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indicator value unit
Population 5.4 mil.
Visitors per year 8.8 mil.
Renewable energy 7.6 %

How’s Life?

The Slovak Republic performs well in some  measures of well-being in the Better Life Index. The Slovak Republic ranks above the average in personal security and environmental quality, but below average in health status, income and wealth, subjective well-being, housing, civic engagement, and jobs and earnings.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In the Slovak Republic, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 17 503a year, less than the OECD average of USD 25 908 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn four times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, 60% of people aged 15 to 64 in the Slovak Republic have a paid job, below the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 66% of men are in paid work, compared with 53% of women. In the Slovak Republic, around 7% of employees work very long hours, lower than the OECD average of 13%, with 11% of men working very long hours compared with just 3% for women.

Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In the Slovak Republic, 92% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, much higher than the OECD average of 75% and among the highest rates in the OECD. This is truer of men than women, as 93% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 90% of women. In terms of the quality of the educational system, the average student scored 472 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), lower than the OECD average of 497. On average in the Slovak Republic, girls outperformed boys by 8 points, in line with the average OECD gap of 8 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in the Slovak Republic is 76 years, four years lower than the OECD average of 80 years, and one of the lowest in the OECD. Life expectancy for women is 80 years, compared with 73 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 12.7 micrograms per cubic meter in large urban areas, considerably lower than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. The Slovak Republic could do better in terms of water quality, as only 81% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, in line with the OECD average.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a moderate sense of community and level of civic participation in the Slovak Republic, where 90% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 88%. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 59% during recent elections; this figure is much lower than the OECD average of 68%. Voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 64% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 60%, much narrower than the OECD average gap of 13 percentage points, and suggests there is broad social inclusion in the Slovak Republic’s democratic institutions.

In general, Slovaks are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average. When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Slovaks gave it a 6.1 grade, lower than the OECD average of 6.6.

For more information on estimates and years of reference, see FAQ section and BLI database.

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OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys Slovak Republic 2014

OECD's 2014 Economic Survey of the Slovak Republic examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. Special chapters cover reforming the public sector and spurring growth in lagging regions.

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Slovak Republic in Detail