Czech Republic facts and figures

Czech Republic

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 liberalize
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. Now a member of NATO, the Czech Republic
has moved toward integration in world markets, a development that poses both
opportunities and risks. In December 2002, the Czech Republic was invited
to join the European Union (EU). It is expected that the Czech Republic will
accede to the EU in 2004.

Location:

Central Europe, southeast of Germany

Area:

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

Land boundaries:
total: 1,881 km
border countries: Austria 362 km, Germany 646 km, Poland 658 km, Slovakia
215 km

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

Land use:
arable land: 40%
permanent crops: 3.04%
other: 56.96% (1998 est.)

Population:
10,249,216 (July 2003 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Czech(s)
adjective: Czech

Languages:
Czech