Facts about Slovenia

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SloveniaThe Slovene lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter's dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Slovenes joined the Serbs and Croats in forming a new multinational state, which was named 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 by 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.

Geography of Slovenia

Central Europe, eastern Alps bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Austria and Croatia
46 07 N, 14 49 E
total: 20,273 sq km
water: 122 sq km
land: 20,151 sq km
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
46.6 km
Mediterranean climate on the coast, continental climate with mild to hot summers and cold winters in the plateaus and valleys to the east
a short coastal strip on the Adriatic, an alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, mixed mountains and valleys with numerous rivers to the east
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Triglav 2,864 m
Natural resources:
lignite coal, lead, zinc, mercury, uranium, silver, hydropower, forests
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 of Slovenia

2,007,711 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 13.8% (male 143,079/female 135,050)
15-64 years: 70.5% (male 714,393/female 702,950)
65 years and over: 15.7% (male 121,280/female 193,595)
Median age:
40.6 years
Growth rate:
Infant mortality:
4.4 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 76.33 years
male: 72.63 years
female: 80.29 years
Fertility rate:
1.25 children born/woman
noun: Slovene(s)
adjective: Slovenian
Ethnic groups:
Slovene 83.1%, Serb 2%, Croat 1.8%, Bosniak 1.1%, other or unspecified 12%
Catholic 57.8%, Orthodox 2.3%, other Christian 0.9%, Muslim 2.4%, unaffiliated 3.5%, other or unspecified 23%, none 10.1%
Slovenian 91.1%, Serbo-Croatian 4.5%, other or unspecified 4.4%
total population: 99.7%


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Slovenia
local short form: Slovenija
local long form: Republika Slovenija
Government type:
parliamentary democratic republic
Administrative divisions:
182 municipalities (obcine, singular - obcina) and 11 urban municipalities* note: there may be 45 more municipalities
25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
National holiday:
Independence Day/Statehood Day, 25 June (1991)
adopted 23 December 1991, effective 23 December 1991
Legal system:
based on civil law system
18 years of age; universal (16 years of age, if employed)
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Danilo TURK (since 22 December 2007)
head of government: Prime Minister Janez JANSA (since 9 November 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 21 October and 11 November 2007 (next to be held in the fall of 2012); following National Assembly elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually nominated to become prime minister by the president and elected by the National Assembly.
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consisting of a National Assembly or Drzavni Zbor (90 seats; 40 are directly elected and 50 are selected on a proportional basis; note - the numbers of directly elected and proportionally elected seats varies with each election; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the National Council or Drzavni Svet (40 seats; this is primarily an advisory body with limited legislative powers; it may propose laws, ask to review any National Assembly decisions, and call national referenda; members - representing social, economic, professional, and local interests - are indirectly elected to five-year terms by an electoral college)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the Judicial Council); Constitutional Court (judges elected for nine-year terms by the National Assembly and nominated by the president)


Slovenia, which on 1 January 2007 became the first 2004 European Union entrant to adopt the euro, is a model of economic success and stability for the region. With the highest per capita GDP in Central Europe, Slovenia has excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe. Privatization has lagged since 2002, and the economy has one of highest levels of state control in the EU. Structural reforms to improve the business environment have allowed for somewhat greater foreign participation in Slovenia's economy and have helped to lower unemployment. In March 2004, Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank. In December 2007, Slovenia was invited to begin the accession process for joining the OECD. Despite its economic success, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Slovenia has lagged behind the region average, and taxes remain relatively high. Furthermore, the labor market is often seen as inflexible, and legacy industries are losing sales to more competitive firms in China, India, and elsewhere.

$56.19 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
GDP per capita:
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 2.8%
industry: 36.9%
services: 60.3%
Inflation rate:
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 40%
services: 55%
revenues: $16.02 billion
expenditures: $16.73 billion
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 35.2%
hydro: 27.3%
other: 0.7% 
nuclear: 36.8%
ferrous metallurgy and aluminum products, lead and zinc smelting, electronics (including military electronics), trucks, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles, chemicals, machine tools
potatoes, hops, wheat, sugar beets, corn, grapes; cattle, sheep, poultry
manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food
Export partners:
Germany 20%, Italy 12.8%, Croatia 9.3%, France 8%, Austria 7.8%
machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, chemicals, fuels and lubricants, food
Import partners:
Germany 19.4%, Italy 18.7%, Austria 12%, France 7.5%, Croatia 4.2%
tolar (SIT)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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