Political Maps

The Slovak Republic is divided into 8 administrative regions (kraj) named after each region's main city. Each region, in turn, is divided into several counties (okres) and certain counties are further divided into districts (obvod). Representation in the parliament (National Council) is partly based on these demarcations.

However, they are mainly used to delegate local authority. The ethnic composition of the country is illustrated above. Colors correspond as follows: Blue - Slovaks, Green - Hungarians, Red - Ukrainians, Yellow - Ruthenians, Black - Romani, Grey - All Others. Hungarians are a majority in several of the South Western districts, however, because the regions are drawn up from North to South (especially the Trnava and Nitra regions) they never constitute a majority in any region. Such gerrymandering (based on a more severe model pioneered in the Southern USA) allows minorities to send members of parliament to the National Council by means of proportional national elections, and thereby have representation directly corresponding to their population, but never be able administer their own region. It is suggested that this balance provides a strong voice for the Hungarian minority in national affairs all the while integrating them within the national structure by not isolating them in parochial enclaves.