Macedonia

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Macedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991. Greek objection to Macedonia’s name, insisting it implies territorial pretensions to the northern Greek province of the same name, have stalled the country’s movement toward Euro-Atlantic integration. Immediately after Macedonia declared independence, Greece sought to block Macedonian efforts to gain UN membership if the name “Macedonia” was used. Macedonia was eventually admitted to the UN in 1993 as “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” and at the same time it agreed to UN-sponsored negotiations on the name dispute. In 1995, Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo and the two countries agreed to normalize relations, but the issue of the name remained unresolved and negotiations for a solution are ongoing. Since 2004, the US and over 130 other nations have recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia. Ethnic Albanian grievances over perceived political and economic inequities escalated into an insurgency in 2001 that eventually led to the internationally brokered Ohrid Framework Agreement, which ended the fighting and established guidelines for constitutional amendments and the creation of new laws that enhanced the rights of minorities. Relations between Macedonians and ethnic Albanians remain fragile, however. Although Macedonia became an EU candidate in 2005, the country still faces challenges, including fully implementing the Framework Agreement, resolving the outstanding name dispute with Greece, improving relations with Bulgaria, halting democratic backsliding, and stimulating economic growth and development. Macedonia's membership in NATO was blocked by Greece at the Alliance's Summit of Bucharest in 2008.

Geography

Location

Southeastern Europe, north of Greece

Geographic coordinates

41.50° N, 22.00° E

Area 150/257

total: 25,713 sq km

land: 25,433 sq km

water: 280 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Vermont

Land boundaries

total: 838 km

border countries (5): Albania 181 km, Bulgaria 162 km, Greece 234 km, Kosovo 160 km, Serbia 101 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

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

Terrain

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

Elevation

mean elevation:

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

agricultural land: 44.3%

arable land 16.4%; permanent crops 1.4%; permanent pasture 26.5%

forest: 39.8%

other: 15.9% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

1,280 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

6.4 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 1.03 cu km/yr (21%/67%/12%)

per capita: 502 cu m/yr (2007)

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 and Society

Nationality

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 est.)

Languages

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

Religions

Macedonian Orthodox 64.8%, Muslim 33.3%, other Christian 0.4%, other and unspecified 1.5% (2002 est.)

Population 146/238

2,096,015 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 17.48% (male 189,719/female 176,751)

15-24 years: 13.88% (male 150,048/female 140,834)

25-54 years: 43.69% (male 464,811/female 450,914)

55-64 years: 12.21% (male 125,327/female 130,617)

65 years and over: 12.74% (male 114,357/female 152,637) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 41.4%

youth dependency ratio: 24%

elderly dependency ratio: 17.4%

potential support ratio: 5.7% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 37.2 years

male: 36.1 years

female: 38.3 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 184/233

0.2% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 170/224

11.55 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 67/225

9.08 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 135/222

-0.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 57.1% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0.11% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

SKOPJE (capital) 503,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

26.2 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 153/184

8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 156/224

total: 7.7 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 7.96 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 90/224

total population: 76.02 years

male: 73.44 years

female: 78.79 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 180/224

1.6 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

40.2% (2011)

Health expenditures 79/191

6.4% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

2.62 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density

4.5 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 99.8% of population

rural: 98.9% of population

total: 99.4% of population

unimproved:

urban: 0.2% of population

rural: 1.1% of population

total: 0.6% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 97.2% of population

rural: 82.6% of population

total: 90.9% of population

unimproved:

urban: 2.8% of population

rural: 17.4% of population

total: 9.1% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.01% (2013 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

200 (2013 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

fewer than 100 (2013 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 92/191

20.8% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 128/138

1.3% (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 4/134

total: 51.9%

male: 52.5%

female: 51% (2013 est.)

Government

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

etymology: the country name derives from the ancient kingdom of Macedon (7th to 2nd centuries B.C.)

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Capital

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

70 municipalities (opstini, singular - opstina) and 1 city* (grad); Aracinovo, Berovo, Bitola, Bogdanci, Bogovinje, Bosilovo, Brvenica, Caska, Centar Zupa, Cesinovo-Oblesevo, Cucer Sandevo, Debar, Debarca, Delcevo, Demir Hisar, Demir Kapija, Dojran, Dolneni, Gevgelija, Gostivar, Gradsko, Ilinden, Jegunovce, Karbinci, Kavadarci, Kicevo, Kocani, Konce, Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Krivogastani, Krusevo, Kumanovo, Lipkovo, Lozovo, Makedonska Kamenica, Makedonski Brod, Mavrovo i Rostusa, Mogila, Negotino, Novaci, Novo Selo, Ohrid, Pehcevo, Petrovec, Plasnica, Prilep, Probistip, Radovis, Rankovce, Resen, Rosoman, Skopje*, Sopiste, Staro Nagoricane, Stip, Struga, Strumica, Studenicani, Sveti Nikole, Tearce, Tetovo, Valandovo, Vasilevo, Veles, Vevcani, Vinica, Vrapciste, Zelenikovo, Zelino, Zrnovci

Independence

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

National holiday

Independence Day, 8 September (1991); also known as National Day

Constitution

several previous; latest adopted 17 November 1991, effective 20 November 1991; amended several times, last in 2011 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Macedonia

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Gjorge IVANOV (since 12 May 2009)

head of government: Interim Prime Minister Emil DIMITRIEV (since 18 January 2016); Prime Minister Nikola GRUEVSKI (since 26 August 2006) resigned on 15 January 2016

cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Assembly by simple majority vote; note - the 2014 cabinet formed by the government coalition parties VMRO-DPMNE, DUI, and several small parties; as a result of an agreement reached in July 2015 between the largest parties to resolve a 16-month opposition boycott of parliament, several minister and deputy minister positions were also given to the opposition SDSM

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 13 and 27 April 2014 (next to be held in 2019); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually elected prime minister by the Assembly

election results: Gjorge IVANOV reelected president in second round; percent of vote - Gjorge IVANOV (independent) 55.3%, Stevo PENDAROVSKI (SDSM) 41.1%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly or Sobranie (123 seats; 120 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 3 directly elected in diaspora constituencies worldwide by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 27 April 2014 (next to be held on 24 April 2016); note - election has been moved up because of political unrest

election results: percent of vote by party - VMRO-DPMNE 43.0%, SDSM 25.3%, BDI 13.7%, PDSh 5.9%, GROM 2.8%, RDK 1.6%, other 4.3%, invalid 3.4%; seats by party - VMRO-DPMNE 61, SDSM 34, BDI 19, PDSh 7, GROM 1, RDK 1

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consist of NA judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Judicial Council, a 7-member body of legal professionals, and appointed by the Assembly; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the legislature for nonrenewable, 9-year terms

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Basic Courts

Political parties and leaders

Citizens Option for Macedonia or GROM [Stevco JAKIMOVSKI]

Democratic Party of Albanians or PDSh [Menduh THACI]

Democratic Union for Integration or BDI [Ali AHMETI]

Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization - Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity or VMRO-DPMNE [Nikola GRUEVSKI]

National Democratic Revival or RDK [Vesel MEMEDI]

Social Democratic Union of Macedonia or SDSM [Zoran ZAEV]

note: during the 2014 parliamentary elections VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, and GROM each led coalitions

Political pressure groups and leaders

Federation of Free Trade Unions [Mirjana ANDREVSKA]

Federation of Trade Unions [Zivko MITREVSKI]

Trade Union of Education, Science and Culture or SONK [Jakim NEDELKOV]

Student Plenum

Eco Guerilla [Arianit XHAFERI]

International organization participation

BIS, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EU (candidate country), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Flag description

a yellow sun (the Sun of Liberty) with eight broadening rays extending to the edges of the red field; the red and yellow colors have long been associated with Macedonia

National symbol(s)

eight-rayed sun; national colors: red, yellow

National anthem

name: "Denes nad Makedonija" (Today Over Macedonia)

lyrics/music: Vlado MALESKI/Todor SKALOVSKI

note: adopted 1991; written in 1943, the song previously served as the anthem of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia while part of Yugoslavia

Economy

Economy - overview

Since its independence in 1991, Macedonia has made progress in liberalizing its economy and improving its business environment, but has lagged the Balkan region in attracting foreign investment. Corruption and weak rule of law remain significant problems. Some businesses complain of opaque regulations and unequal enforcement of the law. Unemployment has remained consistently high at more than 30% since 2008, but may be overstated based on the existence of an extensive gray market, estimated to be between 20% and 45% of GDP, which is not captured by official statistics. Macedonia’s economy is closely linked to Europe as a customer for exports and source of investment, and has suffered as a result of prolonged weakness in the euro zone. Macedonia maintained macroeconomic stability through the global financial crisis by conducting prudent monetary policy, which keeps the domestic currency pegged against the euro, and by limiting fiscal deficits. The government has been loosening fiscal policy, however, and the budget deficit was 4.2% of GDP in both 2013 and 2014, gradually falling to 3.7% in 2015. Public debt at the end of 2015 was 40.3%, which although low by regional comparison, is significant for a small economy.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 131/230

$28.89 billion (2015 est.)

$27.99 billion (2014 est.)

$26.98 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars; Macedonia has a large informal sector that may not be reflected in these data

GDP (official exchange rate)

$10.09 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 91/225

3.2% (2015 est.)

3.8% (2014 est.)

2.7% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 114/230

$14,000 (2015 est.)

$13,500 (2014 est.)

$13,000 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 20/179

30.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

29.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

26.7% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 69.1%

government consumption: 16.6%

investment in fixed capital: 24%

investment in inventories: 6.8%

exports of goods and services: 52%

imports of goods and services: -68.5%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 10.2%

industry: 24.9%

services: 64.9% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

grapes, tobacco, vegetables, fruits; milk, eggs

Industries

food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, iron, steel, cement, energy, pharmaceuticals, automotive parts

Industrial production growth rate 88/202

3% (2015 est.)

Labor force 147/233

961,900 (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 18.3%

industry: 29.1%

services: 52.6% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate 181/207

26.9% (2015 est.)

28% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

30.4% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.2%

highest 10%: 34.5% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 48/144

43.6 (2013)

39.2 (2011)

Budget

revenues: $2.709 billion

expenditures: $3.084 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 108/219

26.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 138/220

-3.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 110/176

40.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

31.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

note: official data from Ministry of Finance; data cover central government debt; this data excludes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; includes treasury debt held by foreign entitites; excludes debt issued by sub-national entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; there are no debt instruments sold for social funds

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 33/226

-0.1% (2015 est.)

-0.1% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 102/156

3.25% (31 December 2014)

3.25% (31 December 2013)

note: series discontinued in January 2010; the discount rate has been replaced by a referent rate for calculating the penalty rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate 104/184

8.5% (31 December 2015 est.)

8.16% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 141/192

$1.424 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.686 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 124/193

$6.129 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$6.282 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 125/191

$4.436 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$5.093 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 99/121

$2.084 billion (31 December 2014)

$2.302 billion (31 December 2013)

$2.423 billion (31 December 2012)

Current account balance 86/197

-$327 million (2015 est.)

-$151 million (2014 est.)

Exports 117/224

$3.945 billion (2015 est.)

$3.681 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco; textiles, miscellaneous manufactures, iron, steel; automotive parts

Exports - partners

Germany 41.4%, Bulgaria 6.6%, Italy 6.1%, Serbia 5.2%, Kosovo 4.7%, Greece 4.6% (2014 est.)

Imports 116/223

$6.212 billion (2015 est.)

$6.15 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

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

Imports - partners

UK 12.3%, Germany 11.1%, Greece 9.2%, Serbia 8.2%, Italy 6.2%, China 5.9%, Bulgaria 5.3%, Turkey 5.1% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 112/170

$2.615 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$2.963 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 115/206

$7.241 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$7.194 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 95/120

$6.277 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$6.007 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 87/105

$543.5 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$500.5 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

Macedonian denars (MKD) per US dollar -

57.38 (2015 est.)

46.44 (2014 est.)

46.44 (31 December 2013 est.)

47.89 (2012 est.)

44.23 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 121/220

4.569 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption 105/219

6.96 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports 78/218

112.9 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports 51/219

3.073 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 107/214

2.011 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 122/214

64.5% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 140/214

0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 70/214

33% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 77/212

2.6% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Crude oil - production 167/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 160/214

0 bbl/day (2014)

Crude oil - imports 81/214

146 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 167/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 106/214

5,246 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 141/212

15,070 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 101/214

2,616 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 118/213

17,950 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Natural gas - production 102/216

0 cu m (2014)

Natural gas - consumption 107/215

134.7 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports 145/215

0 cu m (2014)

Natural gas - imports 71/214

134.7 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 170/212

0 cu m (31 December 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 110/212

8.084 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 105/219

total subscriptions: 390,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 19 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 147/217

total: 2.3 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 110 (2014 est.)

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-cellular telephone subscribership about 130 per 100 persons

international: country code - 389 (2012)

Broadcast media

public TV broadcaster operates 3 national channels and a satellite network; 5 privately owned TV channels broadcast nationally using terrestrial transmitters and about 15 broadcast on national level via satellite; roughly 75 local commercial TV stations; large number of cable operators offering domestic and international programming; public radio broadcaster operates over multiple stations; 3 privately owned radio stations broadcast nationally; about 70 local commercial radio stations (2012)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 1, FM 68, shortwave 0 (2009)

Television broadcast stations

76 (2009)

Internet country code

.mk

Internet hosts 92/232

62,826 (2012)

Internet users 121/217

1.1 million

51.1% (2009)

Transportation

Airports 155/236

10 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

under 914 m: 6 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 2

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Pipelines

gas 268 km; oil 120 km (2013)

Railways 101/136

total: 699 km

standard gauge: 699 km 1.435-m gauge (223 km electrified) (2014)

Roadways 124/223

total: 14,182 km (includes 242 km of expressways)

paved: 9,633 km

unpaved: 4,549 km (2014)

Military and Security

Military branches

Army of the Republic of Macedonia (ARM; includes General Staff and subordinate Joint Operational Command, Training and Doctrine Command, Special Operations Regiment) (2012)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2008 (2013)

Military expenditures 92/132

1.08% of GDP (2015)

1.17% of GDP (2014)

1.14% of GDP (2013)

1.2% of GDP (2012)

1.3% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

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

stateless persons: 741 (2014)

note: 446,206 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2016)

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