Country profile - Distinguishing factors (Slovakia)
Slovakia is a highly diversified country with regard to its natural environment. It is largely located in the mountainous territory of the northwestern Carpathian arch. The central part is formed by the Tatry Mountains. The outer part is shaped by flysch mountains. Pannonian lowlands extend into the southwest of Slovakia. Limestone areas hold many caves. Due to the geological structure of the territory, there are many mineral springs and thermal waters in Slovakia. The climate is temperate. More than 95 % of the territory is drained by the Danube River to the Black Sea. Only a small part drains into the basin of the Baltic Sea. The geographic position of Slovakia in the centre of Europe allows for a rich diversity of flora and fauna.
In 2009, Slovakia had 5 424 925 inhabitants. (see Figure 1)
Most inhabitants are concentrated in the lowlands and valleys. Extensive land use and settlement has had a considerable impact on the original landscape structure and ecosystem composition. Rural settlements contain numerous elements of traditional architecture. Mountain depressions and valley corridors shelter medieval castles and ruins.