Central Bohemia is situated in the middle of Czech Republic. Due to its area, number of urban areas and number of inhabitants this region occupies the first place among Czech regions. Its area covers almost 14% of Czech Republic. The region is divided into 12 districts, which make a ring around the capital, Prague.
The landscape of the region belongs to the Czech Massiv (Cesky masiv), which is one of the oldest parts of the European continent. The topography changes from mainly flatlands in the north along the river Elbe to the highlands in the south and southwest. The highest point of the region is the summit of the Brdy ridge called Tok in the Pribram district; the lowest is the Elbe water level in the Melnik district.
The location of the region has a strong influence on its economical characteristics. Close relations with the capital and the dense transportation network cause the importance of the region to be very high and with many advantages. On the other hand, certain imbalance in the relationship between Prague (metropolis of national importance) and Central Bohemia (Prague outskirts) is obvious and brings disadvantages. This fact, as well as the absence of a county seat as an administrative centre, limits its development to a certain extent. The Prague agglomeration in Central Bohemia, which consists of almost 38 % of urban areas in the area with more than 46 % of inhabitants, creates the background of the capital. The region is a very important source of labour force for Prague; it supports Prague’s industry, supplies Prague with food and offers Prague its potential in the tourist industry and recreation.
The location of the city also had a very important influence on the ungenial demography development of the region in 1990s. While the decreasing tendency in numbers of inhabitants lasts for some 20 years now, because the nativity rate is low and the mortality rate, caused by the age structure of the population, is quite high, the migration balance changed noticeably during the last couple of years. There is such a high rate of immigration in the region that the overall number of inhabitants started to increase – in 2000 by 3,684 inhabitants. The reason for such change mainly constists in the construction of residential areas around Prague. A typical feature of Central Bohemia is mainly the developed agricultural and industrial production.
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