Usti nad Labem Region

The Usti nad Labem region is located at the north-western part of the Czech Republic where it borders with the Saxony region in Germany, and it covers 6.8% of the country surface area. The Usti nad Labem region consists of seven districts (Diem, Chomutov, Litomipice, Louny, Most, Teplice and Usti nad Labem). In addition, there are 354 municipalities (58 have town status) which are divided into 16 municipalities with extended powers and 30 municipalities with authorised municipal office. 79.7% of the population is urban (2011).

Usti nad Labem has 836 000 inhabitants and is the fifth largest region in the country. The city of Usti nad Labem is the regional capital and has nearly 100 000 residents. In 2010, the region accounted for 6.6% of Czech GDP. GDP per capita is lower than the national average (83.4% of the national average). The region has a more favourable age structure

Figure 2.2. Usti nad Labem Region: Administrative districts

Source: Labour Office (2013), “Report on the situation of the regional labour market, the implementation of the ALMP in 2012 and ALMP strategy for 2013”, Osti nad Labem,

than other regions - the average age is 40 - but also has one of the highest mortality rates in the country. Osti nad Labem has a relatively large number of socially deprived localities and minority groups, particularly Roma.

The region has good road and rail links and a favourable location on the transport corridor leading from Berlin via Prague to Vienna. Together with the Elbe waterway, this is considered to be an important factor for the future economic development of the region. The Euroregion Elbe/Labe was established in 1992 to promote development and cooperation across national borders in areas such as urban and regional planning, the environment and the economy. However, Osti nad Labem’s strategic location is undermined by the fact that its neighbouring areas are in former East Germany, which have higher unemployment, and the Karlovy Vary region which is the economically weakest Czech region.

Osti nad Labem’s economic structure has deep historical roots in mineral wealth. The region has a tradition of strong industrial production, mining and quarrying. Nonferrous metals, especially tin and copper, were panned and mined in the Ore Mountains and since the 19th century extensive seams of brown coal were found under the surface. Brown coal basins extend from Osti nad Labem to Kadao and the region is also an important supplier of glass, foundry sand and crushed stone. Key sectors in the region include fuel and energy, metallurgy, chemistry, engineering and glass.

Businesses in these fields have highly automised production - due in large part to foreign investors who have invested in modern technology - new control methods and new markets. There are four research institutes in the fields of inorganic chemistry, glass, coal and hops and as well as a number of private companies researching areas such as surfactants, resins, hardeners and thermosets.

The region is diverse and can be broken down into four areas in terms of economic specialisation, social structure and environment:

  • 1. Basin area - There is a high population density within this area, which specialises in mining and includes the districts of Chomutov, Most, Teplice.
  • 2. Industrial area - These are the districts of Osti nad Labem and Diem which are dominated by diversified industrial manufacturing (chemical, mechanical, automotive, textile and food industry).
  • 3. Factory-farming area - It covers the districts of Litomi0ice and Louny with a specialisation in fruit, vegetables, wine, and cereals. Over the past 15 years, there has been a significant decline in employment in agriculture and industry now provides the most employment opportunities.
  • 4. Ore Mountains - These are districts close to the Czech-Saxon border and the area is a sparsely populated mountain range.
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