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Slovaks and Apple, Czech marriages, Poles and books… What’s new?

Didn’t have time to read the news lately? Kafkadesk’s got you covered. Here’s our recap of what’s been going on: number of Czech marriages on the rise, Polish reading habits in decline, and more.

Number of marriages on the rise in the Czech Republic

The Czech Statistical Office released its demographic data for last year. In 2018, the population of the Czech Republic increased by nearly 40.000 people, reaching more than 10.6 million inhabitants. This hike was mostly due to the arrival of foreign migrants (positive migration balance of nearly 39.000, the highest net migration rate in the last decade) especially from Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. The contribution of the natural balance (difference between the number of births and deaths) was only marginal (+1.100). This data seems to confirm U.N. predictions of an important demographic decline  in the Czech Republic over the next several decades.

Another key takeaway from the 2018 demographic statistics is the rise in the number of marriages, which reached its highest level since 2007: 54.500 legal marriages were recorded in the Czech Republic in 2018, nearly 2.000 more than the previous year. Meanwhile, divorces were on the decline, with a bit more than 24.000 divorces issued by Czech courts last year (1.600 less than in 2017).

One third of Poles read at least one book in 2018

An annual study by the Polish National Library found that only 37% of Poles read at least one book in 2018, down 1 percentage point from 2017. According to local daily Gazeta Wyborcza, readership levels remain low but stable over the last few years since 2008, with the biggest drop in the number of books read was reported between 2004 and 2008. These results are in sharp contrast with other neighbouring countries, like the Czech Republic, where a recent study found that nearly 80% of the population read at least one book per year.

Since 2004, around 10% of the Polish population (9% last year) has read seven or more books per year, more than twice as low as in 2000. As can be seen in most other countries, women tend to read more books than men, while young people are more avid readers than their elders (19% of Polish people aged 25-39 read one or two books in 2018, compared to 12% for people above 60).

Apple Pay may soon launch in Slovakia

According to reports, Apple Pay will soon debut in Slovakia as part of a wider European expansion, which also includes launches in Estonia, Portugal, Greece and Slovenia. Although Apple hasn’t yet officially confirmed the roll-out, rumors were sparked by a tweet from mobile banking service N26, which hinted at an upcoming arrival of the contactless payment system in those countries.

Less than two months ago, Apple’s contactless payment system using mobiles phones and watches launched in the Czech Republic – a few weeks after Slovak-born Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis met with Apple CEO Tim Cook in Davos. Launched in the U.S. in 2014, Apple Pay is now available in nearly 40 countries in the world.