Saturday, September 18, 2021

Czech Republic | Introduction

EuropeCzech RepublicCzech Republic | Introduction

The Czech Republic is a small nation with a long and dramatic history. Czechs, Germans, Slovaks, Italian stonemasons and stucco craftsmen, French merchants, and Napoleon’s army deserters have all lived and worked here, influencing one another. For decades, they worked together to develop their land, producing works that adorn this tiny nation with hundreds of old castles, monasteries, and elegant homes, as well as whole cities that seem to be complete artifacts. The Czech Republic is home to a plethora of architectural marvels as well as stunning woods and mountains.

Geography

The Czech Republic is mostly located between latitudes 48° and 51° N (with a tiny region north of 51°) and longitudes 12° and 19° E.

The Czech terrain is very diverse. To the west, Bohemia consists of a valley drained by the Elbe (Czech: Labe) and Vltava rivers, bordered by mainly low mountains, such as the Sudetes’ Krkonoe range. Snkaat 1,602 m (5,256 ft), the highest peak in the nation, is situated here. Moravia, in the country’s east, is likewise very mountainous. It is mostly drained by the Morava River, although it also includes the Oder River’s headwaters (Czech: Odra).

The Czech Republic’s water flows to three distinct seas: the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Black Sea. The Czech Republic also rents the Moldauhafen, a 30,000-square-metre (7.4-acre) property in the heart of the Hamburg Docks that was given to Czechoslovakia under Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles to provide a location for commodities carried down river to be transferred to seagoing ships. In 2028, the region reverts to Germany.

The Czech Republic is a phytogeographic province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom, located in Central Europe. The Czech Republic’s land is split into four ecoregions, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature: Western European broadleaf forests, Central European mixed forests, Pannonian mixed forests, and Carpathian montane conifer forests.

The Czech Republic has four national parks. Krkonoe National Park (Biosphere Reserve), umava National Park (Biosphere Reserve), Podyj National Park, Bohemian Switzerland are the oldest.

The river basins of the Elbe (Czech: Labe) and the Vltava for Bohemia, the Morava for Moravia, and the Oder for Czech Silesia match nearly perfectly with the three historical territories of the Czech Republic (previously the core counties of the Bohemian Crown) (in terms of the Czech territory).

Climate

The climate of the Czech Republic is temperate continental, with pleasant summers and cold, gloomy, and snowy winters. Because of the landlocked location, the temperature difference between summer and winter is quite large.

Temperatures in the Czech Republic fluctuate significantly depending on height. In general, when one ascends higher in height, temperatures drop and precipitation rises. The wettest region in the Czech Republic is near Bl Potok in the Jizera Mountains, while the driest is the Louny District northwest of Prague. Another significant aspect is the location of the mountains, which results in a wide range of climates.

The average temperature at Snka’s highest point (1,602 m or 5,256 ft) is just 0.4 °C (31 °F), while in the lowlands of the South Moravian Region, the average temperature may reach 10 °C (50 °F). The average temperature of the country’s capital, Prague, is comparable, but this is affected by urban influences.

January is typically the coldest month, followed by February and December. During these months, snow is common in the highlands, as well as in large towns and lowlands. Over the months of March, April, and May, the temperature typically rises quickly, particularly in April, when the temperature and weather tend to fluctuate greatly during the day. Spring is also marked by high river water levels caused by melting snow, with occasional floods.

July is the hottest month of the year, followed by August and June. Summer temperatures are typically 20 °C (68 °F) – 30 °C (86 °F) higher than winter temperatures. Summer is also marked by rain and thunderstorms.

Autumn usually starts in September, while it is still warm and dry. Temperatures often dip below 15 °C (59 °F) or 10 °C (50 °F) in October, and deciduous trees begin to lose their leaves. Temperatures often hover around the freezing mark towards the end of November.

The lowest temperature ever recorded was 42.2 °C (44.0 °F) at Litvnovice near eské Budjovice in 1929, while the hottest was 40.4 °C (104.7 °F) in Dobichovice in 2012.

The majority of the rain occurs throughout the summer. Sporadic rainfall is fairly consistent throughout the year (in Prague, the average number of days per month with at least 0.1 mm of rain ranges from 12 in September and October to 16 in November), although concentrated heavy rainfall (days with more than 10 mm per day) is more common from May to August (average around two such days per month).

Demographics

According to preliminary census data from 2011, the majority of Czechs (63.7 percent ) live in the Czech Republic, followed by Moravians (4.9 percent ), Slovaks (1.4 percent ), Poles (0.4 percent ), Germans (0.2 percent ), and Silesians (0.1 percent ). Because ‘nationality’ was an optional field, a significant percentage of individuals left it blank (26.0 percent ). According to some estimates, the Czech Republic is home to about 250,000 Romani people.

According to the Czech Statistical Office, there were 437,581 foreigners in the country in September 2013, with the largest groups being Ukrainian (106,714), Slovak (89,273), Vietnamese (61,102), Russian (32,828), Polish (19,378), German (18,099), Bulgarian (8,837), American (6,695), Romanian (6,425), Moldovan (5,860), Chinese (5,427), British (5,413), Mongolian (5,30 (4,562).

During the Holocaust, the Nazi Germans nearly exterminated the Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia, which numbered 118,000 according to the 1930 census. In 2005, there were about 4,000 Jews in the Czech Republic. Jan Fischer, the former Czech prime minister, is of Jewish background and religion.

In 2015, the total fertility rate (TFR) was projected to be 1.44 children born per woman, which is lower than the replacement rate of 2.1 and one of the lowest in the world. In 2015, unmarried women accounted for 47.8 percent of all births. In 2013, the average life expectancy was predicted to be 77.56 years (74.29 years male, 81.01 years female). In 2007, immigration boosted the population by almost 1%. Every year, about 77,000 individuals immigrate to the Czech Republic. Vietnamese immigrants first arrived in the Czech Republic during the Communist era, when the Czechoslovak government welcomed them as guest laborers. There were about 70,000 Vietnamese in the Czech Republic in 2009. The vast majority opt to remain in the nation indefinitely.

Chicago had the third biggest Czech population, behind Prague and Vienna, at the beginning of the twentieth century. According to the 2010 US census, there are 1,533,826 people in the United States who are of full or partial Czech ancestry.

Religion

The Czech Republic has one of the world’s least religious nations, ranking third only behind China and Japan in terms of atheistic population proportion. Historically, the Czechs have been described as “tolerant, if not indifferent to religion.” Following the Bohemian Reformation, the majority of Czechs (85%) became supporters of Jan Hus and other regional Protestant Reformers. After the Habsburgs reclaimed control of Bohemia, the people were forced to adhere to Roman Catholicism. During the Communist period, the Catholic Church lost the majority of its followers, and it continues to lose in the contemporary, continuing secularization.

According to the 2011 census, 34% of the population claimed no religion, 10.3% were Roman Catholic, 0.8 percent were Protestant (0.5 percent Czech Brethren and 0.4 percent Hussite), and 9 percent practiced other denominational or nondenominational religions (of which 863 people answered they are Pagan). 45 percent of the population did not respond to the religious question. From 1991 to 2001, and again in 2011, allegiance to Roman Catholicism fell from 39 percent to 27 percent, then to 10 percent; devotion to Protestantism fell from 3.7 percent to 2 percent, then to 0.8 percent.

According to a Eurobarometer Poll conducted in 2010, 16 percent of Czech citizens said they “believe there is a God” (the lowest rate among European Union countries), 44 percent said they “believe there is some sort of spirit or life force,” and 37 percent said they “do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force.”

According to Eurobarometer’s latest surveys on religiosity in the European Union in 2012, nonbelievers/agnostics are the biggest group in the Czech Republic, accounting for 39 percent of Czech people. Christianity accounts for 34% of Czech people. Catholics are the biggest Christian group in the Czech Republic, accounting for 29% of Czech nationals, while Protestants account for 2% and Other Christian account for 3%. Atheists make up 20% of the population, while the undeclared make up 6%.

Economy

The Czech Republic has a sophisticated, high-income economy, with a per capita GDP rate that is 87 percent of the average for the European Union. The Czech Republic, the most stable and affluent of the post-Communist nations, had yearly growth of more than 6% in the three years before the onset of the current global economic crisis. Exports to the European Union, particularly Germany, and foreign investment have driven growth, while local demand is recovering.

The majority of the economy, including banking and telecoms, has been privatized. According to a 2009 poll conducted in collaboration with the Czech Economic Association, the majority of Czech economists favor continuing liberalization in most areas of the economy.

The nation has been a part of the Schengen Area since 1 May 2004, and on 21 December 2007, it eliminated border controls, fully opening its borders with all of its neighbors (Germany, Austria, Poland, and Slovakia). On January 1, 1995, the Czech Republic joined the World Trade Organization. In 2012, almost 80% of Czech exports went to other European Union member countries, while more than 65% of Czech imports came from them.

With a GDP of $342 billion, the Czech Republic would be the world’s 49th biggest economy by 2050.

The Czech National Bank, whose independence is guaranteed by the Constitution, is in charge of monetary policy. The Czech crown is the national currency, and it was freely floating until November 7, 2013, when the central bank temporarily fixed the exchange rate at 27 crowns per euro to combat deflation. The Czech Republic agreed to adopt the euro when it joined the EU, although the timetable has yet to be decided.

The Czech education system is presently ranked 15th in the world, higher than the OECD average, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment, which is administered by the OECD. In the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, the Czech Republic is placed 24th.

koda Auto (automobiles), koda Transportation (tramways, trolleybuses, metro), Tatra (the world’s third oldest vehicle manufacturer), Karosa (buses), Aero Vodochody (airplanes), and Jawa Motors are among the leading Czech transportation businesses (motorcycles). According to http://www.worlddiplomacy.org “Elections in 2013 resulted in the formation of a new administration in the Czech Republic. Although the economy began 2013 fairly poorly, it recovered significantly in the following quarters, and most recently (Q1,2015), the economy had the strongest GDP growth in the whole EU, clocking at 2.8 percent compared to Q4,2014, or 3.9 percent “year after year.”

Czech GDP growth in November 2015 was 4.5 percent, giving the Czech economy the best growth rate in Europe.

The Czech Republic has the lowest unemployment rate in the whole European Union, at 4.1 percent.