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May 25, 2022



Slovak census: More than 156 000 people declared Romani nationality, more than 100 000 declared Romanes as their mother tongue

20.1.2022 15:35
--ilustrační foto--
--ilustrační foto--

During the census in Slovakia last year, 67 200 people listed their main nationality as Romani. Moreover, 88 985 inhabitants listed Romani nationality as a second nationality.

In total, therefore, more than 156 000 inhabitants of the Slovak Republic have declared Romani nationality. A total of 100 526 people listed Romanes as their mother tongue.

The Slovak Statistical Office published those findings today. People in Slovakia had the first-ever opportunity to declare more than one nationality during last year's census. 

The innovation to the methodology sparked blustery debate among the public, especially among minority representatives before the census began. Ethnic Hungarian representatives alleged the change in methodology to allow people to list two nationalities had not been thought through and could harm the Hungarian community.   

Ethnic Hungarian representatives suggested abolishing the option of listing a second nationality. They did not succeed.

A total of 5 153 712 inhabitants answered the nationality question. It was exactly the Hungarians who most often listed just one nationality, 422 100 of them (7.75 % of respondents), while people listing their nationality as just Romani came in second, 67 200 of them (1.23 %).  

Ruthenian nationality was listed by 0.44 % of respondents, i.e., 23 700 people, Ukrainian nationality was listed by 0.17 % of respondents, i.e., 9 400 people, and Czech nationality was listed by 0.53 % of respondents (i.e., 29 000). The option to list two nationalities was taken advantage of by 306 175 inhabitants of Slovakia.

Most of those who did so listed their second nationality as Romani - 88 985 inhabitants. Slovak nationality was listed as a second nationality by 55 496 respondents, Ruthenian as second by 39 810 respondents, Hungarian as second by 34 089 respondents, German as second by 5 255 respondents and Czech as second by 16 175 respondents. 

Overall, therefore, Romani nationality was listed by 156 185 inhabitants, the highest number in the history of the census after 1989 in that part of the world. However, that number is influenced by the fact that previously a second nationality could not be listed, and the phenomenon of having more than one nationality is more frequent exactly among Romani people. 

The number of Romani people actually living in Slovakia is estimated at about 450 000, which means 35 % of them listed Romani nationality during the census last year. That is a distinctly higher number than in the Czech Republic, where just 8.7 % of the estimated number of Romani people declared Romani nationality (21 691 respondents). 

In 1991, when Slovakia was still part of Czechoslovakia, 75 802 inhabitants declared Romani nationality, while in the first post-independence census in 2001 the number was 89 920 and in 2011, 105 738 people declared Romani nationality. Almost 82 % of respondents stated that Slovak is their mother tongue (4 456 102 inhabitants). 

A total of 100 526 respondents listed Romanes as their mother tongue. The second most numerous native language in Slovakia is Hungarian, with 462 175 respondents listing it.

Inhabitants declaring Romani nationality in Slovakia

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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