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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Population: demographic situation, languages and religions

Slovakia

1.Political, social and economic background and trends

1.3Population: demographic situation, languages and religions

Last update: 25 January 2024

The Slovak Republic lies in the centre of Europe between 16º 50´05´´ and 22º 34´04´´ of eastern geographic length and 47º 43´54´´ and 49º 36´52´´ of northern geographic width.

 

Demographic situation

 

The long-lasting decrease of birth rate and unsatisfactory mortality rate in the SR resulted in gradual reduction in natural increase of population up to the extent that in 2001 – 2003 there occurred population decline in natural population increase, i.e., the rate of live-born children was lower than death rate. Due to positive migration balance the population decrease was not observed. 

Since 2004, natural population increase has been positive with a maximum in 2011. However, due to COVID-19, significantly more people died than were born in Slovakia in 2020, which means that it was the first time since 2003 that a natural decrease occurred. The increase in the population of the Slovak Republic in 2020 was achieved only thanks to the positive migration balance, i.e. because the number of immigrants significantly surpassed the group of those who emigrated from the Slovak Republic.1 In 2022, the total population of the Slovak Republic decreased by 5920 people.

 

Basic demographic characteristics

  Year
2000 2005 2021
Population as at 31 December 5 402 547 5 389 180 5 428 792
Of which females absolute number 2 776 486 2 773,308 2 773 698
in % 51.39 51.46 51.09
Natural increase absolute number 2 427 955 - 6915
per 1000 inhabitants1 0.4 0.2 - 1.1

Note:

1 Converted to mid-year state

Sources:

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2008. Demography and social statistic: Population Development in the Slovak Republic 2007 (Demografia a sociálna štatistika: Vývoj obyvateľstva v Slovenskej republike 2007). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic.

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2023. Demography and Social Statistic: Us in Numbers. Population Movement 2022 (Demografia a sociálna štatistika: My v číslach. Pohyb obyvateľstva 2022). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (lasted accessed 09/10/2023).

 

International migration (in persons)

  Year
2000 2005 2022
Migration volume 3 085 7 149 9 931
Immigrants 2 274 5 276 5 463
Emigrants 811 1 873 4 468
Migration balance 1 463 3 403 995

 

Sources:

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2008. Demography and social statistic: Population Development in the Slovak Republic 2007 (Demografia a sociálna štatistika: Vývoj obyvateľstva v Slovenskej republike 2007). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2023. Demography and Social Statistic: Us in Numbers. Population Movement 2022 (Demografia a sociálna štatistika: My v číslach. Pohyb obyvateľstva 2022). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (last accessed 09/10/2023).

 

Foreign migration to and from the Slovak Republic in 2022

 

Source:

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2023. Demography and Social Statistic: Us in Numbers. Population Movement 2022 (Demografia a sociálna štatistika: My v číslach. Pohyb obyvateľstva 2022). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (last accessed 09/10/2023).
 

Population in working age started to decrease in 2011. The changes in composition of population according to economic age groups univocally point out population ageing. This trend continued also in 2022 when the number of persons in productive age decreased and the proportion of people in post-productive age increased. 

 

Age composition of population as at 31 December according to economic age groups

Age group Year
2000 2005 2022
Number of persons
Pre-productive age (0-14 years) 1 036 425 894 308 873 452
Productive age (15-64 years) 3 746 538 3 862 234 3 586 272
Post-productive age (65 and over) 619 584 632 638 969 068
Total 5 402 547 5 389 180 5 428 792
Composition in %
Pre-productive age (0-14 years) 19.18 16.54 16.09
Productive age (15-64 years) 69.35 71.67 66.06
Post-productive age (65 and over) 11.47 11.74 17.85
Total 100.00 100.00 100.00

 

Sources:

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2001. Demography and social statistic: Age composition of the population of the Slovak Republic 2000 (Demografia a sociálna štatistika: Vekové zloženie obyvateľstva Slovenskej republiky 2000). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2006. Demography and social statistic: Age composition of the population of the Slovak Republic 2005 (Demografia a sociálna štatistika: Vekové zloženie obyvateľstva Slovenskej republiky 2005). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2023. Demography and Social Statistic: Us in Numbers. Population Movement 2022 (Demografia a sociálna štatistika: My v číslach. Pohyb obyvateľstva 2022). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (last accessed 07/12/2022).

 

 

Employment and unemployment

The year 2020 saw the biggest drop in employment since 2010 due to unfavourable economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the number of employed increased year on year in ten industries, however, for the whole of 2021, the employment rate decreased. In  2022, the employment rate grew slightly, the growth reached 1.7%.  The number of employed in Slovakia increased to 2.623 million people.

  Year
2000 2005 2021
Economically active persons (in thousand persons)1 2 608.2 2 645.7  2 748.2
Of which employed 2 101.7 2 216.2 2 560.6
unemployed 485.2 427.5 187.6

Note:
1 According to workforce survey – average numbers. Years 2000 and 2005 including soldiers in compulsory military service

Sources:

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2004. Slovak Republic in Figures 2003 (Slovenská republika v číslach 2003)

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2007. Slovak Republic in Figures 2006 (Slovenská republika v číslach 2006). 

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2022. The Slovak Republic in Numbers 2022 (Slovenská republika v číslach 2022). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (last accessed 09/10/2023). 

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2023. Employment in the 4th quarter of 2022 (Zamestnanosť vo 4. štvrťroku a za rok 2022.) Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (last accessed 09/10/2023).

 

Unemployment rate
 

In 2022, the employment rate (proportion of the unemployed out of all economically active people) was 6 %, year-on-year it decreased by 0.5 percentage point (p.p).

Sources:

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2023. Unemployment rate in the 4th quarter year and 2022 (Nezamestnanosť vo 4. štvrťroku a za rok 2022).  (last accessed 09/10/2023) 


The average nominal wage of employees in the economy of the Slovak Republic in 2022 reached 1 304 euro. It increased year on year by 7.7% and the pace of its growth increased by 0.8% compared to the same period of the previous year. The real wages decreased by 4.5%. The last decrease in real wages occurred immediately after the financial crisis, that is in 2011 a 2012.
 

Wages

  Year
2000 2005 2022
Average gross nominal monthly wage of employees in the economy of the SR converted to persons in total (in Eur) 379.4 573.4 1 304.0
In education sector 298.4 468.7 1 418.0
Difference compared to the average gross nominal monthly wage of employees in the economy of the SR (in %) -21.35 -18.26 8.78

Sources:

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2004. Slovak Republic in Figures 2003 (Slovenská republika v číslach 2003). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic.

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2007. Slovak Republic in Figures 2006 (Slovenská republika v číslach 2006). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic.

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2023. Average Monthly Wage of Employee in Economy of the Slovak Republic in the 4th Quarter of 2022 (Priemerná mesačná mzda zamestnanca v hospodárstve SR vo 4. štvrťroku 2022) (last accessed 09/10/2023).

Ministry of Education, Science, Research, and Sport of the Slovak Republic, 2023. Results of the statistical survey of employees and wages in education  2022 (V ý s l e d k y štatistického zisťovania o zamestnancoch a mzdových prostriedkoch v školstve rok 2022) (sprístupnené 06/10/2023).

 

 

Official language and minority languages

 

On the territory of the Slovak Republic, the state official language is the Slovak language. 

Its use is specified by the Act on the State Language. 

Learning of the state language is compulsory at all primary and secondary schools. Other languages can also be languages of instruction and examination within the extent set by law.

Rights of person belonging to a national minority and ethnic groups or rights of foreigners who do not master the official language are arranged for translation and interpretation under the conditions stated by law. 

In addition to Slovak majority population, the territory of the Slovak Republic is inhabited by more national minorities. Citizens who indicated that they belong to the Hungarian national minority comprise the biggest percentage. 

The second biggest national minority in the Slovak Republic is the Romany minority, who make up 1.23 % of the total population. However, this number does not correspond to the real number of inhabitants of Romany origin residing in the Slovak Republic. Based on the result of population and housing census in 1970 and 1980, and on national committee registers of permanent Gypsy – Romany residents before 1989, they estimate that the territory of the Slovak Republic is currently inhabited by approximately 400 thousand Romany gypsies.


 Population by nationality

Nationality Population according to population and housing census
as at 26 May 2001 as at 21 May 2011 as at 1 January 2021
in person in % in person in % in person in %
Slovak 4 614 854 85.79 4 352 775 80.65 4 567 547 83.82
Hungarian 520 528 9.68 458 467 8.49 442 065 7.74
Romany 89 920 1.67 105 738 1.96 67 179 1.23
Czech, Moravian, Silesian 44 620 0.83 33 653 0.62 28 996 0.53
Ruthenian 24 201 0.45 33 482 0.62 23 746 0.44
Ukrainian 10 814 0.20 7 430 0.14 9 451 0.17
German 5 405 0.10 4 690 0.09 3 318 0.06
Polish 2 602 0.05 3 084 0.06 3 771 0.07
Others 12 009 0.22 15 224 0.28 27 639 0.51
Not given 54 502 1.01 382 493 7.09 295 558 5.1
Total 5 379 455 100.00 5 397 036 100.00 5 449 270 100.00

Sources:
Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2004. Population and Housing Census 2001 (Sčítanie obyvateľov domov a bytov 2001). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic. (last accessed 09/10/2023).

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (Štatistický úrad Slovenskej republiky), 2012. Population and Housing Census 2011: Basic Data: Population by nationality (Základné údaje zo sčítania obyvateľov, domov a bytov 2011: Obyvateľstvo podľa národnosti). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (last accessed 09/10/2023).

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2021. Population and Housing Census: Nationality and Mother Tongue (Sčítanie obyvateľov, domov a bytov: Národnosť a materinský jazyk) (last accessed 09/10/2023). 

 

In agreement with the above nationality composition of population the most frequent minority language in the Slovak Republic is Hungarian (especially in southern Slovakia). Next to follow are the Ruthenian and Ukrainian languages (especially in eastern Slovakia). The use of the Czech language in official communication fulfills the requirement of equality with the official language if the international agreements binding for the Slovak Republic do not specify otherwise.

Education in minority languages in the Slovak Republic currently takes place at the level of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, and higher education institutions. 

In addition, at some primary schools, the instruction of a national minority language and literature as a subject has been introduced (Hungarian language and literature, Ukrainian language and literature, Ruthenian language and literature, German language and literature, and Romany language and literature).

 

Religions

 

The Slovak Republic is religiously neutral, that is, there is no official religion existing in it. Freedom of religious denomination is ensured under law.

The degree of religiosity in the population is high. The main trend is an increase in the proportion of atheists.  Most people in the Slovak Republic (3 million) indicated Roman Catholic denomination. The religiosity rate in the population is high. However, the main trend is a rise in the proportion of the non-religious population. 

The majority of the Slovak population (3 million) indicated Roman Catholic denomination, which was 56% of the population in 2021. However, it decreased by 6% compared with 2011. The second biggest portion of the population is comprised of people who belong to the Evangelical Church of the Ausburg Confession. They make up 5.3% of the population (287,000). The third biggest denomination is the Greek Catholic church whose members comprise 4% of the population (218,000), the fourth place belongs to Calvinists (1.6%). All other religious denominations comprise less the 1% of the population. 

 

Religiosity

  Population according to population and housing census
as at 26 May 2001  as at 21 May 2011 as at 1 January 2021
in person in % in person in % in person in %
with religious denomination 4 521 549 84.05 4 100 237 75.97 3 799 331 69.72
no religion 697 308 12.96 725 362 13.44 1 296 142 23.79
unidentified religion 160 598 2.99 571 437 10.59 353 797 6.49
Total 5 379 455 100.00 5 397 036 100.00 5 449 270 100.00

Sources:

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2004. Population and Housing Census 2001 (Sčítanie obyvateľov domov a bytov 2001). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic. (last accessed 09/10/2023).

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (Štatistický úrad Slovenskej republiky), 2012. Population and Housing Census 2011: Basic Data: Population by religiosity (Základné údaje zo sčítania obyvateľov, domov a bytov 2011: Obyvateľstvo podľa náboženského vyznania). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (last accessed 09/10/2023).

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2021. Population and Housing Census: Religious Denomination (Sčítanie obyvateľov, domov a bytov: Náboženské vyznanie) (last accessed 09/10/2023). 

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2021. Population and Housing Census: Population by Religious Denomination in the Slovak Republic as at 1st January 2021 (Sčítanie obyvateľov, domov a bytov: Počet obyvateľov podľa náboženského vyznania v SR k 1. 1. 2021) (last accessed 09/10/2023).

 

Population with religious denomination according to church

Church Population according to population and housing census
as at 26 May 2001 as at 26 May 2011 as at 1 January 2021
in person in % in person in % in person in %
Roman-Catholic 3 708 120 81.11 3 347 277 81.64 3 038 511 79.97
Evangelic 372 858 8.16 316 250 7.71 286 907 7.55
Greek-Catholic 219 831 4.81 206 871 5.05 218 235 5.74
Calvin 109 735 2.40 98 797 2.41 85 271 2.24
Orthodox 50 363 1.10 49 133 1.20 50 677 1.33
Others 111 005 2.43 81 909 2.00 119 730 3.15
Total 4 571 912 100.00 4 100 237 100.00 3 799 331 100.00

Sources:

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2004. Population and Housing Census 2001 (Sčítanie obyvateľov domov a bytov 2001). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic. (last accessed 09/10/2023).

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (Štatistický úrad Slovenskej republiky), 2012. Population and Housing Census 2011: Basic Data: Population by religiosity (Základné údaje zo sčítania obyvateľov, domov a bytov 2011: Obyvateľstvo podľa náboženského vyznania). Bratislava: Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (last accessed 09/10/2023).

Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, 2021. Population and Housing Census: Population by Religious Denomination in the Slovak Republic as at 1st January 2021 (Sčítanie obyvateľov, domov a bytov: Počet obyvateľov podľa náboženského vyznania v SR k 1. 1. 2021) (last accessed 09/10/2023). 


At present, there are 18 churches and religious communities registered in the Slovak Republic.

After the regime change in 1989, the relations between the State and churches have changed. In the independent Slovak Republic, the restitution of church property took place. Churches received back the properties that had been confiscated from them after 1948.

Also, the separation of Church from State was required, however, it has not yet been implemented. The churches are still supported through the State budget, where they have their own expense item. Simultaneously, the churches have an income from their own property revenues (both movable and immovable), and from funds offered to the church by their believers, as well as gifts and, eventually, voluntary contributions; the believers also help to the church without any claim of rewards (e.g., at building sites of new or reconstruction of old church premises).

The individual churches have some space reserved in public media for the presentation of their activities and opinions on topical social and ethical problems.