Introduction    Macedonia Top of Page
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. The United States began referring to Macedonia by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia, in 2004 and negotiations continue between Greece and Macedonia to resolve the name issue. Some ethnic Albanians, angered by perceived political and economic inequities, launched an insurgency in 2001 that eventually won the support of the majority of Macedonia's Albanian population and led to the internationally-brokered Framework Agreement, which ended the fighting by establishing a set of new laws enhancing the rights of minorities. Fully implementing the Framework Agreement and stimulating economic growth and development continue to be challenges for Macedonia, although progress has been made on both fronts over the past several years.
   Geography    Macedonia Top of Page
Southeastern Europe, north of Greece
Geographic coordinates:
41 50 N, 22 00 E
Map references:
total: 25,713 sq km
land: 25,433 sq km
water: 280 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Vermont
Land boundaries:
total: 766 km
border countries: Albania 151 km, Bulgaria 148 km, Greece 246 km, Kosovo 159 km, Serbia 62 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)
Total renewable water resources:
6.4 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 2.27
per capita: 1,118 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
high seismic risks
Environment - current issues:
air pollution from metallurgical plants
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
landlocked; major transportation corridor from Western and Central Europe to Aegean Sea and Southern Europe to Western Europe
   People    Macedonia Top of Page
2,066,718 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 19.2% (male 206,054/female 191,354)
15-64 years: 69.4% (male 722,823/female 710,830)
65 years and over: 11.4% (male 102,231/female 133,426) (2009 est.)
Median age:
total: 35.1 years
male: 34.1 years
female: 36.2 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.262% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:
11.97 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate:
8.83 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
urban population: 67% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 9.01 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.21 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.68 years
male: 72.18 years
female: 77.38 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.58 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
fewer than 200 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2003 est.)
noun: Macedonian(s)
adjective: Macedonian
Ethnic groups:
Macedonian 64.2%, Albanian 25.2%, Turkish 3.9%, Roma (Gypsy) 2.7%, Serb 1.8%, other 2.2% (2002 census)
Macedonian Orthodox 64.7%, Muslim 33.3%, other Christian 0.37%, other and unspecified 1.63% (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 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
3.5% of GDP (2002)
   Government    Macedonia Top of Page
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Macedonia
conventional short form: Macedonia
local long form: Republika Makedonija
local short form: Makedonija
note: the provisional designation used by the UN, EU, and NATO is the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM)
former: People's Republic of Macedonia, Socialist Republic of Macedonia
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
name: Skopje
geographic coordinates: 42 00 N, 21 26 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
84 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, Debarca, Delcevo, Demir Hisar, Demir Kapija, Dojran, Dolneni, Dorce Petrov (Gjorce Petrov) (Skopje), Drugovo, Gazi Baba (Skopje), Gevgelija, 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 Rostusa, Mogila, Negotino, Novaci, Novo Selo, Ohrid, Oslomej, Pehcevo, Petrovec, Plasnica, Prilep, Probistip, Radovis, Rankovce, Resen, Rosoman, Saraj (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 10 municipalities followed by Skopje in parentheses collectively constitute the larger Skopje Municipality
8 September 1991 (referendum by registered voters endorsed independence from Yugoslavia)
National holiday:
Ilinden Uprising Day, 2 August (1903); note - also known as Saint Elijah's Day
adopted 17 November 1991, effective 20 November 1991; amended November 2001 and in 2005
note: 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; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Gjorge IVANOV (since 12 May 2009)
head of government: Prime Minister Nikola GRUEVSKI (since 26 August 2006)
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the majority vote of all the deputies in the Assembly; note - current cabinet formed by the government coalition parties VMRO/DPMNE, BDI/DUI, and several small parties
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); two-round election: first round held 22 March 2009, second round held 5 April 2009 (next to be held in March 2014); prime minister elected by the Assembly following legislative elections
note: Gjorge IVANOV elected president on second-round ballot; percent of vote - Gjorge IVANOV 63.14%, Ljubomir FRCKOSKI 36.86%
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; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 1 June and 15 June 2008 (next to be held by July 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - VMRO-DPMNE-led block 49%, SDSM-led block 24%, BDI/DUI 13%, PDSh/DPA 8%, other 6%; seats by party - VMRO-DPMNE-led block 63, SDSM-led block 27, BDI/DUI 18, PDSh/DPA 11, PEI 1
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court; Republican Judicial Council
note: the Assembly appoints the judges
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Alliance [Pavle TRAJANOV]; Democratic League of Bosniaks [Rafet MUMINOVIC]; Democratic Party of Albanians or PDSh/DPA [Menduh THACI]; Democratic Party of Serbs [Ivan STOILJKOVIC]; Democratic Party of Turks [Kenan HASIPI]; Democratic Renewal of Macedonia [Liljana POPOVSKA]; Democratic Union of Albanians or BDSh [Bardyl MAHMUTI]; Democratic Union of Vlachs for Macedonia [Mitko KOSTOV]; Democratic Union for Integration or BDI/DUI [Ali AHMETI]; For a Better Macedonia coalition [Nikola GRUEVSKI] (includes VMRO-DPMNE, SP, Democratic Union, Democratic Renewal of Macedonia, Democratic Party of Turks, Democratic Party of Serbs, SR, and smaller parties); Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity or VMRO-DPMNE [Nikola GRUEVSKI]; League for Democracy [Gjorgi MARJANOVIC]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Jovan MANSIEVSKI]; Liberal Party [Stojan ANDOV]; National Alternative [Harun ALIU]; National Democratic Union or BDK [Hysni SHAQIR]; New Democracy of DR/ND [Imer SELMANI]; New Social Democratic Party or NSDP [Tito PETKOVSKI]; Party for Democratic Prosperity or PPD/PDP [Sefedin HARUNI]; Party for European Future or PEI [Fijat CANOSKI]; Party of Free Democrats or PSD [Ljubco JORDANOVSKI]; Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia or SDSM [Zoran ZAEV]; Socialist Party of Macedonia or SP [Ljubisav IVANOV-ZINGO]; Sun-Coalition for Europe [Radmila SKERINSKA] (includes SDSM, NSDP, LDP, Liberal Party and smaller parties); Union of Romas or SR [Shaban SALIU]; United Party for Emancipation or OPE [Nezdet MUSTAFA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Federation of Free Trade Unions [Svetlana PETROVIC]; Federation of Trade Unions [Vanco MURATOVSKI]; Trade Union of Education, Science and Culture [Dojcin CVETANOSKI]; World Macedonian Congress [Todor PETROV]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Zoran JOLEVSKI
chancery: 2129 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 667-0501
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2131
consulate(s) general: Southfield (Michigan)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Philip T. REEKER
embassy: Bul. Ilindenska bb, 1000 Skopje
mailing address: American Embassy Skopje, US Department of State, 7120 Skopje Place, Washington, DC 20521-7120 (pouch)
telephone: [389] 2 311-6180
FAX: [389] 2 311-7103
Flag description:
a yellow sun with eight broadening rays extending to the edges of the red field
   Economy    Macedonia Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Having a small, open economy makes Macedonia vulnerable to economic developments in Europe and dependent on regional integration and progress toward EU membership for continued economic growth. 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, 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. In 2001, during a civil conflict, the economy shrank 4.5% because of decreased trade, intermittent border closures, increased deficit spending on security needs, and investor uncertainty. Growth averaged 4% per year during 2003-06 and more than 5% per year during 2007-08. Macedonia has maintained macroeconomic stability with low inflation, but it has so far lagged the region in attracting foreign investment and creating jobs, despite making extensive fiscal and business sector reforms. Official unemployment remains high at nearly 35%, but may be overstated based on the existence of an extensive gray market, estimated to be more than 20% of GDP, that is not captured by official statistics. In the wake of the global economic downturn, Macedonia has experienced decreased foreign direct investment, lowered credit, and a slowdown of export growth. The Government of Macedonia now predicts growth in 2009 to be no more than 3%.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$18.78 billion (2008 est.)
$17.84 billion (2007 est.)
$16.84 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars Macedonia has a large informal sector
GDP (official exchange rate):
$9.569 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.3% (2008 est.)
5.9% (2007 est.)
3.7% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$9,100 (2008 est.)
$8,700 (2007 est.)
$8,200 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 11.5%
industry: 27.8%
services: 60.7% (2008 est.)
Labor force:
925,000 (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 19.6%
industry: 30.4%
services: 50% (September 2007)
Unemployment rate:
33.5% (2008 est.) 34.9% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
29.8% (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 29.6% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
39 (2003)
Investment (gross fixed):
20.6% of GDP (2008 est.)
revenues: $3.167 billion
expenditures: $3.239 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt:
30.6% of GDP (2008 est.) 20% of GDP (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.3% (2008 est.) 2.3% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
6.5% (31 December 2008) 6.5% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
8.01% (31 December 2008) 10.23% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
$1.307 billion (31 December 2008) $1.173 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$3.3 billion (31 December 2008) $3.127 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$3.906 billion (31 December 2008) $2.924 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA (31 December 2008) $2.715 billion (31 December 2007) $1.098 billion (31 December 2006)
Agriculture - products:
grapes, wine, tobacco, vegetables, fruits; milk, eggs
food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, iron, steel, cement, energy, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate:
4% (2008 est.)
Electricity - production:
6.376 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
7.358 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports:
2.491 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption:
21,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports:
7,410 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports:
26,730 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
70 million cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008)
Natural gas - imports:
70 million cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
Current account balance:
$-1.209 billion (2008 est.) $-247 million (2007 est.)
$3.97 billion (2008 est.) $3.35 billion (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
food, beverages, tobacco; textiles, miscellaneous manufactures, iron and steel
Exports - partners:
Serbia and Montenegro 20.5%, Germany 15.5%, Greece 12.5%, Bulgaria 10.2%, Italy 8.9%, Croatia 6.6% (2008)
$6.522 billion (2008 est.) $4.976 billion (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, automobiles, chemicals, fuels, food products
Imports - partners:
Germany 13.3%, Greece 12.4%, Bulgaria 9.9%, Serbia and Montenegro 7%, Italy 6.3%, Turkey 5.6%, Slovenia 5.3%, Poland 4.4% (2008)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$2.109 billion (31 December 2008 est.) $2.265 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
$4.363 billion (31 December 2008 est.) $3.967 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$2.405 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Exchange rates:
Macedonian denars (MKD) per US dollar - 41.414 (2008 est.), 44.732 (2007), 48.978 (2006), 48.92 (2005), 49.41 (2004)
   Communications    Macedonia Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
457,100 (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
2.502 million (2008)
Telephone system:
general assessment: competition from the mobile-cellular segment of the telecommunications market has led to a drop in fixed-line telephone subscriptions
domestic: combined fixed line and mobile telephone subscribership approaching 150 per 100 persons
international: country code - 389 (2008)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 29, FM 32, shortwave 0 (2008)
Television broadcast stations:
52 (2007)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
57,763 (2009)
Internet users:
847,900 (2008)
   Transportation    Macedonia Top of Page
14 (2009)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
under 914 m: 8 (2009)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2009)
gas 268 km; oil 120 km (2008)
total: 699 km
standard gauge: 699 km 1.435-m gauge (223 km electrified) (2008)
total: 13,182 km (includes 208 km of expressways) (2002)
   Military    Macedonia Top of Page
Military branches:
Army of the Republic of Macedonia (ARM): Joint Operational Command, with subordinate Air Wing (Makedonsko Voeno Vozduhoplovstvo, MVV), Special Operations Regiment (2009)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2007)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 532,856
females age 16-49: 513,684 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 444,247
females age 16-49: 427,556 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 14,596
female: 13,881 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures:
6% of GDP (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Macedonia Top of Page
Kosovo and Macedonia completed demarcation of their boundary in September 2008; Greece continues to reject the use of the name Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia
Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: fewer than 1,000 (ethnic conflict in 2001) (2007)
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

This page was last updated on 14 May 2009


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