Photos of North Macedonia

Introduction

Background

North Macedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991 under the name of "Macedonia." Greek objection to the new country’s name, insisting it implied territorial pretensions to the northern Greek province of Macedonia, and democratic backsliding for several years stalled the country’s movement toward Euro-Atlantic integration. Immediately after Macedonia declared independence, Greece sought to block Macedonian efforts to gain UN membership if the name "Macedonia" was used. The country was eventually admitted to the UN in 1993 as "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," and at the same time it agreed to UN-sponsored negotiations on the name dispute. In 1995, Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo and the two countries agreed to normalize relations, but the issue of the name remained unresolved and negotiations for a solution continued. Over time, the US and over 130 other nations recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia. Ethnic Albanian grievances over perceived political and economic inequities escalated into a conflict in 2001 that eventually led to the internationally brokered Ohrid Framework Agreement, which ended the fighting and established guidelines for constitutional amendments and the creation of new laws that enhanced the rights of minorities. In January 2018, the government adopted a new law on languages, which elevated the Albanian language to an official language at the national level, with the Macedonian language remaining the sole official language in international relations. Relations between ethnic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians remain complicated, however.

North Macedonia's pro-Western government has used its time in office since 2017 to sign a historic deal with Greece in June 2018 to end the name dispute and revive Skopje's NATO and EU membership prospects. This followed a nearly three-year political crisis that engulfed the country but ended in June 2017 following a six-month-long government formation period after a closely contested election in December 2016. The crisis began after the 2014 legislative and presidential election, and escalated in 2015 when the opposition party began releasing wiretapped material that revealed alleged widespread government corruption and abuse. Although an EU candidate since 2005, North Macedonia has yet to open EU accession negotiations. The country still faces challenges, including fully implementing reforms to overcome years of democratic backsliding and stimulating economic growth and development. In June 2018, Macedonia and Greece signed the Prespa Accord whereby the Republic of Macedonia agreed to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia. Following ratification by both countries, the agreement went in to force on 12 February 2019. North Macedonia signed an accession protocol to become a NATO member state in February 2019.

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

Geography

Location

Southeastern Europe, north of Greece

Geographic coordinates

41 50 N, 22 00 E

Area

total: 25,713 sq km

land: 25,433 sq km

water: 280 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Vermont; almost four times the size of Delaware

Land boundaries

total: 838 km

border countries (5): Albania 181 km, Bulgaria 162 km, Greece 234 km, Kosovo 160 km, Serbia 101 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

warm, dry summers and autumns; relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall

Terrain

mountainous with deep basins and valleys; three large lakes, each divided by a frontier line; country bisected by the Vardar River

Elevation

mean elevation: 741 m

lowest point: Vardar River 50 m

highest point: Golem Korab (Maja e Korabit) 2,764 m

Natural resources

low-grade iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, manganese, nickel, tungsten, gold, silver, asbestos, gypsum, timber, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 44.3% (2011 est.)

arable land: 16.4% (2011 est.)

permanent crops: 1.4% (2011 est.)

permanent pasture: 26.5% (2011 est.)

forest: 39.8% (2011 est.)

other: 15.9% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

1,280 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations

Natural hazards

high seismic risks

Environment - current issues

air pollution from metallurgical plants; Skopje has severe air pollution problems every winter as a result of industrial emissions, smoke from wood-buring stoves, and exhaust fumes from old cars

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

landlocked; major transportation corridor from Western and Central Europe to Aegean Sea and Southern Europe to Western Europe

People and Society

Population

2,128,262 (July 2021 est.)

Nationality

noun: Macedonian(s)

adjective: Macedonian

Ethnic groups

Macedonian 64.2%, Albanian 25.2%, Turkish 3.9%, Romani 2.7%, Serb 1.8%, other 2.2% (2002 est.)

note: North Macedonia has not conducted a census since 2002; Romani populations are usually underestimated in official statistics and may represent 6.5–13% of North Macedonia’s population

Languages

Macedonian (official) 66.5%, Albanian 25.1%, Turkish 3.5%, Romani 1.9%, Serbian 1.2%, other (includes Aromanian (Vlach) and Bosnian) 1.8% (2002 est.)

note: minority languages are co-official with Macedonian in municipalities where they are spoken by at least 20% of the population; Albanian is co-official in Tetovo, Brvenica, Vrapciste, and other municipalities; Turkish is co-official in Centar Zupa and Plasnica; Romani is co-official in Suto Orizari; Aromanian is co-official in Krusevo; Serbian is co-official in Cucer Sandevo

Religions

Macedonian Orthodox 64.8%, Muslim 33.3%, other Christian 0.4%, other and unspecified 1.5% (2002 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.16% (male 177,553/female 165,992)

15-24 years: 12.65% (male 139,250/female 129,770)

25-54 years: 44.47% (male 480,191/female 465,145)

55-64 years: 12.55% (male 131,380/female 135,407)

65 years and over: 14.17% (male 131,674/female 169,609) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 44.5

youth dependency ratio: 23.6

elderly dependency ratio: 20.9

potential support ratio: 4.8 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 39 years

male: 38 years

female: 40 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.13% (2021 est.)

Birth rate

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

Death rate

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

Net migration rate

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

Population distribution

a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations

Urbanization

urban population: 58.5% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 0.45% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

595,000 SKOPJE (capital) (2020)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

27.2 years (2017 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

7 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 7.49 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 8.46 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 76.59 years

male: 74.47 years

female: 78.84 years (2021 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.51 children born/woman (2021 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.8% of population

rural: 98.9% of population

total: 99.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.2% of population

rural: 1.1% of population

total: 0.6% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

2.87 physicians/1,000 population (2015)

Hospital bed density

4.3 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 97.9% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.8% of population

rural: 17.4% of population

total: 9.1% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

300 (2018 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.8%

male: 98.8%

female: 96.8% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 45.4%

male: 46.6%

female: 43.2% (2018 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of North Macedonia

conventional short form: North Macedonia

local long form: Republika Severna Makedonija

local short form: Severna Makedonija

former: Democratic Federal Macedonia, People's Republic of Macedonia, Socialist Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Macedonia

etymology: the country name derives from the ancient kingdom of Macedon (7th to 2nd centuries B.C.)

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Skopje

geographic coordinates: 42 00 N, 21 26 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: Skopje derives from its ancient name Scupi, the Latin designation of a classical era Greco-Roman frontier fortress town; the name may go back even further to a pre-Greek, Illyrian name

Administrative divisions

70 municipalities (opstini, singular - opstina) and 1 city* (grad); Aracinovo, Berovo, Bitola, Bogdanci, Bogovinje, Bosilovo, Brvenica, Caska, Centar Zupa, Cesinovo-Oblesevo, Cucer Sandevo, Debar, Debarca, Delcevo, Demir Hisar, Demir Kapija, Dojran, Dolneni, Gevgelija, Gostivar, Gradsko, Ilinden, Jegunovce, Karbinci, Kavadarci, Kicevo, Kocani, Konce, Kratovo, Kriva Palanka, Krivogastani, Krusevo, Kumanovo, Lipkovo, Lozovo, Makedonska Kamenica, Makedonski Brod, Mavrovo i Rostusa, Mogila, Negotino, Novaci, Novo Selo, Ohrid, Pehcevo, Petrovec, Plasnica, Prilep, Probistip, Radovis, Rankovce, Resen, Rosoman, Skopje*, Sopiste, Staro Nagoricane, Stip, Struga, Strumica, Studenicani, Sveti Nikole, Tearce, Tetovo, Valandovo, Vasilevo, Veles, Vevcani, Vinica, Vrapciste, Zelenikovo, Zelino, Zrnovci

Independence

8 September 1991 (referendum by registered voters endorsed independence from Yugoslavia)

National holiday

Independence Day, 8 September (1991), also known as National Day

Constitution

history: several previous; latest adopted 17 November 1991, effective 20 November 1991

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by at least 30 members of the Assembly, or by petition of at least 150,000 citizens; final approval requires a two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly; amended several times, last in 2019

Legal system

civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

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

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Stevo PENDAROVSKI (since 12 May 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Zoran ZAEV (since 31 August 2020); note - Prime Minister ZAEV resigned on 3 January 2019 but was reelected by the Assembly on 31 August 2020 (62-51) following the delayed Assembly general election on 15 July 2020

cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the Assembly by simple majority vote

elections/appointments: president directly elected using a modified 2-round system; a candidate can only be elected in the first round with an absolute majority from all registered voters; in the second round, voter turnout must be at least 40% for the result to be deemed valid; president elected for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 21 April and 5 May 2019 (next to be held in 2024); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually elected prime minister by the Assembly; Zoran ZAEV reelected prime minister by the Assembly on 31 August 2020; Assembly vote - 62 for, 51 against

election results: Stevo PENDAROVSKI elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Stevo PENDAROVSKI (SDSM) 44.8%, Gordana SILJANOVSKA-DAVKOVA (VMRO-DPMNE) 44.2%, Blenim REKA (independent) 11.1%; percent of vote in second round - Stevo PENDAROVSKI 53.6%, Gordana SILJANOVSKA-DAVKOVA 46.4%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly - Sobraine in Macedonian, Kuvend in Albanian (between 120 and 140 seats, currently 120; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed-list proportional representation vote; possibility of 3 directly elected in diaspora constituencies by simple majority vote provided there is sufficient voter turnout; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last election was to be held on 12 April 2020 but was postponed until 15 July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (next to be held in 2024)

election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - We Can 35.9%, Renewal 34.6%, BDI 11.5%, AfA-Alternative 9%, The Left 4.1%, PDSh 1.5%, other 3.4%; seats by party/coalition - We Can 46, Renewal 44, BDI 15, AfA-Alternative 12, The Left 2, PDSh 1

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 22 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Judicial Council, a 7-member body of legal professionals, and appointed by the Assembly; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the Assembly for nonrenewable, 9-year terms

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Basic Courts

Political parties and leaders

Alliance for Albanians or AfA [Ziadin SELA]
Alternative (Alternativa) [Afrim GASHI]
Besa Movement [Bilal KASAMI]
Democratic Party of Albanians or PDSh [Menduh THACI]
Democratic Union for Integration or BDI [Ali AHMETI]
Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization - Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity or VMRO-DPMNE [Hristijan MICKOSKI]
Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization - People's Party or VMRO-NP [Ljubco GEORGIEVSKI]
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Goran MILEVSKI]
Renewal (VMRO-DPMNE coalition)
Social Democratic Union of Macedonia or SDSM [Zoran ZAEV]
The Left (Levica) [Dimitar APASIEV]
Turkish Democratic Party of DPT [Beycan ILYAS]
We Can (coalition includes SDSM/Besa/VMRO-NP, DPT, LDP)

International organization participation

BIS, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EU (candidate country), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Vasko NAUMOVSKI (since 18 November 2014)

chancery: 2129 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 667-0501

FAX: [1] (202) 667-2131

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Detroit, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Kate Marie BYRNES (since 12 July 2019)

telephone: [389] (2) 310-2000

embassy: Str. Samoilova, Nr. 21, 1000 Skopje

mailing address: American Embassy Skopje, US Department of State, 7120 Skopje Place, Washington, DC 20521-7120 (pouch)

FAX: [389] (2) 310-2499

Flag description

a yellow sun (the Sun of Liberty) with eight broadening rays extending to the edges of the red field; the red and yellow colors have long been associated with Macedonia

National symbol(s)

eight-rayed sun; national colors: red, yellow

National anthem

name: "Denes nad Makedonija" (Today Over Macedonia)

lyrics/music: Vlado MALESKI/Todor SKALOVSKI

note: written in 1943 and adopted in 1991, the song previously served as the anthem of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia while part of Yugoslavia

Economy

Economic overview

Since its independence in 1991, Macedonia has made progress in liberalizing its economy and improving its business environment. Its low tax rates and free economic zones have helped to attract foreign investment, which is still low relative to the rest of Europe. Corruption and weak rule of law remain significant problems. Some businesses complain of opaque regulations and unequal enforcement of the law.

 

Macedonia’s economy is closely linked to Europe as a customer for exports and source of investment, and has suffered as a result of prolonged weakness in the euro zone. Unemployment has remained consistently high at about 23% but may be overstated based on the existence of an extensive gray market, estimated to be between 20% and 45% of GDP, which is not captured by official statistics.

 

Macedonia is working to build a country-wide natural gas pipeline and distribution network. Currently, Macedonia receives its small natural gas supplies from Russia via Bulgaria. In 2016, Macedonia signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece to build an interconnector that could connect to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline that will traverse the region once complete, or to an LNG import terminal in Greece.

 

Macedonia maintained macroeconomic stability through the global financial crisis by conducting prudent monetary policy, which keeps the domestic currency pegged to the euro, and inflation at a low level. However, in the last two years, the internal political crisis has hampered economic performance, with GDP growth slowing in 2016 and 2017, and both domestic private and public investments declining. Fiscal policies were lax, with unproductive public expenditures, including subsidies and pension increases, and rising guarantees for the debt of state owned enterprises, and fiscal targets were consistently missed. In 2017, public debt stabilized at about 47% of GDP, still relatively low compared to its Western Balkan neighbors and the rest of Europe.

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.7% (2019 est.)

1.4% (2018 est.)

1.3% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB+ (2019)

Standard & Poors rating: BB- (2013)

GDP (official exchange rate)

$12.696 billion (2019 est.)

Gross national saving

30.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

29.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

28.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 10.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 26.6% (2017 est.)

services: 62.5% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 65.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 15.6% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 13.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 20.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 54% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -69% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, grapes, wheat, potatoes, green chillies/peppers, cabbages, tomatoes, maize, barley, watermelons

Industries

food processing, beverages, textiles, chemicals, iron, steel, cement, energy, pharmaceuticals, automotive parts

Labor force

793,000 (2020 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 16.2%

industry: 29.2%

services: 54.5% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate

17.29% (2019 est.)

20.7% (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.7%

highest 10%: 25% (2015 est.)

Budget

revenues: 3.295 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 3.605 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

29% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-2.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

39.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

39.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: official data from Ministry of Finance; data cover central government debt; this data excludes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; includes treasury debt held by foreign entitites; excludes debt issued by sub-national entities; there are no debt instruments sold for social funds

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$151 million (2017 est.)

-$293 million (2016 est.)

Exports

$4.601 billion (2017 est.)

$3.75 billion (2016 est.)

Exports - partners

Germany 46.7%, Bulgaria 6.1%, Serbia 4.4%, Belgium 4.1% (2017)

Exports - commodities

foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco; textiles, miscellaneous manufactures, iron, steel; automotive parts

Imports

$6.63 billion (2017 est.)

$5.805 billion (2016 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 11.9%, UK 10%, Greece 8%, Serbia 7.1%, China 5.9%, Italy 5.5%, Turkey 4.5%, Bulgaria 4.3% (2017)

Imports - commodities

machinery and equipment, automobiles, chemicals, fuels, food products

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$2.802 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.755 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$8.79 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$7.685 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Exchange rates

Macedonian denars (MKD) per US dollar -

55.8 (2017 est.)

55.733 (2016 est.)

55.733 (2015 est.)

55.537 (2014 est.)

46.437 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Electricity - production

5.396 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity - consumption

6.42 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity - exports

58.5 million kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity - imports

2.191 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

60% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

37% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)

Crude oil - production

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

Crude oil - exports

142 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

3,065 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

23,560 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas - production

0 cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

198.2 million cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas - exports

0 cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas - imports

198.2 million cu m (2017 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

0 cu m (31 December 2016 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 402,250

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18.95 (2019 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 2,094,037

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 98.65 (2019 est.)

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: being part of the EU pre-accession process has led to stronger teledensity with a closer regulatory framework and independent regulators; administrative ties with the European Union have led to progress; broadband services are widely available; more customers moving to fiber networks; 2 mobile network operators; end of roaming tariffs (2020)

domestic: fixed-line 19 per 100 and mobile-cellular 99 per 100 subscriptions (2019)

international: country code - 389

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

Broadcast media

public service TV broadcaster Macedonian Radio and Television operates 3 national terrestrial TV channels and 2 satellite TV channels; additionally, there are 10 regional TV stations that broadcast nationally using terrestrial transmitters, 54 TV channels with concession for cable TV, 9 regional TV stations with concessions for cable TV; 4 satellite TV channels broadcasting on a national level, 21 local commercial TV channels, and a large number of cable operators that offer domestic and international programming; the public radio broadcaster operates over 3 stations; there are 4 privately owned radio stations that broadcast nationally; 17 regional radio stations, and 49 local commercial radio stations (2019)

Internet users

total: 1,677,569

percent of population: 79.17% (July 2018 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 427,964

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (2018 est.)

Transportation

Airports

total: 10 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 8 (2017)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)

under 914 m: 6 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 2 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Pipelines

262 km gas, 120 km oil (2017)

Railways

total: 925 km (2017)

standard gauge: 925 km 1.435-m gauge (313 km electrified) (2017)

Roadways

total: 14,182 km (includes 290 km of expressways) (2017)

paved: 9,633 km (2017)

unpaved: 4,549 km (2017)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Army of the Republic of North Macedonia (ARSM; includes a General Staff and subordinate Operations Command, Logistic Support Command, Training and Doctrine Command, and Center for Electronic Reconnaissance) (2020)

note: the Operations Command includes air, ground, special operations, support, and reserve forces

Military expenditures

1.2% of GDP (2019)

0.9% of GDP (2018)

0.9% of GDP (2017)

1% of GDP (2016)

1% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 104

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia (ARSM) has approximately 8,000 active duty personnel (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of North Macedonia's Army consists mostly of Soviet-era equipment; since 2010, it has received small amounts of equipment from Ireland and Turkey (2019 est.)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2008 (2013)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Kosovo and North Macedonia completed demarcation of their boundary in September 2008

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 567 (2019)

note: 506,774 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-August 2020); North Macedonia is predominantly a transit country and hosts fewer than 50 refugees and asylum seekers as of October 2017; 3,132 migrant arrivals in 2018

Illicit drugs

major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and hashish; minor transit point for South American cocaine destined for Europe; although not a financial center and most criminal activity is thought to be domestic, money laundering is a problem due to a mostly cash-based economy and weak enforcement