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Missionary Spotlight – Fact File – Slovak Republic

November 2004
Fact File – Slovak Republic

Area: A landlocked country of 18,932 square miles; once the eastern 40% of Czechoslovakia.

 

 

Neighbours:

Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic.

 

 

Environment:

The rugged Carpathian Mountains, including the Tatras, lie to the north (highest point 2,655 metres). South-western Slovakia’s fertile lowland extends to the River Danube on the Hungarian border. Slovakia has a rich wildlife.

Population: 5.4 million.

 

 

Life expectancy:

Men 70 years; women 78 years.

 

 

Ethnic groups:

Slovak 86%, Hungarian 10%, Roma (Gypsy) 2%, Czech 1%, others 1%.

 

 

Languages:

Slovak (official), Hungarian, Roma.

 

 

Capital:

Bratislava (450,000).

 

 

Other cities:

Kosice, Nitra and Presov.

 

 

Urbanisation:

57%.

 

 

Economy:

There has been a reasonably successful transition from a communist to a capitalist economy, although unemployment stands at about 15%. Heavy industry is prominent; exports include machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods and chemicals. There are significant forestry and mineral resources.

 

 

Religions:

Roman Catholic 60-73%, non-religious 17%, Protestant 8%, others 2-15%. There is freedom of religion.

 

 

Protestant denominations:

Lutheran, Reformed, Apostolic, Baptist, Church of the Brethren, Christian Fellowship, Evangelical Methodist, Christian Assemblies, others.

 

 

History:

In 1918 the Slovaks joined the Czechs to form Czechoslovakia. Following World War II, Czechoslovakia became a Communist nation within Soviet-ruled Eastern Europe. Soviet influence collapsed in 1989. The Slovaks and the Czechs agreed to separate on 1 January 1993. Slovakia joined NATO and the EU earlier this year.

 

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Slovakia