Slovaks in Czechia

Number of Slovaks in Czechia doubles in 12 years

An increasing number of Slovaks live in the Czech Republic and make up one-fifth of all foreign residents.

There were 116,900 Slovaks living in the country by the end of January, which is nearly twice as much compared to the same period in 2007. Also, two-fifths of all foreign employees are Slovak citizens, and more than 20,000 Slovaks attend Czech universities, data from the Interior Ministry and Czech Statistical Office show.

Even after 26 years since the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Slovaks are allowed to communicate with Czech authorities using their mother tongue. Their right is guaranteed by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which was adopted by the Czech Republic in 2007.

According to the data, out of 116,000 Slovak citizens in the Czech Republic, 50,000 have a permanent residence in the country. A foreigner has to live in Czechia for more than five years to be eligible for a permanent residence permit. Between 2001 and 2017, more than 15,000 Slovaks were granted permanent residence.

Slovak citizens are the second biggest foreign minority in the Czech Republic after Ukrainians and the largest when it comes to foreign employees. According to Interior Ministry estimates, there were 177,000 Slovaks working in the country in 2017, which is roughly three times more than in 2004. Before the economic crisis, 101,000 Slovaks worked in the Czech Republic and even during the crisis years, the number decreased only by a little.

Among the university students from Slovakia, only 99 of 20,000 pay for their studies. The rest is preparing for their professional career for free as are Czech students. The number of Slovak students peaked in 2011 and has been decreasing ever since. Even though the total number has lowered, their share has risen given the total number of students.

According to the Czech Statistical Office, most Slovaks living in the Czech Republic are young people around 30 years of age who stay in the country after their studies. One-third of the Slovaks working in the country has a university degree. 

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