The majority of the residents of Slovakia live on the plains in the south. The dominant group is the Slovak. The largest minority are the Hungarians, who mainly live near the border with Hungary. There is also a large group of Romans. In the 2011 census, two per cent of the residents stated that they were Roma, but the true proportion is assumed to be between six and nine percent. The low status of the people group in society is considered to be the reason why so many do not register as Roma. In the country also live smaller groups of Czechs and routes, among others.
The relationship between the Slovaks and the country’s minority groups, mainly Hungarians and the Romans, has at times been tense. The moods worsened 2006-2010 when the Slovak Nationalist Party was in office (see Modern History).
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of Slovakia, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.
The Roma are discriminated against in social life. Unemployment is high within the group, the level of education is low and crime is widespread. Both police and racist groups have repeatedly committed crimes against Roma. The EU membership of 2004 demands that the situation of the Roma be improved, but in reality not much has been done (see Social conditions). Since 2009 there has been a political party that drives minority population issues (see Political system).
Slovak is a West Slavic language that is closely related to Czech and is written in Latin letters. Slovakia recognizes nine minority languages, the largest of which are Hungarian and the Romans languages Romani. The routes speak a language akin to Ukrainian.
Previously, the minorities were legally entitled to use their own language in contacts with authorities under certain conditions. But in 2009, a new language law was adopted which means that Slovak will be used in official contexts, except for areas where a minority constitutes more than 20 percent of the population. Employees in, for example, the army, the fire brigade or the police must always speak Slovak in the service. Anyone who violates the law should be fined. The law aroused upset feelings, including within the Hungarian minority. Hungary also objected to the change.
Slovak pronunciation rules:
Á á = far a, C c = ts, Č č = tj, with clear t, Ď ď = dj, with clear d, É é = approximately as ä, Ě ě = je, Í í = far i, Ň ň = nj, Ó ó = far y, Ô ô = oå, Ř ř = much like “rge” in bourgeoisie, Š š = sch, Ť ť = tj, with clear t, but softer than č, Ú ú = far o, Ý ý = far in, Ž ž = toning sch, as in French je
FACTS – POPULATION AND LANGUAGE
Slovaks 80.7%, minorities of Hungarians (8.5%), Roma, Czechs, routes and Ukrainians and others (census 2011)
Number of residents
Number of residents per square kilometer
Percentage of residents in the cities
53.8 percent (2017)
Nativity / birth
10.6 per 1000 residents (2016)
Mortality / mortality
9.6 per 1000 residents (2016)
0.2 percent (2017)
1.4 number of children born per woman (2016)
Percentage of women
51.4 percent (2017)
77 years (2016)
Life expectancy for women
80 years (2016)
Life expectancy for men
73 years (2016)
Slovak is the official language 1
- Hungarian and Romani are important minoritysources
Government corruption is revealed
Extensive corruption under the former SDKÚ-DS-led government in 2002-2006 is revealed.
Listening to journalists
It is discovered that the security service has intercepted four journalists, on the orders of the Minister of Defense. The interception was motivated by suspicions of crime, but without justification. Defense Minister L’ubomir Galko resigns.
New Conservative Party
A new conservative party is formed when defectors from SaS founded Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO).
Government support for the euro zone
Liberal SaS goes against other government parties in a vote on an extension of the eurozone crisis fund. Prime Minister Radičová resigns, but still receives support for the EFSF after opposition Smer-SD granted the fund its support after Radičová promised to announce new elections.
Hungarian visit to Slovakia
For the first time in twelve years, a Hungarian Prime Minister is visiting Slovakia. Prime Minister Radičová receives Viktor Orbán in Bratislava.