Demographic History of Moravia

Note : this page is conceived telegram-style and selective (lists of wars deemed destructive, lists of epidemic diseases, years of famine etc.)

Aging Society
Due to a decrease in the birth rate and increasing life expectancy, since the 1960es the average age of the Czech citizen has gradually increased.

Deportation & Genocide
Episodic expulsion of Jews
1426 : Jews of Jihlava (Iglau) expelled
1440-1457 : Jews expelled from Brno, Znojmo, Olomouc
1515 : Jews expelled from Hradisch
1562 : Jews expelled from Neutitschein and Sternberg
1620-1775 : Expulsion of Protestants (at first, of teachers and priests)
1745 : Expulsion of the Jews from Moravia decreed
1938-1945 : Deportation of Moravian Jews. mostly to German Concentration Camps in Poland
1938-1945 : Deportation of Moravian Gypsies, mostly to German Concentration Camps in Poland
1945-1948 : Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans

Emigration to the U.S.A. (since 1870), with peaks in the late 19th century, the early 1920es, the late 1940es

Ethnic or Religious Minorities : Gypsies
The first Gypsies arrived in Moravia in the 15th century. The German authorities, in the Sudetenland 1938-1945, in occupied core Bohemia and Moravia 1939-1945, pursued a policy of genocide against the country's Gypsy population.

Historic Ethnic or Religious Minorities : Sudeten Germans
Descendents of agrarian and urban settlers called into the country in the 13th to 15th centuries. The Moravian Germans, for the larger part, maintained their ethnic German identity. Few ethnic Germans joined the Hussite movement; later, Lutheranism spread among Moravia's Germans, less among the Czechs. The 19th century saw a rift develop between political organizations representing the country's German and Czech population, though both sides in 1905 found a compromise solution - the Moravian Compromise, which organized schooling as well as voting within the respective ethnic community. In 1918 Moravia's Germans found themselves reduced to an ethnic minority in a state where Czech was the official language; the political organizations representing Moravia's Germans had opted for remaining with Austria. In 1938 Czechoslovakia was coerced into ceding the Sudetenland to Germany. Many Sudeten Germans served in the German army or were members of German political organizations. Upon liberation in 1945, the mass of Moravia's Germans, as well as of those of Bohemia and formerly Austrian Silesia (overall c. 3 million), were forcibly expelled; most of them settled in the FRG. Today, 0.4 % of the population of the Czech Republic is listed as German.

Historic Ethnic or Religious Minorities : Jews
The presence of Jews in Moravia is recorded for the 11th century A.D. Expulsions of the Jews are recorded for individual Moravian cities 1426, the years 1440-1457, 1515, 1562. In the early 18th century, the tax burden to be paid by Moravia's Jews was lessened; during the War of Austrian Succession, the country's Jews were accused of having collaborated with the enemy (and, although this accusation was unproven, forced to pay indemnity). In 1745 the expulsion of the Jews from the Lands of the Bohemian Crown was decreed, but not fully implemented as Jews could purchase a permit to continue living in Moravia for a limited period of time. The Jews were forced to move into ghettos, in 1754 a Jews Ordonnance was promulgated. In 1782, Emperor Joseph II. decreed his patent of tolerance. Under Francis II., a number of restrictions barring Jews from certain professions / activities were introduced.
Czechoslovakia fully emancipated her Jewish population.
The German authorities, in the Sudetenland 1938-1945, in occupied core Bohemia and Moravia 1939-1945, pursued a policy of genocide against the country's Jewish population; of 92,000 Jews living in the occupied Czech lands (Bohemia, Moravia) in 1939, 13,000 survived the war. During the Holocaust, Terezin (Theresienstadt) functioned as a transit camp; from there the surviving Jews were sent on to the death camps in German-administrated Poland.

Epidemic, Pandemic Diseases
1348 Bubonic Plague
1380 Bubonic Plague
1431-1434 Typhoid Plague
1680 Plague
Early 1780es
1832 Cholera
1866 Cholera
1918 Spanish Influenza

1431-1434 Famine
1845ff Potato Famine
1866 Famine caused by the War
1914-1918 Food Shortage in WW I
1939-1945 Food Shortage in WW II

Labour Migration : Immigration
13th to 15th centuries : German peasants, craftsmen, miners
1960es-1980es : Trainees from Vietnam, Mongolia, Cuba, Angola, Poland

Labour Migration : Emigration
from early 19th century onward : emigration of Czechs to the U.S.

Political Refugees : Emigrants
Moravian Jews, exposed to ostracism, anti-Semitism and episodically to pogroms
1620- Protestants (Moravian Brethren; Czech, German Lutherans)
1939-1945 Czechs fleeing German occupation
1945-1989; especially 1948 and 1968 Czechs fleeing Communism

Political Refugees : Immigrants
15th to 17th centuries : Vlachs, settling in eastern Moravia
Jews, exposed elsewhere to ostracism (Vienna 1670), anti-Semitism and episodically to pogroms
1933-1939 German Jews, Social Democrats, Intellectuals (B. Brecht, H. Mann)

Population Statistics
First conducted in the Habsburg lands in 1754. Laws on population censi 1857, 1869; censi conducted 1869, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, in Czechoslovakia in 1930, 1981, 1991

Rural Population
Early Middle Ages : Slavic settlement of Moravmia, entirely rural. 13th/14th century : immigration of ethnic German farmers who cleared land, established new villages, brought with them improved farming techniques. A period of sustained population growth 1200 to c.1400, then stagnation until into the late 18th century. Settlement of Vlachs in Moravian Wallachia in the 15th to 17th centuries. Again sustained population growth due to the Agricultural Revolution (potato). With the beginning industrialization and the abolition of serfdom 1849, migration of Czech villagers into the cities, or even abroad.

Olomouc (Ger.: Olmütz) founded in 1063, Znojmo (Ger.: Znaim) 1226, Brno (Ger.: Brünn) 1243, Jihlava (Ger.: Iglau) 1250, most of these cities were founded by immigrant German settlers, some of them mining towns (Jihlava). In the 19th century (Industrialization) the cities experienced immigration; this phenomenon, in combination with an extension of the franchise, resulted in a number of cases in the shift from a German-dominated administration to a Czech-dominated administration. The elimination of the country's mainly urban Jewish community during the Holocaust (1938-1945) and the expulsion of the country's ethnic German population 1945-1948 greatly changed the character of Moravia's cities. However, Moravia's cities suffered comparatively little destruction during World War II.

Volunteers in foreign Wars
1918-1919 : Czechoslovak Legion, in the Russian Civil War

Wartime Destruction : Battlefield Bohemia
1420-1433 : Hussite Wars
1433-1434 : Hussite Civil War
1448-1452 : Bohemian Troubles
1464-1471 : Bohemian Troubles
1465-1478 : Bohemian-Hungarian War
1546-1547 : Schmalkaldic War
1618-1648 : Thirty Years War
1740-1748 : War of Austrian Succession
1756-1763 : Seven Years War
1778-1779 : War of Bavarian Succession
1792-1813 : Wars of the Coalitiions
1848 : Prague Revolution
1866 : Seven Weeks War
1938 : German annexation of the Sudetenland
1939 : German occupation of core Bohemia and Moravia
1945 : Liberation
1968 : Invasion of Warsaw Pact forces

Article Demographics of the Czech Republic, from Wikipedia
Article Moravia, from Jewish Encyclopedia
Minorities in the Czech Republic, from Radio Prague
Czech Republic, from Migration Information Source
DOCUMENTS Historical Population Statistics : Czech Republic, from Population Statistics at Univ. Utrecht
Lizzie Selena Eden, A Lady's Glimpse of the Late War in Bohemia, 1867, posted by M.M. Ockerbloom
REFERENCE B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics 1750-1988 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 12th 2006

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz