Following the First World War, the closely related Czechs and Slovaks
of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire merged to form Czechoslovakia.
During the interwar years, the new country's leaders were frequently
preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within
the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans and the Ruthenians
(Ukrainians). After World War II, a truncated Czechoslovakia fell
within the Soviet sphere of influence. In 1968, an invasion by Warsaw
Pact troops ended the efforts of the country's leaders to liberalise
Communist party rule and create "socialism with a human face."
Anti-Soviet demonstrations the following year ushered in a period of
harsh repression. With the collapse of Soviet authority in 1989,
Czechoslovakia regained its freedom through a peaceful "Velvet
Revolution." On 1 January 1993, the country underwent a "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, southeast of Germany

Geographic coordinates:
49 45 N, 15 30 E

Map references:

total: 78,866 sq km
land: 77,276 sq km
water: 1,590 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries:
total: 1,881 km
border countries: Austria 362 km, Germany 646 km, Poland 658 km, Slovakia 215 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: Elbe River 115 m
highest point: Snezka 1,602 m

Land use:
arable land: 39.8%
permanent crops: 3.05%
other: 57.15% (2001)

Natural resources:
hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber

Irrigated land:
240 sq km (1998 est.)

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 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
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


10,228,744 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.7% (male 773,028/female 731,833)
15-64 years: 71.1% (male 3,651,018/female 3,627,006)
65 years and over: 14.2% (male 565,374/female 892,879) (2005 est.)

Median age:
total: 39.5 years
male: 37.9 years
female: 41.3 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.071% (2007 est.)

Birth rate:
8.96 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate:
10.64 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate:
0.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.056 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.008 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.641 male(s)/female
total population: 0.951 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.86 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.21 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.42 years
male: 73.14 years
female: 79.88 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.22 children born/woman (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,500 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 10 (2001 est.)

noun: Czech(s)
adjective: Czech

Ethnic groups:
Czech 90.4%, Moravian 3.7%, Slovak 1.9%, other 4% (2001 census)

Roman Catholic 26.8%, Protestant 2.1%, other 3.3%, unspecified 8.8%,
unaffiliated 59% (2001 census)


definition: NA
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Czech Republic
conventional short form: Czech Republic
local long form: Ceska Republika
local short form: Ceska Republika

Government type:
parliamentary democracy

name: Prague
geographic coordinates: 40 55 N, 21 00 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 Kraj, Jihomoravsky Kraj, Karlovarsky Kraj,
Kralovehradecky Kraj, Liberecky Kraj, Moravskoslezsky Kraj, Olomoucky
Kraj, Pardubicky Kraj, Plzensky Kraj, Praha (Prague)*, Stredocesky
Kraj, Ustecky Kraj, Vysocina, Zlinsky Kraj

1 January 1993 (Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia)

National holiday:
Czech Founding Day, 28 October (1918)

ratified 16 December 1992; effective 1 January 1993

Legal system:
civil law system based on Austro-Hungarian codes; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; legal code modified to bring it in line
with Organisation on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
obligations and to expunge Marxist-Leninist legal theory

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Vaclav KLAUS (since 7 March 2003)
note: the Czech Republic's first president Vaclav HAVEL stepped down
from office on 2 February 2003 having served exactly 10 years;
parliament finally elected a successor on 28 February 2003 after two
inconclusive elections in January 2003
head of government: Prime Minister Mirek TOPOLANEK (since 9 January
2007); Deputy Prime Ministers Petr NECAS (since 9 January 2007), Jiri
CUNEK (since 9 January 2007), Martin BURSIK (since 9 January 2007),
and Alexandr VONDRA (since 9 January 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of
the prime minister
elections: president elected by Parliament for a five-year term; last
successful election held 28 February 2003 (after earlier elections
held 15 and 24 January 2003 were inconclusive; next election to be
held January 2008); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Vaclav KLAUS elected president on 28 February 2003;
Vaclav KLAUS 142 votes, Jan SOKOL 124 votes (third round; combined
votes of both chambers of parliament)

Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate or Senat (81
seats; members are 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 are elected by popular vote to
serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held in two rounds 5-6 November and 12-13
November 2004 (next to be held November 2006); Chamber of Deputies -
last held 14-15 June 2002 (next to be held by June 2006)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by
party - ODS 37, KDU-CSL 14, Open Democracy 13, CSSD 7, Caucus Open
Democracy 7, independents 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by
party - CSSD 30.2%, ODS 24.5%, KSCM 18.5%, KDU-CSL & US-DEU coalition
14.3%, other minor 12.5%; seats by party - CSSD 70, ODS 57, KSCM 41,
KDU-CSL 21, US-DEU 10, independent 1

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court; chairman and deputy chairmen are
appointed by the president for a 10-year term

Political parties and leaders:
Caucus SNK [Josef ZOSER]; Christian and Democratic Union-Czechoslovak
People's Party or KDU-CSL [Miroslav KALOUSEK, chairman]; Civic
Democratic Alliance or ODA [Jirina NOVAKOVA, chairman]; Civic
Democratic Party or ODS [Mirek TOPOLANEK, chairman]; Communist Party
of Bohemia and Moravia or KSCM [Miroslav GREBENICEK, chairman];
Communist Party of Czechoslovakia or KSC [Miroslav STEPAN, chairman];
Czech National Social Party of CSNS [Jaroslav ROVNY, chairman]; Czech
Social Democratic Party or CSSD [Stanislav GROSS, acting chairman];
European Democrats [Jan KASL]; Freedom Union-Democratic Union or
US-DEU [Hana Marvanova, chairwoman]; Open Democracy [Sona PAUKRTOVA,

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Bohemian and Moravian Trade Union Confederation [Milan STECH]

International organisation participation:
ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB,
EU (new member), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU,
UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (member affiliate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Petr KOLAR
chancery: 3900 Spring of Freedom Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 274-9100
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8540
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard W. GRABER
embassy: Trziste 15, 11801 Prague 1
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [420] (2) 5753-0663
FAX: [420] (2) 5753-0583

Flag description:
two equal horizontal bands of white (top) and red with a blue
isosceles triangle based on the hoist side (identical to the flag of
the former Czechoslovakia)


The Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous of the
post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. Growth in 2000-04
was supported by exports to the EU, primarily to Germany, and a strong
recovery of foreign and domestic investment. Domestic demand is
playing an ever more important role in underpinning growth as interest
rates drop and the availability of credit cards and mortgages
increases. Current account deficits of around 5% of GDP are beginning
to decline as demand for Czech products in the European Union
increases. Inflation is under control. Recent accession to the EU
gives further impetus and direction to structural reform. In early
2004 the government passed increases in the Value Added Tax (VAT) and
tightened eligibility for social benefits with the intention to bring
the public finance gap down to 4% of GDP by 2006, but more difficult
pension and healthcare reforms will have to wait until after the next
elections. Privatisation of the state-owned telecommunications firm
Cesky Telecom is scheduled to take place in 2005. Intensified
restructuring among large enterprises, improvements in the financial
sector, and effective use of available EU funds should strengthen
output growth.

purchasing power parity - $221.4 billion (2006 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
6.2% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:
$21,600 (2006 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.8%
industry: 37.8%
services: 59.4% (2006 est.)

Labour force:
5.31 million (2006 est.)

Labour force - by occupation:
agriculture 4%, industry 38%, services 58% (2002 est.)

Unemployment rate:
8.4% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4.3%
highest 10%: 22.4% (1996)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
27.3 (2003)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.7% (2006 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
26.2% of GDP (2006 est.)

revenues: $57.88 billion
expenditures: $62.53 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt:
29.1% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture - products:
wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, poultry

metallurgy, machinery and equipment, motor vehicles, glass, armaments

Industrial production growth rate:
9.5% (2006 est.)

Electricity - production:
79.14 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity - consumption:
58.8 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity - exports:
24.6 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity - imports:
9.8 billion kWh (2004)

Oil - production:
15,240 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - consumption:
203,100 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil - exports:
26,670 bbl/day (2001)

Oil - imports:
182,000 bbl/day (2004)

Oil - proved reserves:
17.25 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural gas - production:
216 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
9.6 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas - exports:
88 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas - imports:
8.815 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
3.964 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance:
-$4.352 billion (2006 est.)

$89.34 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment 52%, chemicals 5%, raw materials and
fuel 9% (2003)

Exports - partners:
Germany 33.5%, Slovakia 8.7%, Austria 5.5%, Poland 5.5%, France 5.3%,
UK 4.6%, Italy 4.3% (2005)

$87.7 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and transport equipment 46%, raw materials and fuels 15%,
chemicals 10% (2003)

Imports - partners:
Germany 30%, Russia 5.7%, Slovakia 5.4%, China 5.1%, Poland 5%, Italy
4.8%, France 4.5%, Netherlands 4% (2005)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$30.99 billion (2006 est.)

Debt - external:
$50.2 billion (30 June 2006 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:
$2.4 billion in available EU structural adjustment and cohesion funds (2004-06)

Currency (code):
Czech koruna (CZK)

Exchange rates:
koruna per US dollar - 22.596 (2006), 23.957 (2005), 25.7 (2004),
28.209 (2003), 32.739 (2002)

Fiscal year:
calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use:
3,217,300 (2005)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
11.776 million (2005)

Telephone system:
general assessment: privatisation and modernisation of the Czech
telecommunication system got a late start but is advancing steadily;
growth in the use of mobile cellular telephones is particularly
domestic: 86% of exchanges now digital; existing copper subscriber
systems now being 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
international: country code - 420; satellite earth stations - 2
Intersputnik (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions), 1 Intelsat, 1
Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat, 1 Globalstar

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 31, FM 304, shortwave 17 (2000)

Television broadcast stations:
150 (plus 1,434 repeaters) (2000)

Internet country code:

Internet hosts:
1.267 million (2006)

Internet users:
5.1 million (2005)


total: 9,572 km
standard gauge: 9,473 km 1.435-m gauge (2,951 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 99 km 0.760-m gauge (2005)

total: 127,747 km
paved: 127,747 km (includes 518 km of expressways) (2003)
unpaved: 0 km (2002)

664 km (on Elbe, Vltava, and Oder rivers) (2004)

gas 7,010 km; oil 547 km; refined products 94 km (2006)

Ports and harbours:
Decin, Prague, Usti nad Labem

Merchant marine:
registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2006)

121 (2006)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 46
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 19 (2006)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 75
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 25
under 914 m: 49 (2006)

2 (2006)


Military branches:
Army of the Czech Republic (ACR): Joint Forces Command, Support and
Training Forces Command (2005)

Military manpower - military age and obligation:
18-50 years of age for voluntary military service; military service
transformed into a fully professional, all-volunteer force no longer
dependent on conscription beginning in January 2004 (2005)

Military manpower - availability:
males age 18-49: 2,414,728 (2005 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,996,631 (2005 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 66,583 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$2.17 billion (2004)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.81% (2005 est.)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
in February 2005, the ICJ refused to rule on the restitution of
Liechtenstein's land and property assets in the Czech Republic
confiscated in 1945 as German property; individual Sudeten Germans
seek restitution for property confiscated in connection with their
expulsion after World War II

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and minor transit point
for Latin American cocaine to Western Europe; producer of synthetic
drugs for local and regional markets; susceptible to money laundering
related to drug trafficking, organised crime

Ben Henderson
Country Contact Czech Republic

Founded in 1978, ACA ( is a non-profit, non-partisan,
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American Children Abroad

Ben and Helena Henderson

Prague, Czech Republic

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