Macedonia Geography

Macedonia Geography and Population

Macedonia – geography

Macedonia’s landscape is characterized by mountains and plateaus; the Šar Planina mountain range lies to the north, the German and Osogovska mountains as well as Plačkovica to the east, and furthest to the southeast Ogražden. The country’s highest mountain, Korab (2764 m), is located on the border with Albania. A little further south on the border with Albania and Greece you will find the large Lake Ohrid (at 695 m altitude) and Lake Prespa (at 853 m). The mountain country is divided by the fertile valley of the river Vardar, which is an ancient connecting line between Central Europe and the Aegean Sea. Macedonia is located in a seismically active area and is often hit by earthquakes; for example, approximately 1200 people killed and most of the capital, Skopje, destroyed by an earthquake in 1963.

Macedonia has a predominantly dry, continental temperate climate, which is milder in parts of the Vardar Valley, where the most important agricultural areas are located. Skopje has average temperatures of 0 °C in January and 23 ° C in July as well as an annual rainfall of approximately 500 mm.


Agriculture is the country’s main occupation. Sheep and cattle farming is widespread; in addition, wheat, corn, tobacco, cotton, citrus fruits, sugar beets and wine are grown. The industry uses the country’s own agricultural products and metals (lead, zinc, copper, iron, chromium and nickel), as well as imported raw materials for the textile industry and the chemical industry. Other industries are the machinery, food and leather goods industries. Skopje is a traffic hub and the country’s most important industrial city with iron and steel works. After years of stagnation, swimming tourism on Lake Ohrid and winter sports tourism in the mountains are on the rise.


The country has a very mixed population. 67 percent are Macedonians (1994), while an Albanian minority officially makes up approximately 23 percent. In addition, approximately 130,000 Albanian refugees from Kosovo. 4 percent are Turks, 2 percent Roma; in addition, there are aromas (Macedonian-Romanians), Serbs and Bulgarians.

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Macedonia – language

The official language of Macedonia is Macedonian, which gained ground as a written language at the end of World War II following the recognition of an independent Macedonian nationality within the framework of what was then Yugoslavia. Albanian is estimated to be spoken by 20-25%. Furthermore, minorities speak Turkish, Romani, Serbian and Aromanian.

Macedonia – religion

The vast majority of the Slavic-Macedonian population traditionally belong to Orthodox Christianity. Since the break with the Serbian church in 1967, the independent (autocephalous) Macedonian church has been in an unresolved situation under ecclesiastical law. A significant Islamic minority is made up of the majority of the Albanian population as well as smaller groups of Turkish- and Slavic-speaking Muslims.

Macedonia – Constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia dates from 1991. Legislative power lies with the 120 members of Parliament, who are elected for four years by universal suffrage. Parliament may decide to hold referendums on matters within its area of ​​competence, and a committee has been set up for the relationship between the various nationalities. The committee consists of the president and two representatives of resp. Macedonians, Albanians, Turks and Roma as well as two for other nationalities. Parliament also appoints the judges of the Constitutional Court, who are elected for an eight-year term without the possibility of re-election. The president is elected by direct election for a five-year term. He appoints the Prime Minister, heads the National Security Council and may refuse to countersign bills; however, they become lawful if there is 2 /3 majority for them in parliament. Ministers are elected by majority vote in parliament.

Macedonia – military

The strength is (2006) at 10,890, which includes conscripts with six months of service. The army is at 9760 and the air force is at 1130. As Macedonia is an inland state, it has no navy. The reserve includes trained personnel, and must enable the formation of eight brigades by mobilization. The army is divided into two cadre-manned corps headquarters and contains two brigades. The army has only a few heavy equipment, but is relatively well equipped with armor and mortars. The Air Force has four modern Sukhoj Su-25 fighter bombers, a dozen Mil Mi-24 combat helicopters and a handful of other helicopters. The gendarmerie includes 7600.

Macedonia wants to join NATO, but Greece is vetoing it as long as Macedonia does not change its name.

Macedonia Geography