Former Yugoslavia

Former Yugoslavia
Map of Former Yugoslavia

The former Yugoslavia (sometimes referred to as the Yugosphere[1][2], or shortened as Ex Yu, ExYu or Ex-Yu) is a term used to describe the present day states which succeeded the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The unity of Yugoslavia had been severed by the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. Remembrance of the time of the joint state and its perceived positive attributes is referred to as Yugo-nostalgia (Jugonostalgija). People who identify with the former Yugoslav state may self-identify as Yugoslavs.

The territory of the former Yugoslavia is roughly coterminous with the geographical region of the Western Balkans; in the EU's definition of the term, the Western Balkans excludes Slovenia but includes Albania.


Successor states

These countries are, listed geographically from northwest to southeast:

Relations with the European Union

Slovenia is the only country of the former Yugoslavia in the EU. Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are official candidates, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo have not submitted an application but are nevertheless recognized as "potential candidates" for a possible future enlargement of the European Union.[3] All states of the former Yugoslavia, with the exception of the disputed Autonomous Province of Kosovo, have subscribed to the Stabilisation and Association Process with the EU.

EULEX  (European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo) is a deployment of EU police and civilian resources to Kosovo in an attempt to restore rule of law and combat the widespread organized crime.


The last Yugoslavian census took place in 1991. At that point, the country's total population was at 22.4 million The CIA Factbook has estimates for the populations of Yugoslavia's successor states as of July 2011 which amount to a total population of 23.0 million. Net population growth over the two decades between 1991 and 2011 was thus practically zero (below 0.1% p.a. on average). Broken down by territory:

Republic/province/country 1991 2011  growth rate
p.a. (avg)
growth rate
(2011 est.)
Bosnia and Herzegowina 4,377,000 4,622,000 +0.18% +0.01%
Croatia 4,784,000 4,484,000 -0.22% -0.08%
Republic of Macedonia 2,034,000 2,077,000 +0.07% +0.25%
Montenegro 615,000 662,000 +0.25%  -0.71%
Kosovo 1,956,000 1,826,000 -0.23%  N/A
Serbia proper plus Vojvodina 7,579,000 7,310,000 -0.12%  -0.47%
Slovenia 1,913,000 2,000,000 +0.15%  -0.16%
total 22,400,000 23,000,000 +0.09% N/A

The successor states of Yugoslavia continue to have a population growth rate that is close to zero or negative. This is mostly due to emigration.

Ethno-linguistically, the majority of the former Yugoslavia is South Slavic, speaking a dialect continuum clustered around the Serbo-Croatian, Slovene and Macedonian. Other larger ethnic groups include Albanians (mostly in Kosovo), Hungarians (mostly in Vojvodina), Roma and other minorities.


The small or negative population growth in the former Yugoslavia reflects a high level of emigration. Even before the breakup of the country, during the 1960s and 1970s, Yugoslavia was one of the most important "sending societies" of international migration. Emigration intensified during and after the Yugoslav Wars, during the 1990s to 2000s. An important receiving society was Switzerland, target of an estimated total of 500,000 migrants, who now account for more than 6% of total Swiss population. Similar numbers emigrated to Germany and to North America. Of an estimated 2.5 million refugees created by the Yugoslav Wars, more than a million resettled permanently. Close to 120,000 refugees from former Yugoslavia were registered in the United States during 1991 to 2002, and 67,000 migrants from the former Yugoslavia were registered in Canada during 1991 to 2001.[4]

Notes and references


a. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, while Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory. Its independence is recognised by 85 UN member states.


  1. ^ "Former Yugoslavia patches itself together: Entering the Yugosphere". The Economist. 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  2. ^ Ljubica Spaskovska (2009-09-28). "The 'Yugo-sphere'". The University of Edinburgh School of Law. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  3. ^ "European Commission - Enlargement - Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries". Europa web portal. Retrieved 1 August 2009. 
  4. ^ Carl-Ulrik Schierp, 'Former Yugoslavia: Long Waves of Internatinal Migration' in: ed. R. Cohen, The Cambridge survey of world migration, Cambridge University Press, 1995, ISBN 9780521444057, 285-298. Nancy Honovich, Immigration from the Former Yugoslavia: Changing face of North America, Mason Crest Publishers, 2004. Dominique M. Gross, Immigration to Switzerland, the case of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, World Bank Publications, 2006. Yugoslav immigration (Encyclopedia of Immigration).

See also

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