Czech Republic Overview
|Form of government
||UTC +1 (CET)
|Telephone area code
The Czech Republic (also: Czech Republic) is a
landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is
bordered to the west and northwest of Germany , to the
north and northeast of Poland , in the southeast on the
Slovakia and on the south by Austria. With a state area
of 78 864 km², the republic is slightly larger than
the German state of Bavaria.
In the Czech Republic, there are two historical
regions, Bohemia in the west and Moravia in the east.
The central part of the country is the Bohemian
Basin. It has small low mountain ranges and is
surrounded by the Bohemian Forest in the southwest, the
Ore Mountains in the northwest and the Sudeten and Giant
Mountains in the northeast. The highest mountain in the
Giant Mountains is the Schneekoppe with 1.603 m.
Moravia (named after the tributary of the Danube, the
March, Czech Morava) in the east is located between the
Bohemian-Moravian Heights in the northwest, the
Carpathians in the southeast and the eastern Sudetes in
the northeast. The March basin forms its core.
The Czech Republic is also known as the "roof of
Europe" because all rivers flow out of the country, but
none flows in. The Elbe (Czech Labe) rises near the
Polish border and flows to Germany, the Oder (Czech
Odra) rises in the northeast in the Oder Mountains and
flows north to Poland, the Vltava (Czech Vltava) -
longest river in the country - rises in the Bohemian
Forest and flows near Melnik in the Elbe, the March
(Czech Morava) rises at the Schneeberg Glatz and flows
into the Danube at Bratislava (Slovakian Bratislava) in
The climate in the Czech Republic is characterized by
continental and oceanic influences. It is moderately
continental in the east, but mild in the west. The
surrounding mountains form a natural protective wall
against extreme cold spells from the east.
The average temperatures in Prague are -1.5 °„ C in
January and 20 °„ C in July. The annual amount of
precipitation in the capital of the Republic is 410 mm.
At the ridges of the Bohemian outskirts, the annual
rainfall increases to over 1,000 mm.
Flora and fauna
About 30% of the country's territory is covered with
forest - preferably beech and spruce, more rarely oak.
Even after intensive deforestation in the past
centuries, these forests are characteristic of the
natural landscape. In the highest plains of the low
mountain ranges there is also taiga and tundra
vegetation with low bushes and grasses.
The country's wildlife is diverse, but large mammals
such as wolves and bears are in danger of extinction due
to intensive land use and pollution. In addition to
lynxes and wild cats, wild sheep such as the mouflon are
found, especially in the more remote mountain regions of
the country. Marmots, martens, minks and otters are
among the smaller species of mammals that are found
primarily in the forests and marshes. Pheasants, wild
geese, capercaillie and wild ducks as well as partridges
are native bird species, owls, storks, ospreys and
vultures as well as buzzards are less common. A
specialty of the bird world is the great bustard, which
can grow to over one meter tall.
The Czech Republic has a total population of around
10.3 million. The largest city in the country is the
capital Prague with 1.31 million residents. Other major
cities are Brno (German Brno, 380,000 residents) in
South Moravia, Ostrava (German Ostrava, 310,000) in
North Moravia, Plzen (German Pilsen, 165,000) in West
Bohemia and Olomouc (German Olomouc, 100,000) in North
Moravia on the March.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 90% of the population are Czechs (almost a
quarter of whom are Moravians) and around 4% are
Slovaks. Small minorities make up the Poles, Germans, Sinti and Roma, Hungarians and Ukrainians.
The majority of the population is non-denominational.
The largest religious group in the country with about
43% are Christians, of whom the vast majority are Roman
The national language is Czech, a West Slavic
language that uses the Latin alphabet.
Population growth in the Czech Republic is only 0.4%
due to the low birth rate. The average life expectancy
is 76 years. Literacy is almost complete.
According to the 1993 constitution, the Czech
Republic is a multi-party parliamentary democracy. The
head of state is the President (Miloš Zeman since March
2013), who can be elected for a maximum of two five-year
terms. He is the military commander and represents the
country in foreign policy. He can influence the
legislation through a veto right. The government, which
is responsible for the National Council, is headed by a
prime minister (since January 2014 Bohuslav Sobotka).
The parliamentary two-chamber system consists of the
House of Representatives with 200 members elected for
four years and the Senate, whose 81 members are elected
for a period of six years. The most important parties
are the Social Democratic Party (CSSD), the Democratic
Citizens' Party (ODS), the "Tradition, Responsibility
and Properity 09" party (TOP 09) and the Communist Party
The country is divided into 13 regions (Kraje) and
the capital district (Hlavni Mesto) for administrative
After the economic reforms initiated in 1990, the
former planned economy was converted into a market
economy system. After setbacks in 1998/99, there was an
economic recovery from 2000, and the structural reforms
bore fruit. The global financial crisis from 2008 was
overcome in autumn 2013. The unemployment rate peaked at
8.6% in early 2014.
The Czech Republic is a highly industrialized
country. 36% of the gross domestic product (GDP) is
achieved in the growing industrial sector, only 2.3% in
the shrinking agricultural sector. The most important
industrial sectors are heavy industry, mechanical
engineering (specializing in heavy and precision
machines and vehicle construction) and the chemical
industry. However, there are also numerous companies in
the field of electrical engineering, the glass and
ceramic as well as the food and beverages industry.
Agriculture focuses on the areas of wheat, barley and
rye cultivation as well as sugar beet, potatoes, flax,
vegetables, fruit, wine and hops. In cattle farming, the
focus is on cattle, pigs and poultry.
The most important export partners are the other EU
countries (including Germany in an exposed position).
Finished products, machines, vehicles and chemical
products in particular are exported; imported goods are
machines, vehicles, finished products and fuels. Imports
are also mainly from the EU countries and from China.
The Czech Republic has its own commercial fleet,
whose home ports are the free ports of Hamburg and
Szczecin. Major airports are Prague, Brno, Ostrava and
The currency is the Czech koruna (= 100 hellers).