Slovakia

Stasyan117, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Slovak Republic (now more regularly referred to as Slovakia) became an independent country on the 1st of January 1993 when it agreed with the Czech Republic that Czechoslovakia would cease to exist and that both countries would become independent countries in their own right. This is sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce because it peacefully ended Communist rule in Czechoslovakia. If it can be described as a divorce, it was an amicable one, with Slovakia remaining a close partner with the Czech Republic.

Slovakia’s current population is circa 5.45 million people and is therefore a country with a population very similar to that of Scotland.

Out of interest the population of the Czech Republic was recorded at 10,758,266 as of Wednesday, December 28, 2022.

Slovakia is now an independent developed country with an advanced high income ranking and a very high rating in the Human Development Index. It performs favourably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness

The country maintains a combination of a market economy with a comprehensive social security system, providing its citizens with universal health care, free education, and one of the longest paid parental leaves in the OECD.

Slovakia is a member of the EU, the Eurozone, the Schengen Area, the OECD, European Union, the United Nations and NATO

Slovakia is the world’s largest per-capita car producer and Slovakia manufactured a total of 1.1 million cars in 2019, representing 43% of its total industrial output, and it is a country which is home to 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

It may be interesting for some of our readers to note that Slovakia is ranked among the top EU countries regarding their knowledge of foreign languages. In 2007, 68% of the population aged from 25 to 64 years claimed to speak two or more foreign languages, finishing second highest in the European Union. The best known foreign language in Slovakia is, not surprisingly, Czech, but a Eurostat report also shows that 98.3% of Slovak students in the upper secondary education take on two foreign languages, ranking highly over the average 60.1% in the European Union. In addition, according to a Eurobarometer survey from 2012, 26% of the population have knowledge of English at a conversational level, followed by German (22%) and Russian (17%) so this is a well connected country.

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