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Slovakia’s Roma population exceeds 400,000

MORE THAN 400,000 Roma live in Slovakia, nearly half of which live scattered among the majority, according to the new Atlas of Roma Communities. The document was prepared by the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre for Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States, the Association of Towns and Villages in Slovakia (ZMOS), Prešov University and the Office of Government Proxy for Roma Communities.

MORE THAN 400,000 Roma live in Slovakia, nearly half of which live scattered among the majority, according to the new Atlas of Roma Communities. The document was prepared by the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre for Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States, the Association of Towns and Villages in Slovakia (ZMOS), Prešov University and the Office of Government Proxy for Roma Communities.

The atlas showed that there are about 402,840 Roma living in Slovakia, which represents 7.45 percent of the country’s population. According to 2011 census, the number of people stating that they were Roma stood at 105,700, or 2 percent.

Up to 187,285 of Roma (i.e. 46.5 percent) live among the majority, and nearly 52,000 Roma live in villages. About 96,000 Roma live in urban concentrations on the outskirts of municipalities, while 68,540 Roma live in segregated settlements outside municipalities. The average distance of the settlements from other dwellings is 900 metres, the SITA newswire reported on September 25.

The highest number of Roma - up to one quarter - live in Banská Bystrica Region, while 24 percent of all Roma live in Košice Region. Only 2 percent – the smallest number - live in Žilina Region, where altogether 153 municipalities say there are no Roma living in them, SITA wrote.

Based on the results, the Office of Government Proxy for Roma Communities has identified the most disadvantaged communities, for which it now wants to implement “development interventions”, according to SITA.

The authors of the atlas will present the complete analyses of Roma community mapping by the end of this year.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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