AmCham Research: Population Trends: Age, Economic Activity, Education, Internal Migration, 2005-2017

Both business people and politicians are focused on the workforce. Business are trying every possible way to find the people they need so that their business and the national economy can grow. Some politicians are claiming credit for starving the supply of workforce in order to raise wages. When policies conflict with economic reality, something will break. We need to do something about the economic policies before they cause an economic crisis. 

Both those policies and individual business decisions need to be based on a thorough understanding of what is happening to the demographics and the development of the workforce. That is why we are preparing a series of statistical studies on trends in the workforce.

This brief steps back to look at general population trends. 


  • The country is getting both older, and younger. The percentage of people 65 or over has increased by 5% since 2005, and 19% of Czechs  are now in this category. That is one of the highest percentages in the benchmark.
  • The percentage of working age Czechs has dropped from 71% of the population to 66%. That decline has been particularly dramatic since 2011: the country has 330,282 fewer people age 15-64 today. This is the primary source of today’s workforce shortage. 
  • The good news is that the Czech Republic leads benchmarked countries in the growth of the population under 15, and that this trend has been increasing.  There seems to be a baby at the end of the tunnel. 

Active Population 

  • The decline in working age population has been mitigated by a rise in the active level of the population, particularly among people ages 55-64. The Czech Republic leads the benchmarked countries in the percentage of economically active males of working age, and trails only Austria for women.  
  • Active males from 55-64 increased by over 8% since 2005,  Active females aged 55-64 jumped up by over 18% in the same period. 

Education of Active Population 

  • The Czech workforce depends more heavily on people with a secondary education than the average country in the EU, as well as the countries– except Slovakia– in the benchmark. 72% of the Czech workforce has secondary  education, compared with an EU average of 47%, Germany’s 59%, and Austria’s 52%.  
  • The country has significantly lower levels of primaryeducated people in the workforce.  That may mean that people with secondary education are working in jobs requiring only primary education. If so, that would be hindering wage development. 
  • The country also has a lower level (24%) of tertiaryeducated people in the workforce than the EU average (33%), Germany (28%), or Austria (35%). The country has the same percentage (12%)  of men and women with tertiary-educated workforce, and the gap with the EU average is approximately the same.  
  • Policymakers interested in reducing the wage gap may look at the education ratios as the potentially primary cause.   


Internal Migration 

  • Czechs are moving to cities, and particularly to Prague. Prague and its surrounding region have increased its population by 103,000 people since 2011; the rest of the country lost population overall. Southern Moravia, with Brno as a hub, increased population by 12,500. Plzen increased by 7,120. Moravia-Silesia lost 22,380. 

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