Slovenia Factbook

Background: The Slovene lands were part of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria until 1918 when the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new multinational state, renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. After World War II, Slovenia became a republic of the renewed Yugoslavia, which though Communist, distanced itself from Moscow's rule. Dissatisfied with the exercise of power of the majority Serbs, the Slovenes succeeded in establishing their independence in 1991 after a short 10-day war. Historical ties to Western Europe, a strong economy, and a stable democracy have assisted in Slovenia's transformation to a modern state. Slovenia acceded to both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004.

Area - comparative:

Slightly smaller than New Jersey.

Land boundaries:

Total: 1,334 km.
border countries: Austria 330 km, Croatia 670 km, Italy 232 km, Hungary 102 km.

Coastline:

46.6 km.

Natural resources:

Lignite coal, lead, zinc, mercury, uranium, silver, hydropower, forests.

Land use:

Arable land: 8.6%  -  permanent crops: 1.49%  -  other: 89.91% (2001)

Irrigated land:

20 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:

flooding and earthquakes

Environment - current issues:

Sava River polluted with domestic and industrial waste; pollution of coastal waters with heavy metals and toxic chemicals; forest damage near Koper from air pollution (originating at metallurgical and chemical plants) and resulting acid rain.

Geography - note:

Despite its small size, this eastern Alpine country controls some of Europe's major transit routes.

Population:

2,011,473  (July 2004 est.) - Growth rate: -0.01% (2004)

Nationality:

noun: Slovene(s)   -   adjective: Slovenian

Ethnic groups:

Slovene 92%, Croat 1%, Serb 0.5%, Hungarian 0.4%, Bosniak 0.3%, other 5.8% (1991)

Religions:

Roman Catholic 70.8%, Lutheran 1%, Muslim 1%, atheist 4.3%, other 22.9%

Languages:

Slovenian 92%, Serbo-Croatian 6.2%, other 1.8%

Literacy:

total population: 99.7%  (2003 est.)

Independence:

25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)

National holiday:

Independence Day/Statehood Day, 25 June (1991)

Constitution:

Adopted 23 December 1991, effective 23 December 1991

Legal system:

Based on civil law system.

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal (16 years of age, if employed)

Flag description:

Three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red, with the Slovenian seal (a shield with the image of Triglav, Slovenia's highest peak, in white against a blue background at the center; beneath it are two wavy blue lines depicting seas and rivers, and above it are three six-pointed stars arranged in an inverted triangle, which are taken from the coat of arms of the Counts of Celje, the great Slovene dynastic house of the late 14th and early 15th centuries); the seal is located in the upper hoist side of the flag centered in the white and blue bands.

Economy - overview:

Slovenia, with its historical ties to Western Europe, enjoys a GDP per capita substantially higher than that of the other transitioning economies of Central Europe. In March 2004, Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank. Privatization of the economy proceeded at an accelerated pace in 2002-03, and the budget deficit dropped from 3.0% of GDP in 2002 to 1.6% in 2003. Despite the economic slowdown in Europe in 2001-03, Slovenia maintained 3% growth. Structural reforms to improve the business environment allow for greater foreign participation in Slovenia's economy and help to lower unemployment. Further measures to curb inflation are also needed. Corruption and the high degree of coordination between government, business, and central bank policy are issues of concern in the run-up to Slovenia's scheduled 1 May 2004 accession to the European Union.

Unemployment rate:

11.2% (2004 est.)

Disputes - international:

The Croatia-Slovenia land and maritime boundary agreement, which would have ceded most of Piran Bay and maritime access to Slovenia and several villages to Croatia, remains controversial, has not been ratified, and has been complicated by Croatia's declaration of an ecological-fisheries zone in the Adriatic Sea.

Source:  CIA Factbook, 2004
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