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Europe :: Kosovo
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  • Introduction :: KOSOVO

  • 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 Republic of Yugoslavia (S.F.R.Y.). Despite legislative concessions, Albanian nationalism increased in the 1980s, which led to riots and calls for Kosovo's independence. The Serbs - many of whom viewed Kosovo as their cultural heartland - instituted a new constitution in 1989 revoking Kosovo's autonomous status. Kosovo's Albanian leaders responded in 1991 by organizing a referendum declaring Kosovo independent. Serbia undertook repressive measures against the Kosovar Albanians in the 1990s, provoking an Albanian insurgency.
    Beginning in 1998, Serbia conducted a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians (some 800,000 ethnic Albanians were forced from their homes in Kosovo). After international attempts to mediate the conflict failed, a three-month NATO military operation against Serbia beginning in March 1999 forced the Serbs to agree to withdraw their military and police forces from Kosovo. UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) placed Kosovo under a transitional administration, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), pending a determination of Kosovo's future status. A UN-led process began in late 2005 to determine Kosovo's final status. The negotiations ran in stages between 2006 and 2007, but ended without agreement between Belgrade and Pristina. On 17 February 2008, the Kosovo Assembly declared Kosovo independent. Since then, over 100 countries have recognized Kosovo, and it has joined numerous international organizations. In October 2008, Serbia sought an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality under international law of Kosovo's declaration of independence. The ICJ released the advisory opinion in July 2010 affirming that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate general principles of international law, UN Security Council Resolution 1244, or the Constitutive Framework. The opinion was closely tailored to Kosovo's unique history and circumstances. Serbia continues to reject Kosovo's independence, but the two countries reached an agreement to normalize their relations in April 2013 through EU-facilitated talks and are currently engaged in the implementation process.
  • Geography :: KOSOVO

  • Southeast Europe, between Serbia and Macedonia
    42 35 N, 21 00 E
    total: 10,887 sq km
    land: 10,887 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 169
    slightly larger than Delaware
    total: 714 km
    border countries (4): Albania 112 km, Macedonia 160 km, Montenegro 76 km, Serbia 366 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    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 at an elevation of 400-700 m above sea level surrounded by several high mountain ranges with elevations of 2,000 to 2,500 m
    lowest point: Drini i Bardhe/Beli Drim 297 m (located on the border with Albania)
    highest point: Gjeravica/Deravica 2,656 m
    nickel, lead, zinc, magnesium, lignite, kaolin, chrome, bauxite
    agricultural land: 52.8%
    arable land 27.4%; permanent crops 1.9%; permanent pasture 23.5%
    forest: 41.7%
    other: 5.5% (2001 est.)
  • People and Society :: KOSOVO

  • noun: Kosovar (Albanian), Kosovac (Serbian)
    adjective: Kosovar (Albanian), Kosovski (Serbian)
    note: Kosovan, a neutral term, is sometimes also used as a noun or adjective
    Albanians 92.9%, Bosniaks 1.6%, Serbs 1.5%, Turk 1.1%, Ashkali 0.9%, Egyptian 0.7%, Gorani 0.6%, Roma 0.5%, other/unspecified 0.2%
    note: these estimates may under-represent Serb, Roma, and some other ethnic minorities because they are based on the 2011 Kosovo national census, which excluded northern Kosovo (a largely Serb-inhabited region) and was partially boycotted by Serb and Roma communities in southern Kosovo (2011 est.)
    Albanian (official) 94.5%, Bosnian 1.7%, Serbian (official) 1.6%, Turkish 1.1%, other 0.9% (includes Romani), unspecified 0.1%
    note: in municipalities where a community's mother tongue is not one of Kosovo's offical languages, the language of that community may be given official status according to the 2006 Law on the Use of Languages (2011 est.)
    Muslim 95.6%, Orthodox 1.5%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, other 0.07%, none 0.07%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.)
    1,870,981 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    0-14 years: 25.82% (male 250,907/female 232,112)
    15-24 years: 17.74% (male 174,208/female 157,791)
    25-54 years: 42.01% (male 414,684/female 371,339)
    55-64 years: 7.4% (male 69,030/female 69,338)
    65 years and over: 7.03% (male 55,107/female 76,465) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total: 28.2 years
    male: 27.9 years
    female: 28.6 years (2015 est.)
    PRISTINA (capital) 207,062 (2014)
    at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 91.9%
    male: 96.6%
    female: 87.5% (2003 est.)
    total: 55.3%
    male: 52%
    female: 63.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
  • Government :: KOSOVO

  • conventional long form: Republic of Kosovo
    conventional short form: Kosovo
    local long form: Republika e Kosoves (Republika Kosovo)
    local short form: Kosova (Kosovo)
    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
    38 municipalities (komunat, singular - komuna (Albanian); opstine, singular - opstina (Serbian)); Decan (Decani), Dragash (Dragas), Ferizaj (Urosevac), Fushe Kosove (Kosovo Polje), Gjakove (Dakovica), Gjilan (Gnjilane), Gllogovc (Glogovac), Gracanice (Gracanica), Hani i Elezit (Deneral Jankovic), Istog (Istok), Junik, Kacanik, Kamenice (Kamenica), Kline (Klina), Kllokot (Klokot), Leposaviq (Leposavic), Lipjan (Lipljan), Malisheve (Malisevo), Mamushe (Mamusa), Mitrovice e Jug (Juzna Mitrovica) [South Mitrovica], Mitrovice e Veriut (Severna Mitrovica) [North 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
    17 February 2008 (from Serbia)
    Independence Day, 17 February (2008)
    previous 1974, 1990; latest (postindependence) draft finalized 2 April 2008, signed 7 April 2008, ratified 8 April 2008, entered into force 15 June 2008; amended 2013 (2013)
    civil law system; note- the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) retains limited executive powers related to the investigation of such issues as war crimes
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Atifete JAHJAGA (since 7 April 2011);
    head of government: Prime Minister Isa MUSTAFA (since 9 December 2014)
    cabinet: Cabinet elected by the Assembly
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 7 April 2011 (next to be held in 2016); prime minister indirectly elected by the Assembly
    election results: Atifete JAHJAGA elected president; Assembly vote - Atifete JAHJAGA (independent) 80, Suzana NOVOBERDALIU (AKR) 10; Isa MUSTAFA (LDK) elected prime minister by the Assembly; Assembly vote -73 to 38, 2 abstentions
    description: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi i Kosoves/Skupstina Kosova (120 seats; 100 members directly elected by proportional representation vote with 20 seats reserved for ethnic minorities - 10 for Serbs and 10 for other ethnic minorities; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 8 June 2014 (next expected to be held in June 2018)
    election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - PDK/PD/LB/PSHDK/PK 30.4%, LDK 25.2%, VV 13.6%, AAK 9.5%, Serb List 5.2%, NISMA 5.2%, KDTP 1.0%, other 9.9%; seats by party/coalition - PDK/PD/LB/PSHDK/PK 37, LDK 30, VV 16, AAK 11, Serb List 9, NISMA 6, KDTP 2, VAKAT 2, other 7
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the court president and at least 15 percent of judges to reflect Kosovo's territorial ethnic composition); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 7 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Kosovo Judicial Council, an independent body staffed by judges and lay members, and also responsible for overall administration of Kosovo's judicial system; judges appointed by the president of the Republic of Kosovo; judges appointed until mandatory retirement age; Constitutional Court judges nominated by the Kosovo Assembly and appointed by the president of the republic to serve single, 9-year terms
    subordinate courts: Court of Appeals (organized into 4 departments: General, Serious Crime, Commercial Matters), and Administrative Matters; Basic Court (located in 7 municipalities, each with several branches)
    note: Kosovo initiated a new judicial system in January 2013
    Albanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosovo or PSHDK [Uke BERISHA]
    Alliance for the Future of Kosovo or AAK [Ramush HARADINAJ]
    Civic Initiative for Kosovo or NISMA [Fatmir LIMAJ]
    Conservative Party of Kosovo or PK [Munir BASHA]
    Democratic League of Kosovo or LDK [Isa MUSTAFA]
    Democratic Party of Kosovo or PDK [Hashim THACI]
    Justice Party of Kosovo or PD [Ferid AGANI]
    Movement for Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) or VV [Visar YMERI]
    Movement for Unification or LB [Avni KLINAKU]
    Serb List [Aleksandar JABLANOVIC]
    Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo or KDTP [Mahir YAGCILAR]
    Vakat Coalition or VAKAT [Rasim DEMIRI]
    note: a coalition formed for the 2014 parliamentary elections included the PDK, PD, LB, PSHDK, and PK
    CiviKos Platform [Valdete IDRIZI]
    Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedom (human rights)
    Group for Political and Legal Studies [Fisnik KORENICA]
    KLA Veterans [Xhevdet QERIQI]
    Kosova Women's Network [Igballe ROGOVA]
    Kosovar Civil Society Foundation [Venera HAJRULLAHU]
    Kosovo Democratic Institute [Ismet KRYEZIU]
    Organization for Democracy, Anti-Corruption and Dignity Rise! [Avni ZOGIANI]
    Serb National Council (SNV)
    Speak Up [Ramadan ILAZI, executive director]
    IBRD, IDA, IFC, IMF, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OIF (observer)
    chief of mission: Ambassador Vlora CITAKU (since 17 September 2015)
    chancery: 2175 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037
    telephone: 202-450-2130
    FAX: 202-735-0609
    consulate(s) general: New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Tracey Ann JACOBSON (since 26 July 2012)
    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
    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
    six, five-pointed, white stars; national colors: blue, gold, white
    name: "Europe"
    lyrics/music: no lyrics/Mendi MENGJIQI
    note: adopted 2008; Kosovo chose to exclude lyrics in its anthem so as not to offend the country's minority ethnic groups
  • Economy :: KOSOVO

  • Kosovo's economy has shown 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. Kosovo's citizens are the poorest in Europe with a per capita GDP (PPP) of $8,000 in 2014. An unemployment rate of 31% encourages emigration and fuels a significant informal, unreported economy. Remittances from the diaspora - located mainly in Germany, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries - are estimated to account for about 15% of GDP. International donor assistance accounts for approximately 10% of Kosovo’s GDP. 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 a lack of technical expertise. Kosovo enjoys lower labor costs than the rest of the region. However, high levels of corruption and little contract enforcement have discouraged potential investors. With international assistance, Kosovo has been able to privatize a majority of its state-owned-enterprises. Minerals and metals production - including lignite, lead, zinc, nickel, chrome, aluminum, magnesium, and a wide variety of construction materials - once the backbone of industry, has declined because of ageing equipment and insufficient investment. A limited and unreliable electricity supply is a major impediment to economic development, but Kosovo has received technical assistance to help improve the sector’s performance. In 2012, Kosovo privatized its electricity supply and distribution network. The US Government is cooperating with the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and the World Bank to conclude a commercial tender for the construction of a new power plant. MED also has plans for the rehabilitation of an older coal power plant, and the development of a coal mine that could supply both plants. In June 2009, Kosovo joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and began servicing its share of the former Yugoslavia's debt. 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. Serbia and Bosnia previously had refused to recognize Kosovo's customs stamp or extend reduced tariff privileges for Kosovo products under CEFTA, but both countries resumed trade with Kosovo in 2011. Kosovo joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2012 and the Council of Europe Development Bank in 2013. In 2014, Kosovo concluded the Stabilization and Association Agreement negotiations (SAA) with the EU, focused on trade liberalization. The SAA is expected to be signed by end of 2015. The official currency of Kosovo is the euro, but the Serbian dinar is also used illegally in Serb majority communities. Kosovo's tie to the euro has helped keep core inflation low. Kosovo experienced its first federal budget deficit in 2012, when government expenditures climbed sharply. In May 2014, the government introduced a 25% salary increase for public sector employees and an equal increase in certain social benefits. Central revenues could not sustain these increases, and the Government was forced to reduce its planned capital investments. The government recently made changes to its fiscal policy that extended the list of duty-free imports, decreased the Value Added Tax (VAT) for basic food items and public utilities, and increased the VAT for all other goods.
    $16.86 billion (2014 est.)
    $16.41 billion (2013 est.)
    $15.87 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 149
    $7.318 billion (2014 est.)
    2.7% (2014 est.)
    3.4% (2013 est.)
    2.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    $8,000 (2014 est.)
    $7,700 (2013 est.)
    $7,600 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 144
    12.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
    12.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
    12.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    household consumption: 90.5%
    government consumption: 16%
    investment in fixed capital: 28.2%
    investment in inventories: 3%
    exports of goods and services: 5.8%
    imports of goods and services: -43.5%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 12.9%
    industry: 22.6%
    services: 64.5% (2009 est.)
    wheat, corn, berries, potatoes, peppers, fruit; dairy, livestock; fish
    mineral mining, construction materials, base metals, leather, machinery, appliances, foodstuffs and beverages, textiles
    note: includes those estimated to be employed in the grey economy (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    agriculture: 5.9%
    industry: 16.8%
    services: 77.3% (2013)
    30.9% (2013 est.)
    45% (2012 est.)
    note: Kosovo has a large informal sector that may not be reflected in these data
    country comparison to the world: 184
    30% (2013 est.)
    30 (FY05/06)
    country comparison to the world: 120
    revenues: $1.396 billion
    expenditures: $1.61 billion (2014 est.)
    23.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    -3.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    10.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    9.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    0.4% (2014 est.)
    1.8% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    12.8% (30 June 2013 est.)
    13.7% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    $2.511 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.773 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    $2.02 billion (2014 est.)
    $2.505 billion (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    -$312 million (2014 est.)
    -$919.7 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    $349 million (2014 est.)
    $408 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    mining and processed metal products, scrap metals, leather products, machinery, appliances, prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco, vegetable products, textiles and apparel
    Italy 25.8%, Albania 14.6%, Macedonia 9.6%, China 5.5%, Gernamy 5.4%, Switzerland 5.4%, Turkey 4.1% (2012 est.)
    $2.687 billion (2014 est.)
    $3.398 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    foodstuffs, livestock, wood, petroleum, chemicals, machinery, minerals, textiles, stone, ceramic and glass products, electrical equipment
    Germany 11.9%, Macedonia 11.5%, Serbia 11.1%, Italy 8.5%, Turkey 9%, China 6.4%, Albania 4.4% (2012 est.)
    $411.6 million (2014 est.)
    $448.2 million (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    $21.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $25.69 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7489 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
    0.78 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: KOSOVO

  • 5.324 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    2.887 billion kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    474.8 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    875 million kWh (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    1.526 million kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    NA bbl (July 6, 1905 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    NA bbl/day (2011 est.)
    0 cu m (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    0 cu m (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    NA cu m
    7.576 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
  • Communications :: KOSOVO

  • total: 110,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    total: 562,000
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 31 (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 168
  • Transportation :: KOSOVO

  • 6 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 172
    total: 3
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 3
    under 914 m:
    3 (2013)
    2 (2013)
    total: 333 km
    standard gauge: 333 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    total: 2,003 km
    paved: 1,883 km (includes 38 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 120 km (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 147
  • Military :: KOSOVO

  • Kosovo does not have a military force; the Kosovo Security Force was established in 2009 and maintains a non-military mandate in four core competencies: search-and-rescue, firefighting, demining, and hazardous material response (2015)
    males age 16-49: 430,926
    females age 16-49: 389,614 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: KOSOVO

  • Serbia with several other states protest the US and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaration of its status 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 Kosovo Force peacekeepers under United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo 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
    IDPs: 17,100 (primarily ethnic Serbs displaced during the 1998-1999 war fearing reprisals from the majority ethnic-Albanian population; a smaller number of ethnic Serbs, Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians fled their homes in 2004 as a result of violence) (2015)