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Polls, stats, trends

Abortions and weddings down, divorces up

RESEARCH carried out by the health information and statistics institute, ÚZIŠ, showed that Slovaks are having fewer babies and fewer abortions than they did since the end of Communism in 1989, the SITA news agency wrote.

Thanks to the use of contraception, among other factors, the number of abortions carried out in 2004 was 13,140, 34,957 less than in 1989. The number of births was down by 35 percent.

Among the main reasons for decreasing birth rates are social and economic problems.

The number of weddings also decreased in the given period. While 16 years ago 36,525 couples got married, in 2004 it was just 24,040. The average age of a newlywed is currently 27 years, five years higher than the average age at the end of the 1980s.

Every year around 11,000 couples divorce in Slovakia, 2,700 more than in 1989.

Popular brands defend position

CONSUMERS are increasingly more knowledgeable of the various brands on the market. According to a poll carried out by the GfK Slovakia agency, Slovaks view traditional brands positively but are also open to accepting new brands, thanks to marketing campaigns.

The poll, entitled Koloseum 2005, asked consumers about their spontaneous knowledge of brands in 26 different categories of goods. Brands that scored highest last year maintained their position, the SITA news agency wrote.

"What has changed, however, is the narrowing difference between the leading brands and their competitors," said the head of GfK, Martin Mravec.

Among the leaders in individual categories is Zlatý Bažant for best beer brand, Coca-Cola for soft drink brand, Nokia for telephone brand, Allianz-Slovenská poisťovňa for commercial insurance company brand, Slovenská sporiteľňa as best bank brand, and Tesco as best retailer brand.

One in eight to buy automobiles

IN THE COMING year, one in eight people, or 12.6 percent of respondents, plan to buy a car, according to a TNS Car Tracking survey carried out by TNS SK market research agency.

As many as 86.3 percent, however, are not even thinking about buying a car while one percent are undecided, SITA news agency wrote.

According to the poll, most people who are thinking about buying a car are between 18 and 29 years old with a high school diploma living in the counties of Trenčín, Bratislava and Trnava.

Of those who want to buy a car, almost 70 percent are considering buying a Škoda. The next brand considered is Volkswagen (20 percent).

Income tax, not overall tax burden, lowest in Slovakia

WITH its 19-percent flat tax, Slovakia has the lowest average income tax level in the EU. However, Slovakia's total tax burden is not the lowest, according to information released by the Eurostat agency.

The average level of tax paid by the highest earners in the EU is 41.1 percent. After Slovakia, the lowest levels of income tax paid by the highest earners are in Estonia (24 percent), Latvia (25 percent) and in Cyprus (30 percent), the SITA news agency wrote.

The highest income taxes are paid by the top earners in Denmark (59 percent, which is the highest level of tax in the EU), Sweden (56.5 percent), Finland (52.1 percent) and The Netherlands (52.0 percent).

In 2005, the average level of corporate tax in the EU is 26.3 percent. The lowest levels of corporate tax are in Cyprus (10 percent), Ireland (12.5 percent), and Latvia and Lithuania (both at 15 percent). Companies in Slovakia pay 19 percent. The highest levels of corporate tax are in Germany (38.6 percent), Italy (37.3 percent), and Spain and Malta (both 35 percent).

For 2003, the total average tax burden, including income tax and various other contributions, was 40.3 percent in the EU. The highest total tax burdens were in Sweden (50.8 percent) and Denmark (48.8 percent), while the lowest were in Lithuania (28.5 percent) and Latvia (28.9 percent).

According to Eurostat, the total tax burden in Slovakia was 30.6 percent in 2003, which represents a fall of 10 percent compared to 1995.

Account handling relatively cheap in Slovakia

ACCORDING to the results of the Scott and Rose company survey carried out for the Slovak Bank Association, the average bank handling fees that a Slovak client pays is the lowest out of all V4 states and Austria, the SITA news agency wrote.

A client in the Czech Republic would pay almost 140 percent more for the same services than in Slovakia. According to the survey, a Slovak client on average pays €36.80 annually for account handling at a Slovak bank, while the same services would cost €54.4 in Hungary, €71.8 in Austria, and €74 in Poland.

The Czech Republic's fees are the highest, averaging €88.20 annually.

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