Kosovo Country Facts

Kosova – осово
Capital city Pristina
Surface 10,908 km²
Population 1,920,000
Road network length ? km
Length of highway network 140 km
First highway 2011
Motorway name Car pithighwayautoudhë
Traffic drives Right
License plate code RKS

Kosovo (Kosova) is a de facto independent country in Southeastern Europe. The country has 1.9 million inhabitants and the capital is Priština / Prishtinë. The Serbian name of the town is more common in the Netherlands. With an area of ​​10,908 km², the country is approximately the size of a quarter of the Netherlands.

Geography

Kosovo is located in the interior of the Western Balkans. It borders Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro. Kosovo measures a maximum of 145 kilometers from west to east and 155 kilometers from north to south. The country consists of two large valleys with mountain ranges along the edges, which has historically made it difficult to access and the reason is that Kosovo was not historically located on major transport links. The highest point is the 2,656 meter high Gjeravica in the border area with Montenegro. This mountain is located in the Bjeshkët e Nemuna, also known as the Albanian Alps. The Malet e Sharrit mountain range in the south also has peaks of more than 2,000 meters and is a national park in Kosovo. The central part of Kosovo is formed by two plains, historically known as Kosovo i Metohija, in Albanian Dukagjini. Only small rivers flow through Kosovo.

Kosovo has a continental climate with Mediterranean and Alpine characteristics. The average maximum temperature in Priština ranges from 2°C in January to 26°C in July. Kosovo has a precipitation of 600 mm per year, and is therefore on the dry side. Precipitation falls fairly uniformly throughout the year. In winter a lot of snow falls, especially in the mountains but also in the valleys.

Demographics

The exact population of Kosovo is unknown, but is estimated at 1.9 to 2.2 million inhabitants by the Statistical Office of Kosovo. The population consists of approximately 90% Albanians and 4-8% Kosovar Serbs. The Serbs mainly live in the far north of Kosovo. The Albanian population is growing significantly faster than the Serb population, Kosovo only achieved an Albanian majority in the 19th century, and because of the conflict in 1999, many Serbs fled to Serbia. The official languages ​​in Kosovo are Albanian and Serbian. Albanian is spoken by 90-95% of the population, the rest mainly speak Serbian and some Turkic languages.

Kosovo has two larger cities, Priština and Prizren. In addition, there are 13 cities with 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants, making Kosovo relatively urbanized. The 15 largest municipalities together account for about two-thirds of the total population of Kosovar.

Economy

Kosovo is in transition from the old Yugoslav planned economy, where the transition to a market economy was disrupted by the Kosovo war. The Kosovo economy is growing, but the level of prosperity is one of the lowest in Europe. The country remains heavily dependent on money from Kosovars who work abroad. Unemployment is the highest in Europe and is estimated at around 30%. Part of the economy is informal. In Kosovo people pay with the euro, but Kosovo is not part of the European Union or the Eurozone.

History

Kosovo was part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. The province of Kosovo in the Ottoman Empire was larger than modern-day Kosovo and also included parts of Albania and Macedonia. During the First Balkan War of 1912-1913, the Ottoman Empire lost its European territories, including Kosovo, which became part of the Kingdom of Serbia. During World War I, Kosovo was occupied by Bulgaria and Austria-Hungary. At the end of World War I in 1918, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was founded, which also included Kosovo. In the early 20th century, Kosovo was the scene of demographic change, with Albanians and Serbs trying to gain demographic dominance in Kosovo.

After the invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, Kosovo was assigned to Albania, which was under the rule of Italy. The demographic war culminated in a conflict between Serbs and Kosovars during the Italian occupation. After World War II, Kosovo again belonged to Yugoslavia and was an autonomous province of it. In the decades that followed, the share of Albanians in Kosovo increased sharply due to the high birth rates of Albanians, during this period their share increased from 75 to 90% of the population.

When Yugoslavia began to fall apart, the independent Republic of Kosovo was proclaimed in 1990. This country was recognized only by Albania. Because Yugoslavia was busy with the wars in Croatia and Bosnia, the Republic of Kosovo was able to exist for some time without large-scale intervention by Belgrade. However, in the mid-1990s, internal conflict broke out among the Albanians, in which the nonviolent resistance of President Rugova, elected in 1992, was defeated by the violent paramilitary groups of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA / UÇK). This led to the Kosovo War. In 1999, NATO bombed Yugoslavia to force a ceasefire. The war caused major population movements and demographic changes in Kosovo, which was increasingly dominated by Albanians. Later that year, Kosovo was placed under temporary UN administration, with it remaining territorially part of Yugoslavia. Kosovo finally declared its independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. The country is now recognized by a large number of countries, including most European countries.

 

 

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