General information: In 1918, the Slovaks united with their kindred Czechs, forming Czechoslovakia. After the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia turned into a communist state of the Soviet bloc. In 1989, Soviet influence faded and Czechoslovakia became independent again. On January 1, 1993, Slovakia and the Czech Republic became two independent states without conflict. Due to historical, political and geographical factors, Slovakia has experienced greater difficulties in developing a modern market economy than its neighbors in Central Europe.
Location: Central Europe, south of Poland.
Geographical coordinates: 48° 40′ N. latitude, 19° 30′ E
Reference map: Europe.
Area: total: 48,845 km2; land surface area: 48,800 km2; water surface area: 45 sq. km.
Comparative area: almost twice the size of the state of New Hampshire.
Land borders: total: 1,355 km; with neighboring states: with Austria 91 km, with Hungary 515 km, with Poland 444 km, with Ukraine 90 km, with the Czech Republic 215 km.
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked);
Maritime claims: none (landlocked).
Climate: temperate; summer is cool; cold, foggy, wet winter
Terrain: rocky mountains in the central and northern part of the country and lowlands in the south
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Bodrok River 94 m; highest point: Gerlachowski Štit 2,655 km;
Land use: arable land: 31%; cultivated land: 3%; pastures: 17%; forests and plantations: 41%; others: 8% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 800 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Actual problems of the environment: air pollution as a result of the activity of metallurgical enterprises, which poses a danger to human health; acid rain damaging forests.
International agreements on environmental protection: contributor: Air Pollution, Air Pollution – Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1985, Air Pollution – Sulfur 1994, Air Pollution – Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Change, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Law, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Air Pollution – Persistent Organic Pollutants, Antarctica – Protocol on Environmental Protection, Kyoto Protocol.
Note to the section “Geography”: landlocked.
Population: 5,414,937 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 18.86% (male 522,563; female 498,832); 15 to 64 years old: 69.6% (male 1,872,496; female 1,896,249); over 65: 11.54% (male 236,996; female 387,801) (2001 est.)
Population growth: 0.13% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 10.05 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 9.25 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0.53 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.05 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.99 male/female; over 65: 0.61 male/female; for the general population: 0.95 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 8.97 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 73.97 years; men: 69.95 years; women: 78.2 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.25 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: less than 0.01% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 400 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Slovak; adjective: Slovak.
Ethnic groups: Slovaks 85.7%, Hungarians 10.6%, Roma 1.6% (the 1992 census underestimates the number of Roma population, which is about 500,000 people), Czechs, Moravians, Silesians 1.1%, Ruthenians and Ukrainians 0.6%, Germans 0.1%, Poles 0.1%, others 0.2% (1996).
Believers: Catholics 60.3%, atheists 9.7%, Protestants 8.4%, Orthodox 4.1%, representatives of other religions 17.5%.
Language(s): Slovak (official), Hungarian.
Literacy: definition: no data; for the general population: no data available; men: no data; women: no data.
conventional long form: Slovak Republic;
conventional short form: Slovakia; local long form: Slovenska Republika local short form: Slovensko.
State structure: parliamentary democracy. See politicsezine.com to know more about Slovakia Political System.
Administrative division: 8 regions: Bansko-Bistritsky, Bratislava, Zhilinsky, Kosice, Nitransky, Preshovsky, Trenchinsky, Trnavsky.
Independence: from January 1, 1993 (Czechoslovakia was divided into the Czech and Slovak Republics).
National holiday: Constitution Day, 1 September (1992).
Constitution: ratified on September 1, 1992, fully entered into force on January 1, 1993; in September 1998, an amendment was introduced, according to which direct presidential elections were introduced; in February 2001, an amendment was made to allow accession to NATO and the EU.
Legal system: civil law system based on the Austro-Hungarian codes; the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice is not recognized; the code of laws was brought into line with the requirements of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the influence of the Marxist-Leninist theory of law was eliminated.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Rudolf SCHUSTER (since 15 June 1999);
head of the government: Prime Minister Mikulas DZURINDA (since 30 October 1998);
government: cabinet appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister; elections: the president is elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year term; elections last held 30 May 1999 (next to be held in 2004); after elections to the People’s Council, the president usually appoints the leader of the majority party or majority coalition as prime minister; election results: Rudolf SCHUSTER won the first direct general election with 57% of the vote; note: ruling coalition – SDK, SDL, SMK, SOP, KDH.
Legislature: unicameral People’s Council of the Slovak Republic (Narodna Rada Slovenskej Republiky) (150 seats; members of the chamber are elected on the basis of proportional representation for a four-year term); elections: last held 25-26 September 1998 (next to be held September 2002); election results: distribution of votes between parties – HZDS 27%, SDK 26.3%, SDL 14.7%, SMK 9.1%, SNS 9.1%, SOP 8%; seats – ruling coalition 93 (SDK 42, SDL 23, SMK 15, SOP 13), opposition 57 (HZDS 43, SNS 14).
Judiciary: Supreme Court, judges are elected by the People’s Council; Constitutional Court, judges are appointed by the president from a group of candidates approved by the People’s Council.
Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) (Pavol HRUSOVSKY); Liberal Democratic Union (LDU) (Jan BUDAJ); Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) (Vladimir MECI-AR); Civil Accord Party (SOP) (Pavol HAMZIK [Pavol HAMZIK]); Party of the Left Democrats (SDL) (Jozef MIGAS [Jozef MIGAS]); Party of the Hungarian Coalition (SMK) (Bela BUGAR [Bela BUGAR]); Slovak Democratic-Christian Union (SDKU) (Mikuláš DZURINDA) (new DZU-RINDA party created for the 2002 elections); Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK) (parliamentary club formed by members of the small parties SSDS, SZS, who also intend to support the SDKU in the 2002 elections) (Mikuláš DZURINDA); Slovak National Party (SNS) (Anna MALIKOVA).
Political influence groups and their leaders: Slovak Association of Employers; Association of Towns and Villages (ZMOS); Trade Union Confederation (KOZ); Unions of metallurgical workers (KOVO and METALURG).
Participation in international organizations: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CCC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NSG, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD , UNDOF, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WEU (associate partner), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Martin BUTORA; office: (temporary stay) Suite 250, 2201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007; phone:  (202) 965-5161; fax: [C (202) 965-5166.
US Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Carl SPIELVOGEL; embassy: Hviezdoslavovo Namestie 4, 81102 Bratislava; postal address: use the address of the embassy; phone:  (7) 5443-3338; fax:  (7) 5443-0096.
Description of the flag: three equally sized horizontal stripes of white (top), blue and red, on top of them is a shield with a Slovak cross, located in the center of the half adjacent to the flagpole; a white cross on a red-blue background.