Bordering Germany and Poland, the Liberec region offers a favorable location to companies that have customers in these two countries.
The Liberecký Region comprises of the Česká Lípa, Jablonec nad Nisou, Liberec, and Semily Districts. From 1 January 2003, there are 10 administrative districts of the municipalities with extended powers (the 3rd level municipalities) and within them 21 territorial districts of municipalities with authorised municipal authority (the 2nd level municipalities) on its territory.
The Region is situated in the north of the Czech Republic. The territory includes northern part of the Česká kotlina basin, Jizerské hory (the Jizera Mountains), western part of Krkonoše (the Giant Mountains) including their foothills and eastern part of Lužické hory (the Lužice Mountains). The northern part of the Region is bordering the Federal Republic of Germany in the length of 22.7 km and Poland in the length of 133.5 km. In the east, the Region neighbours the Královéhradecký Region, in the south the Středočeský Region, and in the west the Ústecký Region.
The Liberecký Region covers only 4.0 % of the total area of the Czech Republic. With the exception of the City of Prague, the Region is the smallest one in the Czech Republic having the area of 3 163 km2. Agricultural land comprises 44.1 % of the Region’s area; the share of arable land (20.3 %) is well below the national average. On the contrary, a distinctively high percentage (44.6 %) is reported for forest land.
The whole Region is generally mountainous, it has an upland character. The highest point is the peak Kotel (altitude 1 435 m) situated near the town of Harrachov in the Semily District. The lowest point of altitude 208 m lies in the Liberec District on the place, where the Smědá River leaves the territory of the Czech Republic. The most famous peak of the Region is Ještěd (altitude 1 012 m), which is the highest point of the Ještěd mountain range.
The climate in the north-eastern part of the Region (the Jizera Mountains, the Giant Mountains with its foothills) belongs to a rather cold area, while the western and south-western parts have conditions of a slightly warm area. Three rivers gather the waters from the Region: the basin of the Ploučnice River in the west, the basin of the upper flow of the Labe River in the east, and the basin of the Odra (Nisa) River in the north. Supplies of ground water are mainly found near the southern border, while in the north- east, there is a protected area of natural accumulation of surface water. Mineral water and healing peat sources are also present in the Region.
As at 31 December 2016, the population of the Liberecký Region was 440 636 (4.2 % of the CR’s population), ranking the Region second smallest in the country. The average population density is 139.139.3 inhabitants per km2, which is slightly above the national average. The highest density can be found in the Jablonec nad Nisou District (224.1 inhabitants per km2) and the Liberec District (175.3 inhabitants per km2). At 31 December 2016 there were 215 municipalities in the Region, with the average municipality area 14.7 km2. The percentage of urban population was 77.4 %. A lower percentage of urban population is reported only for the Semily District (57.0 %). The main centre of the Region is Liberec (103,853 inhabitants), the second largest town in the Region is Jablonec nad Nisou (over 45 thousand inhabitants).
The demographic development of the Liberecký Region is rather similar to that observed in other Regions of the CR. The population age structure is slightly younger when compared to the Czech Republic’s average. The average age in the Region is 41.8 years, which is by 0.3 year less than the national average. The distribution of population by age varies significantly in the individual areas of the Region. The population of the Česká Lípa area ranks among the youngest in the CR, while the population of the Semily and Turnov areas among the oldest.
The economic structure of the Liberecký Region is predominantly of industrial nature. The traditional manufacture of textiles has recently lost its dominant role over twenty years. The economic recession from the end of 2008 weakened the industry of manufacture of glass and imitation jewellery. Manufacturing is focused on the car manufacture and manufacturing of rubber and plastic products. The agriculture, which functions, in fact, just as a supplementary branch of the economic structure, grows mainly cereals and forage plants for cattle breeding. To make the list complete, tourism is also a major contributor to the Liberecký Region’s economy.
In 2016, the gross domestic product per capita was 78.0 % of the CR’s one. As for the CR’s total GDP, the share of the Liberecký Region stood at 3.2 %.
As at 31 December 2016, the Region’s share of unemployed persons, calculated from data provided by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the CR, was 5.17 %, which was by 0.02 percentage point less than the national average. As for the order of regions by share of unemployed persons, the Liberecký Region ranked sixth.
From the natural history point of view, the Liberecký Region is a very important area and includes a great variety of ecosystems, a lot of protected areas as well as areas with interesting fauna and flora. There are 5 protected landscape areas in the Region: České středohoří (the Bohemian Low Mountain Range), Jizerské hory, Lužické hory, Český ráj (the Bohemian Paradise), and Kokořínsko (the Kokořín Area); 8 national nature reserves, 9 national nature monuments, 36 nature reserves, and 73 nature monuments.
Regarding raw materials, the Region is rich in foundry and glass sands of good quality. The Region is also significant for occurrence of low contented uranium ore, the mining of which was, however, downsized. The Region was important also for its ornamental and building stone (e.g. granite from Liberec, roofing slate from Železný Brod, quality basalt and quartzite, etc.), which were mined and processed there. Nowadays, the quarrying focuses on mining of sand, gravel, and broken stone aggregates. The coal deposit of the Giant Mountains foothill basin reaches into the territory of the Semily District.
As for education, there is a network of basic and secondary schools in the Region. The Liberecký Region is typical for secondary schools of art that reach beyond the regional context. Glass and imitation-jewellery secondary schools of applied arts are especially worth mentioning. Not only secondary, but also tertiary education is provided – by the Technical University of Liberec.
Basic health care is provided by a network of out-patient establishments and pharmacies. Acute care, care of chronic patients, and physiotherapeutic care is provided by a stabilised network of eight hospitals. The most important health establishment is the Liberec Hospital. The Institute of the Arm and Plastic Surgery in the town of Vysoké nad Jizerou is an establishment of multi-regional significance. There are two balneological centres in the Region to treat rheumatism and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, heart, and blood circulation system Lázně Libverda and Lázně Kundratice (Spa Libverda and Spa Kundratice).
Social activity focuses mainly on care of old and overaged persons, who are taken care of in a network of retirement homes and community care homes with day care services. A unique position in the area of social care of young people in the Liberecký Region belongs to the Institute of Jedlička (“Jedličkův ústav”). The system of social establishments comprises also of many reception centres and centres for people in need (special care homes), which concentrate on treatment and prevention of addictions.
The Liberecký Region has rich historic tradition represented by many historic buildings and monuments and cultural establishments. The institutions of supra-regional significance include primarily the Severočeské muzeum (the North-Bohemian Museum) in Liberec, the Regional Gallery in Liberec, and the State Scientific Library in Liberec.
Important cultural institutions are also: Divadlo F. X. Šaldy (the František Xaver Šalda Theatre) with the scene of Small Theatre, and Naivní divadlo (the Naive Theatre), the Zoological Garden and the Botanical Garden in Liberec. A number of museums and galleries scattered about the Region are establishments of regional importance.
Those interested in tradition of glass and artificial jewellery of this area can visit, for example, museums of glass making in Nový Bor, Kamenický Šenov, and Železný Brod or the Museum of glass and artificial jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou. The Museum of Bohemian Paradise in Turnov owns collections from the area of geology, mineralogy and documentation of goldsmith’s art and jewellery making, which are unique not only within the Czech Republic but also as for Europe. Extensive collections of various types of fire-fighting technology are offered by two museums – Fire-fighters Historical Museum in Nový Oldřichov and Fire-fighters Museum in Chrastava.
The Liberecký Region is also a well-known place as for tourism. Visitors, foreigners as well as Czech nationals, come to enjoy exceptional landscape, to see nature formations, historic monuments, and other places of interest. There are several specific areas in the Region that are strongly linked to tourism: the western parts of the Giant Mountains, the Jizera Mountains, Turnovsko – Český ráj (the Turnov Area – the Bohemian Paradise), the town of Doksy and its surroundings, the Lužice Mountains and Podkrkonoší (the Giant Mountains foothills). Frequently visited attractions of national heritage significance include religious buildings, castles, and chateaux such as Bezděz, Zákupy, Lemberk, Frýdlant, Sychrov, Hrubý Rohozec and Valdštejn. Many reservoirs and lakes are to be found in the Region, too, with the most well-known Máchovo Jezero (the Lake of Mácha). Important road and railway border crossings and many border crossings for pedestrians help develop the tourism in the Region.
The territory of the Liberecký Region includes also part of the Euroregion Neisse-Nisa-Nysa, the oldest group of its kind in the Czech Republic. It is a euroregion of three border areas located on the territory where borders of the Czech Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Republic of Poland meet.