Macedonia Country Overview
Where is Macedonia located? Macedonia, also known as North Macedonia, is located in south-eastern Europe and is a landlocked country. Macedonia has been one of the candidate countries for accession to the European Union since 2005. On the time zone map, which divides the world into world time zones based on longitude, it can be seen that Macedonia is in a time zone called Central European Time (CET). This means that clocks in Macedonia are 1 hour later than those of coordinated world time (UTC+1). In summer, the time is changed to daylight saving time there. Then the time difference is 2 hours.
As of 2023, the latest population of Macedonia is 2,125,971, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||0.15%|
|Birth rate||11.40 births per 1,000 people|
|Overall life expectancy||75.58 years|
|Men life expectancy||73.03 years|
|Women life expectancy||78.33 years|
|65 years and above||13.38%|
|Median age||37.20 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||0.99|
|Population density||82.68 residents per km²|
|64.2% Macedonians, 25.2% Albanians, 3.9% Turks, 2.7% Roma, 1.8% Serbs, 0.8% Bosniaks, 0.5% Aromanians and others [2002 census]|
|Macedonian Orthodox 67%, Muslim 30%, Others 3%|
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.759|
|HDI ranking||82nd out of 194|
People in Macedonia
North Macedonia is a country with quite different residents, as there are many ethnic groups. This makes the country’s population very interesting and in this way the country offers cultural diversity. But of course there can also be problems and conflicts when different people live together.
It is difficult to say what percentage each ethnic group makes up in North Macedonia. This is because wrong information is often given in censuses. Many members of one ethnic group then state that they are represented much more strongly than they actually are. A census even had to be stopped in 2011 because there was no reliable information. But one can roughly say that 64 out of 100 people are North Macedonians, 25 out of 100 Albanians, four Turks, about three Roma and two Serbs.
Albanians in North Macedonia
The largest population group after the North Macedonians are the Albanians. They live in the west of the country and that has existed even longer than North Macedonia itself. The Albanian ancestors had settled in the area for thousands of years, while North Macedonia and its predecessor state did not emerge until the 17th century. Albanian culture and language have also been maintained in the Albanian parts of the country. There are repeated conflicts between Albanians and North Macedonians, and in 2001 an armed struggle even broke out.
Turks in North Macedonia
For a long time it was very difficult for the Turkish minority in North Macedonian territory to live their culture and customs. Most of them are Muslims, but under Tito (the former head of government in Yugoslavia) they were not allowed to practice their faith.
Their ancestors lived in what was later to be Yugoslavia during the Ottoman Empire. But there is another ethnic group that also lives in North Macedonian territory, the Roma.
Roma in North Macedonia
The situation of the Roma in North Macedonia is often very bad. Like the Albanians, the Roma also live in predominantly homogeneous settlements, i.e. among members of the same ethnic group. However, these are shabby and a lot smaller. Most of the Macedonian Roma live in the Suto Orizari settlement, also known as Sutka. It is located on the northern edge of the capital Skopje.
The Roma are predominantly discriminated against and excluded from the other population groups in North Macedonia. They have fewer rights and a lot less chances on the job market. It also happens that 80 out of 100 Roma in North Macedonia have no work. Most of them live on less than 50 euros a month in the run-down Roma settlements.
Languages in Macedonia
Since 1944, Macedonian has been the official language in today’s national territory. Macedonian is a Slavic language that is most closely related to Bulgarian.
The Albanians, who live in North Macedonia and often speak their own language, achieved in 2001 that Albanian was allowed as the second official language in areas where more than 20 percent Albanians live.
In addition to these two official languages, Serbian, Turkish, Aromanian and the Romani spoken by the Roma are occasionally heard. Young people are learning to speak English more and more often. This is because the popular American films and series that are watched by children are not translated into Macedonian. In this way, many people love to learn English so that they can understand their favorite films in great detail.
Shengyle comes from North Macedonia, but speaks Albanian, she brought you a birthday song, listen to me if you maybe even know it. She sings it for her son Urbejd, who is four years old. You can still hear that too.
Religions in Macedonia
The two most common religions in North Macedonia are Orthodox Christianity on the one hand and Islam on the other. These two religions have influenced the area for centuries. The Ottomans brought Islam with them when they conquered. Depending on who was in power over the country, many people kept changing their beliefs. Often they were pressured to do so or rewarded for converting.
With nationalist aspirations that emerged in the 19th century, the relationship between religions also deteriorated. Since then there have been repeated attacks on houses of prayer of the other religion.
It is believed that around 65 out of 100 people in North Macedonia today are Orthodox Christians and 33 Muslims. There are also religious minorities such as members of the Roman Catholic Church.