Photos of Kosovo

Introduction

Background

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 Serbs as the dominant ethnic group in Kosovo. Serbia reacquired control over the region from the Ottoman Empire during the First Balkan War of 1912. After World War II, Kosovo's present-day boundaries were established when 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 a Kosovar 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 2006-07 negotiations ended without agreement between Belgrade and Pristina, though the UN issued a comprehensive report on Kosovo's final status that endorsed independence. 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.

Demonstrating Kosovo’s development into a sovereign, multi-ethnic, democratic country the international community ended the period of Supervised Independence in 2012. Kosovo held its most recent national and municipal elections in 2017. Serbia continues to reject Kosovo's independence, but the two countries agreed in April 2013 to normalize their relations through EU-facilitated talks, which produced several subsequent agreements the parties are engaged in implementing, though they have not yet reached a comprehensive normalization of relations. Kosovo seeks full integration into the international community, and has pursued bilateral recognitions and memberships in international organizations. Kosovo signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU in 2015, and was named by a 2018 EU report as one of six Western Balkan countries that will be able to join the organization once it meets the criteria to accede. Kosovo also seeks memberships in the UN and in NATO.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Southeast Europe, between Serbia and Macedonia

Geographic coordinates

42 35 N, 21 00 E

Area

total: 10,887 sq km

land: 10,887 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 167

Land boundaries

total: 714 km

border countries (4): Albania 112 km, Macedonia 160 km, Montenegro 76 km, Serbia 366 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

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

Terrain

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

Elevation

mean elevation: 450 m

lowest point: Drini i Bardhe/Beli Drim (located on the border with Albania) 297 m

highest point: Gjeravica/Deravica 2,656 m

Natural resources

nickel, lead, zinc, magnesium, lignite, kaolin, chrome, bauxite

Land use

agricultural land: 52.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 27.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 23.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 41.7% (2018 est.)

other: 5.5% (2018 est.)

Population distribution

population clusters exist throughout the country, the largest being in the east in and around the capital of Pristina

Geography - note

the 41-km long Nerodimka River divides into two branches each of which flows into a different sea: the northern branch flows into the Sitnica River, which via the Ibar, Morava, and Danube Rivers ultimately flows into the Black Sea; the southern branch flows via the Lepenac and Vardar Rivers into the Aegean Sea

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Kosovar (Albanian)

adjective: Kosovo

note: Kosovo, a neutral term, is sometimes also used as a noun or adjective as in Kosovo Albanian, Kosovo Serb, Kosovo minority, or Kosovo citizen

Ethnic groups

Albanians 92.9%, Bosniaks 1.6%, Serbs 1.5%, Turk 1.1%, Ashkali 0.9%, Egyptian 0.7%, Gorani 0.6%, Romani 0.5%, other/unspecified 0.2% (2011 est.)

note: these estimates may under-represent Serb, Romani, 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 Romani communities in southern Kosovo

Languages

Albanian (official) 94.5%, Bosnian 1.7%, Serbian (official) 1.6%, Turkish 1.1%, other 0.9% (includes Romani), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)

note: in municipalities where a community's mother tongue is not one of Kosovo's official languages, the language of that community may be given official status according to the 2006 Law on the Use of Languages

Religions

Muslim 95.6%, Roman Catholic 2.2%, Orthodox 1.5%, other 0.1%, none 0.1%, unspecified 0.6% (2011 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 24.07% (male 241,563/female 223,568)

15-24 years: 16.95% (male 170,566/female 157,063)

25-54 years: 42.56% (male 433,914/female 388,595)

55-64 years: 8.67% (male 85,840/female 81,782)

65 years and over: 7.75% (male 63,943/female 85,940) (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 30.5 years

male: 30.2 years

female: 30.8 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 120

Birth rate

15.05 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 117

Death rate

6.91 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 121

Net migration rate

-1.44 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155

Population distribution

population clusters exist throughout the country, the largest being in the east in and around the capital of Pristina

Major urban areas - population

216,870 PRISTINA (capital) (2019)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.12 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 35.93 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 37.99 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 33.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 46

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.99 years

male: 70.8 years

female: 75.35 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 150

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 55.4%

male: 51.5%

female: 64.8% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Environment

Environment - current issues

air pollution (pollution from power plants and nearby lignite mines take a toll on people's health); water scarcity and pollution; land degradation

Air pollutants

carbon dioxide emissions: 8.94 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.54 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

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

Land use

agricultural land: 52.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 27.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 23.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 41.7% (2018 est.)

other: 5.5% (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.31% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 319,000 tons (2015 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Kosovo

conventional short form: Kosovo

local long form: Republika e Kosoves (Republika Kosovo)

local short form: Kosove (Kosovo)

etymology: name derives from the Serbian "kos" meaning "blackbird," an ellipsis (linguistic omission) for "kosove polje" or "field of the blackbirds"

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

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

etymology: the name may derive from a Proto-Slavic word reconstructed as "pryshchina," meaning "spring (of water)"

Administrative divisions

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 Jugut (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

Independence

17 February 2008 (from Serbia)

National holiday

Independence Day, 17 February (2008)

Constitution

history: previous 1974, 1990; latest (postindependence) draft finalized 2 April 2008, signed 7 April 2008, ratified 9 April 2008, entered into force 15 June 2008; note - amendment 24, passed by the Assembly in August 2015, established the Kosovo Relocated Specialist Institution, referred to as the Kosovo Specialist Chamber or "Specialist Court," to try war crimes allegedly committed by members of the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 1990s

amendments: proposed by the government, by the president of the republic, or by one fourth of Assembly deputies; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly, including two-thirds majority vote of deputies representing non-majority communities, followed by a favorable Constitutional Court assessment; amended several times, last in 2020

Legal system

civil law system; note - the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) retained limited executive powers within the Kosovo judiciary for complex cases from 2008 to 2018

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kosovo

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Vjosa OSMANI (since 4 April 2021); note: President Hashim THACI (since 7 April 2016) resigned 5 November 2020

head of government: Prime Minister Albin KURTI (since 22 February 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet elected by the Assembly

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly for a 5-year term; if a candidate does not attain a two-thirds threshold in the first two ballots, the candidate winning a simple majority vote in the third ballot is elected (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 February 2016 (next to be held in 2021); prime minister indirectly elected by the Assembly

election results: Vjosa OSMANI elected president in the third ballot; Assembly vote - Vjosa OSMANI (VV) 71 votes; Albin KURTI (VV) elected prime minister; Assembly vote - 67-30

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly or Kuvendi i Kosoves/Skupstina Kosova (120 seats; 100 members directly elected by open-list 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 14 February 2021 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party - VV 50%, PDK 16.9%, LDK 12.7%, AAK 7.1%, Serb List 5.1%, other 8.2%; seats by party - VV 58, PDK 19, LDK 15, Serb List 10, AAK 8, other 10; composition - NA

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the court president and 18 judges and organized into Appeals Panel of the Kosovo Property Agency and Special Chamber); 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, a 13-member 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: in August 2015, the Kosovo Assembly approved a constitutional amendment that establishes the Kosovo Relocated Specialist Judicial Institution, also referred to as the Kosovo Specialist Chambers or "Special Court"; the court, located at the Hague in the Netherlands, began operating in late 2016 and has jurisdiction to try crimes against humanity, war crimes, and other crimes under Kosovo law that occurred in the 1998-2000 period

Political parties and leaders

Alliance for the Future of Kosovo or AAK [Ramush HARADINAJ]
Alternativa [Mimoza KUSARI-LILA]
Ashkali Party for Integration or PAI
Democratic League of Kosovo or LDK
Democratic Party of Kosovo or PDK [Kadri VESELI]
Independent Liberal Party or SLS [Slobodan PETROVIC]
Initiative for Kosovo or NISMA [Fatmir LIMAJ]
Movement for Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) or VV [Albin KURTI]
New Democratic Initiative of Kosovo
New Democratic Party
New Kosovo Alliance or AKR [Behgjet PACOLLI]
Romani Initiative
Serb List [Goran RAKIC]
Social Democratic Party of Kosovo or PSD [Shpend AHMETI]
Turkish Democratic Party of Kosovo or KDTP [Mahir YAGCILAR]
Unique Gorani Party [Adem HODZA]
Vakat Coalition or VAKAT [Rasim DEMIRI]

International organization participation

IBRD, IDA, IFC, IMF, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OIF (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Valdet SADIKU (since 9 March 2021)

chancery: 2175 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037

telephone: [1] (202) 450-2130

FAX: [1] (202) 735-0609

consulate(s) general: New York

consulate(s): Des Moines (IA)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Philip KOSNETT (since 3 December 2018)

telephone: [383] 38 59 59 3000

embassy: Arberia/Dragodan, Nazim Hikmet 30, Pristina

mailing address: use embassy street address

FAX: [383] 38 549 890

Flag description

centered on a dark blue field is a gold-colored silhouette of Kosovo 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

note: one of only two national flags that uses a map as a design element; the flag of Cyprus is the other

National symbol(s)

six, five-pointed, white stars; national colors: blue, gold, white

National anthem

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

Economic overview

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. Remittances from the diaspora - located mainly in Germany, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries - are estimated to account for about 17% of GDP and international donor assistance accounts for approximately 10% of GDP. With international assistance, Kosovo has been able to privatize a majority of its state-owned enterprises.

Kosovo's citizens are the second poorest in Europe, after Moldova, with a per capita GDP (PPP) of $10,400 in 2017. An unemployment rate of 33%, and a youth unemployment rate near 60%, in a country where the average age is 26, encourages emigration and fuels a significant informal, unreported economy. 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, little contract enforcement, and unreliable electricity supply have discouraged potential investors. 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.

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 aging equipment and insufficient investment, problems exacerbated by competing and unresolved ownership claims of Kosovo’s largest mines. A limited and unreliable electricity supply is a major impediment to economic development. 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 Kosovo C, a new lignite-fired power plant that would leverage Kosovo’s large lignite reserves. MED also has plans for the rehabilitation of an older bituminous-fired power plant, Kosovo B, and the development of a coal mine that could supply both plants.

In June 2009, Kosovo joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the Central Europe Free Trade Area (CEFTA) in 2006, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2012, and the Council of Europe Development Bank in 2013. In 2016, Kosovo implemented the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) negotiations with the EU, focused on trade liberalization. In 2014, nearly 60% of customs duty-eligible imports into Kosovo were EU goods. In August 2015, as part of its EU-facilitated normalization process with Serbia, Kosovo signed agreements on telecommunications and energy distribution, but disagreements over who owns economic assets, such as the Trepca mining conglomerate, within Kosovo continue.

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, led by Prime Minister MUSTAFA - a trained economist - recently made several changes to its fiscal policy, expanding the list of duty-free imports, decreasing the Value Added Tax (VAT) for basic food items and public utilities, and increasing the VAT for all other goods.

While Kosovo’s economy continued to make progress, unemployment has not been reduced, nor living standards raised, due to lack of economic reforms and investment.

Real GDP growth rate

3.7% (2017 est.)

4.1% (2016 est.)

4.1% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 79

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.6% (2019 est.)

1% (2018 est.)

1.4% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 131

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$20.396 billion (2019 est.)

$19.579 billion (2018 est.)

$18.86 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 151

GDP (official exchange rate)

$7.926 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$11,368 (2019 est.)

$10,895 (2018 est.)

$10,530 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2016 US dollars

country comparison to the world: 140

Gross national saving

24.4% of GDP (2019 est.)

20.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

22.7% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 74

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 11.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 17.7% (2017 est.)

services: 70.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 84.3% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 13.6% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 29% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2016 est.)

exports of goods and services: 27% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -53.8% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 73.2 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 95.9 (2020)

Trading score: 94.2 (2020)

Enforcement score: 64.7 (2020)

Agricultural products

wheat, corn, berries, potatoes, peppers, fruit; dairy, livestock; fish

Industries

mineral mining, construction materials, base metals, leather, machinery, appliances, foodstuffs and beverages, textiles

Labor force

500,300 (2017 est.)

note: includes those estimated to be employed in the gray economy

country comparison to the world: 155

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 4.4%

industry: 17.4%

services: 78.2% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate

30.5% (2017 est.)

27.5% (2016 est.)

note: Kosovo has a large informal sector that may not be reflected in these data

country comparison to the world: 208

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.8%

highest 10%: 22% (2015 est.)

Budget

revenues: 2.054 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 2.203 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

21.2% of GDP (2017 est.)

19.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 186

Current account balance

-$467 million (2017 est.)

-$533 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 120

Exports

$428 million (2017 est.)

$340 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 179

Exports - partners

Albania 16%, India 14%, North Macedonia 12.1%, Serbia 10.6%, Switzerland 5.6%, Germany 5.4% (2017)

Exports - commodities

mining and processed metal products, scrap metals, leather products, machinery, appliances, prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco, vegetable products, textiles and apparel

Imports

$3.223 billion (2017 est.)

$2.876 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 150

Imports - partners

Germany 12.4%, Serbia 12.3%, Turkey 9.6%, China 9.1%, Italy 6.4%, North Macedonia 5.1%, Albania 5%, Greece 4.4% (2017)

Imports - commodities

foodstuffs, livestock, wood, petroleum, chemicals, machinery, minerals, textiles, stone, ceramic and glass products, electrical equipment

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$683.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)

$708.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 142

Debt - external

$2.388 billion (2019 est.)

$2.409 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 150

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.885 (2017 est.)

0.903 (2016 est.)

0.9214 (2015 est.)

0.885 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 117,317

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6.11 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 136

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 620,186

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 32.3 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 168

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Kosovo being part of the EU pre-accession process has helped with their progress in the telecom industry, following a regulatory framework, European standards, and a market of new players encourages development in its telecommunications; 2 MNOs dominate the sector; poor telecom infrastructure means low fixed-line penetration; little expansion of fiber networks for broadband; expansion of LTE services (2020)

domestic: fixed-line stands at 6 per 100 and mobile-cellular 32 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 383

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Internet country code

.xk

note: assigned as a temporary code under UN Security Council resolution 1244/99

Internet users

total: 1,706,150

percent of population: 89.44% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 125

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 0 (2020)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 3 (2019)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 1

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 3 (2013)

under 914 m: 3 (2013)

Heliports

2 (2013)

Railways

total: 333 km (2015)

standard gauge: 333 km 1.435-m gauge (2015)

country comparison to the world: 120

Roadways

total: 2,012 km (2015)

paved: 1,921 km (includes 78 km of expressways) (2015)

unpaved: 91 km (2015)

country comparison to the world: 172

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Kosovo Security Force (KSF): Land Force Command; Logistics Command; Doctrine and Training Command; National Guard Command (2021)

Military expenditures

0.8% of GDP (2019)

0.8% of GDP (2018)

0.8% of GDP (2017)

0.8% of GDP (2016)

0.8% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 137

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) has approximately 3,400 personnel; note - Kosovo plans for the KSF to eventually number around 5,000 troops (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the KSF is equipped with small arms and light vehicles only; it relies on donations and since 2013 has received donated equipment from Turkey and the US (2020)

Military service age and obligation

service is voluntary; must be over the age of 18 and a citizen of Kosovo; upper age for enlisting is 30 for officers, 25 for other ranks, although these may be waived for recruits with key skills considered essential for the KSF
(2019)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

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; NATO-led Kosovo Force peacekeepers under UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo authority continue to ensure a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all Kosovo citizens; Kosovo and North Macedonia completed demarcation of their boundary in September 2008; Kosovo ratified the border demarcation agreement with Montenegro in March 2018, but the actual demarcation has not been completed

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 16,000 (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 2,004 as a result of violence) (2019)

note: 6,293 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-March 2021)