Flag of Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of

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Macedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991, but Greece's objection to the new state's use of what it considered a Hellenic name and symbols delayed international recognition, which occurred under the provisional designation of the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia." In 1995, Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo and the two countries agreed to normalize relations, although differences over Macedonia's name remain. The undetermined status of neighbouring Kosovo, implementation of the Framework Agreement - which ended the 2001 ethnic Albanian armed insurgency - and a weak economy continue to be challenges for Macedonia.


Southeastern Europe, north of Greece

Geographic coordinates:

41 50 N, 22 00 E


total: 25,333 sq km
land: 24,856 sq km
water: 477 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 766 km
border countries: Albania 151 km, Bulgaria 148 km, Greece 246 km, Serbia and Montenegro 221 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


warm, dry summers and autumns; relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall


mountainous territory covered with deep basins and valleys; three large lakes, each divided by a frontier line; country bisected by the Vardar River

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Vardar River 50 m
highest point: Golem Korab (Maja e Korabit) 2,764 m

Natural resources:

low-grade iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, manganese, nickel, tungsten, gold, silver, asbestos, gypsum, timber, arable land

Land use:

arable land: 22.01%
permanent crops: 1.79%
other: 76.2% (2005)

Irrigated land:

550 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:

high seismic risks

Environment - current issues:

air pollution from metallurgical plants

Geography - note:

landlocked; major transportation corridor from Western and Central Europe to Aegean Sea and Southern Europe to Western Europe


2,050,554 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 20.1% (male 213,486/female 199,127)
15-64 years: 68.9% (male 711,853/female 701,042)
65 years and over: 11% (male 98,618/female 126,428) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 34.1 years
male: 33.2 years
female: 35.1 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.26% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

12.02 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

8.77 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

-0.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 9.81 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.94 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 9.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.97 years
male: 71.51 years
female: 76.62 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.57 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

less than 200 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 100 (2003 est.)


noun: Macedonian(s)
adjective: Macedonian

Ethnic groups:

Macedonian 64.2%, Albanian 25.2%, Turkish 3.9%, Roma 2.7%, Serb 1.8%, other 2.2% (2002 census)


Macedonian Orthodox 32.4%, other Christian 0.2%, Muslim 16.9%, other and unspecified 50.5% (2002 census)


Macedonian 66.5%, Albanian 25.1%, Turkish 3.5%, Roma 1.9%, Serbian 1.2%, other 1.8% (2002 census)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.1%
male: 98.2%
female: 94.1% (2002 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Macedonia
conventional short form: Macedonia; note - the provisional designation used by the UN, EU, and NATO is Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
local long form: Republika Makedonija
local short form: Makedonija
former: People's Republic of Macedonia, Socialist Republic of Macedonia

Government type:

parliamentary democracy



Administrative divisions:

85 municipalities (opstini, singular - opstina); Aerodrom (Skopje), Aracinovo, Berovo, Bitola, Bogdanci, Bogovinje, Bosilovo, Brvenica, Butel (Skopje), Cair (Skopje), Caska, Centar (Skopje), Centar Zupa, Cesinovo, Cucer-Sandevo, Debar, Debartsa, Delcevo, Demir Hisar, Demir Kapija, Dojran, Dolneni, Drugovo, Gazi Baba (Skopje), Gevgelija, Gjorce Petrov (Skopje), Gostivar, Gradsko, Ilinden, Jegunovce, Karbinci, Karpos (Skopje), Kavadarci, Kicevo, Kisela Voda (Skopje), Kocani, Konce, Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Krivogastani, Krusevo, Kumanovo, Lipkovo, Lozovo, Makedonska Kamenica, Makedonski Brod, Mavrovo i Rastusa, Mogila, Negotino, Novaci, Novo Selo, Ohrid, Oslomej, Pehcevo, Petrovec, Plasnica, Prilep, Probistip, Radovis, Rankovce, Resen, Rosoman, Saraj (Skopje), Skopje, Sopiste, Staro Nagoricane, Stip, Struga, Strumica, Studenicani, Suto Orizari (Skopje), Sveti Nikole, Tearce, Tetovo, Valandovo, Vasilevo, Veles, Vevcani, Vinica, Vranestica, Vrapciste, Zajas, Zelenikovo, Zelino, Zrnovci
note: the ten municipalities followed by Skopje in parentheses collectively constitute "greater Skopje"


8 September 1991 (referendum by registered voters endorsing independence from Yugoslavia)

National holiday:

Uprising Day, 2 August (1903); note - also known as Saint Elijah's Day and Ilinden


adopted 17 November 1991, effective 20 November 1991; amended November 2001 by a series of new constitutional amendments strengthening minority rights and in 2005 with amendments related to the judiciary

Legal system:

based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

unicameral Assembly or Sobranie (120 seats - members elected by popular vote from party lists based on the percentage of the overall vote the parties gain in each of six electoral districts; all serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 15 September 2002 (next to be held by fall 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Together for Macedonia coalition 60 (SDSM 43, LDP 12, others 5), VMRO-DPMNE 33 (VMRO 28 and Liberal Party 5), DUI 16, PDSH/DPA 7, PPD/PDP 2, PDK 1, SP 1

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court - the Assembly appoints the judges; Constitutional Court - the Assembly appoints the judges; Republican Judicial Council - the Assembly appoints the judges

Economy - overview:

At independence in September 1991, Macedonia was the least developed of the Yugoslav republics, producing a mere 5% of the total federal output of goods and services. The collapse of Yugoslavia ended transfer payments from the central government and eliminated advantages from inclusion in a de facto free trade area. An absence of infrastructure, UN sanctions on the downsized Yugoslavia, one of its largest markets, and a Greek economic embargo over a dispute about the country's constitutional name and flag hindered economic growth until 1996. GDP subsequently rose each year through 2000. However, the leadership's commitment to economic reform, free trade, and regional integration was undermined by the ethnic Albanian insurgency of 2001. The economy shrank 4.5% because of decreased trade, intermittent border closures, increased deficit spending on security needs, and investor uncertainty. Growth barely recovered in 2002 to 0.9%, then rose by 3.4% in 2003, 4.1% in 2004, and 3.7% in 2005. Macedonia has maintained macroeconomic stability with low inflation, but it has lagged the region in attracting foreign investment and job growth has been anemic. Macedonia has an extensive grey market, estimated to be more than 20 percent of GDP, that falls outside official statistics.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$15.55 billion
note: Macedonia has a large informal sector (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$5.255 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.7% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,600 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 9.7%
industry: 28.8%
services: 61.5% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

855,000 (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate:

38% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line:

29.6% (2004 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

28.2 (1998)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.5% (2005)

Investment (gross fixed):

18% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $2.105 billion
expenditures: $2.15 billion; including capital expenditures of $114 million (2005 est.)

Public debt:

37.4% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

grapes, wine, tobacco, vegetables; milk, eggs


food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, steel, cement, energy, pharmaceuticals

Industrial production growth rate:

6% (2005 est.)

Electricity - production:

6.271 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - consumption:

7.933 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity - imports:

1.662 billion kWh (2005)

Oil - consumption:

23,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Current account balance:

-$303 million (2005 est.)


$2.047 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

food, beverages, tobacco; miscellaneous manufactures, iron and steel

Exports - partners:

Serbia and Montenegro 27.7%, Germany 17.5%, Italy 12.1%, Greece 8%, Croatia 6.1%, US 4.3% (2004)


$3.196 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, automobiles, chemicals, fuels, food products

Imports - partners:

Greece 14.6%, Germany 12.2%, Serbia and Montenegro 9.8%, Slovenia 8.1%, Bulgaria 7.6%, Italy 6.5%, Turkey 5.7%, Romania 4.4% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$1.076 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$1.939 billion (2005 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

$250 million (2003 est.)

Currency (code):

Macedonian denar (MKD)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

525,000 (2003)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

830,000 (2005)

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: country code - 389

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 29, FM 20, shortwave 0 (1998)

Television broadcast stations:

31 (plus 166 repeaters) (1995)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

3,541 (2005)

Internet users:

392,671 (2004)


17 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
under 914 m: 8 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 4 (2005)


gas 268 km; oil 120 km (2004)


total: 699 km
standard gauge: 699 km 1.435-m gauge (233 km electrified) (2004)


total: 8,684 km
paved: 5,540 km
unpaved: 3,144 km (1999)

Military branches:

Army of the Republic of Macedonia (ARM; includes Joint Operational Command, with subordinate Air Wing); Special Force Command (2006)

Disputes - international:

ethnic Albanians in Kosovo object to demarcation of the boundary with Macedonia in accordance with the 2000 Macedonia-Serbia and Montenegro delimitation agreement; Greece continues to reject the use of the name Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 2,678 (ethnic conflict in 2001) (2005)

Illicit drugs:

major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and hashish; minor transit point for South American cocaine destined for Europe; although not a financial center and most criminal activity is thought to be domestic, money laundering is a problem due to a mostly cash-based economy and weak enforcement (no arrests or prosecutions for money laundering to date)