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Yugoslavia: Urban Problems
Country Study > Chapter 2 > The Society and Its Environment > Urbanization and Housing > Urban Problems


Yugoslav cities grew without adequate planning. Regardless of region, people with tenure in socially owned apartments lived mostly in the city centers, while privately owned homes were located farther out. The chronic housing shortage resulted in the development of sizeable unplanned settlements on the periphery of large cities. These settlements often lacked paved streets, running water, or sewer lines. Gypsy shantytowns also surrounded many urban areas. City inspectors were reluctant to evict the inhabitants of these areas because eviction would cause a public outcry and appear to be discrimination against the poor.

Yugoslavia's speedy urbanization brought many problems associated in the West with life in big cities. Drug use, although still relatively uncommon, grew steadily in the 1980s. Drug traffickers frequented Yugoslavia's main roadways, carrying heroin and other drugs to Western Europe from sources in the Middle East. Some of these drugs found their way into Yugoslavia's drug underground. Urban treatment facilities registered about 2,000 drug addicts, but the total number of drug abusers was estimated at 10,000 in 1988. The Yugoslav government's antidrug program consisted of a campaign to interdict drug shipments, treat drug abusers, and prevent drug abuse.

Data as of December 1990

Last Updated: December 1990

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Yugoslavia was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Yugoslavia Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 64 of 208


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