The official name is the Republic of Macedonia (Republic of Macedonia). It is located in South-Eastern Europe, in the south of the Balkan Peninsula. The area is 25,712 km2. The population is 2.1 million people. (1994). The official language is Macedonian, and in areas with a predominantly Albanian population, it is also Albanian. The capital is Skopje (563.3 thousand people, 1991 census). Public holiday – Independence Day September 8 (since 1991). The monetary unit is the dinar. Member of the UN (since 1993).
Geography of Macedonia
It borders in the north with Serbia and Montenegro, in the east with Bulgaria, in the south with Greece and in the west with Albania. Macedonia is a continental country and does not have access to the sea, however, it occupies a convenient place on the Moravian-Vardarian transport axis, along which the main land route (railway and highway) from Western Europe to Greece passes.
The landscape of the country consists of ancient mountain ranges and younger rocks in the basins on the site of the dried-up part of the Aegean Sea; The Vardar lowland is located along the course of the Vardar River. The Vardar valley continues in the east with a number of less pronounced basins located somewhat higher: in the north, the Preshevo-Kumanovskaya basin, connecting Macedonia with the Moravian Valley, Ovche Pole, Shtipskaya and Kochanskaya basins, Radovishskaya and Valandovsko-Doyranskaya basins. Along the Vardar river and in the north of Eastern Macedonia are hilly areas of volcanic origin, rich in minerals (lead, zinc, copper, iron). In Eastern Macedonia – medium-altitude mountain spurs cross the area from east to west: Belasitsa in the south, Pliachkovitsa, Malesheskie and Osogovskie mountains and Kozjak in the north,
Mostly mountainous Western Macedonia is divided into two parts by the Prilep-Bitola valley (Pelagonia). In the south are the Ohrid and Prespa basins with the lakes of the same name. To the east, the predominantly alpine Karadzhitsa highlands stretch (the highest point is Solunskaya head, 2538 m). Along the river Crna lies the Prilepsko-Bitola basin. The earthquake in Skopje in 1963 reminded that tectonic processes had not yet ended on the territory of Macedonia.
Climatic conditions in some parts of Macedonia differ significantly due to the indentation of the territory by mountains of different heights above sea level. In the middle Povardarya, Mediterranean and continental air currents mix. Average annual July temperatures exceed +25°C there, and January temperatures are below 0°C. Cold air from the north reduces the temperature to -20°C. In the Ohrid and Prespa basins, the amplitude of temperature fluctuations is much smaller. Snow falls on Shar-gora and in Karadzhichi, the melting of which feeds mountain rivers and provides water for hydroelectric power stations.
87% of the surface waters of Macedonia flow down the Vardar and Strumica rivers into the Aegean Sea, the rest – along the Black Dream River into the Adriatic Sea. The Vardar River, which becomes shallow in summer, is fed by its tributaries Pchinya and Bregalnica on the left side and Treska, Babuna, Topolka and Crna on the right. Lake Ohrid is similar in fauna and flora to Baikal and some African lakes. Another tectonic lake – Prespanskoe – partly belongs to Greece and Albania. Part of the Doyran Lake also belongs to Greece. There are lakes of glacial origin on Shar-gora, Pelistra and Yakupitsa. The underground healing waters that come to the surface are used by resorts and hospitals. Mineral water springs are exploited near the town of Bitola.
Mixed deciduous forests (oak, hornbeam) grow in Mediterranean regions, Crimean black pine in the Strumitsa region, and alpine vegetation in the mountains. National reserves are parks near the cities of Mavrovo, Galicia and Pelister.
Population of Macedonia
According to Countryaah, between 1921 and 1991 the population of Macedonia increased by 155% (an annual increase of 2.2%). In the beginning of 1990s the birth rate was 20‰, the death rate was approx. 7‰. There is a gradual aging of the population: the proportion of young people under the age of 19 is approx. 1/3. Urban population approx. 80%. More than 160 thousand people are employed in industry.
Ethnic composition (1994): 66.5% – Macedonians, 22.9% – ethnic Albanians, there are also Turks, Gypsies, Serbs, etc.
Industrialization and urbanization led to the growth of Macedonian cities. In the beginning. 1990s approx. 30% of the total population of the republic. After the 1963 earthquake, when the city was badly damaged, new urban areas sprang up. Other large cities are Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Veles, Ohrid, Shtip.
The vast majority of the Slavic population of Macedonia consider themselves Orthodox, ethnic Albanians profess Islam.
Science and culture of Macedonia
In Macedonia, there are 9.8% of illiterate citizens. Education is conducted in basic (eight-year) and secondary schools in Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish and Serbian.
University of Skopje Cyril and Methodius (since 1949), since 1979 – a university in Bitola, 3 academies and 6 higher schools, some of them are located in the cities of Prilep, Shtip and Ohrid.
Research work is carried out mainly at universities, and since 1967 also at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The most famous scientific centers are the Institute of the Macedonian Language, the Institute of Seismic Engineering, the Agricultural Institute (all located in Skopje), the Tobacco Institute in Prilep and the Hydrobiological Institute in Ohrid.
There are 10 professional theaters in Macedonia. Since 1961, international Struga singing evenings, Racine literary meetings and other international cultural events have been held annually. The first Macedonian printed editions began to appear in 1896 in Sofia (Vine, Revolution).