Q: What is the regional distribution of income in Slovakia?
In general, wealth in Central Europe drops along the line from west to east. It is the same in Poland and Hungary whose regions parallel to Central and East Slovakia are somewhat poorer than their Slovak neighbors, but still show the west-to-east decrease. It is also the overall pattern across Germany, Austria, and Czechia. The gradient is not confined to Central Europe. The countries to the east and south-east, in turn, have lower purchasing power than Central Europe.
Relative regional per-capita purchasing power, 2013 (darker = higher, lighter = lower).
Source: GfK - GeoMarketing.
The lowest per-capita purchasing power is in the counties with the highest percentage of the Roma living in shantytowns (above).
The low per-capita purchasing power also coincides with the highest-unemployment counties (above, 2013), reflecting the higher unemployment levels among the Roma and indicating that the average incomes of the employed in those areas are not quite as much lower as the overall averages might appear to imply.
East Slovak comforts
Pockets of industry alter the local situation, and some attributes commonly associated with wealth may defy the picture painted by the average per-capita purchasing power in a region.
According to the 2001 census, for instance, people in some eastern counties had the largest homes in Slovakia, 720-750 sq. ft. (counties of Trebišov, Vranov, Sobrance) as opposed to the Slovak average of 600 sq. ft. They also had the highest car ownership per household (counties of Sobrance, Michalovce, Svidník). Family houses in farming communities tend to be larger inside than urban condominiums, and income earned abroad and sent back home is not reported in the statistics.