Area: A landlocked country of 18,932 square miles; once the eastern 40% of Czechoslovakia.
Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic.
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.
Men 70 years; women 78 years.
Slovak 86%, Hungarian 10%, Roma (Gypsy) 2%, Czech 1%, others 1%.
Slovak (official), Hungarian, Roma.
Kosice, Nitra and Presov.
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.
Roman Catholic 60-73%, non-religious 17%, Protestant 8%, others 2-15%. There is freedom of religion.
Lutheran, Reformed, Apostolic, Baptist, Church of the Brethren, Christian Fellowship, Evangelical Methodist, Christian Assemblies, others.
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.