Top navigácia

Living in Slovakia


Safety

Living in Slovakia is very safe, Slovakia is a peaceful country, not any more dangerous than any other EU country. According to the Global Peace Index, it was the 24th safest country of the world in 2009 (20th in 2008 and 17th in 2007). Slovak people are usually very kind and helpful.

However, that doesn’t mean that people should not watch their things. Mostly on large public places a wallet or a purse can be stolen. People should be very cautious when dealing with money on such places.


Standard & Cost of living

Because of the deep economic changes this country had to go through through, Slovakia belongs to the less developed countries in European Union. However, the standard of living is growing very fast and in some areas of social life it is already on average or above the average of EU countries.

In general, the cost of living (utility costs, prices, etc.) in Slovakia is lower than in west European countries like UK, France or Germany. Living costs vary from region to region and are also dependent on fluctuations in the prices of food, energy and other everyday necessities.

Minimum living standard (always set on 1st of July)
Person 2008 – 2009 * 2009 – 2010 2010 – 2011 2011 – 2012 2002 – 2013
1 adult 178,92 EUR/month 185,19 EUR/month 185,38 EUR/month 189,83 EUR/month 194,58 EUR/month
2nd adult 124,81 EUR/month 129,18 EUR/month 129,31 EUR/month 132,42 EUR/month 135,74 EUR/month
Child 81,66 EUR/month 84,52 EUR/month 84,61 EUR/month 86,65 EUR/month 88,82 EUR/month

* Slovak Korunas were changed to Euro, the official exchange rate: 1 EUR = 30,126 SKK

Monthly household expenses in Slovakia (2011)
Category EUR / person / month
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 64,36
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 69,51
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 9,21
Healthcare 9,21
Post and Transport 42,28
Leisure and culture 40,81
Clothing and shoes 16,97
Others 54,81

Source: EURES

Average consumer prices in Slovakia (dec. 2008)
Product Price / Unit
98 octane petrol 1,164 EUR / litre
Diesel 1,173 EUR / litre
Electricity 0,189 EUR / kWh
Natural gas 0,043 EUR / kWh
Rice 1,504 EUR / kg
Wheat flour 0,476 EUR / kg
Granulated sugar 0,917 EUR / kg
Milk 0,702 EUR / litre
Vegetable oil 2,159 EUR / litre
12% beer 0,572 / half a liter
Cigarettes (Marlboro) 2,897 EUR / 20 pieces
Washing powder 3,202 EUR / kg
Children’s leather shoes 26,136 EUR / 1 pair
Women’s leather shoes 53,665 EUR / 1 pair
Men’s leather shoes 58,533 EUR / 1 pair
Men’s long-sleeved shirt 20,131 EUR / 1 piece
Women’s long-sleeved sweater 25,182 EUR / 1 piece
Train, one-way trip, economy class, 91–100 km 4,780 EUR / ticket
Bus, one-way trip, 91–100 km 4,332 EUR / ticket
TV licence 3,253 EUR / month
LCD television 631,147 EUR / piece

Source: EURES


Jobs & Business

One of the main pillars of European Union (particularly of the European Economic Area) is the free movement of work force which means that any national of an EEA country is allowed to work in another EEA country on the same conditions as that member state’s own citizens.

However, after Slovakia and 9 other developing economies joined the EU in 2004, a transitional period of 7 years was set by some of the “old” members. During this transitional period certain restrictions on the free movement of workers are applied (differ by the member state – i.e. UK fully openned up its job market, France openned it up only for certain jobs, Germany’s job market stayed restricted for newcomers) in order to prevent huge shifts of people from the new member states to the old ones and to prevent massive job taking and lowering the salaries in old member states (The salaries in new member states are usually lower than in the old ones, so the new-EU-country workers are happy to work for less and this way pushing the salaries down for the locals as well.).

Monthly gross minimum and average wages compared
Year Minimum wage Average wage Minimum / Average
1993 * 81,33 178,55 45,55 %
1994 * 81,33 208,92 38,93 %
1995 * 81,33 238,83 34,05 %
1996 * 89,62 270,66 33,11 %
1997 * 89,62 306,25 29,27 %
1998 * 99,58 332,04 29,99 %
1999 * 119,50 356,10 33,56 %
2000 (9 months) * 132,76 379,41 34,99 %
2000 (3 months) * 146,05 379,41 38,49 %
2001 * 163,31 410,44 39,78 %
2002 * 184,89 448,48 41,23 %
2003 * 201,82 476,83 42,33 %
2004 * 215,76 525,29 41,07 %
2005 * 229,04 573,39 39,94 %
2006* 252,27 622,75 40,51 %
2007 * 268,87 668,72 40,21 %
2008 * 268,87 723,03 37,19 %

2009 295,50 754,07 39,19 %

* Slovak Korunas were changed to Euro, the official exchange rate: 1 EUR = 30,126 SKK

Most of the economic life and of the job offers are in Bratislava and surrounding areas, followed by other main western cities – Trnava, Žilina, Trenčín and Nitra. These areas are also likely to create the best conditions for investors who are willing to do business in Slovakia.

Slovakia is one of the most attractive countries for investing. The reasons are: solid economy, growing investments (foreign as well as domestic), great infrastructure and favorable business environment. In many areas of business the competition is quite low, so there are potentially high returns.


Healthcare

Health care system is one of the least developed areas of life in Slovakia. The healing by itself is on a high level, comparable with other EU countries, but the whole system is underfinanced. Health care services provided by public hospitals/ambulances do almost never include any additional care than is strictly needed. Private and non-public health care institutions tend to be more hospitable places.

Everyone living & working in Slovakia is obliged to have health insurance. There are several private health insurance companies and one public. Initial examinations are carried out by general practitioners for all adults and children. Everyone is free to choose their own doctor, who will provide primary health care and who can also provide a referral for examination or treatment by a specialist.

Although in accordance with the Health Care Act patient should not need a referral from a general practitioner, the fact is that specialists do require it. However, if someone is in serious need of examination or treatment, a specialist may never refuse him/her and must provide examination or treatment even without a referral.


Education

Public education system in Slovakia is free and can be characterized as very good, although it suffers the same problem as health care system – not enough finances.

The education usually starts in kindergarten (for children 3–6 years of age) which prepares children for primary school. Compulsory education starts in the age of 6 with primary schools which have 9 grades and are divided into Level 1 (junior: 1st-4th grade) and Level 2 (middle: 5th-9th grade).

Secondary schools provide education preparing students for professional occupations and for university study. Full secondary education is completed by taking the Leaving Certificate examination, usually after 4 years of studying in High School.

Universities and colleges prepare qualified professionals with tertiary education in technical, scientific, economic, social and artistic disciplines. At present there are 20 public, 10 private and 3 state universities and colleges in Slovakia. Study programmes are organised on three levels and studies are completed by presenting and defending a thesis or dissertation and taking the State Examination.

The first level of study for a Bachelor degree (bakalár – Bc.) takes usually 3 years, the second level is a Master of Science or Master of Arts (both called as magister – Mgr.), Master of Engineering (inžinier – Ing.), or Medical Doctor degree (doktor – MUDr.) which takes 6 years. The third level is the Doctoral degree which takes a further 2–4 years.

2 Responses to Living in Slovakia

  1. Pat Hindson April 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Hi
    Been trying to find out how difficult it is to get electricity, gas and other services connected to a house we are hoping to build near Trnava. What do the utility companies need? Is a standing order from an international bank acceptable? Also what about the council tax?
    All help appreciated.
    Pat

    [Reply]

    Slovak-Republic.org replies:

    It depends on where exactly you are building that house, we can’t help you in this case. You have to contact the local authorities in Trnava.

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply

Contact: info(at)slovak-republic.org