Czech population approaching all-time record due to influx of refugees

The last time there were as many people living in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia was 1937. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 04.05.2022 15:00:00 (updated on 04.05.2022) Reading time: 1 minute

The number of people now residing in the Czech Republic is almost 11 million, closing in on an all-time high since the start of World War II. The recent jump is due to the influx of refugees from Ukraine.

At the start of January, preliminary results from the census showed a Czech population of 10,524,167 people, counting both citizens and residents. From the beginning of this week data from the Czech Interior Ministry shows that the country has incorporated 322,822 Russian-displaced Ukrainians into its population for a total of 10,846,989.

According to the ČSÚ’s Czech Demographic Handbook, the population of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia – the territories that comprise what is now the Czech Republic – peaked in 1940 at 11,160,000. The current population falls about 313,000 short of the record and is similar to the population of the country in 1937 which was estimated at 10,877,000.

World War II and its aftermath took a big toll on the Czech population. It reached its lowest point in 1947, with 8,765,000 due to losses in World War II and the forcible expulsion of many ethnic Germans under the Beneš Decrees.

Since the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the population has fluctuated, hindered by both a low birth rate and Czechs emigrating to other countries for economic reasons. In 2002, dropped to an estimated 10,201,000 but has steadily been climbing upward since then.

The previous census from 2010 showed a population of 10,436,560, representing a growth of 87,607 people – also boosted by immigration, as births were not enough to offset losses due to death and people moving abroad. Thea current birth rate is 1.83, and while it has been slowly rising it is still below the break-even point of 2.0.

The wave of refugees from Ukraine represents a 3.7 times population increase over the past decade. Terezie Štyglerová, head of the ČSÚ’s demographic statistics department, confirmed to Czech Television that the increase in population between the 2011 and 2021 censuses was due to migration.

“The Czech Republic is attractive for foreigners in terms of migration,” Štyglerová said.

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