Slovakia is a country in central Europe that became independent on Jan. 1,
1993. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the
south, and Austria and the Czech Republic to the west.
From 1918 until Dec. 31, 1992,
Slovakia and the Czech Republic were partners in the larger nation of
Czechoslovakia. A Communist government took over and ruled Czechoslovakia from
1948 to 1989.
A Short Background
In 1918 the Slovaks joined the closely related Czechs to form Czechoslovakia.
Following the chaos of World War II, Czechoslovakia became a communist nation
within Soviet-ruled Eastern Europe.
Soviet influence collapsed in 1989 and Czechoslovakia once more became free. The
Slovaks and the Czechs agreed to separate peacefully on 1 January 1993.
Historic, political, and geographic factors have caused Slovakia to experience
more difficulty in developing a modern market economy than some of its Central
||Central Europe, south of Poland
||48 40 N, 19 30 E
||5,414,937 (July 2001 est.)
||Slovak 85.7%, Hungarian 10.6%,
(the 1992 census figures underreport the
which is about 500,000),
Czech, Moravian, Silesian 1.1%, Ruthenian and
Ukrainian 0.6%, German 0.1%,
Polish 0.1%, other 0.2% (1996)
||Roman Catholic 60.3%, atheist
9.7%, Protestant 8.4%, Orthodox 4.1%, other 17.5%
||Slovak (official), Hungarian
||Slovak koruna (SKK)
||1 EURO to Slovak Koruna: 40,460 (April