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Kosovo Country Guide

Explore Kosovo in Europe

Kosovo with the capital city Pristina is located in Europe (Southeast Europe, between Serbia and Macedonia). It covers some 10,908 square kilometres (slightly larger than Delaware) with 1,804,838 citizens.

Interactive map of Kosovo

The terrain features 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. The average density of population is approximately 165 per km². The notable climate conditions in Kosovo can be described as influenced by continental air masses resulting in relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns with Mediterranean and alpine influences create regional variation and maximum rainfall between October and December. Potential natural disasters are .

To reach someone in Kosovo dial +381 prior to a number. There are 106,300 installed telephones. And there are 562,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".ks". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of .

About the flag and history of Kosovo

Kosovo Flag Icon

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.

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.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Europe
Neighbours: Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro
Capital: Pristina
Size10,908 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 4,211 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than Delaware
CurrencyName Euro, Currency Code:EUR
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).ks
Telephone Country Prefix+381
Mobile Phone Connections562,000
Landline Phone Connections106,300

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area10,887 (sq km)169

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population1,847,708 150
Education expenditures4.30 (% of GDP)99
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2473.00 (%)1


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)13,590,000,000 143
GDP - real growth rate2.10 (%)130
Labor force800,000 148
Unemployment rate45.30 (%)191
Distribution of family income - Gini index30.00 115
Investment (gross fixed)35.00 (% of GDP)12
Taxes and other revenues27.90 (% of GDP)105
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-5.10 (% of GDP)161
Public debt5.50 (% of GDP)148
Inflation rate (consumer prices)8.30 (%)184
Commercial bank prime lending rate14.31 (%)54
Current account balance-2,880,000,000 148
Exports419,000,000 175
Imports3,300,000,000 144
Debt - external326,000,000 177
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home21,200,000,000 69


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production5,160,000,000 (kWh)119
Electricity - consumption5,674,000,000 (kWh)110


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use106,300 144
Telephones - mobile cellular562,000 163


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports8 160
Railways430 (km)114
Roadways1,964 (km)175

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

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