Post-1989: Average Czech lifespan and immigration jumps, fewer marry or have children

Czech society has changed dramatically since 1989, and not only politically. Czechs are living longer and having fewer children, but while the population is aging it is not declining, thanks to an influx of immigrants. These are among some of the more striking findings of the Czech Statistical Office.

At the time of the Velvet Revolution, the life expectancy for a Czech man was 68, eight years lower than today at 76. In the last year of Communism, a Czech woman could expect to live to 75.5, compared to 82 now.

Seniors now account for nearly 20 percent of the population, up from 13 percent in 1989. Meanwhile, children under the age of 15 make up 16 percent of the population, down from 22 percent three decades ago.

The Czech Republic experienced a baby boom around 2008, when the so-called Husák's children generation of the 1970s, began having children of their own. Even so, the annual birth rate reached a maximum of 120,000. In recent years, it has been around 114,000.

At the time of the Velvet Revolution, there were 3.4 foreigners for every 1,000 Czechs compared to 53 today. Thirty years ago, one in 294 residents were born abroad, compared to one in 19 today.

Author: Brian Kenety