Basic Data

The Czech Republic is a democratic country situated in the heart of Central Europe. It is landlocked, located 326 km from the Baltic sea and 322 km from the Adriatic sea. It shares borders with Germany, Poland, Austria and Slovakia. The population of the Czech Republic is more than 10 million inhabitants and covers an area of 78 000 km².

The divide between the two principal mountain systems in Europe – the Hercynian and Alpine-Himalayan – runs through Czech territory. The country's topography is therefore quite varied: plains (4.5 % of the country), hills (50.1 %), highlands (33.9 %) and mountains (11.6 %). Altitude: lowland regions below 200 m above sea level comprise 4.95 % of the country, regions of 200 – 500 m above sea level comprise 74.1 %, regions of 600 – 1 000 m above sea level 19.3 % and regions over 1 000 m above sea level comprise 1,6 % of the total area. The highest point of elevation is Snezka (1 602 m above sea level) and the lowest is near Hrensko where the River Labe exits Czech territory (117 m above sea level).

Economic structure

(share of economic sectors and subsectors in GDP – 1Q 2011):

  • Agriculture 2.3 %
  • Industry 33.8 % (manufacturing 22.7 %, construction 6 %)
  • Services 58 % (trade, hotels and restaurants, transport 21.2 %, financial and business services 16.6 %)

Natural resources: hard coal, soft coal, clay, graphite, timber

Land use: arable land 41 %, permanent crops 2 %, permanent pastures 11 %, forests and woodland 34 %, other 12 %

Population and religion

  • Population: 10 436 560
  • Education: compulsory 9-year school attendance (from the age of 6), about 4 million people have complete secondary education and 0.5 million with university education
  • Official language: Czech
  • Ethnic composition: Czech [Bohemian] – 94.7 % (Czech 81.1 %, Moravian 13.2 %, Silesian 0.4 %); Slovak – 3.1 %; Romany [Gypsy] – 1.3 %; Polish – 0.6 %; German – 0.5 %; Other – 0.6 %.
  • Religions: Roman Catholic – 39.2 %; Protestant – 4.1 %; Orthodox 3 %; Jehovah's Witnesses – 0.13 %, Non-religious – 34.5 %; Undeclared – 44.7 %
  • Age structure: 0–14 years 14.2 %; 15 – 64 years 71.2 %; 65+ years 14.6 %
  • Life expectancy: total population 76 years, male 73 years; female 80 years
  • Largest cities: Prague (capital), Brno, Ostrava, Plzen, Olomouc, Liberec, Hradec Kralove

Currency

  • 1 crown (koruna – Kc) = 100 hellers (hal)
  • Notes come in 5 000, 2 000, 1 000, 500, 200, 100 crown denominations, coins in 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 crown denominations.
  • Check the exchange rates updated daily by the Czech National Bank (CNB).
  • The Czech Republic is not yet a part of the European Union EuroZone and although paying in EUR is possible, it is somewhat exceptional (in some hotels, restaurants, or stores mainly in Prague and other large cities).

Geographical position

  • Total area: 78 866 sq. kilometres
  • Latitude 49–51 degrees N and longitude 12–19 degrees E
  • Length of state borders: 2 303 kilometres
  • Neighbouring states (length of state borders): Austria (466 km), Germany (810 km), Poland (762 km), Slovakia (265 km)

Climate

  • Mild continental; temperate, a mixture of oceanic and continental, the average winter temperature being 5 degrees C, the average summer temperature being 20 degrees C
  • Annual precipitation: 500–700 mm
  • Average height above sea level: 450 metres (the European average is 315 m)
  • The longest rivers: Labe 1 165 km (415 km in the country), Vltava 433 km

Time zone

  • GMT + 1 hour, from April to October summer time – GMT + 2 hours

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