Slovenia Country Facts

Capital city Ljubljana
Surface 39,000 km²
Population 2,109,000
Road network length 20,155 km
Length of highway network 619 km
First highway 1972
Motorway name Avtocesta
Traffic drives Right
License plate code SLO

Slovenia (Slovenija), in full the Republic of Slovenia (Republika Slovenija), is a small country on the border of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the southern side of the Alps. The country has 2.1 million inhabitants, of which 296,000 live in the capital Ljubljana. With 20,273 km², the country is about the size of half of the Netherlands.


The cobblestones on the northern hairpin bends of the Vršič Pass.

Slovenia is located on the transition from Central Europe to Southeastern Europe. The country is wholly or partly counted as part of the Balkans and has a short coastline on the Adriatic Sea. The country further clockwise borders on Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. The country measures a maximum of 250 by 120 kilometers, making it one of the smaller countries in Europe. The country is mostly mountainous, with the Alps in the northwest with the 2,864 meter high Triglav in the Julian Alps as the highest point. The Dinaric Alps cover the south of the country. The extreme east is part of the Pannonian plain. Although Slovenia is located on the Adriatic coast, most of the country drains into the Black Sea, via rivers such as the Mura, Drava and Sava that eventually flow into the Danube. Slovenia is one of the most forested countries in Europe, about half of the land area is forested.

The country has three climatic zones, the Mediterranean climate on the coast, a mountain climate in the north and a continental climate in the east. The country generally has cool to cold winters and warm summers. The average maximum temperature in the capital Ljubljana ranges from 3°C in January to 27°C in July. The winters are less cold directly on the coast, in Portorož the average maximum temperature in January is 9°C. The average precipitation in Ljubljana is 1360 mm per year, relatively much and falls evenly over the year, mainly in the form of thunderstorms. Nevertheless, the number of hours of sunshine is quite high, ranging from 1974 hours in Ljubljana to 2385 hours in Portorož.


The population of Slovenia doubled over a period of 90 years from 1 to 2 million inhabitants between 1920 and 2010. Unlike the other countries of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia does not have a shrinking population. However, the country is dealing with a declining birth rate and an aging population. The country has two major cities: Ljubljana with 280,000 inhabitants and Maribor with 95,000 inhabitants. All other cities have less than 50,000 inhabitants. Due to the lack of larger cities, the smaller cities are still known at a supraregional level.

Slovenian is a South Slavic language spoken in Slovenia. Some dialects resemble Serbo-Croatian dialects, but standard Slovenian is just too different from Croatian to be easily interchangeable. Furthermore, in Slovenia mainly immigrant languages ​​from the rest of the former Yugoslavia are spoken, outside there are very small minorities who speak Italian and Hungarian.


Slovenia has a modern and developed economy with a high standard of living. GDP per capita is the highest in the eastern European Union in nominal terms and the second highest in terms of purchasing power, after the Czech Republic. There are some regional differences in wealth, but the gap between urban and rural areas is smaller than elsewhere in the Balkans. The country is somewhat industrialized, important exports are cars and auto parts, machinery and pharmaceuticals. The country joined the European Union in 2004 but has not seen a high rate of migrant workers, or the relocation of factories from Western Europe as has been the case elsewhere in the Eastern EU. Tourism today plays an important role, although Slovenia is a small country, it has a varied offer, with some seaside resorts on the Adriatic Sea, the forests and mountains in the middle and north of the country and the capital Ljubljana. Lake Bled is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Slovenia. There are also some winter sports facilities in the Alps.


The road to the Mangart, Slovenia’s highest road, originally built by Italy in 1938.

The area that is now Slovenia has historically belonged to many empires and countries, it has been under the administration of Austria-Hungary, Italy and France. Until the First World War, the area belonged to Austria-Hungary. After World War I, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was founded in 1918, which was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929. In 1920, the Slovenian-speaking part of southern Austria was ceded to Austria, today’s Kärnten (Carinthia). However, it obtained the eastern region of Prekmurje. However, the far west of Slovenia was under Italian rule from 1920. In 1941 Yugoslavia was invaded by Nazi Germany after which the country was divided into a German and Italian part. In 1945 the area was liberated by the partisans.Yugoslavia founded.

In 1947 the peace treaties of Paris followed in which the definitive borders of Italy were established. Italy thereby lost Istria, which was granted to Yugoslavia and the Free Zone Trieste, an independent territory around Trieste that also included parts of present-day Slovenia in the coastal region. The valley of the Soča (Isonzo) was awarded to Yugoslavia. In 1954, the Free Zone of Trieste was abolished and divided between Italy and Yugoslavia. In a lifetime, parts of southwestern Slovenia have belonged to five countries in the period 1920-1991, namely Austria-Hungary, Italy, the Free Zone of Trieste, Yugoslavia and finally Slovenia.

Slovenia had considerable autonomy within Yugoslavia and Slovenians had the opportunity to cross the border into Austria and Italy. In the 1950s and 1960s Slovenia developed into the most prosperous part of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia’s first motorway was opened in Slovenia in 1972 (A1).

In 1990 a referendum was held in which 88% of Slovenians voted for independence. Slovenia formally became independent on June 25, 1991. Two days later, the Yugoslav army invaded the country, triggering the Ten Day War. The conflict resulted in a small number of deaths and no major damage. Slovenia was spared the major conflicts in the Balkans later in the 1990s and as a result was able to wrestle from its image as part of Yugoslavia. Since then, Slovenia has been regarded as the most successful country of the former Yugoslavia. In 1992 the country became a member of the United Nations and in 2004 the country became a member of NATO and the European Union. In 2007 Slovenia became the first eastern EU country to become part of the eurozone. In 2010, the country became a member of the OECD.


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