Nation at a Glance - Slovenia

History

The Slovene lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter's dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new multinational state, which was named Yugoslavia in 1929. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power by the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia's transformation to a modern state. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004; it joined the euro zone and the Schengen zone in 2007.

Location: South Central Europe, Julian Alps between Austria and Croatia

Border Countries: Austria 299 km, Croatia 600 km, Hungary 94 km, Italy 218 km

Total Area: 20,273 sq km Land: 20,151 sq km Water: 122 sq km

Climate: Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east

Terrain: A short southwestern coastal strip of Karst topography on the Adriatic; an alpine mountain region lies adjacent to Italy and Austria in the north; mixed mountains and valleys with numerous rivers to the east

Natural resources: Lignite, lead, zinc, building stone, hydropower, forests

Land use: Agricultural land: 22.8% arable land 8.4%; permanent crops 1.3%; permanent pasture 13.1% Forest: 62.3% Other: 14.9% (2011 est.)

Ethnic groups: Slovene 83.1%, Serb 2%, Croat 1.8%, Bosniak 1.1%, Other or unspecified 12% (2002 census)

Languages: Slovenian (official) 91.1%, Serbo-Croatian 4.5%, Other or unspecified 4.4%, Italian (official, only in municipalities where Italian national communities reside), Hungarian (official, only in municipalities where Hungarian national communities reside) (2002 census)

Religions: Catholic 57.8%, Muslim 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3%, other Christian 0.9%, Unaffiliated 3.5%, Other or unspecified 23%, None 10.1% (2002 census)

Population: 1,978,029 (July 2016 est.)

Literacy: 99.7%; Male: 99.7%; Female: 99.7% (2015 est.)

Administrative divisions: 201 municipalities (obcine, singular - obcina) and 11 urban municipalities (mestne obcine, singular - mestna obcina)

Economy: With excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe, Slovenia has one of the highest per capita GDPs in Central Europe, despite having suffered a protracted recession in the 2008-09 period in the wake of the global financial crisis. Slovenia became the first 2004 EU entrant to adopt the euro (on 1 January 2007) and has experienced a stable political and economic transition. In March 2004, Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank. In 2007, Slovenia was invited to begin the process for joining the OECD; it became a member in 2012. From 2014 to 2016, export-led growth, fueled by demand in larger European markets, pushed annual GDP growth above 2.3%. Growth reached 5.0% in 2017 and is projected to near or reach 5% in 2018. What used to be stubbornly high unemployment fell below 5.5% in early 2018, driven by strong exports and increasing consumption that boosted labor demand. Continued fiscal consolidation through increased tax collection and social security contributions will likely result in a balanced government budget in 2019. Prime Minister Cerar’s government took office in September 2014, pledging to press ahead with commitments to privatize a select group of state-run companies, rationalize public spending, and further stabilize the banking sector. Efforts to privatize Slovenia’s largely state-owned banking sector have largely stalled, however, amid concerns about an ongoing dispute over Yugoslav-era foreign currency deposits.

Agriculture - products: Hops, wheat, coffee, corn, apples, pears; cattle, sheep, poultry

Industries: Ferrous metallurgy and aluminum products, lead and zinc smelting; electronics (including military electronics), trucks, automobiles, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles, chemicals, machine tools

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