Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the Council of Europe

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Country and the people

The Czech Republic is situated approximately in the geographical center of Europe and has an area of 78,866 sq. km. It is a landlocked country 326 km from the Baltic and 322 km from the Adriatic. It shares borders with Germany (810 km), Poland (762 km), Austria (466 km) and Slovakia (265 km). The highest point of elevation is the peak of Mt. Snezka (1,603 m above sea level) and the lowest point of elevation is near Hřensko where the River Labe leaves Czech territory (117 m above sea level).

TOPOGRAPHY
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 levels: lowland regions under 200 m above sea level make up 4.95% of the country, regions 200 - 500 m above sea level make up 74.1%, regions 600 - 1,000m above sea level 19.3% and regions over 1,000 m above sea level 1.6%.

CLIMATE
The Czech Republic lies in the temperate climate zone of Europe, which makes for pleasantly mild summers and winters with only moderate amounts of precipitation.

POPULATION

According to a 2001 census, the Czech Republic has a population of 10.23 million people, approx. 4.9 million males and 5.2 million females. Three quarters of the population live in urban areas. The population density is 131 inhabitants per sq. km, while the total growth in population in the Czech Republic is 0.8 persons per 1,000 inhabitants.

ETHNIC GROUPS
The majority of the Czech Republic's inhabitants are of Czech nationality. The situation in individual regions differs however, according to whether these regions are considered Czech or Moravian. The only region where people claim Moravian nationality is in southern areas of Moravia.

RELIGION

After forty years of official suppression, a question concerning religious faith was again included in the census in 2000. The results show that more than 50% of the population describe themselves as agnostic or atheist; in Northern Bohemia this group makes up some three quarters of the population.

EDUCATION
The degree of education completion at elementary, secondary and university levels is very high in the Czech Republic compared to world standards. All children in the Czech Republic must attend elementary school up to the age of 15. Upon finishing elementary school, 52% of children continue their education in vocational schools and 48% move on to secondary schools. 7.2% of Czechs complete a university education.

For more information please visit the Official Website of the Czech Republic.