Czech Republic

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

Map references:

total: 78,867 sq km
country comparison to the world: 116
land: 77,247 sq km
water: 1,620 sq km

Area – comparative:
slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries:
total: 1,989 km
border countries: Austria 362 km, Germany 815 km, Poland 615 km, Slovakia 197 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/industrial/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

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People & 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.)
country comparison to the world: 83

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: 17.5% (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.)
country comparison to the world: 182

Birth rate:
9.79 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199

Death rate:
10.29 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45

Net migration rate:
2.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46

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.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth:
27.8 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
5 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 173

Infant mortality rate:
total: 2.63 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 218
male: 2.76 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 2.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.31 years
country comparison to the world: 55
male: 75.34 years
female: 81.45 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.43 children born/woman (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
note: percent of women aged 18-49 (2008)

Health expenditures:
7.4% of GDP (2011)
country comparison to the world: 75

Physicians density:
3.71 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density:
7 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
urban: 99.9% of population
rural: 99.6% of population
total: 99.8% of population
urban: 0.1% of population
rural: 0.4% of population
total: 0.2% of population (2011 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2011 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 139

HIV/AIDS – deaths:
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:
32.7% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 21

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
2% (2007)
country comparison to the world: 122

Education expenditures:
4.2% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 106

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)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 19.5%
country comparison to the world: 62
male: 19.9%
female: 19% (2012)

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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
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
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?)

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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.)
country comparison to the world: 46
$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.)
country comparison to the world: 204
-1% (2012 est.)
1.8% (2011 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):
$26,300 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
$26,500 (2012 est.)
$28,300 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Gross national saving:
21.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73
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.)
country comparison to the world: 155

Labor force:
5.304 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71

Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 2.6%
industry: 37.4%
services: 60% (2012)

Unemployment rate:
7.1% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
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)
country comparison to the world: 136
25.4 (1996)

revenues: $55.81 billion
expenditures: $59.96 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
28.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90

Public debt:
48.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
46.2% of GDP (2012 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.4% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 39
3.3% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
0.05% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
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.)
country comparison to the world: 143
5.41% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$124.1 billion (30 September 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
$114.2 billion (30 September 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$154 billion (30 September 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
$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.)
country comparison to the world: 46
$59.88 billion (28 December 2012)
$53.2 billion (30 December 2011 est.)

Current account balance:
-$3.27 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160
-$4.798 billion (2012 est.)

$161.4 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
$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.)
country comparison to the world: 32
$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.)
country comparison to the world: 35
$44.88 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Debt – external:
$102.1 billion (30 September 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
$101.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – at home:
$144.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
$136.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad:
$16.63 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
$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)

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