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Bratislavský kraj - Characteristic of the region
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Bratislavský kraj - Characteristic of the region

24.02.2023 |

Location, area, geographical conditions

Bratislavský kraj¸ with an area of 2 052.6 km², is the smallest within the Slovak Republic.  Its proportion of the area of Slovakia is 4.2%. It is located in the south western part of Slovakia. The region has a common border with the Republic of Austria and the Republic of Hungary. In the north, east and southeast it borders with Trnavský kraj. There is the westernmost point in the Slovak Republic on the western border with Austria, in Záhorská Ves municipality in Malacky district. The highest place in the region is Vysoká hill (759 m above sea level), the lowest water area of the gravel pit in Hrubá Borša municipality (118 m above sea level).

The territory of the region is formed in the western part by Záhorská nížina lowland, from the southwest to the northeast there is the mountain range Malé Karpaty, the eastern and south-eastern part is occupied by Podunajská nížina lowland. Climatically, the region belongs to a moderately warm area, while in the southern part contacts the warm area. The water network belongs to the river Dunaj (Danube) basin, the second largest river in the Europe, flowing through the region in the length of about 37 km, which forms part of the natural border with Austria and Hungary.

Lowlands are a source of raw materials for construction. The most extensive in terms of volume are gravel deposits in the districts Senec and Malacky. In the districts of Bratislava IV (Devínska Nová Ves), Senec and Pezinok there are reserves of brick clays. There is a source of quality wood used for fuel and various industrial purposes and also deposits of several minerals in Malé Karpaty mountain. There are several deposits of natural gas in the district Malacky.

Within the region, there are three protected landscape areas: Malé Karpaty, Záhorie and Dunajské Luhy, 8 national nature reserves, 24 nature reserves, 25 protected sites, 7 natural monuments, 1 national natural monument, 1 protected landscape element and 5 bird protection areas.

According to the territorial-administrative arrangement in accordance with the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No 221/1996 Coll. is divided into 8 districts: Bratislava I, Bratislava II, Bratislava III, Bratislava IV, Bratislava V, Malacky, Pezinok and Senec. The districts Bratislava I – Bratislava V form the territory of the capital of Slovakia – Bratislava. With an area of 9.6 km², Bratislava I district is the smallest district, not only within the region but within the Slovak Republic. It occupies only 0.5 % of regional area. The largest district in the region is Malacky district, which accounts for 46.3 %.

The territorial and settlement structure of Bratislavský kraj consists of 73 municipalities, one of them has the status of the capital of Slovakia (Bratislava) and 6 has the town status (Malacky, Stupava, Svätý Jur, Pezinok, Modra, Senec). Bratislava, the largest city in Slovakia, is the administrative, economic, political, educational and cultural centre of the state and the region. It consists of 17 town parts with their local government.

According to the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No 180/2013 Coll. district authorities in Bratislava, Malacky, Pezinok and Senec are local state administration bodies. The self-governing bodies are the Office of the Bratislava Self-Governing Region and municipal, local and town offices. The City Authority of the capital of Slovak Republic – Bratislava performs the self-governing functions on the territory of Bratislava.

Demographic background

With a population of 723 714 as at December 31, 2021, Bratislavský kraj accounted for 13.3 % of the total population of Slovakia. The population density was the highest in Slovakia and amounted to 352 inhabitants per 1 km². Bratislava I district was the most densely populated. There were 4 823 inhabitants per 1 km², the most sparsely populated was Malacky district with 83 inhabitants per square kilometre. Population statistics mainly affected by capital city. Approximately 65.7% of regional population live in Bratislava.

There were born 8 133 children and 8 050 people died in the region during the year 2021. The natural increase was very low, only 83 inhabitants. Due to migration, the population of the region increased by 4 094 people. The average age of the residents of the region in 2021 was 41 years. In 2021, the share of children in the population was 17.1%. Compared to 2020, the share of population younger than 15 in the population decreased, which interrupted the long-term growth of this component of the population and its dominance over the population in the post-productive age. The number of population older than 64 continued to grow, and in 2021, the share of seniors in the population was 17.8%. The decline in the population aged 15 to 64 stopped, although it remained the lowest among Slovak regions (65.2%).

There were 3 544 marriages and 1 106 divorces in 2021. Even though the number of marriages increased by 4.5% year-on-year, marriages recalculated per 1 000 inhabitants has remained in decline since 2018. In the last five years, the divorce rate has also decreased. The number of divorces decreased by 10% year-on-year.

Economic and social specifics

The economically active population of the region accounted for 53.6 % of the total population in 2021. In comparison with other regions of Slovakia, the economic activity rate (65.5 %) and the employment rate in age 20 – 64 years (83.4 %) were the highest and the unemployment rate (2.6 %) the lowest. The average nominal monthly earnings reaching EUR 1 767 was the highest in comparison with other regions. It was by quarter higher than the national average.

In Bratislavský kraj, there were 94.9 thous. legal persons, of which enterprises creates 86.7 thous. of them, and 58.5 thous. natural persons, 53.2 thous. of them were self-employed persons. In the region, exactly in Bratislava, more than half of enterprises and almost half of self-employed persons operated in the sector of professional, scientific, technical activities; in administrative, support service activities and in wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles as of Dec. 31, 2021.

In terms of gross domestic product (GDP) Bratislavský kraj is the most efficient region within Slovakia. The regional gross domestic product reached EUR 27 963 mill. at current prices in 2021. The volume of regional GDP represented 28.4 % of national GDP. The regional GDP per capita was equal EUR 38 761 at current prices and 2 times higher than the national average.

According to economic activities, the largest proportion on the regional gross value added belonged to trade, transport, accommodation and food service activities (23%), the share of the industry was nearly 16% and real estate activities 15%.

The area of agricultural land is less than half of the regional area. However, there is a significant tradition of grapes growing, especially on the eastern foothills of Malé Karpaty mountain. Bratislavský kraj is the second largest producer of grapes within Slovakia. From the livestock production, a poultry breeding has a good results and it is concentrated mainly in Pezinok district.

The most important is the chemical and automotive industry, mechanical and electrical engineering as well as food industry. The turnover of industrial enterprises reached EUR 34.4 bill. in 2021, the main part of it came from enterprises seating in the capital city. There were employed 84 thous. persons in the industrial sector.

The highest volumes of the construction production presented a strong position of regional construction. Construction production carried out by own employees amounted EUR 1 680 mill., contractually agreed construction production EUR 4 033 mill. Bratislavský kraj has been for a long time the region with the largest dwelling construction. There were completed 4 819 new dwellings in 2021. The most of dwellings were built in Senec district (1 836 dwellings).

The importance of the tertiary sector is also growing in the economy of the region, especially trade, service and banking and insurance.

The traffic position of Bratislavský kraj, especially Bratislava, is significantly exposed, especially in terms of international transit. All modes of transport are presented in the region. A specific position has a water transport using a river Danube. Bratislavský kraj has the shortest road network (850 km in 2021) but has the longest network of motorways (136 km). There were 590 thous. motor vehicles registered in the region at the end of year 2021, more than three quarters of them were passenger cars.

There were 298 kindergartens, 169 basic schools, 45 grammar schools and 53 vocational secondary schools provided the education in 2021. In the academic year 2019/2020, there were twelve universities with the faculty and the rectorate in Bratislava. They are Comenius University, Slovak Technical University, University of Economics, Academy of Performing Arts, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University of Economics and Management Public Administration, St. Elizabeth University of Health and Social Labour, Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts, Pan European University, Slovak Medical University, Academy of the Police Forces. The Faculty of Theology of the University of Trnava is located in Bratislavský kraj too. The most of students within the region were enrolled at Comenius University, the Slovak Technical University and the University of Economics.

The health care was provided in 2 041 health care facilities. They also included 23 hospitals, 1 606 outpatient health care facilities and 8 institutes for treatment in 2021. The largest University Hospital, highly specialized hospitals, specialized medical institutions, specialized and rehabilitation facilities providing medical care to patients from all over Slovakia are concentrated mainly in Bratislava.

There were 48 scenes in permanent operations and theatrical spaces, 3 galleries, 50 museums and 148 libraries available in 2021. Slovak National Theatrehas an international reputation. It comprises drama, opera and ballet scenes. Musical life in Bratislavský kraj is characteristic by its genre diversity from the significant the Slovak Philharmonic through Bratislava music festival to the other music festivals, concerts and clubs. Slovak National Gallery and Slovak National Museum present most of the exhibition and expositions in the region. The castle fortifications in Devín and Bratislava, the castle Červený Kameň and many mansions and sacral monuments are attractive for visitors. Bratislavský kraj was the third most visited region of Slovakia in 2021. An accommodation for visitors provides 422 facilities. Due to coronavirus pandemics only 478 thous. guests visited the region. It was by 70% less than in 2019.

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