Flag Description: Centered on a dark blue field is the geographical shape of Kosovo in a gold color surmounted by six white, five-pointed stars arrayed in a slight arc; each star represents one of the major ethnic groups of Kosovo: Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Gorani, Roma, and Bosniaks.



Country profile


Kosovo is land-locked and mostly mountainous. It borders Serbia to the north and east, Montenegro to the northwest, Albania to the west, and Macedonia to the south.

Area: Southeast Europe, between Serbia and Macedonia

Geographic coordinates: 42 35 N, 21 00 E

Map references: Europe


total: 10,887 sq km
country comparison to the world: 169
land: 10,887 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 702 km
border countries: Albania 112 km, Macedonia 159 km, Montenegro 79 km, Serbia 352 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:none (landlocked)

Climate: influenced by continental air masses resulting in relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns; Mediterranean and alpine influences create regional variation; maximum rainfall between October and December

Terrain: flat fluvial basin with an elevation of 400-700 m above sea level surrounded by several high mountain ranges with elevations of 2,000 to 2,500 m

Ethnic groups: Albanians 92%, other (Serb, Bosniak, Gorani, Roma, Turk, Ashkali, Egyptian) 8% (2008)

Languages: Albanian (official), Serbian (official), Bosnian, Turkish, Roma

Religions: Muslim, Serbian Orthodox, Roman Catholic


1,859,203 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Age structure:

0-14 years: 26.3% (male 253,876/female 234,810)
15-24 years: 18.1% (male 176,738/female 159,455)
25-54 years: 41.5% (male 407,347/female 365,029)
55-64 years: 7.2% (male 65,762/female 67,243)
65 years and over: 6.9% (male 54,059/female 74,884) (2014 est.)

In the late 1990s, a NATO intervention stopped a Serb-initiated campaign of ethnic cleansing against Kosovo Albanians. After Serbian forces left, Kosovo was administered by the United Nations until declaring full independence in 2008. Today, approximately 5,000 international soldiers are based in Kosovo as part of a NATO-led peacekeeping mission. In early 2013, Kosovo signed an agreement aimed at normalization of relations with Serbia. Kosovo has been transitioning slowly to a market-based economy, but huge economic challenges remain. The formal-sector unemployment rate is around 45 percent. Kosovo is a member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Central Europe Free Trade Area and has long-term ambitions of joining NATO and the European Union.

Kosovo - financial assistance from the European Union
The Instrument of Pre-Accession Funds, called IPA, is a funding mechanism of the EU, which includes candidate and potential candidate countries like Kosovo.

• Funding allocation for 2013: €71.4 million
• Kosovo has access to:
   - IPA Component I (Transition Assistance and Institution Building)
   - IPA Component II (Cross-Border Cooperation).

This assistance is managed by the EU Office in Kosovo.
• EU assistance focuses on:
   - Rule of law
   - Justice/home affairs
   - Private-sector economic development (small business and trade capacities)
   - Public administration reform
   - Agricultural and regional development


Kosovo’s business climate (from http://www.heritage.org/, https://www.cia.gov/ and http://www.doingbusiness.org/ )
Kosovo's economy has shown significant progress in transitioning to a market-based system and maintaining macroeconomic stability, but it is still highly dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and technical assistance. Kosovo's citizens are the poorest in Europe with a per capita GDP (PPP) of $7,600 in 2013. An unemployment rate of 45% encourages emigration and fuels a significant informal, unreported economy. Remittances from the diaspora - located mainly in Germany, Switzerland, and the Nordic countries - are estimated to account for about 15% of GDP, and donor-financed activities and aid for approximately 10%. Most of Kosovo's population lives in rural towns outside of the capital, Pristina. Inefficient, near-subsistence farming is common - the result of small plots, limited mechanization, and lack of technical expertise. With international assistance, Kosovo has been able to privatize a majority of its state-owned-enterprises. Minerals and metals - including lignite, lead, zinc, nickel, chrome, aluminum, magnesium, and a wide variety of construction materials - once formed the backbone of industry, but output has declined because of ageing equipment and insufficient investment. A limited and unreliable electricity supply due to technical and financial problems is a major impediment to economic development, but Kosovo has received technical assistance to help improve accounting and controls and, in 2012, privatized its distribution network. The US Government is cooperating with the Ministry for Energy and Mines and the World Bank to prepare commercial tenders for the construction of a new power plant, rehabilitation of an old plant, and the development of a coal mine that could supply both. In July 2008, Kosovo received pledges of $1.9 billion from 37 countries in support of its reform priorities, but the global financial crisis has limited this assistance and also negatively affected remittance inflows. In June 2009, Kosovo joined the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and Kosovo began servicing its share of the former Yugoslavia's debt. In order to help integrate Kosovo into regional economic structures, UNMIK signed (on behalf of Kosovo) its accession to the Central Europe Free Trade Area (CEFTA) in 2006. Serbia and Bosnia previously had refused to recognize Kosovo's customs stamp or extend reduced tariff privileges for Kosovo products under CEFTA, but both countries resumed trade with Kosovo in 2011. The official currency of Kosovo is the euro, but the Serbian dinar is also used illegally in Serb enclaves. Kosovo's tie to the euro has helped keep core inflation low. Kosovo maintained a budget surplus until 2011, when government expenditures climbed sharply. In 2013 Kosovo signed a Free Trade Agreement with Turkey and is negotiating liberalization of trade with EU as part of a Stabilization and Association Agreement.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$14.11 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
$13.77 billion (2012 est.)
$13.43 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$7.15 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

2.5% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
2.5% (2012 est.)
4.4% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,600 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136
$7,500 (2012 est.)
$7,400 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Gross national saving:

12.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
12.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
12.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 90.5%
government consumption: 16%
investment in fixed capital: 28.2%
investment in inventories: 3%
exports of goods and services: 18.8%
imports of goods and services: -53.9%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 12.9%
industry: 22.6%
services: 64.5% (2009 est.)

Agriculture - products:

wheat, corn, berries, potatoes, peppers, fruit; dairy, livestock; fish


mineral mining, construction materials, base metals, leather, machinery, appliances, foodstuffs and beverages, textiles

Labor force:

country comparison to the world: 149
note: includes those estimated to be employed in the grey economy (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 23.6%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (2010)

Unemployment rate:

30.9% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
45% (1)
note: Kosovo has a large informal sector that may not be reflected in these data

Population below poverty line:

30% (2013 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

30 (FY05/06)
country comparison to the world: 121


revenues: $1.916 billion
expenditures: $2.048 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

26.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-1.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 80

Public debt:

9.1% of GDP (2013)
country comparison to the world: 150
8.4% of GDP (2012)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

1.8% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
2.5% (2012 est.)

Business Reforms in Kosovo

Starting a Business:
Kosovo made starting a business easier by creating a one-stop shop for incorporation.

Dealing with Construction Permits:
Kosovo made dealing with construction permits easier by eliminating the requirement for validation of the main construction project, eliminating fees for technical approvals from the municipality and reducing the building permit fee.

Registering Property:
Kosovo made transferring property easier by introducing a new notary system and by combining procedures for drafting and legalizing sale and purchase agreements.

Starting a Business:
Kosovo made starting a business easier by eliminating the minimum capital requirement and business registration fee and streamlining the business registration process.

Employing Workers:
Kosovo introduced a minimum wage.

Protecting Investors:
Kosovo strengthened investor protections by introducing a requirement for shareholder approval of related-party transactions, requiring greater disclosure of such transactions in the annual report and making it easier to sue directors when such transactions are prejudicial.

Employing Workers:
Kosovo increased the premium for night work as well as the days of annual leave. In addition, Kosovo decreased the notice period applicable in cases of redundancy dismissals.

Starting a Business:
Kosovo made business start-up more difficult by replacing the tax number previously required with a “fiscal number,” which takes longer to issue and requires the tax administration to first inspect the business premises.

Paying Taxes:
Kosovo eased the tax burden on businesses by reducing the corporate income tax rate from 20% to 10% in 2009.

Latest news: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/page/kosovo-home