The 2011 census found that most residents are Slovaks (80.7%), with Hungarians representing the second-largest ethnic group (8.5%). Other groups include Roma (2%), Czechs (0.6%), and Rusyns (0.6%), although unofficial estimates put the Roma population at 9%. Prior to World War II, there were 135,000 Jews in the country. Today, there are just 2,300 Jews in Slovakia.
Slovakia Religion, Economy and Politics
Most people living in Slovakia practice some form of Christianity. 62% of Slovaks are Roman Catholics, followed by Protestants (8.9%), Greek Catholics (3.8%), Orthodox (0.9%), 0.3% Jehovah's Witnesses, and atheist (13.4%). The remaining 11.1% of people have a different religion or did not specify one. Although the majority of Slovaks identify as Christian, only a third of them regularly practice and attend church. In 2016 a bill was passed that required religions to have at least 50,000 participants to be recognized officially by the state.
The economy in Slovakia has been changing in recent years, as they joined the EU in 2004 and began using the euro in 2009, which contributed to a substantial increase in their GDP and a doubling of the amount of tourism coming into the country. Foreign investment in the country is also high due to the skilled and inexpensive workforce. The service sector is the largest division of the Slovak economy, employing 69% of the population and accounting for 61% of the GDP.
As a representative democracy, the government of Slovakia has the public elect the individuals working in politics. The rule of law is carried out by a multi-party parliamentary system that is overseen by both the president and the prime minister. The executive branch is lead by the president, who is elected for a five-year term that they cannot have for more than two terms. The president appoints the Prime Minister, 3 constitutional court judges, and 3 judicial council members. The prime minister is in charge of the government and the Cabinet of Ministers. The legislative branch of government is the 150-member National Council, and the judicial branch is comprised of two courts: Supreme and Constitutional. Below the Supreme court are district, regional and military courts.
Slovakia Population History
The Slavs, ancestors of the Slovaks, arrived in the area in the 5th or 6th century. After WW II and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Slovaks and Czechs created a mutual state, Czechoslovakia, until Slovakia became an independent state in 1993 and Czechoslovakia was dissolved peacefully. Slovakia was integrated into the EU in 2003, and into NATO in 2004.