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macrohistory & world report

Republic of Slovenia

Map of Slovenia

Slovenia (capital Ljubljana) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "With excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe, Slovenia has one of the highest per capita GDPs in Central Europe. Slovenia became the first 2004 European Union entrant to adopt the euro (on 1 January 2007) and has experienced one of the most stable political transitions in Central and Southeastern Europe. In March 2004, Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank. In 2007, Slovenia was invited to begin the process for joining the OECD; it became a member in 2012. However, long-delayed privatizations, particularly within Slovenia's largely state-owned and increasingly indebted banking sector, have fueled investor concerns since 2012 that the country would need EU-IMF financial assistance. In 2013, the European Commission granted Slovenia permission to begin recapitalizing ailing lenders and transferring their nonperforming assets into a "bad bank" established to restore bank balance sheets. Yield-seeking bond investors' strong demand for Slovenian debt helped the government in 2013 to continue to finance itself independently on international markets. The government has embarked on a program of state asset sales intended to bolster investor confidence in the economy, which in 2014 is poised to contract 1%, its third-year of recession."

2010: Slovenia spends 6 percent of its GDP on education, and is listed with 30.1% of graduates from higher education in the 25-34 age group, compared to neighboring countries, Italy and Austria, with 18.9% each. A majority of Slovenes can speak Croatian, English and German.

Value Added Tax: 20%

Health care reflected in infant mortality ranks well above the United States. The role of private enterprise in public health care has been a divisive issue in past years. There is compulsory health insurance competing with private insurance, leaving virtually all Slovene citizens covered.

Health expenditures
2009: 9.1%

Public debt
2011: 45.5% of GDP
2010: 35.5% of GDP

Economic growth rate
2011: 1.1%
2010: 1.4%
2009 -8.0%

Import/export
2011: exports 93.14% of imports in cash value, a slightly unfavorable balance.

Unemployment rate
2011: 10.8%
2010: 10.7%
2009: 9.4%
2008: 6.7%

Public debt
2009: 34% of GDP

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 122nd among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). More equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.

Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
2005: 1.7%

People

Living in an urban area
2010: 50%. Only 2.2 percent are in agriculture in 2009. Slovenia must have a lot of little towns.

According to the Eurobarometer Poll in 2005, 37% of Slovenian citizens claim that "they believe there is a god", 46% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 16% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god, or life force."

Religions
2002 census: Catholic 57.8%. Muslim 2.4%, Orthodox 2.3%, other Christian 0.9%, unaffiliated 3.5%, other or unspecified 23%, none 10.1%.Affiliation with the Catholic Church is declining by 1 percent per year, according to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, Census of Population, Households and Housing, 2002

Ethnicity
2002 census: Slovene 83.1%, Serb 2%, Croat 1.8%, Bosniak 1.1%, other or unspecified 12%

Geography

South of Austria, north of Croatia, west of Hungary, east of Italy, with 46.6 kilometers (29 miles) of coastline along the Gulf of Venice. Mountains and valleys. Equivalent to 142.4 by 142.4 kilometers (89 by 89 miles).

Government

A stable parliamentary republic and democracy. Capital: Ljubljana.

Recent History

The Slovenes were part of Austria until 1918. In 1929 they joined the Serbs and Croats in the formation of Yugoslavia.

June 21, 1991: Independence from Yugoslavia

In March 2004, Slovenia became the first transition country to graduate from borrower status to donor partner at the World Bank. It also joined NATO and the European Union in 2004.

May 12, 2010: Unlike some other former Communist countries, Slovenia transformed its economy without shock therapy. This worked better. The World Factbook writes that Slovenia,

is a model of economic success and stability for the region. With the highest per capita GDP in Central Europe, Slovenia has excellent infrastructure, a well-educated work force, and a strategic location between the Balkans and Western Europe. Privatization has lagged since 2002, and the economy has one of highest levels of state control in the EU.

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.