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Population of North Macedonia 1800-2020

In 1800, the region of modern-day North Macedonia had a population of approximately 392,000. The population grew steadily throughout the 19th century, and reached approximately 800,000 by the beginning of the 20th century. During this time the region was under Ottoman control, and was something of an ethnic melting pot, with significant shares of the population made up of Macedonians, Greeks, Turks, as well as other Slavic groups. The early-1900s saw control of the region pass between various powers, as the Ottoman Empire fell and gave way to a power vacuum in the Balkans. Following the Second World War, North Macedonia became a part of Yugoslavia; the war's end would also see a baby boom, along with increased population growth throughout the second half of the 20th century.

The gradual dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s gave way to the establishment of an independent Macedonia in 1991. This time also saw much emigration from the region, both within the former-region of Yugoslavia, as well as abroad; international migration was largely driven by economic factors, especially due to those associated with independence, as well as those associated with the strained political relationship with Greece. Disputes with Greece over the terms "Macedonia", "Macedonians", and their cultural significance, resulted in Greece blocking the country's applications to join the EU and NATO. Non-membership of both these organizations prevented the country from obtaining the associated socio-economic benefits for decades, before a referendum was held in 2018 to officially change the name to the "Republic of North Macedonia". Since this time, Greece has withdrawn its objections to North Macedonia's accession to the the EU and NATO, and the relationship between the two has improved. North Macedonia became a member of NATO in March 2020, however disputes with Bulgaria arose in November of the same year, which have further delayed accession to the EU. Over the past two decades, North Macedonia's population has grown, although it has remained fairly constant at just over two million people.

Population of North Macedonia from 1800 to 2020

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Release date

August 2019


North Macedonia

Survey time period

1800 to 2020

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