|Interesting Facts about :|
People & Society
90% of Slovaks have completed at least secondary education - the highest score in the EU (along with Poles, Czechs, and Slovenes).
Slovak women marry the youngest (average 24 years old) within the European Union, along with Lithuanian and Polish women.
Slovakia has one of the lowest level of healthcare funding in the EU, with only 690 $ per capita in 2005 according to the OECD.
Slovaks are afflicted by the highest percentage of cardiovascular diseases and heart-related deaths (2011 OECD data) in the EU, and one of the highest in the world.
Slovakia, along with the three Baltic countries, has the highest death rate for heart diseases in the EU.
Slovakia and Poland have the biggest households in the EU, with 3.1 person per household (this is in fact not much higher than the European average).
According to a 2009 Y-chromosomal study, Slovaks have the highest percentage of Gypsy (Romani) genes of all non-Gypsy populations in Europe. As much as 2.5% of Slovak male lineages belong to the distinctive Romani haplogroup H1a (as opposed to under 1% of the Romanians).
The Satisfaction with Life Index ranks Slovakia 129th worldwide, out of 178 surveyed countries. The World Values Survey (2005) found out that Slovaks were among the least happy people in the world, only superseded by Russians, Belarussians, Ukrainians and Bulgarians.
Slovak society is one of the most corrupted in the Western world. The World Audit ranks the country as 45th for corruption, out of 150 countries worldwide, making it more corrupted than Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Botswana or Namibia, for instance.
Tennis champion Martina Hingis (born in 1980), former World No. 1 and winner of five Grand Slam singles titles and nine Grand Slam women's doubles titles, was born in Slovakia to a Slovak father and a Czech mother.
Supermodel and former "Miss Wonderbra" Adriana Sklenaríková (born in 1971), better known in many countries under her married name Adriana Karembeu, was born in Slovakia to a Slovak mother and Czech father.
The most famous American of Slovak descent is probably pop artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987), whose parents immigrated from Miková in north-eastern Slovakia.
Forecast give the Slovak economy the 3rd highest GDP growth in the EU-27 for 2007 (after Latvia and Estonia).
The GDP per capita in Bratislava (the capital) is 3x higher than in the poorest provinces of the country. In fact, it is 30% above EU average, and second in Eastern Europe only after Prague.
Only 5% of all employed women in Slovakia do part-time work.
As of 2006, Slovakia had the highest unemployment rate in the EU (10.8%), although in sharp decrease since 2001 when it peaked at 19.2%. Inflation also dropped dramatically from 12.0% in 2000 to 2.5% in 2007.
Slovakia became the second country from the former Communist block to adopt the Euro as its currency on 1 January 2009.
History & Language
Štefan Banič (1870-1941) invented the first actively used parachute, patenting it in 1913.
One of the most colourful character in Slovak history is Móric Beňovský (1746-1786), a nobleman who during his relatively short life managed to be an adventurer, globetrotter, explorer, colonizer, writer, chess player, a French colonel, Polish military commander, and Austrian soldier. Above all, he managed to get himself elected as King of Madagascar (!) by the natives in 1776. His memoirs were a bestseller at the turn of the of 18th and 19th centuries. His life was a source of inspiration for many writers, poets, and composers.
Slovak people are mostly of Slavic descent, but many people can also claim partial Hungarian, German or Vlachs (Romanian) ancestry, due to the numerous migrations between the 11th and 15th centuries, and as a result of the country's 500 years within the Austrian Empire, as part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Nowadays, Hungarians are the largest ethnic minority, accounting for nearly 10% of the population (this of course does not include all people of mixed descent).
Slovak and Czech languages are mutually intelligible to people accustomed to the other language's pronuciation, particularily people who have lived at the time of Czechoslovakia (the country split in 1993) .