Size: Approximately 127,905 square kilometers.
Topography: Generally irregular terrain. Western area,
including natural basin centered on Prague, part of north-central
European uplands. Eastern region made up of northern reaches of
Carpathian Mountains and Danube Basin lands.
Climate: Predominantly continental but varies from
moderate temperatures of Western Europe to more severe weather
systems affecting Eastern Europe and the western Soviet Union.
Population: Estimated at 15.6 million in July 1987.
Population growth rate 0.3 percent in 1987.
Education and Literacy: Education free at all levels
and compulsory from age six to sixteen. Vast majority of
population literate. Highly developed system of apprenticeship
training and vocational schools supplements general secondary
schools and institutions of higher education.
Health: Free health care available to all citizens.
National health planning emphasizes preventive medicine; factory
and local health-care centers supplement hospitals and other
inpatient institutions. Substantial improvement in rural health
care in 1960s and 1970s.
Language: Czech and Slovak recognized as official
languages; they are mutually intelligible.
Ethnic Groups: In 1987 Czechs represented roughly 63
percent of population and Slovaks 31 percent. Hungarians,
Ukrainians, Poles, Germans, and Gypsies principal minority
Religion: Religious freedom constitutionally guaranteed
but limited in practice. Major religious organizations operate
under government restrictions. Reliable information on religious
affiliation during post-World War II era lacking, but principal
denominations Roman Catholic Church, Czechoslovak National
Church, Slovak Evangelical Church, Evangelical Church of Czech
Brethren, and Uniate Church.
Data as of August 1987