Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Federativna Republika Jugoslavijá



Although the country is recognized by others, the United States does not officially recognize the federation consisting of Serbia and Montenegro as Yugoslavia; it calls the country "Serbia and Montenegro."

Located in southeastern Europe, bounded on the north by Hungary, on the northeast by Romania, on the southeast by Bulgaria, on the south by Albania and Macedonia, on the southwest by the Adriatic Sea, and on the west by Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia has an area of 102,350 square kilometers (39,518 square miles). Serbia, including the province of Kosovo, accounts for 88,412 square kilometers (34,136 square miles) while Montenegro accounts for 13,938 square kilometers (5,382 square miles), 199 kilometers (124 miles) of which is coastline. The total area is slightly smaller than Kentucky (Serbia is slightly larger than Maine, Montenegro is slightly smaller than Connecticut). The capital, Belgrade, is situated on the Danube and Sava rivers in north-central Serbia. Until the early 1990s, Yugoslavia incorporated the republics of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The territory has yet to resolve all the territorial disputes between the former Yugoslav republics.


The population was estimated to be 10,662,087 (Serbia—9,981,929; Montenegro—680,158) in July 2000. By 2001, the World Factbook estimated that the population had grown to 10,677,290. The numbers are not exact, however, because of the dislocations caused by the devastating Yugoslav wars and the ethnic cleansing (killing carried out on ethnic minorities by a majority group) that had raged from 1991 to 1999. In 1998, the population was estimated at 11,206,039, including a significant number of Serb refugees from Croatia and Bosnia. In 1999, a mass exodus of ethnic Albanians from the Serbian province of Kosovo into adjacent Albania and Macedonia occurred; most have since returned. The population growth rate in Serbia is positive, with a birth rate of 12.2 and a death rate of 11.08 per 1,000 population (estimated in 2000). In Montenegro, emigration caused a decline in the population, although in 2000 the estimated birth rate stood at 14.9 and the death rate at 7.9 per 1,000.

The ethnic composition before the recent wars included Serbs, 62.6 percent; Albanians, 16.5 percent; Montenegrins (close to Serbs), 5 percent; Hungarians, 3.3 percent; Muslims (or Bosniaks), 3 percent; along with Roma (Gypsies), Bulgarians, Croats, and other groups. Religions include Orthodox Christian (65 percent), Muslim (19 percent), Roman Catholic (4 percent), Protestant (1 percent), and others (11 percent). The population in Montenegro, and to some extent in Serbia, is young, with 22.05 percent below the age of 14 and 11.79 percent older than 65; in Serbia, 19.95 percent are below the age of 14 and 14.83 percent are older than 65. In 1997, 58 percent of the population lived in urban areas.



Yugoslavia has about 100 small commercial banks with bad loans amounting to more than US$4 billion. Under-capitalization (insufficient funds) is rampant and, according to official data, the assets of the 10 largest banks in Yugoslavia now total about US$3.5 billion, or 60 percent of all bank assets. Some experts estimate that even this modest number is overstated by approximately 25 percent, because the banking system is not sound. Around 50 percent of assets are of low quality (dubious receivables), while another 40 percent are non-performing (frozen). Confidence in banks was destroyed after the sequestration (seizure) by the state of the population's hard currency savings of US$3.4 billion for its war efforts in 1991-92 and the collapse of a series of pyramid schemes in the early 1990s. The repayment of the savings to depositors in dinars started in 2000, but most preferred to wait for future payments in hard currency. Many banks did not have hard currency and offered gold coins instead. The commercial banks put the blame on the National Bank of Yugoslavia (NBY, the central bank) for its failure to provide funds for the reimbursement.


Tourism is the most promising sector in Montenegro, given the short but beautiful stretch of Adriatic coastline, adjacent to Croatian Dalmatia, with numerous resorts and picturesque small towns. The sector was well developed before the wars, but is now in shambles. Some limited foreign investment, primarily from Slovenian companies, may be expected in the short run, but it will take longer to restore the one-time attractiveness of Montenegro for Western tourists. In Serbia, the importance of the sector was lower and is now negligible.


This sector was well developed and a major portion of it was privatized before the wars, but it contracted with the economic collapse of the 1990s. By 2000, some small retail stores were reopened and some experts hoped the success of small shops, such as gas stations and other

Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Yugoslavia
exports Imports
1975 4.072 7.697
1980 8.978 15.076
1985 10.700 12.207
1990 14.308 18.871
1995 N/A N/A
1998 N/A N/A
SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.

retail stores, would support growth of medium and large retail companies.


Yugoslavia has no territories or colonies.


Curtis, Glenn E. Yugoslavia: A Country Study. Library of Congress, 1992.

Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Profile: Yugoslavia. London: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2000.

Stokes, Gale. Three Eras of Political Change in Eastern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2001. <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html> . Accessed October 2001.

U.S. Department of State. FY 2000 Country Commercial Guide: Serbia and Montenegro. <http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/business/com_guides/index.html> . Accessed December 2000.

"U.S. Trade Balance with Yugoslavia." U.S. Census Bureau. <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c4799.html> . Accessed October 2001.

—Valentin Hadjiyski




Yugoslav dinar. 1 New Dinar (YD) equals 100 pari (in Serbia). Montenegro made the German mark (DM equals 100 pfennige) legal currency alongside the YD in 1999.


Manufactured goods, food (grain) and live animals, raw materials, and metals.


Machinery and transport equipment, fuels and lubricants, manufactured goods, chemicals, food and live animals, and raw materials.


US$24.2 billion (2000 est.).


Exports: US$1.5 billion (1999 est.). Imports: US$3.3 billion (1999 est.).

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