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INTRODUCTION


 
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 leaders were frequently preoccupied with meeting the demands of other ethnic minorities within the republic, most notably the Sudeten Germans and the Ruthenians (Ukrainians). On the eve of World War II, the Czech part of the country was forcibly annexed to the Third Reich, and the Slovaks declared independence as an ally of Nazi 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 Party rule and create "socialism with a human face."... See More



GEOGRAPHY


Location:

 Central Europe, between Germany, Poland, Slovakia, and Austria

Geographic Coordinates:

 49 45 N, 15 30 E

Area:

 Total: 78,867 sq km
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

Coastline:

 0 km (landlocked) (Rank: 215)

Maritime Claims:

 None (landlocked)

Climate:

 Temperate; cool summers; cold, cloudy, humid winters

Terrain:

 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

Natural Resources:

 Hard coal, soft coal, kaolin, clay, graphite, timber

Land Use:

 Arable land: 38.82%
Permanent crops: 3%
Other: 58.18% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 390 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 16 cu km (2005)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 1.91 cu km/yr (41%/57%/2%)
Per capita: 187 cu m/yr (2002)

Natural Hazards:

 Flooding

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 AND SOCIETY


Nationality:

 Noun: Czech(s)
Adjective: Czech

Ethnic Groups:

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

Languages:

 Czech 94.9%, Slovak 2%, other 2.3%, unidentified 0.8% (2001 census)

Religions:

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

Population:

 10,190,213 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 13.5% (male 704,495/female 666,191)
15-64 years: 70.2% (male 3,599,774/female 3,554,158)
65 years and over: 16.3% (male 663,982/female 1,001,613) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 40.8 years
Male: 39.2 years
Female: 42.5 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 -0.12% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 8.7 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 10.86 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 0.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

 Urban population: 74% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 PRAGUE (capital) 1.162 million (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.059 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 8 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 3.73 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 4.06 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 3.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 77.19 years
Male: 73.93 years
Female: 80.66 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.26 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 7.6% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 3.625 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital Bed Density:

 7.18 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 100% of population
Total: 100% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 99% of population
Rural: 97% of population
Total: 98% of population
Unimproved:
Urban: 1% of population
Rural: 3% of population
Total: 2% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 Less than 0.1% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 2,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 100 (2009 est.)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 2.1% (2002)

Obesity - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 15.1% (2002)

Education Expenditures:

 4.2% of GDP (2007)

Literacy:

 Definition: NA
Total population: 99%
Male: 99%
Female: 99% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 15 years
Male: 15 years
Female: 16 years (2008)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 16.6%
Male: 16.6%
Female: 16.7% (2009)

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GOVERNMENT


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

Capital:

 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, Kralovehradecky, Liberecky, Moravskoslezsky (Moravia-Silesia), Olomoucky, Pardubicky, Plzensky (Pilsen), Praha (Prague)*, Stredocesky (Central Bohemia), Ustecky, Vysocina, Zlinsky

Independence:

 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 generally consider 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)

Constitution:

 Ratified 16 December 1992, effective 1 January 1993; amended several times

Legal System:

 Civil law system based on former Austro-Hungarian civil codes and socialist theory; note - legislation is actively modernizing the legal system

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:

 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Vaclav KLAUS (since 7 March 2003)

Head of government: Prime Minister Petr NECAS (since 28 June 2010); First Deputy Prime Minister Karel SCHWARZENBERG (since 13 July 2010), Deputy Prime Minister Karolina PEAKE (since 1 July 2011)

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister

Elections: president elected by Parliament for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); last successful election held on 15 February 2008 (after earlier elections held 8 and 9 February 2008 were inconclusive; next election to be held in 2013); prime minister appointed by the president

Election results: Vaclav KLAUS reelected president on 15 February 2008; Vaclav KLAUS 141 votes, Jan SVEJNAR 111 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 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 on 15-16 and 22-23 October 2010 (next to be held by October 2012); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 28-29 May 2010 (next to be held by 2014)

Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CSSD 41, ODS 25, KDU-CSL 6, TOP 09 5, others 4; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - CSSD 22.1%, ODS 20.2%, TOP 09 16.7%, KSCM 11.3%, VV 10.9%; seats by party - CSSD 56, ODS 53, TOP 09 41, KSCM 26, VV 24

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court; judges are appointed by the president for an unlimited term; Constitutional Court; 15 judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate for a ten-year term; Supreme Administrative Court; chairman and deputy chairmen are appointed by the president for a 10-year term; judges are appointed by the president for an unlimited term

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 NECAS]; Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia or KSCM [Vojtech FILIP]; Czech Social Democratic Party or CSSD [Bohuslav SOBOTKA]; Green Party [Ondrej LISKA]; Public Affairs or VV [Radek JOHN]; Tradice Odpovednost Prosperita 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, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Petr GANDALOVIC
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 EISEN
Embassy: Trziste 15, 118 01 Prague 1
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 Symbols:

 Double-tailed lion

National Anthem:

 Name: "Kde domov muj?" (Where is My Home?)
Lyrics/music: Josef Kajetan TYL/Frantisek Jan SKROUP

Note: adopted 1993; the anthem is a verse from the former Czechoslovak anthem originally written as part of the opera "Fidlovacka"

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ECONOMY


Economy - Overview:

 The Czech Republic is a stable and prosperous market economy, which harmonized its laws and regulations with those of the EU prior to its EU accession in 2004. While the conservative, inward looking Czech financial system has remained relative healthy, the small, open, export-driven Czech economy remains very 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 4.1% in 2009, with most of the decline occurring during the first quarter. Real GDP, however, has slowly recovered with positive quarter-on-quarter growth starting in the second half of 2009 and continuing throughout 2010. The auto industry remains the largest single industry and, together with its suppliers, accounts for as much as 20% of Czech manufacturing. The Czech Republic produced more than a million cars for the first time in 2010, over 80% of which were exported. 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):

 $261.3 billion (2010 est.)
$255.4 billion (2009 est.)
$266.4 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $192.2 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 2.3% (2010 est.)
-4.1% (2009 est.)
2.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $25,600 (2010 est.)
$25,000 (2009 est.)
$26,100 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 2.4%
Industry: 37.6%
Services: 60% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 5.415 million (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 3.1%
Industry: 38.6%
Services: 58.3% (2009)

Unemployment Rate:

 9% (2010 est.)
8.1% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 NA%

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 1.5%
Highest 10%: NA (2009)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 26 (2005)
25.4 (1996)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 21.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget:

 Revenues: $77.73 billion
Expenditures: $86.76 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 40.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -4.7% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 38.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
35.6% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 1.5% (2010 est.)
1% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 0.75% (31 December 2010 est.)
1% (31 December 2009 est.)

Note: the two-week repo rate was 0.75% on 31 December 2010; this is the main rate CNB uses

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 5.889% (31 December 2010 est.)
5.991% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $86.56 billion (31 December 2008)
$84.43 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $58.69 billion (31 December 2008)
$58.77 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $107.8 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$96.46 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $144.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$144.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $126.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$123.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $73.1 billion (31 December 2010)
$70.26 billion (31 December 2009)
$57.8 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, hops, fruit; pigs, poultry

Industries:

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

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 10.3% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 77.02 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 76.1%
Hydro: 2.9%
Nuclear: 20%
Other: 1% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 53.42 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 22.23 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 13.64 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - Production:

 10,310 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 195,700 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 25,480 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 208,800 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 15 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 203 million cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 9.308 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 159 million cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 8.51 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 3.964 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$7.188 billion (2010 est.)
-$4.849 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

 $116.7 billion (2010 est.)
$99.13 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Machinery and transport equipment, raw materials and fuel, chemicals

Exports - Partners:

 Germany 31.7%, Slovakia 8.7%, Poland 6.2%, France 5.5%, UK 4.9%, Austria 4.7%, Italy 4.5% (2010 est.)

Imports:

 $113.9 billion (2010 est.)
$94.55 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Machinery and transport equipment, raw materials and fuels, chemicals

Imports - Partners:

 Germany 25.6%, China 11.9%, Poland 6.5%, Russia 5.4%, Slovakia 5.2% (2010 est.)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $41.95 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$41.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $105.8 billion (30 June 2011 est.)
$86.53 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - Abroad:

 $15.52 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$14.81 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $129.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$125.8 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Czech Koruna to Any Currency

Koruny (CZK) per US dollar -
19.111 (2010)
19.063 (2009)
17.064 (2008)
20.53 (2007)
22.596 (2006)

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COMMUNICATIONS


Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 2.198 million (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 14.331 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: privatization and modernization of the Czech telecommunication system got a late start but is advancing steadily; virtually all exchanges now digital; existing copper subscriber systems 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

Domestic: access to the fixed-line telephone network expanded throughout the 1990s but the number of fixed line connections has been dropping since then; mobile telephone usage increased sharply beginning in the mid-1990s and the number of cellular telephone subscriptions now greatly exceeds the population

International: country code - 420; satellite earth stations - 6 (2 Intersputnik - Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions, 1 Intelsat, 1 Eutelsat, 1 Inmarsat, 1 Globalstar) (2009)

Broadcast Media:

 Roughly 130 television broadcasters operating some 350 television channels with 4 publicly operated and the remainder in private hands; 13 television stations have national coverage with 4 being publicly operated; cable and satellite TV subscription services are available; about 70 radio broadcasters are registered operating roughly 85 radio stations with 15 stations publicly operated; 16 radio stations provide national coverage with the remainder local or regional (2008)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 31, FM 304, shortwave 17 (2000)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 71 (2008)

Internet Country Code:

 .cz

Internet Hosts:

 3.494 million (2010)

Internet Users:

 6.681 million (2009)

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TRANSPORTATION


Airports:

 122 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 44
Over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 3
Under 914 m: 18 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 78
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 27
Under 914 m: 50 (2010)

Heliports:

 1 (2010)

Pipelines:

 Gas 7,010 km; oil 547 km; refined products 94 km (2010)

Railways:

 Total: 9,632 km
Standard gauge: 9,530 km 1.435-m gauge (3,165 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 102 km 0.750-m gauge (2010)

Roadways:

 Total: 127,719 km
Paved: 127,719 km (includes 729 km of expressways) (2009)

Waterways:

 664 km (principally on Elbe, Vltava, Oder, and other navigable rivers, lakes, and canals) (2010)

Merchant Marine:

 Registered in other countries: 1 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Decin, Prague, Usti nad Labem

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MILITARY


Military Branches:

 Army of the Czech Republic (ACR): Joint Forces Command (includes Land Forces and Air Forces), Support and Training Forces Command (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (2011)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 2,506,826
Females age 16-49: 2,407,634 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 2,072,267
Females age 16-49: 1,988,839 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 49,999
Female: 47,501 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 1.46% of GDP (2007 est.)

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TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES


Disputes - International:

 While threats of international legal action never materialized in 2007, 915,220 Austrians, with the support of the popular Freedom Party, signed a petition in January 2008, demanding that Austria block the Czech Republic's accession to the EU unless Prague closes its controversial Soviet-style nuclear plant in Temelin, bordering Austria

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, organized crime; significant consumer of ecstasy (2008)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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