Country profile - Distinguishing factors (Czech Republic)
The Czech Republic is a land-locked country in the temperate zone of central Europe. Covering an area of 78 867 km2, it is the 15th largest of the 27 EU Member States. It has a population of 10 381 130 and its population density of 132 inhabitants per km2 is the eighth highest in Europe. Almost half of the Czech population lives in small settlements of around 10 000 inhabitants. The Czech Republic shares borders of 810.3 km with Germany, 466.3 km with Austria, 761.8 km with Poland and 251.8 km with Slovakia.
In total, 67 % of the country’s surface area lies below 500 m and 32 % lies between 500 and 1000 m above sea level. Only 1 % lies at altitudes above 1000 m. The average altitude in the Czech Republic is 430 m above sea level.
Climate conditions are driven by inter-penetration and inter-mixing of oceanic and continental forces and are characterised by westerly winds and intense cyclonal activity, causing frequent exchanges of air mass and relatively high precipitation. The oceanic influence is felt primarily in Bohemia, while continental weather forces predominate in Moravia and Silesia. The weather depends to a great extent on the altitude and relief of the landscape. The average annual temperature ranges from.-2 °C on Snezka, the highest peak in the Czech Republic, to almost 10 °C in the warmest south-eastern part of the country (Hodonín, 9.5 °C). Annual precipitation totals, which are also highly dependent on altitude, range from 400-1500 mm.