Final results of 2001 census - Czechs are ageing

Czech population, graph: CTK

This week the Czech Statistics Office released the final results of last year's census, which was concluded on the 1st of March 2001. On that day the Czech Republic had 10,230,000 inhabitants, 4,980,000 men and 5,250,000 women. The overall figure decreased by more than 72,000 since the last census in 1991 despite the fact that more than 100,000 foreigners living permanently in the country were registered in the 2001 census. The average Czech is 39 years old and almost 20 percent of people over the age of 20 are single. 32 percent of the population say they are religious and 9 percent have a university degree.

Czech population, graph: CTK
Earlier we spoke to the President of the Czech Statistics Office Marie Bohata and asked her what trends could be discerned from the final figures?

"I think some trends are quite obvious. For example the ageing of the population is demonstrated by the average age of the population which reached 39 years. This is 2.5 years more than in 1991. The number of newborn babies decreased from some 130,000 around 1990 to only 90,000. As a result we have now 117 pensioners in our population compared to 100 children. This ratio worsened from 87 in 1991 and will be even higher according to our projections, which is not very good, of course."

Yes, Czechs are ageing. Several factors contribute to the trend: post-war baby-boomers are reaching retirement age. Since the last census in 1991 mean life expectancy has risen to 75.7 years from 68.3 years for men and to 78.5 years from 72.1 years for women. Young people are marrying later - men at 29 and women at 27 on the average - and fewer babies are born. Among other things this unfavourable trend is putting pressure on the state to reform the pension system which already shows a deficit as there are fewer and fewer workers to support a growing number of pensioners. But this is not all the results of the census reveal about Czechs, so if you're interested in learning more about the Czech Republic in figures, tune in on Tuesday for a new edition of Talking Point.