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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 social connections, and work-life balance, but below average in health status, income and wealth, subjective well-being, housing, 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 18 534 a year, less than the OECD average of USD 29 016 a year. There is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn almost four times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, 61% of people aged 15 to 64 in the Slovak Republic have a paid job, below the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 68% of men are in paid work, compared with 54% of women. In the Slovak Republic, around 6% of employees work very long hours, lower than the OECD average of 13%, with 9% of men working very long hours compared with just 3% of women.

Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In the Slovak Republic, 91% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, much higher than the OECD average of 76% and among the highest rates in the OECD. This is truer of men than women, as 92% 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 OECD average.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in the Slovak Republic is 77 years, three years lower than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 80 years, compared with 73 for men. The level of atmospheric PM2.5 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 16 micrograms per cubic meter, higher than the OECD average of 14.05 micrograms per cubic meter. The Slovak Republic is line with the OECD average in terms of water quality, as 81% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and moderate level of civic participation in the Slovak Republic, where 92% 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 6.2 grade, lower than the OECD average of 6.5.

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


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