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, and democratic backsliding 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 (OFA), 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.
Macedonia has been engulfed in a political crisis that began after the 2014 legislative and presidential election, and which escalated in 2015 when opposition party began releasing wiretap content that it alleged showed widespread government corruption. Although Macedonia became an EU candidate in 2005, the country still faces challenges, including overcoming the political crisis, fully implementing OFA, resolving the outstanding name dispute with Greece, improving relations with Bulgaria, halting democratic backsliding, and stimulating economic growth and development. At the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest, Romania, the Allies agreed that Macedonia would be invited to join the Alliance as soon as a mutually acceptable resolution to the name dispute was reached with Greece.



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


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


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


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


mean elevation: 741 m
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)

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


2,100,025 (July 2016 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 est.)


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


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

Age structure

0-14 years: 17.27% (male 187,752/female 174,935)
15-24 years: 13.69% (male 148,340/female 139,195)
25-54 years: 43.65% (male 465,622/female 451,028)
55-64 years: 12.3% (male 126,548/female 131,749)
65 years and over: 13.09% (male 117,787/female 157,069) (2016 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: 37.5 years
male: 36.4 years
female: 38.6 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

0.18% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

11.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

9.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Population distribution

a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations


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 (2016 est.)

Child labor - children ages 5-14

total number: 16,782
percentage: 6% (2005 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

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

Infant mortality rate

total: 7.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 76.2 years
male: 73.6 years
female: 79 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.6 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

40.2% (2011)

Health expenditures

6.5% of GDP (2014)

Physicians density

2.62 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density

4.5 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source

urban: 99.8% of population
rural: 98.9% of population
total: 99.4% of population
urban: 0.2% of population
rural: 1.1% of population
total: 0.6% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 97.2% of population
rural: 82.6% of population
total: 90.9% of population
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

20.8% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

1.3% (2011)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.8%
male: 98.8%
female: 96.8% (2015 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2012)

Mother's mean age at first birth

26.6 (2013 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 53.1%
male: 52%
female: 55% (2014 est.)


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 republic


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


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

National holiday

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


history: several previous; latest adopted 17 November 1991, effective 20 November 1991
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by at least 30 members of the Assembly, or by petition of at least 150,000 citizens; draft amendments require approval by majority vote of Assembly members, followed by public debate; final passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Assembly members; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)

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 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


18 years of age; universal

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]

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 the Assembly, 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%, other 3.6%

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 11 December 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - VMRO-DPMNE 39.4%, SDSM coalition 37.9%, BDI 7.5%, Besa Movement 5.0%, Alliance for Albanians 3.1%, PDSh 2.7%, other 4.4%; seats by party - VMRO-DPMNE 51, SDSM coalition 49, BDI 10, Besa Movement 5, Alliance for Albanians 3, PDSh 2

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 Assembly for nonrenewable, 9-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Basic Courts

Political parties and leaders

Alliance for Albanians
Besa Movement [Bilal KASAMI]
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 2016 parliamentary elections VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM each led coalitions

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Vasko NAUMOVSKI (since 18 November 2014)
chancery: 2129 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 667-0501
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2131
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Detroit, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jess L. BAILY (since 12 February 2015)
embassy: Str. Samolilova, Nr. 21, 1000 Skopje
mailing address: American Embassy Skopje, US Department of State, 7120 Skopje Place, Washington, DC 20521-7120 (pouch)
telephone: [389] (2) 310-2000
FAX: [389] (2) 310-2499

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


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.

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. Unemployment has remained consistently high at about 30% since 2008, but may be overst

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 po

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$30.13 billion (2016 est.)
$29.48 billion (2015 est.)
$28.44 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars; Macedonia has a large informal sector that may not be reflected in these data

GDP (official exchange rate)

$10.49 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

2.2% (2016 est.)
3.7% (2015 est.)
3.5% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$14,500 (2016 est.)
$14,200 (2015 est.)
$13,700 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

30.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
29.7% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 68%
government consumption: 16.8%
investment in fixed capital: 17.6%
investment in inventories: 12.8%
exports of goods and services: 50%
imports of goods and services: -65.2% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 11.2%
industry: 26.3%
services: 62.5% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

grapes, tobacco, vegetables, fruits; milk, eggs


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

Industrial production growth rate

3.1% (2016 est.)

Labor force

957,400 (2016 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 18.3%
industry: 29.1%
services: 52.6% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate

24.9% (2016 est.)
26.1% (2015 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

43.6 (2013)
39.2 (2011)

Taxes and other revenues

29.2% of GDP (2016 est.)


revenues: $3.063 billion
expenditures: $3.44 billion (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

50.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
46.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: official data from Ministry of Finance; data cover central government debt; this data exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; include treasury debt held by foreign entitites; exclude debt issued by sub-na

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.1% (2016 est.)
-0.2% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

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

7.1% (31 December 2016 est.)
7.08% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$1.899 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.797 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$6.129 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.282 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$5.534 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.308 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$2.084 billion (31 December 2014)
$2.302 billion (31 December 2013)
$2.423 billion (31 December 2012)

Current account balance

-$194 million (2016 est.)
-$141 million (2015 est.)


$3.166 billion (2016 est.)
$3.372 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

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

Exports - partners

Germany 33.2%, Kosovo 11.5%, Bulgaria 5.1%, Greece 4.5% (2015)


$5.011 billion (2016 est.)
$5.393 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

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

Imports - partners

Germany 15.9%, UK 13.6%, Greece 10.9%, Serbia 8.7%, Bulgaria 6.7%, Turkey 5.5%, Italy 4.7% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.576 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.471 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$7.68 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$7.029 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$6.373 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.123 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$749.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$599.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

Macedonian denars (MKD) per US dollar -
56.82 (2016 est.)
55.537 (2015 est.)
55.537 (2014 est.)
46.437 (31 December 2013 est.)
47.89 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Electricity - production

4.569 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

6.96 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

112.9 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - imports

3.073 billion kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

2.011 million kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

64.5% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

33% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

2.6% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

146 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

1,719 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

20,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

2,616 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

17,950 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2014)

Natural gas - consumption

134.7 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2014)

Natural gas - imports

134.7 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (31 December 2014 )

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

7.9 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 372,557
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 2.223 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 106 (July 2015 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 120 per 100 persons
international: country code - 389 (2015)

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; (2012)

Internet country code


Internet users

1.475 million
70.4% (July 2015 est.)


Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Z3 (2016)


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)


gas 268 km; oil 120 km (2013)


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


total: 14,182 km (includes 242 km of expressways)
paved: 9,633 km
unpaved: 4,549 km (2014)


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

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: 667 (2015)
note: 478,004 refugee and migrant arrivals (2015 - November 2016 est.)

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