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The central Balkans were part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires before ethnic Serbs migrated to the territories of modern Kosovo in the 7th century. During the medieval period, Kosovo became the center of a Serbian Empire and saw the construction of many important Serb religious sites, including many architecturally significant Serbian Orthodox monasteries. The defeat of Serbian forces at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 led to five centuries of Ottoman rule during which large numbers of Turks and Albanians moved to Kosovo. By the end of the 19th century, Albanians replaced the Serbs as the dominant ethnic group in Kosovo. Serbia reacquired control over Kosovo from the Ottoman Empire during the First Balkan War of 1912. After World War II, Kosovo became an autonomous province of Serbia in the Socialist Federal... See More



 Southeast Europe, between Serbia and Macedonia

Geographic Coordinates:

 42 35 N, 21 00 E


 Total: 10,887 sq km
Land: 10,887 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly larger than Delaware

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 702 km
Border countries: Albania 112 km, Macedonia 159 km, Montenegro 79 km, Serbia 352 km


 0 km (landlocked) (Rank: 220)

Maritime Claims:

 None (landlocked)


 Influenced by continental air masses resulting in relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns; Mediterranean and alpine influences create regional variation; maximum rainfall between October and December


 Flat fluvial basin with an elevation of 400-700 m above sea level surrounded by several high mountain ranges with elevations of 2,000 to 2,500 m

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Drini i Bardhe/Beli Drim 297 m (located on the border with Albania)
Highest point: Gjeravica/Deravica 2,656 m

Natural Resources:

 Nickel, lead, zinc, magnesium, lignite, kaolin, chrome, bauxite

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 Noun: Kosovar (Albanian), Kosovac (Serbian)
Adjective: Kosovar (Albanian), Kosovski (Serbian)

Note: Kosovan, a neutral term, is sometimes also used as a noun or adjective

Ethnic Groups:

 Albanians 92%, other (Serb, Bosniak, Gorani, Roma, Turk, Ashkali, Egyptian) 8% (2008)


 Albanian (official), Serbian (official), Bosnian, Turkish, Roma


 Muslim, Serbian Orthodox, Roman Catholic


 1,825,632 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 27.2% (male 258,078/female 237,987)
15-64 years: 66.1% (male 630,350/female 576,946)
65 years and over: 6.7% (male 51,668/female 70,603) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 26.7 years
Male: 26.3 years
Female: 27.2 years (2011 est.)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.085 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Education Expenditures:

 4.3% of GDP (2008)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 91.9%
Male: 96.6%
Female: 87.5% (2007 Census)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Republic of Kosovo
Conventional short form: Kosovo
Local long form: Republika e Kosoves (Republika Kosovo)
Local short form: Kosova (Kosovo)

Government Type:



 Name: Pristina (Prishtine, Prishtina)
Geographic coordinates: 42 40 N, 21 10 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:

 37 municipalities (komunat, singular - komuna in Albanian; opstine, singular - opstina in Serbian); Decan (Decani), Dragash (Dragas), Ferizaj (Urosevac), Fushe Kosove (Kosovo Polje), Gjakove (Dakovica), Gjilan (Gnjilane), Gllogovc/Drenas (Glogovac), Gracanice (Gracanica), Hani i Elezit (Deneral Jankovic), Istog (Istok), Junik, Kacanik, Kamenice/Dardana (Kamenica), Kline (Klina), Kllokot-Verboc (Klokot-Vrbovac), Leposaviq (Leposavic), Lipjan (Lipljan), Malisheve (Malisevo), Mamushe (Mamusa), Mitrovice (Mitrovica), Novoberde (Novo Brdo), Obiliq (Obilic), Partesh (Partes), Peje (Pec), Podujeve (Podujevo), Prishtine (Pristina), Prizren, Rahovec (Orahovac), Ranillug (Ranilug), Shterpce (Strpce), Shtime (Stimlje), Skenderaj (Srbica), Suhareke (Suva Reka), Viti (Vitina), Vushtrri (Vucitrn), Zubin Potok, Zvecan

note - the Government of Kosovo has announced that the current Mitrovice (Mitrovica) municipality is to be split into Mitrovice (Mitrovica) North and Mitrovice (Mitrovica) South


 17 February 2008 (from Serbia)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 17 February (2008)


 Adopted by the Kosovo Assembly 9 April 2008; effective 15 June 2008

Legal System:

 Evolving legal system; mixture of applicable Kosovo law, UNMIK laws and regulations, and applicable laws of the Former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia that were in effect in Kosovo as of 22 March 1989

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Atifete JAHJAGA (since 7 April 2011);

Head of government: Prime Minister Hashim THACI (since 9 January 2008)

Cabinet: ministers; elected by the Kosovo Assembly

Elections: the president is elected for a five-year term by the Kosovo Assembly; election last held on 7 April 2011; note - the prime minister elected by the Kosovo Assembly

Election results: Atifete JAHJAGA elected in one round (JAHJAGA 80, Suzana NOVOBERDALIU 10); Hashim THACI elected prime minister by the Assembly

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral national Assembly (120 seats; 100 seats directly elected, 10 seats guaranteed for ethnic Serbs, 10 seats guaranteed for other ethnic minorities; members to serve four-year terms)

Elections: last held on 12 December 2010 with runoff elections in a few municipalities in January 2011 (next expected to be held in 2015)

Election results: percent of vote by party - PDK 30.1%, LDK 23.9%, Vetevendosje 12.4%, AAK 10.6%, smaller party coalition 7.1%, SLS 7.1%, JSL 3.5%, KDTP 2.7%, VAKAT 1.8%, and BSDAK 0.9%; seats by party - PDK 34, LDK 27, Vetevendosje 14, AAK 12, smaller party coalition 8, SLS 8, JSL 4, KDTP 3, VAKAT 2, BSDAK 1

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court; Appellate Court; basic courts; Constitutional Court

Note: the Law on Courts, which went into effect on 1 January 2011, provided for a reorganization of the court system; the Kosovo Constitution dictates that the Supreme Court of Kosovo is the highest judicial authority, and provides for a Kosovo Judicial Council (KJC) that proposes to the president candidates for appointment or reappointment as judges and prosecutors; the KJC is also responsible for decisions on the promotion and transfer of judges and disciplinary proceedings against judges; at least 15 percent of Supreme Court and district court judges shall be from non-majority communities

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Albanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosovo or PShDK [Marjan DEMAJ]; Alliance for a New Kosovo or AKR [Behgjet PACOLLI]; Alliance for the Future of Kosovo or AAK [Ramush HARADINAJ]; Alliance of Independent Social Democrats of Kosovo and Metohija or SDSKIM [Ljubisa ZIVIC]; Bosniak Vakat Coalition or DSV [Sadik IDRIZI]; Citizens' Initiative of Gora or GIG [Murselj HALJILJI]; Democratic Action Party or SDA [Numan BALIC]; Democratic League of Dardania or LDD [Nexhat DACI]; Democratic League of Kosovo or LDK [Isa MUSTAFA]; Democratic Party of Ashkali of Kosovo or PDAK [Berat QERIMI]; Democratic Party of Bosniaks [Dzezair MURATI]; Democratic Party of Kosovo or PDK [Hashim THACI]; Independent Liberal Party or SLS [Slobadan PETROVIC]; Kosovo Democratic Turkish Party of KDTP [Mahir YAGCILAR]; Movement for Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) [Albin KURTI]; New Democratic Initiative of Kosovo or IRDK [Xhevdet NEZIRAJ]; New Democratic Party or ND [Predrag JOVIC]; New Spirit or FER [Shpend AHMETI]; Serb National Party or SNS [Mihailo SCEPANOVIC]; Serbian Democratic Party of Kosovo and Metohija or SDS KiM [Slavisa PETKOVIC]; Serbian Kosovo and Metohija Party or SKMS [Dragisa MIRIC]; Serbian National Council of Northern Kosovo and Metohija or SNV [Milan IVANOVIC]; Social Democratic Party of Kosovo or PSDK [Agim CEKU]; Socialist Party of Kosovo or PSK [Emrush XHEMAJLI]; United Roma Party of Kosovo or PREBK [Ilaz KADOLLI]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedom (human rights); Organization for Democracy, Anti-Corruption and Dignity Rise! [Avni ZOGIANI]; Serb National Council (SNV); The Speak Up Movement [Ramadan ILAZI]

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Avni SPAHIU
Chancery: 1101 30th Street NW, Suites 330/340, Washington, DC 20007
Telephone: 202-380-3581
FAX: 202-380-3628
Consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher William DELL
Embassy: Arberia/Dragodan, Nazim Hikmet 30, Pristina, Kosovo
Mailing address: use embassy street address
Telephone: [381] 38 59 59 3000
FAX: [381] 38 549 890

Flag Description:

 Centered on a dark blue field is the geographical shape of Kosovo in a gold color surmounted by six white, five-pointed stars arrayed in a slight arc; each star represents one of the major ethnic groups of Kosovo: Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Gorani, Roma, and Bosniaks

National Anthem:

 Name: "Europe"
Lyrics/music: none/Mendi MENGJIQI

Note: adopted 2008; Kosovo chose to not include lyrics in its anthem so as not to offend minority ethnic groups in the country

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Economy - Overview:

 Over the past few years Kosovo's economy has shown significant progress in transitioning to a market-based system and maintaining macroeconomic stability, but it is still highly dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and technical assistance. Remittances from the diaspora - located mainly in Germany, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries - are estimated to account for about 13-15% of GDP, and donor-financed activities and aid for another 7.5%. Kosovo's citizens are the poorest in Europe with an average annual per capita income of only $2,800. Unemployment, around 40% of the population, is a significant problem that encourages outward migration and black market activity. Most of Kosovo's population lives in rural towns outside of the capital, Pristina. Inefficient, near-subsistence farming is common - the result of small plots, limited mechanization, and lack of technical expertise. With international assistance, Kosovo has been able to privatize 50% of its state-owned enterprises (SOEs) by number, and over 90% of SOEs by value. Minerals and metals - including lignite, lead, zinc, nickel, chrome, aluminum, magnesium, and a wide variety of construction materials - once formed the backbone of industry, but output has declined because of ageing equipment and insufficient investment. A limited and unreliable electricity supply due to technical and financial problems is a major impediment to economic development, but Kosovo has received technical assistance to help improve accounting and controls. The US Government is cooperating with the Ministry for Energy and Mines and the World Bank to prepare a commercial tender for a project to include construction of a new power plant and the development of a coal mine to supply the new power plant as well as two existing plants. Privatization of the distribution and supply divisions of Kosovo Energy Corporation is also planned. The official currency of Kosovo is the euro, but the Serbian dinar is also used in Serb enclaves. Kosovo's tie to the euro has helped keep core inflation low. Kosovo has one of the most open economies in the region, and continues to work with the international community on measures to improve the business environment and attract foreign investment. Kosovo has maintained a budget surplus as a result of efficient value added tax (VAT) collection at the borders and inefficient budget execution. In order to help integrate Kosovo into regional economic structures, UNMIK signed (on behalf of Kosovo) its accession to the Central Europe Free Trade Area (CEFTA) in 2006. However, Serbia and Bosnia have refused to recognize Kosovo's customs stamp or extend reduced tariff privileges for Kosovo products under CEFTA. In July 2008, Kosovo received pledges of $1.9 billion from 37 countries in support of its reform priorities. In June 2009, Kosovo joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and Kosovo began servicing its share of the former Yugoslavia's debt.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $11.97 billion (2010 est.)
$11.51 billion (2009 est.)
$11.19 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $5.601 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 4% (2010 est.)
2.9% (2009 est.)
6.9% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $6,600 (2010 est.)
$6,400 (2009 est.)
$5,300 (2008 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 12.9%
Industry: 22.6%
Services: 64.5% (2009 est.)

Labor Force:

 310,000 (2009 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 23.6%
Industry: NA
Services: NA (2010)

Unemployment Rate:

 45% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 30% (2010 est.)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 30 (FY05/06) (FY05/06)

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 IDP's: 21,000 (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 35% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $1.458 billion
Expenditures: $1.581 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 26% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -2.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 NA% of GDP (2010)
7% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 3.5% (2010 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 14.31% (31 December 2010 est.)
14.09% (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Wheat, corn, berries, potatoes, peppers


 Mineral mining, construction materials, base metals, leather, machinery, appliances

Electricity - Production:

 4.777 billion kWh (2009)

Electricity - Consumption:

 5.388 billion kWh (2009)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2007)

Oil - Consumption:

 NA bbl/day

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 NA bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2007)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2007)

Current Account Balance:

 -$2.716 billion (2010 est.)
-$2.408 billion (2009 est.)


 $527 million (2007 est.) (2007 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Mining and processed metal products, scrap metals, leather products, machinery, appliances

Exports - Partners:

 Bosnia and Herzegovina 13.1%, Italy 10.9%, Germany 9.9%, Austria 5.4%, Slovenia 5.4%, Macedonia, The Former Yugo Rep of 5.1%, Russia 4.6%, Hungary 4.3% (2009)


 $2.6 billion (2007 est.) (2007 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Foodstuffs, wood, petroleum, chemicals, machinery and electrical equipment

Imports - Partners:

 Germany 12.2%, Italy 9.5%, Hungary 6.8%, Slovenia 6.6%, Austria 4.9%, Romania 4% (2009)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $21.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$21.32 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Euro to Any Currency

Euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.755 (2010)
0.7198 (2009)
0.6827 (2008)
0.7345 (2007)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 106,300 (2006)

Telephones - Cellular:

 562,000 (2007)

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 8 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
Under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 4
Under 914 m: 4 (2010)


 2 (2010)


 Total: 430 km
Standard gauge: 430 km 1.435-m gauge (2007)


 Total: 1,926 km
Paved: 1,668 km
Unpaved: 258 km (2009)

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Military Branches:

 Kosovo Security Force (2010)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 430,926
Females age 16-49: 389,614 (2010 est.)

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Disputes - International:

 Serbia with several other states protest the US and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaring itself as a sovereign and independent state in February 2008; ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo's northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundary; several thousand NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers under UNMIK authority continue to keep the peace within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority in Kosovo; Kosovo and Macedonia completed demarcation of their boundary in September 2008

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Last Updated: December 2011

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