Czechs and Slovaks of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia. During the interwar years, having rejected a federal system, the new country's predominantly Czech leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the increasingly strident demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Slovaks, the Sudeten Germans, and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). On the eve of World War II, Nazi Germany occupied the territory that today comprises the Czech Republic and Slovakia became an independent state allied with Germany. After the war, a reunited but truncated Czechoslovakia (less Ruthenia) 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 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, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
Central Europe, between Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria
Geographic coordinates:
49 45 N, 15 30 E
total: 78,867 sq km
land: 77,247 sq km
water: 1,620 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries:
total: 2,046 km
border countries: Austria 402 km, Germany 704 km, Poland 699 km, Slovakia 241 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters
Bohemia in the west consists of rolling plains, hills, and plateaus surrounded by low mountains; Moravia in the east consists of very hilly country
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Labe (Elbe) River 115 m
highest point: Snezka 1,602 m
Natural resources:
hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber
Land use:
arable land: 40.12%
permanent crops: 0.96%
other: 58.92% (2011)
Irrigated land:
385.3 sq km (2007)
Total renewable water resources:
13.15 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic or industrial or agricultural):
total: 1.7 cu km/yr (41%/56%/2%)
per capita: 164.7 cu m/yr (2009)
Natural hazards:
Environment current issues:
air and water pollution in areas of northwest Bohemia and in northern Moravia around Ostrava present health risks; acid rain damaging forests; efforts to bring industry up to EU code should improve domestic pollution
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-Environmental Protocol, 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; strategically located astride some of oldest and most significant land routes in Europe; Moravian Gate is a traditional military corridor between the North European Plain and the Danube in central Europe
People and Society
noun: Czech(s)
adjective: Czech
Ethnic groups:
Czech 64.3%, Moravian 5%, Slovak 1.4%, other 1.8%, unspecified 27.5% (2011 est.)
Czech 95.4%, Slovak 1.6%, other 3% (2011 census)
Roman Catholic 10.4%, Protestant (includes Czech Brethren and Hussite) 1.1%, other and unspecified 54%, none 34.5% (2011 est.)
10,627,448 (July 2014 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.9% (male 812,503/female 769,849)
15-24 years: 10.6% (male 576,304/female 547,765)
25-54 years: 43.6% (male 2,377,962/female 2,256,989)
55-64 years: 13.4% (male 687,155/female 735,277)
65 years and over: 17.6% (male 766,402/female 1,097,242) (2014 est.)
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 47.7 %
youth dependency ratio: 22.4 %
elderly dependency ratio: 25.4 %
potential support ratio: 3.9 (2014 est.)
Median age:
total: 40.9 years
male: 39.6 years
female: 42.3 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.17% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
9.79 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
10.29 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
2.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
urban population: 73.4% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0.24% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas population:
PRAGUE (capital) 1.276 million (2011)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.63 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 2.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
5 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.31 years
male: 75.34 years
female: 81.45 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.43 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
note: percent of women aged 18-49 (2008)
Health expenditures:
7.4% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density:
3.71 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
Hospital bed density:
7 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Drinking water source:
improved: urban: 99.9% of population
rural: 99.6% of population
total: 99.8% of population
unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population
rural: 0.4% of population
total: 0.2% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved: urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved: urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
2,000 (2009 est.)
HIV or AIDS deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
32.7% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
2% (2007)
Education expenditures:
4.2% of GDP (2010)
definition: NA
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 16 years
male: 16 years
female: 17 years (2011)
Child labor children ages 5-14:
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 19.5%
male: 19.9%
female: 19% (2012)
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
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 (Karlovy Vary), Kralovehradecky (Hradec Kralove), Liberecky (Liberec), Moravskoslezsky (Moravia-Silesia), Olomoucky (Olomouc), Pardubicky (Pardubice), Plzensky (Pilsen), Praha (Prague)*, Stredocesky (Central Bohemia), Ustecky (Usti), Vysocina (Highlands), Zlinsky (Zlin)
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 commemorate 28 October 1918, the day the former Czechoslovakia declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as their independence day
National holiday:
Czechoslovak Founding Day, 28 October (1918)
previous 1960; latest ratified 16 December 1992, effective 1 January 1993; amended several times, last in 2013 (2013)
Legal system:
in 2014, a new civil code will replace the existing civil law system, which is based on former Austro-Hungarian civil codes and socialist theory and has been amended 40 times since the Communist regime fell in 1989
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
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: constitutional amendment passed in 2012 introduced presidential election by popular vote instead of by Parliament; president elected for a five-year term (may not serve more than two 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
election results: Milos ZEMAN elected president; percent of popular vote - Milos ZEMAN 54.8%, Karel SCHWARZENBERG 45.2%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate or Senat (81 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms; one-third elected every two years) and the Chamber of Deputies or Poslanecka Snemovna (200 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held in two rounds on 12-13 and 19-20 October 2012 (next to be held in October 2014); 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 48, ODS 15, KDU-CSL 4, TOP 09 4, North Bohemians 2, KSCM 2, Green 1, Ostravak 1, Pirate 1, independent 3; 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:
Association of Independent Candidates-European Democrats or SNK-ED [Zdenka MARKOVA]
Christian Democratic Union-Czechoslovak People's Party or KDU-CSL [Pavel BELOBRADEK]
Civic Democratic Party or ODS [Petr FIALA]
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia or KSCM [Vojtech FILIP]
Czech Pirate Party [Ivan BARTOS]
Czech Social Democratic Party or CSSD [Bohuslav SOBOTKA]
Dawn of Direct Democracy or Usvit [Tomio OKAMURA]
Green Party [Ondrej LISKA]
Liberal Democrats or LIDEM [Dagmar NAVRATILOVA]
Liberal Environmental Party or LES [Martin BURSYK]
Movement of Dissatisfied Citizens or ANO [Andrej BABIS]
North Bohemians
Ostravak Movement
Public Affairs or VV [Radek JOHN]
Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 09 or TOP 09 [Karel SCHWARZENBERG]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions or CMKOS [Jaroslav ZAVADIL]
International organization participation:
Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), 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 (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Petr GANDALOVIC (since 23 May 2011)
chancery: 3900 Spring of Freedom Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 274-9100
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8540
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Norman L. EISEN (since 14 January 2011)
embassy: Trziste 15, 118 01 Prague 1 - Mala Strana
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [420] 257 022 000
FAX: [420] 257 022 809
Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side
note: is identical to the flag of the former Czechoslovakia
National symbol(s):
double-tailed lion
National anthem:
name: "Kde domov muj?" (Where is My Home?)
lyrics/music: Josef Kajetan TYL/Frantisek Jan SKROUP
note: adopted 1993; the anthem is a verse from the former Czechoslovak anthem originally written as part of the opera "Fidlovacka"
Economy overview:
The Czech Republic is a stable and prosperous market economy closely integrated with the EU, especially since the country's EU accession in 2004. The auto industry is the largest single industry, and, together with its upstream suppliers, accounts for nearly 24% of Czech manufacturing. The Czech Republic produced more than a million cars for the first time in 2010, over 80% of which were exported. While the conservative, inward-looking Czech financial system has remained relatively healthy, the small, open, export-driven Czech economy remains sensitive to changes in the economic performance of its main export markets, especially Germany. When Western Europe and Germany fell into recession in late 2008, demand for Czech goods plunged, leading to double digit drops in industrial production and exports. As a result, real GDP fell sharply in 2009. The economy slowly recovered in the second half of 2009 and registered weak growth in the next two years. In 2012, however, the economy fell into a recession again, due both to a slump in external demand and to the government’s austerity measures. The country pulled out of recession in the second half of 2013, and most analysts expect modest, but steady, growth through 2014. Foreign and domestic businesses alike voice concerns about corruption, especially in public procurement. Other long term challenges include dealing with a rapidly aging population, funding an unsustainable pension and health care system, and diversifying away from manufacturing and toward a more high-tech, services-based, knowledge economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$285.6 billion (2013 est.)
$288.2 billion (2012 est.)
$291.1 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$194.8 billion (2013 est.)
GDP real growth rate:
-0.9% (2013 est.)
-1% (2012 est.)
1.8% (2011 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP):
$26,300 (2013 est.)
$26,500 (2012 est.)
$28,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving:
21.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
20.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
21.2% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 45.1%
government consumption: 18.3%
investment in fixed capital: 27%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 81.1%
imports of goods and services: -71.5%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 37.3%
services: 60.3% (2012 est.)
Agriculture products:
wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, poultry
motor vehicles, metallurgy, machinery and equipment, glass, armaments
Industrial production growth rate:
0.5% (2013 est.)
Labor force:
5.304 million (2013 est.)
Labor force by occupation:
agriculture: 2.6%
industry: 37.4%
services: 60% (2012)
Unemployment rate:
7.1% (2013 est.)
7% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line:
9.8% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.5%
highest 10%: 29.1% NA% (2012 est.)
Distribution of family income Gini index:
24.9 (2012)
25.4 (1996)
revenues: $55.81 billion
expenditures: $59.96 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
28.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
48.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
46.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.4% (2013 est.)
3.3% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
0.05% (31 December 2013 est.)
0.05% (31 December 2012)
note: this is the two-week repo, the main rate CNB uses
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.1% (31 December 2013 est.)
5.41% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$124.1 billion (30 September 2013 est.)
$114.2 billion (30 September 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$154 billion (30 September 2013 est.)
$146.5 billion (30 September 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
NA% (30 September 2012 est.)
$130.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$54.92 billion (30 December 3013 est.)
$59.88 billion (28 December 2012)
$53.2 billion (30 December 2011 est.)
Current account balance:
-$3.27 billion (2013 est.)
-$4.798 billion (2012 est.)
$161.4 billion (2013 est.)
$157 billion (2012 est.)
Exports commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, raw materials and fuel, chemicals
Exports partners:
Germany 31.8%, Slovakia 9.1%, Poland 6.1%, France 5.1%, UK 4.9%, Austria 4.7% (2012)
$143.4 billion (2013 est.)
$141.4 billion (2012 est.)
Imports commodities:
machinery and transport equipment, raw materials and fuels, chemicals
Imports partners:
Germany 29.5%, Poland 7.7%, Slovakia 7.4%, China 6.3%, Netherlands 5.8%, Russia 5.3%, Austria 4.3% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$56.22 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$44.88 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt external:
$102.1 billion (30 September 2013 est.)
$101.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
$144.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$136.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
$16.63 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$17.37 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange rates:
koruny (CZK) per US dollar -
19.57 (2013 est.)
19.59 (2012 est.)
19.098 (2010 est.)
19.063 (2009)
17.064 (2008)
Electricity production:
87.57 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity consumption:
70.45 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity exports:
27.45 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity imports:
10.33 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
20.52 million kW (2012 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
63.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
19.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
5.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
11.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil production:
10,010 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
403.8 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil imports:
154,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
15 million bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
178,900 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
199,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
35,720 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
54,240 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
200 million cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
8.158 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas exports:
7.4 million cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas imports:
7.471 billion cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
1.922 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
106.3 million Mt (2011 est.)
Telephones mobile cellular:
12.973 million (2012)
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)
Telephones main lines in use:
2.1 million (2012)
Broadcast media:
roughly 130 TV broadcasters operating some 350 channels with 4 publicly operated and the remainder in private hands; 16 TV stations have national coverage with 4 being publicly operated; cable and satellite TV subscription services are available; 63 radio broadcasters are registered operating roughly 80 radio stations with 15 stations publicly operated; 10 radio stations provide national coverage with the remainder local or regional (2008)
Internet country code:
Internet users:
6.681 million (2009)
Internet hosts:
4.148 million (2012)
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)
1 (2013)
gas 7,160 km; oil 536 km; refined products 94 km (2013)
total: 9,469 km
standard gauge: 9,449 km 1.435-m gauge (3,165 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 20 km 0.750-m gauge (2008)
total: 130,671 km (includes urban roads)
paved: 130,671 km (includes 730 km of expressways) (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)
Military branches:
Army of the Czech Republic (Armada Ceske Republiky): Joint Forces Command (Spolocene Sily; includes Land Forces (Pozemni Sily) and Air Forces (Vzdusne Sily)) (2013)
Military service age and obligation:
18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,506,826
females age 16-49: 2,407,634 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,072,267
females age 16-49: 1,988,839 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 49,999
female: 47,501 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.08% of GDP (2013)
1.13% of GDP (2012)
1.15% of GDP (2011)
1.13% of GDP (2010)
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 (2012)
Trafficking in persons: