By Vexen Crabtree 2013
|Land Area||10 887km21|
|Location||Europe, The Balkans|
|ISO3166-1 Codes||, , 2|
“The central Balkans were part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires before ethnic Serbs migrated to the territories of modern Kosovo in the 7th century. During the medieval period, Kosovo became the center of a Serbian Empire and saw the construction of many important Serb religious sites, including many architecturally significant Serbian Orthodox monasteries. The defeat of Serbian forces at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 led to five centuries of Ottoman rule during which large numbers of Turks and Albanians moved to Kosovo. By the end of the 19th century, Albanians replaced the Serbs as the dominant ethnic group in Kosovo. Serbia reacquired control over Kosovo from the Ottoman Empire during the First Balkan War of 1912. After World War II, Kosovo became an autonomous province of Serbia in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (S.F.R.Y.) with status almost equivalent to that of a republic under the 1974 S.F.R.Y. constitution. Despite legislative concessions, Albanian nationalism increased in the 1980s, which led to riots and calls for Kosovo's independence. At the same time, Serb nationalist leaders, such as Slobodan MILOSEVIC, exploited Kosovo Serb claims of maltreatment to secure votes from supporters, many of whom viewed Kosovo as their cultural heartland. Under MILOSEVIC's leadership, Serbia instituted a new constitution in 1989 that revoked Kosovo's status as an autonomous province of Serbia. Kosovo's Albanian leaders responded in 1991 by organizing a referendum that declared Kosovo independent. Under MILOSEVIC, Serbia carried out repressive measures against the Kosovar Albanians in the early 1990s as the unofficial Kosovo government, led by Ibrahim RUGOVA, used passive resistance in an attempt to try to gain international assistance and recognition of an independent Kosovo. Albanians dissatisfied with RUGOVA's passive strategy in the 1990s created the Kosovo Liberation Army and launched an insurgency. Starting in 1998, Serbian military, police, and paramilitary forces under MILOSEVIC conducted a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians. Approximately 800,000 Albanians were forced from their homes in Kosovo during this time. International attempts to mediate the conflict failed, and MILOSEVIC's rejection of a proposed settlement led to a three-month NATO military operation against Serbia beginning in March 1999 that forced Serbia to agree to withdraw its military and police forces from Kosovo. UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) placed Kosovo under a transitional administration, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), pending a determination of Kosovo's future status. A UN-led process began in late 2005 to determine Kosovo's final status. The negotiations ran in stages between 2006 and 2007, but ended without agreement between Belgrade and Pristina. On 17 February 2008, the Kosovo Assembly declared Kosovo independent. Since then, over 95 countries have recognized Kosovo, and it has joined the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and is in the process of signing a framework agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB). In October 2008, Serbia sought an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legality under international law of Kosovo's declaration of independence. The ICJ released the advisory opinion in July 2010 affirming that Kosovo's declaration of independence did not violate general principles of international law, UN Security Council Resolution 1244, or the Constitutive Framework. The opinion was closely tailored to Kosovo's unique history and circumstances. Serbia continues to reject Kosovo's independence, but the two countries are currently engaged in an EU-facilitated dialogue aimed at normalizing the countries' relations.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)6
“It may be Europe´s newest country, but Kosovo´s long and dramatic history can be witnessed at every turn in elegant Ottoman towns and little-visited mountain vistas. Kosovo is contested territory. Populated predominately by Albanians, it is considered holy ground by minority Serbs. The Kosovar Albanians declared independence in 2008, a move hotly disputed by some and still not universally recognised, leading to tensions between Albanian and Serbian locals.
Far from being the dangerous or depressing place most people imagine, Kosovo is a fascinating land at the heart of the Balkans and one of the last corners of Eastern Europe where tourism has yet to take off.
Barbs of its past are impossible to miss: roads are dotted with memorials to those killed in inter-ethnic tension in 1999, while NATO forces still guard Serbian monasteries. But with independence has come a degree of stability, and Kosovo is now the latest word in getting off the beaten track in the Balkans. Visitors will be rewarded with welcoming smiles, terracotta-roofed old quarters, remote 13th-century domed Orthodox monasteries and poppy-splashed hillside meadows, which they will likely have all to themselves.”
Lower is better
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below9:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states simply: Muslim, Serbian Orthodox, Roman Catholic10.
|Press Freedom (2013)|
Lower is better11
(World Position, 2013-2016)
Lower is better12
|LGBT Equality (2013)|
Higher is better
|77||Timor-Leste (E. Timor)||20|
There isn't much information in the database for Kosovo, most likely because it is either a part of another country (i.e., a territory or posession) and therefore most international statistics are counted for the country as a whole, or, this is such an exotic place that little data exists about it.
Current edition: 2013 May 01
Last Modified: 2017 Jun 21
Parent page: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent
All #tags used on this page - click for more:
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.
(2014) The World. Subtitled: "A Traveller's Guide to the Planet". Published by Lonely Planet, London, UK. Each chapter is devoted to a specific country and includes a list of the most interesting places to visit and a few other cultural notes..