Demographic and national Development
For long centuries, the Czech Lands were characterized by coexistence of the majority Czechs and minority Germans. The share of the Germans gradually grew since the colonising period in the 13th century. The German population concentrated in the border areas, but German language islands were also found in the interior (e.g. the Jihlava region). Jews who lived on the territory of the Czech Lands ever since the 11th century formed a specific group. Much like in many other European countries, the Jewish minority had to face many adverse events and social expulsion, which started to ease at the end of the 18th century.
In the 19th century, the Czech nation gradually became emancipated and the national movement expanded. The relations between the Czech and German populations were heavily affected by growing nationalism on both sides in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. The defeat of the Central Powers in the First World War resulted in the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and creation of independent successor states. The newly established Czechoslovak Republic was a multiethnic state where other ethnic minorities lived besides the Czechs, Slovaks and Germans (the Jews, Poles, Hungarians, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, Russians and other).
The Czech-German relations started to escalate again in the 1930s due to the growing nationalist tendencies of the German population.
The World War II events and the traumas provoked strong anti-German sentiments among the Czechoslovak population and doubts about a future coexistence of the Czechs and Germans in a common state. The efforts to deal with the ethnic minorities in post-war Czechoslovakia resulted in forced mass resettlement of the German population. In 1945–1946, three million Germans left Czechoslovakia, thus fundamentally changing the ethnic structure.
The ethnically homogeneous composition of Czechoslovakia did not dramatically change until the fall of the communist regime in 1989 and opening the borders. At present, the most significant minorities in the Czech Republic include the Slovaks, Ukrainians and Vietnamese. This section also monitors demographic development of the population in the Czech Lands until the 18th century. If follows significant periods of the population growth and decline that were also strongly affected by external factors (e.g. changes in climatic conditions, war events, epidemics or crop failure).
Ethnic situation in Czechoslovakia after the 1921 census. République Tchécoslovaque. Nationalités ethnographiques (ca 1921–1922?). Map Collection of the Institute of History, CAS. Map display
historians: Jitka Močičková, Pavel Cibulka, Jiří Mikulec, Jan Němeček, Daniel Polakovič, Robert Šimůnek, Eva Semotanová, Alice Velková
geographers: Jan D. Bláha, Tomáš Burda
cartographers: Petra Jílková, Jan D. Bláha, Tomáš Janata, Pavel Seemann
digital atlas: Tomáš Janata, Petra Jílková, Jiří Krejčí, Jitka Močičková, Eva Semotanová
team of authors
Maur, E. a kol.: Dějiny obyvatelstva českých zemí. 2. vyd. Praha 1998;
Semotanová, E. ‒ Cajthaml, J. a kol.: Akademický atlas českých dějin. Praha 2014, 2. akt. vydání 2016;
Semotanová, E. ‒ Zudová-Lešková, Z. ‒ Močičková, J. ‒ Cajthaml, J. ‒ Seemann, P. ‒ Bláha, J. D. a kol.: Český historický atlas. Kapitoly z dějin 20. století. Praha 2019.
Historický GIS: http://www.historickygis.cz/aplikace/mapa.html (moduly Národnost a Demografická struktura);
Atlas obyvatelstva: http://www.atlasobyvatelstva.cz/cs/52-narodnost-v-cesku