Macedonians (ethnic group)

Macedonians (Macedonian: Македонци, romanized: Makedonci) or Macedonian people (Macedonian: македонски народ, romanized: makedonski narod) are a nation and a South Slavic ethnic group native to the region of Macedonia. They speak the Macedonian language, a South Slavic language. About two thirds of all ethnic Macedonians live in North Macedonia and there are also communities in a number of other countries.

Total population
c. 2 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
North Macedonia 1,297,981[2]
 Italy65,347 (2017)[5]
 United States57,200–200,000[4][8]
 Turkey31,518 (2001 census)[11]
 Serbia22,755 (2011 census)[13]
 United Kingdom9,000[4]
 Albania5,512 (2011 census)[17]
 Denmark5,392 (2018)[18]
 Sweden4,491 (2009)[21]
 Slovenia3,972 (2002)[22]
 Belgium3,419 (2002)[23]
 Bosnia and Herzegovina2,278 (2005)[26]
 Czech Republic2,011[27]
 Bulgaria1,654 (2011 census)[30]
 Romania1,264 (2011 census)[31]
 Montenegro900 (2011)[32]
 New Zealand807–1,500[33][34]
 Russia325 (2010) – 1,000 (est.)[28][35]
Predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christianity
(Macedonian Orthodox Church)
minority Islam (Macedonian Muslims) and Catholicism (Roman Catholic and Macedonian Greek Catholic)
Related ethnic groups
Other South Slavs, especially Bulgarians[36][37][38]


The history of the ethnic Macedonians has been shaped by population shifts and political developments in the region of Macedonia. Following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, the decisive point in the ethnogenesis of the South Slavic ethnic group was the creation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia after World War II, a state in the framework of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Ancient and Roman period

The origins of Macedonians are varied. In antiquity, much of central-northern Macedonia (the Vardar basin) was inhabited by Paionians who expanded from the lower Strymon basin. The Pelagonian plain was inhabited by the Pelagones, an ancient Greek tribe of Upper Macedonia; whilst the western region (Ohrid-Prespa) was said to have been inhabited by Illyrian tribes.[39] During the late Classical Period, having already developed several sophisticated polis-type settlements and a thriving economy based on mining,[40] Paeonia became a constituent province of the ArgeadMacedonian kingdom.[41] In 310 BC, the Celts attacked deep into south, subduing the Dardanians, Paeonians and Triballi. Roman conquest brought with it a significant Romanization of the region. During the Dominate period, 'barbarian' federates were at times settled on Macedonian soil; such as the Sarmatians settled by Constantine (330s AD)[42] or the (10 year) settlement of Alaric's Goths.[43] In contrast to 'frontier provinces', Macedonia (north and south) continued to be a flourishing Christian, Roman province in Late Antiquity and into the early Middle Ages.[43][44]

Medieval period

Linguistically, the South Slavic languages from which Macedonian developed are thought to have expanded in the region during the post-Roman period, although the exact mechanisms of this linguistic expansion remains a matter of scholarly discussion.[45] Traditional historiography has equated these changes with the commencement of raids and 'invasions' of Sclaveni and Antes from Wallachia and western Ukraine during the 6th and 7th centuries.[46] However, recent anthropological and archaeological perspectives have viewed the appearance of Slavs in Macedonia, and throughout the Balkans in general, as part of a broad and complex process of transformation of the cultural, political and ethno-linguistic Balkan landscape after the collapse of Roman authority. The exact details and chronology of population shifts remain to be determined.[47][48] What is beyond dispute is that, in contrast to "barbarian" Bulgaria, northern Macedonia remained Roman in its cultural outlook into the 7th century.[44] Yet at the same time, sources attest numerous Slavic tribes in the environs of Thessaloniki and further afield, including the Berziti in Pelagonia.[49] Apart from Slavs and late Byzantines, Kuver's "Bulgars"[50] – a mix of Byzantine Greeks, Bulgars and Pannonian Avars – settled the "Keramissian plain" (Pelagonia) around Bitola in the late 7th century.[lower-alpha 1] Later pockets of settlers included "Danubian" Bulgars[55][56] in the 9th century; Magyars (Vardariotai)[57] and Armenians in the 10th–12th centuries,[58] Cumans and Pechenegs in the 11th–13th centuries,[59] and Saxon miners in the 14th and 15th centuries.[60]

Having previously been Byzantine clients, the Sklaviniae of Macedonia probably switched their allegiance to Bulgaria during the reign of Empress Irene,[61] and was gradually incorporated into the Bulgarian Empire after the mid-9th century. Subsequently, the literary and ecclesiastical centres in Ohrid, not only became a second cultural capital of medieval Bulgaria, but soon eclipsed those in Preslav.[62] Many aspects which now define Macedonian culture derive mainly from Byzantine civilization.[63][64] Cultural, ecclesiastical and political developments of Slavic Orthodox Culture occurred in Macedonia itself.[65][66][67]

Ottoman period

After the final Ottoman conquest of the Balkans by the Ottomans in the 14/15th century, all Eastern Orthodox Christians were included in a specific ethno-religious community under Graeco-Byzantine jurisdiction called Rum Millet. The belonging to this religious commonwealth was so important that most of the common people began to identify themselves as Christians.[68] However ethnonyms never disappeared and some form of primary ethnic identity was available.[69] This is confirmed from a Sultan's Firman from 1680 which describes the ethnic groups in the Balkan territories of the Empire as follows: Greeks, Albanians, Serbs, Vlachs and Bulgarians.[70] The rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century brought opposition to this continued situation. At that time the classical Rum Millet began to degrade. The coordinated actions, carried out by Bulgarian national leaders supported by the majority of the Slavic-speaking population in today Republic of North Macedonia in order to be recognized as a separate ethnic entity, constituted the so-called "Bulgarian Millet", recognized in 1870.[71] At the time of its creation, people living in Vardar Macedonia, were not in the Exarchate. However, as a result of plebiscites held between 1872 and 1875, the Slavic districts in the area voted overwhelmingly (over 2/3) to go over to the new national Church.[72] Referring to the results of the plebiscites, and on the basis of statistical and ethnological indications, the 1876 Conference of Constantinople included most of Macedonia into the Bulgarian ethnic territory.[73] The borders of new Bulgarian state, drawn by the 1878 Treaty of San Stefano, also included Macedonia, but the treaty was never put into effect and the Treaty of Berlin (1878) "returned" Macedonia to the Ottoman Empire.


Anthropologically, Macedonians possess genetic lineages postulated to represent Balkan prehistoric and historic demographic processes.[74] Such lineages are also typically found in other South Slavs, especially Bulgarians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Montenegrins, but also to the Greeks and Romanians,[lower-alpha 2] but also found in all European populations. A study was organized that compared all Slavic nations and combined all lines of evidence, autosomal, mtDNA and y-DNA, including more than 6000 people. The overall data situates the southeastern group (Bulgarians and Macedonians) in a cluster together with Romanians, and they are at similar proximity to Gagauzes, Montenegrins and Serbs. This study itself calculated genetic distance by SNP data of the multiple autosomes and the most proximal to Macedonians were again, the Bulgarians, Serbs, Montenegrins, Romanians, Gagauzes, and Macedonian Greeks.[81]

However, the mtDNA and the waves of Slavic settlements left a mark approximately consistent with the geography: the Macedonians carry the least amount of Slavic admixture, and cluster with Bulgarians, Montengrins, Greeks, Albanians, Bosniaks and Southern (Dalmatian) and Herzegovina Croats, while upper Croatia Croats, Slovenes, and northern Serbs in Vojvodina and Pannonia cluster together having less ancient DNA (sub-haplogroup I-P37) and more modern Slavic DNA (R1a).[82]

While political considerations, religious affiliation and matters of identity have caused this to be a flash-point of conflict in the region along identity groupings, this is a reflection of non-objective constructs of identity and not objective markers of genetic differentiation, since the groupings reflect very related populations even among those who have harboured historical disagreements, such as Macedonians and Greeks, or Serbs and Albanians.[83]. Genetic similarity, irrespective of language and ethnicity, has a strong correspondence to geographic proximity in European populations.[84][85][86]


The large majority of Macedonians identify as Eastern Orthodox Christians, who speak a South Slavic language, and share a cultural and historical "Orthodox Byzantine–Slavic heritage" with their neighbours. The concept of a "Macedonian" ethnicity, distinct from their Orthodox Balkan neighbours, is seen to be a comparatively newly emergent one.[lower-alpha 3] The earliest manifestations of incipient Macedonian identity emerged during the second half of the 19th century[93][94][95] among limited circles of Slavic intellectuals, predominantly outside the region of Macedonia. They arose after the First World War and especially during 1930s, and thus were consolidated by Communist Yugoslavia's governmental policy after the Second World War.[lower-alpha 4]

Historical overview

Throughout the Middle Ages and Ottoman rule up until the early 20th century[99][100][101] the Slavic-speaking population majority in the region of Macedonia were more commonly referred to both (by themselves and outsiders) as Bulgarians.[102][103][104] However, in pre-nationalist times, terms such as "Bulgarian" did not possess a strict ethno-nationalistic meaning, rather, they were loose, often interchangeable terms which could simultaneously denote regional habitation, allegiance to a particular empire, religious orientation, membership in certain social groups.[lower-alpha 5] Similarly, a "Byzantine" was a Roman subject of Constantinople, and the term bore no strict ethnic connotations, Greek or otherwise.[109] Overall, in the Middle Ages, "a person's origin was distinctly regional",[110] and in Ottoman era, before the 19th-century rise of nationalism, it was based on the corresponding confessional community. After the rise of nationalism, most of the Slavic-speaking population in the area, joined the Bulgarian community, through voting in its favor on a plebiscites held during the 1870s. by a qualified majority (over 2/3).

19th-century emergence

With the creation of the Bulgarian Principality in 1878, the Macedonian upper stratum had to decide whether Macedonia was to emerge as an independent state or as part of a "Greater Bulgaria".[111] During this period, the first expressions of Macedonism by certain Macedonian intellectuals occurred in Belgrade, Sofia, Istanbul, Thessaloniki and St. Petersburg. In the 1860s, according to Petko Slaveykov, some young intellectuals from Macedonia were claiming that they are not Bulgarians, but they are rather Macedonians, descendants of the Ancient Macedonians.[112] In a letter written to the Bulgarian Exarch in February 1874 Petko Slaveykov reports that discontent with the current situation “has given birth among local patriots to the disastrous idea of working independently on the advancement of their own local dialect and what’s more, of their own, separate Macedonian church leadership.”[113] The activities of these people were also registered by Stojan Novaković.[114] The nascent Macedonian nationalism, illegal at home in the theocratic Ottoman Empire, and illegitimate internationally, waged a precarious struggle for survival against overwhelming odds: in appearance against the Ottoman Empire, but in fact against the three expansionist Balkan states and their respective patrons among the great powers.[115]

The first prominent author that propagated the concept of a Macedonian ethnicity was Georgi Pulevski, who in 1875 published Dictionary of Three languages: Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, in which he wrote:

On the other hand, Theodosius of Skopje, a priest who have hold a high-ranking positions within the Bulgarian Exarchate was chosen as a bishop of the episcopacy of Skopje in 1885. As a bishop of Skopje, Theodosius renounced de facto the Bulgarian Exarchate and attempted to restore the Archbishopric of Ohrid as a separate Macedonian Orthodox Church in all eparchies of Macedonia[117], responsible for the spiritual, cultural and educational life of all Macedonian Orthodox Christians[115]. During this time period Metropolitan Bishop Theodosius of Skopje made several pleas to the Bulgarian church to allow a separate Macedonian church, and ultimately on Dec 4th 1891 he sent a letter to the Pope Leo XIII to ask for a recognition and a protection from the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1892 the parish school council in the city of Kastoria (then Kostur) adopted the proposal of a group of teachers "to eliminate both Bulgarian and Greek and introduce Macedonian as the language of instruction in the town school," but the idea failed the same year.[118][119]

In 1903 Krste Petkov Misirkov published his book On Macedonian Matters in which he laid down the principles of the modern Macedonian nationhood and language.[120] This book written in the standardized central dialect of Macedonia is considered by ethnic Macedonians as a milestone of the ethnic Macedonian identity and the apogee of the process of Macedonian awakening.[121] In his article "Macedonian Nationalism" he wrote:

Misirkov argued that the dialect of central Macedonia (Veles-Prilep-Bitola-Ohrid)[122] should be taken as a standard Macedonian literary language, in which Macedonians should write, study, and worship; the autocephalous Archbishopric of Ohrid should be restored; and the Slavic people of Macedonia should be identified in their Ottoman identity cards (nofuz) as "Macedonians".[120]

The next great figure of the Macedonian awakening was Dimitrija Čupovski, one of the founders of the Macedonian Literary Society, established in Saint Petersburg in 1902. In the period 1913–1918, Čupovski published the newspaper Македонскi Голосъ (Macedonian Voice) in which he and fellow members of the Petersburg Macedonian Colony propagated the existence of a Macedonian people separate from the Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs, and sought to popularize the idea for an independent Macedonian state.

20th-century development

After the Balkan Wars, following division of the region of Macedonia amongst the Kingdom of Greece, the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Serbia, and after World War I, the idea of belonging to a separate Macedonian nation was further spread among the Slavic-speaking population. The suffering during the wars, the endless struggle of the Balkan monarchies for dominance over the population increased the Macedonians' sentiment that the institutionalization of an independent Macedonian nation would put an end to their suffering. On the question of whether they were Serbs or Bulgarians, the people more often started answering: "Neither Bulgar, nor Serb... I am Macedonian only, and I'm sick of war."[123][124]

Stratis Myrivilis, an important Greek writer, in his Life in the Tomb, from his experiences as a soldier in the Macedonian Front (1916–18), described also the self-identitification of the local population: "...They don't want to be called Bulgar, neither Srrp, neither Grrts. Only Macedon Orthodox...."[125]

The consolidation of an international Communist organization (the Comintern) in the 1920s led to some failed attempts by the Communists to use the Macedonian Question as a political weapon. In the 1920 Yugoslav parliamentary elections, 25% of the total Communist vote came from Macedonia, but participation was low (only 55%), mainly because the pro-Bulgarian IMRO organised a boycott against the elections. In the following years, the communists attempted to enlist the pro-IMRO sympathies of the population in their cause. In the context of this attempt, in 1924 the Comintern organized the filed signing of the so-called May Manifesto, in which independence of partitioned Macedonia was required.[126] In 1925 with the help of the Comintern, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United) was created, composed of former left-wing Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) members. This organization promoted in the early 1930s the existence of a separate ethnic Macedonian nation.[127] This idea was internationalized and backed by the Comintern which issued in 1934 a resolution supporting the development of the entity.[128] This action was attacked by the IMRO, but was supported by the Balkan communists. The Balkan communist parties supported the national consolidation of the ethnic Macedonian people and created Macedonian sections within the parties, headed by prominent IMRO (United) members. The sense of belonging to a separate Macedonian nation gained credence during World War II when ethnic Macedonian communist partisan detachments were formed. In 1943 the Communist Party of Macedonia was established and the resistance movement grew up. After the World War II ethnic Macedonian institutions were created in the three parts of the region of Macedonia, then under communist control,[129] including the establishment of the People's Republic of Macedonia within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ).

The available data indicates that despite the policy of assimilation, pro-Bulgarian sentiments among the Macedonian Slavs in Yugoslavia were still sizable during the interwar period. However if the Yugoslavs would recognize the Slavic inhabitants of Vardar Macedonia as Bulgarians, it would mean that the area should be part of Bulgaria. Practically in post-World War II Macedonia, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia's state policy of forced Serbianisation was changed with a new one — of Macedonization. The codification of the Macedonian language and the recognition of the Macedonian nation had the main goal: finally to ban any Bulgarophilia among the Macedonians and to build a new consciousness, based on identification with Yugoslavia. As result Yugoslavia introduced again an abrupt de-Bulgarization of the people in the PR Macedonia, such as it already had conducted in the Vardar Banovina during the Interwar period. Around 100,000 pro-Bulgarian elements were imprisoned for violations of the special Law for the protection of Macedonian national honor, and over 1,200 were allegedly killed. In this way generations of students grew up educated in strong anti-Bulgarian sentiment which during the times of Communist Yugoslavia, increased to the level of state policy. Its main agenda was a result from the need to distinguish between the Bulgarians and the new Macedonian nation, because Macedonians could confirm themselves as a separate community with its own history, only through differentiating itself from Bulgaria. This policy has continued in the new Republic of Macedonia after 1990, although with less intensity. Thus, the Bulgarian part of the identity of the Slavic-speaking population in Vardar Macedonia has died out.[lower-alpha 6]

21st-century uncertainty

Following the collapse of Yugoslavia, the issue of Macedonian identity has again emerged. Nationalists and governments alike from neighbouring countries (especially Greece and Bulgaria) espouse to the view that the creation of a Macedonian ethnicity is a modern, artificial creation. Such views have been seen by Macedonian historians to represent irredentist motives on Macedonian territory.[115] Moreover, western historians are quick to point out that in fact all modern nations are recent, politically motivated constructs based on creation "myths".[138] The creation of Macedonian identity is "no more or less artificial than any other identity".[139] Contrary to the claims of Romantic nationalists, modern, territorially bound and mutually exclusive nation states have little in common with the large territorial or dynastic medieval empires; and any connection between them is tenuous at best.[140] In any event, irrespective of shifting political affiliations, the Macedonian Slavs shared in the fortunes of the Byzantine commonwealth and the Rum millet and they can claim them as their heritage.[115] Loring Danforth states similarly, the ancient heritage of modern Balkan countries is not "the mutually exclusive property of one specific nation" but "the shared inheritance of all Balkan peoples".[141]

A more radical and uncompromising strand of Macedonian nationalism has recently emerged called "ancient Macedonism", or "Antiquisation". Proponents of such views see modern Macedonians as direct descendants of the ancient Macedonians. This policy is facing criticism by academics as it demonstrates feebleness of archaeology and of other historical disciplines in public discourse, as well as a danger of marginalization of the Macedonian identity.[142][143] Surveys on the effects of the controversial nation-building project Skopje 2014 and on the perceptions of the population of Skopje revealed a high degree of uncertainty regarding the latter's national identity. A supplementary national poll showed that there was a great discrepancy between the population's sentiment and the narrative the state sought to promote.[144]

Additionally during the last two decades tens of thousands of citizens of North Macedonia have applied for Bulgarian citizenship.[145] In the period 2002-2019 some 75,000 have acquired it and some 53,000 are still waiting for such.[146][147] Bulgaria has a special ethnic dual-citizenship regime, that makes a constitutional distinction between ethnic Bulgarians and Bulgarian citizens. In the case of the Macedonians, only declaring their national identity as Bulgarian is enough to gain a citizenship.[148] By making the procedure simpler, Bulgaria stimulates more people of Macedonian (Slavic) descent to acquire its citizenship.[149] Hereof the vast majority of the candidates has applied as Bulgarians by origin,[150] despite only a few of them have really close ties with Bulgaria.[151] A large quantity of applications also originate from other countries in the Western Balkans which have Macedonian and Bulgarian communities, such as Serbia, Albania and Kosovo.[152] Bulgarian citizenship is usually attributed by the locals to gaining work access to member states of the European Union.[153]


The national name derives from the Greek term Makedonía, related to the name of the region, named after the ancient Macedonians and their kingdom. It originates from the ancient Greek adjective makednos, meaning "tall",[154] which shares its roots with the adjective makrós, meaning the same.[155] The name is originally believed to have meant either "highlanders" or "the tall ones", possibly descriptive of these ancient people.[156][157][158] With the conquest of the Balkans by the Ottomans in the late 14th century, the name of Macedonia disappeared as a geographical designation for several centuries. The name was revived just during the early 19th century, after the foundation of the modern Greek state with its Western Europe-derived obsession with Ancient Greece.[159][160] As result of the rise of nationalism in the Ottoman Empire, massive Greek religious and school propaganda occurred, and a process of Hellenization was implemented among Slavic-speaking population of the area.[161][162] In this way, the name Macedonians was applied to the local Slavs, aiming to stimulate the development of close ties between them and the Greeks, linking both sides to the ancient Macedonians, as a counteract against the growing Bulgarian cultural influence into the region.[163][164] As a consequence since 1850s some Slavic intellectuals from the area, adopted the designation Macedonian as a regional identity, and it began to gain a popularity.[165] Serbian politics then, also encouraged this kind of regionalism to neutralize the Bulgarian influx, thereby promoting Serbian interests there.[166] During the interbellum Bulgaria also supported to some extent the Macedonian regional identity, especially in Yugoslavia, to prevent the Serbianization of the local Slavic-speakers. Ultimately the designation Macedonian, changed its status in 1944, and went from being predominantly a regional, ethnographic denomination, to a national one.[167]


The vast majority of ethnic Macedonians live along the valley of the river Vardar, the central region of the Republic of North Macedonia. They form about 64.18% of the population of North Macedonia (1,297,981 people according to the 2002 census). Smaller numbers live in eastern Albania, northern Greece, and southern Serbia, mostly abutting the border areas of the Republic of North Macedonia. A large number of Macedonians have immigrated overseas to Australia, United States, Canada, New Zealand and in many European countries: Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Austria, among others.



The existence of an ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece is rejected by the Greek government. The number of people speaking Slavic dialects has been estimated at somewhere between 10,000 and 250,000.[lower-alpha 7] Most of these people however do not have an ethnic Macedonian national consciousness, with most choosing to identify as ethnic Greeks[176] or rejecting both ethnic designations. In 1999 the Greek Helsinki Monitor estimated that the number of people identifying as ethnic Macedonians numbered somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000,[177] while Loring Danforth estimates it at around 10,000.[178] Macedonian sources generally claim the number of ethnic Macedonians living in Greece at somewhere between 200,000–350,000.[179]

Since the late 1980s there has been an ethnic Macedonian revival in Northern Greece, mostly centering on the region of Florina.[180] Since then ethnic Macedonian organisations including the Rainbow political party have been established.[181] Rainbow has seen limited success at a national level, its best result being achieved in the 1994 European elections, with a total of 7,263 votes. Since 2004 it has participated in European Parliament elections and local elections, but not in national elections. A few of its members have been elected in local administrative posts. Rainbow has recently re-established Nova Zora, a newspaper that was first published for a short period in the mid-1990s, with reportedly 20,000 copies being distributed free of charge.[182][183][184]


Within Serbia, Macedonians constitute an officially recognised ethnic minority at both a local and national level. Within Vojvodina, Macedonians are recognised under the Statute of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, along with other ethnic groups. Large Macedonian settlements within Vojvodina can be found in Plandište, Jabuka, Glogonj, Dužine and Kačarevo. These people are mainly the descendants of economic migrants who left the Socialist Republic of Macedonia in the 1950s and 1960s. The Macedonians in Serbia are represented by a national council and in recent years the Macedonian language has begun to be taught. The most recent census recorded 22,755 Macedonians living in Serbia.[185]


Macedonians represent the second largest ethnic minority population in Albania. Albania recognises the existence of a Macedonian minority within the Mala Prespa region, most of which is comprised by Liqenas Municipality. Macedonians have full minority rights within this region, including the right to education and the provision of other services in the Macedonian language. There also exist unrecognised Macedonian populations living in the Golo Brdo region, the "Dolno Pole" area near the town of Peshkopi, around Lake Ohrid and Korce as well as in Gora. 4,697 people declared themselves ethnic Macedonians in the 1989 census.[186]


Bulgarians are considered most closely related to the neighboring Macedonians, indeed it is sometimes said there is no clear ethnic difference between them.[187] As regards self-identification, a total of 1,654 people officially declared themselves to be ethnic Macedonians in the last Bulgarian census in 2011 (0,02%) and 561 of them are in Blagoevgrad Province (0,2%).[188] 1,091 of them are North Macedonian citizens, who are permanent residents in Bulgaria.[189] Krassimir Kanev, chairman of the non-governmental organization Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, claimed 15,000–25,000 in 1998 (see here). In the same report Macedonian nationalists (Popov et al., 1989) claimed that 200,000 ethnic Macedonians live in Bulgaria. However, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee stated that the vast majority of the Slavic-speaking population in Pirin Macedonia has a Bulgarian national self-consciousness and a regional Macedonian identity similar to the Macedonian regional identity in Greek Macedonia. Finally, according to personal evaluation of a leading local ethnic Macedonian political activist, Stoyko Stoykov, the present number of Bulgarian citizens with ethnic Macedonian self-consciousness is between 5,000 and 10,000.[190] The Bulgarian Constitutional Court banned UMO Ilinden-Pirin, a small Macedonian political party, in 2000 as separatist. Subsequently, activists attempted to re-establish the party but could not gather the required signatures to this aim.


Significant Macedonian communities can also be found in the traditional immigrant-receiving nations, as well as in Western European countries. Census data in many European countries (such as Italy and Germany) does not take into account the ethnicity of émigrés from the Republic of North Macedonia:

  • Argentina: Most Macedonians can be found in Buenos Aires, the Pampas and Córdoba. An estimated 30,000 Macedonians can be found in Argentina.[191]
  • Australia: The official number of Macedonians in Australia by birthplace or birthplace of parents is 83,893 (2001). The main Macedonian communities are found in Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Canberra and Perth. (The 2006 Australian Census included a question of 'ancestry' which, according to Members of the Australian-Macedonian Community, this will result in a 'significant' increase of 'ethnic Macedonians' in Australia. However, the 2006 census recorded 83,983 people of Macedonian (ethnic) ancestry.) See also Macedonian Australians.
  • Canada: The Canadian census in 2001 records 37,705 individuals claimed wholly or partly Macedonian heritage in Canada,[192] although community spokesmen have claimed that there are actually 100,000–150,000 Macedonians in Canada.[193] (See also Macedonian Canadians.)
  • United States: A significant Macedonian community can be found in the United States. The official number of Macedonians in the US is 49,455 (2004). The Macedonian community is located mainly in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Indiana and New Jersey[194] (see also Macedonian Americans).
  • Germany: There are an estimated 61,000 citizens of North Macedonia in Germany (mostly in the Ruhrgebiet) (2001). (See also Ethnic Macedonians in Germany.)
  • Italy: There are 74,162 citizens of North Macedonia in Italy (Foreign Citizens in Italy).
  • Switzerland: In 2006 the Swiss Government recorded 60,362 Macedonian Citizens living in Switzerland. (See also Macedonians in Switzerland.)[195]
  • Romania: Ethnic Macedonians are an officially recognised minority group in Romania. They have a special reserved seat in the nations parliament. In 2002, they numbered 731. (See also Macedonians in Romania.)
  • Slovenia: Ethnic Macedonians began relocating to Slovenia in the 1950s when the two regions formed a part of a single country, Yugoslavia. (See also Macedonians in Slovenia.)

Other significant ethnic Macedonian communities can also be found in the other Western European countries such as Austria, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the whole European Union. Also in Uruguay, with a significant population in Montevideo.


The culture of the people is characterized with both traditionalist and modernist attributes. It is strongly bound with their native land and the surrounding in which they live. The rich cultural heritage of the Macedonians is accented in the folklore, the picturesque traditional folk costumes, decorations and ornaments in city and village homes, the architecture, the monasteries and churches, iconostasis, wood-carving and so on. The culture of Macedonians can roughly be explained as a Balkanic, closely related to that of Bulgarians and Serbs.


The typical Macedonian village house is influelnced by Ottoman Architecture .Presented as a construction with two floors, with a hard facade composed of large stones and a wide balcony on the second floor. In villages with predominantly agricultural economy, the first floor was often used as a storage for the harvest, while in some villages the first floor was used as a cattle-pen.

The stereotype for a traditional Macedonian city house is a two-floor building with white façade, with a forward extended second floor, and black wooden elements around the windows and on the edges.

Cinema and theater

The history of film making in North Macedonia dates back over 110 years. The first film to be produced on the territory of the present-day the country was made in 1895 by Janaki and Milton Manaki in Bitola. In 1995 Before the Rain became the first Macedonian movie to be nominated for an Academy Award.[196]

From 1993 to 1994, 1,596 performances were held in the newly formed republic, and more than 330,000 people attended. The Macedonian National Theater (drama, opera, and ballet companies), the Drama Theater, the Theater of the Nationalities (Albanian and Turkish drama companies) and the other theater companies comprise about 870 professional actors, singers, ballet dancers, directors, playwrights, set and costume designers, etc. There is also a professional theatre for children and three amateur theaters. For the last thirty years a traditional festival of Macedonian professional theaters has been taking place in Prilep in honor of Vojdan Černodrinski, the founder of the modern Macedonian theater. Each year a festival of amateur and experimental Macedonian theater companies is held in Kočani.

Music and art

Macedonian music has many things in common with the music of neighboring Balkan countries, but maintains its own distinctive sound.

The founders of modern Macedonian painting included Lazar Licenovski, Nikola Martinoski, Dimitar Pandilov, and Vangel Kodzoman. They were succeeded by an exceptionally talented and fruitful generation, consisting of Borka Lazeski, Dimitar Kondovski, Petar Mazev who are now deceased, and Rodoljub Anastasov and many others who are still active. Others include: Vasko Taskovski and Vangel Naumovski. In addition to Dimo Todorovski, who is considered to be the founder of modern Macedonian sculpture, the works of Petar Hadzi Boskov, Boro Mitrikeski, Novak Dimitrovski and Tome Serafimovski are also outstanding.


In the past, the Macedonian population was predominantly involved with agriculture, with a very small portion of the people who were engaged in trade (mainly in the cities). But after the creation of the People's Republic of Macedonia which started a social transformation based on Socialist principles, a middle and heavy industry were started.


The Macedonian language (македонски јазик) is a member of the Eastern group of South Slavic languages. Standard Macedonian was implemented as the official language of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia after being codified in the 1940s, and has accumulated a thriving literary tradition.

The closest relative of Macedonian is Bulgarian,[197] followed by Serbo-Croatian. All the South Slavic languages, including Macedonian, form a dialect continuum, in which Macedonian is situated between Bulgarian and Serbian. The Torlakian dialect group is intermediate between Bulgarian, Macedonian and Serbian, comprising some of the northernmost dialects of Macedonian as well as varieties spoken in southern Serbia.

The Macedonian alphabet is an adaptation of the Cyrillic script, as well as language-specific conventions of spelling and punctuation. It is rarely Romanized.


Most Macedonians are members of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. The official name of the church is Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric and is the body of Christians who are united under the Archbishop of Ohrid and North Macedonia, exercising jurisdiction over Macedonian Orthodox Christians in the Republic of North Macedonia and in exarchates in the Macedonian diaspora.

The church gained autonomy from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1959 and declared the restoration of the historic Archbishopric of Ohrid. On 19 July 1967, the Macedonian Orthodox Church declared autocephaly from the Serbian church. Due to protest from the Serbian Orthodox Church, the move was not recognised by any of the churches of the Eastern Orthodox Communion, and since then, the Macedonian Orthodox Church is not in communion with any Orthodox Church. A small number of Macedonians belong to the Roman Catholic and the Protestant churches.

Between the 15th and the 20th centuries, during Ottoman rule, a number of Orthodox Macedonian Slavs converted to Islam. Today in the Republic of North Macedonia, they are regarded as Macedonian Muslims, who constitute the second largest religious community of the country.



Macedonian cuisine is a representative of the cuisine of the Balkans—reflecting Mediterranean (Greek) and Middle Eastern (Turkish) influences, and to a lesser extent Italian, German and Eastern European (especially Hungarian) ones. The relatively warm climate in North Macedonia provides excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Thus, Macedonian cuisine is particularly diverse.

Shopska salad, a food from Bulgaria, is an appetizer and side dish which accompanies almost every meal. Macedonian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of its dairy products, wines, and local alcoholic beverages, such as rakija. Tavče Gravče and mastika are considered the national dish and drink of North Macedonia, respectively.


See also: Flags of North Macedonia, Symbols of North Macedonia
  • Sun: The official flag of the Republic of North Macedonia, adopted in 1995, is a yellow sun with eight broadening rays extending to the edges of the red field.
  • Coat of arms: After independence in 1991, North Macedonia retained the coat of arms adopted in 1946 by the People's Assembly of the People's Republic of Macedonia on its second extraordinary session held on 27 July 1946, later on altered by article 8 of the Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Macedonia. The coat-of-arms is composed by a double bent garland of ears of wheat, tobacco and poppy, tied by a ribbon with the embroidery of a traditional folk costume. In the center of such a circular room there are mountains, rivers, lakes and the sun. All this is said to represent "the richness of our country, our struggle, and our freedom".

Unofficial symbols

  • Lion: The lion first appears in the Fojnica Armorial from 17th century, where the coat of arms of Macedonia is included among those of other entities. On the coat of arms is a crown; inside a yellow crowned lion is depicted standing rampant, on a red background. On the bottom enclosed in a red and yellow border is written "Macedonia". The use of the lion to represent Macedonia was continued in foreign heraldic collections throughout the 16th to 18th centuries.[198][199] Nevertheless, during the late 19th century the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization arose, which modeled itself after the earlier Bulgarian revolutionary traditions and adopted their symbols as the lion, etc.[200][201] Modern versions of the historical lion has also been added to the emblem of several political parties, organizations and sports clubs. However, this symbol is not totally accepted while the state coat of arms of Bulgaria is somewhat similar.
  • Vergina Sun: (official flag, 1992–1995) The Vergina Sun is used unofficially by various associations and cultural groups in the Macedonian diaspora. The Vergina Sun is believed to have been associated with ancient Greek kings such as Alexander the Great and Philip II, although it was used as an ornamental design long before the Macedonian period. The symbol was discovered in the present-day Greek region of Macedonia and Greeks regard it as a misappropriation of a Hellenic symbol, unrelated to Slavic cultures, and a direct claim on the legacy of Philip II. In 1995, Greece lodged a claim for trademark protection of the Vergina Sun as a state symbol under WIPO.[202] In Greece the symbol against a blue field is used vastly in the area of Macedonia and it has official status.The Vergina sun on a red field was the first flag of the independent Republic of Macedonia, until it was removed from the state flag under an agreement reached between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece in September 1995.[203] The Vergina sun is still used[204] unofficially as a national symbol by some groups in the country and Macedonian diaspora.

See also


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  89. Titchener, Frances B.; Moorton, Richard F. (1999). The eye expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman antiquity. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 259. ISBN 978-0-520-21029-5. On the other hand, the Macedonians are a newly emergent people in search of a past to help legitimize their precarious present as they attempt to establish their singular identity in a Slavic world dominated historically by Serbs and Bulgarians. ... The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one.
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  110. Mats Roslund. Guests in the House: Cultural Transmission Between Slavs and Scandinavians; 2008. p. 79
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  113. A letter from Slaveykov to the Bulgarian Exarch written in Solun in February 1874
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  117. Theodosius of Skopje Centralen D'rzhaven istoricheski archiv (Sofia) 176, op. 1. arh.ed. 595, l.5–42 – Razgledi, X/8 (1968), pp. 996–1000.
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  122. On Macedonian Matters - A few works on the Macedonian literary language
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  125. Life in the Tomb, Η ζωή εν τάφω, first edition, 1924
  126. Victor Roudometof, Nationalism, Globalization, and Orthodoxy: The Social Origins of Ethnic Conflict in the Balkans (Contributions to the Study of World History), Praeger, 2001, p.187
  127. The Situation in Macedonia and the Tasks of IMRO (United) – published in the official newspaper of IMRO (United), "Македонско дело", N.185, April 1934.
  128. Резолюция о македонской нации (принятой Балканском секретариате Коминтерна — Февраль 1934 г, Москва.
  129. History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century. Barbara Jelavich, 1983.
  130. "Within Greece, and also within the new kingdom of Yugoslavia, which Serbia had joined in 1918, the ejection of the Bulgarian church, the closure of Bulgarian schools, and the banning of publication in Bulgarian, together with the expulsion or flight to Bulgaria of a large proportion of the Macedonian Slav intelligentsia, served as the prelude to campaigns of forcible cultural and linguistic assimilation...In both countries, these policies of de-bulgarization and assimilation were pursued, with fluctuating degrees of vigor, right through to 1941, when the Second World War engulfed the Balkan peninsula. The degree of these policies' success, however, remains open to question. The available evidence suggests that Bulgarian national sentiment among the Macedonian Slavs of Yugoslavia and Greece remained strong throughout the interwar period, though they lacked the means to offer more than passive resistance to official policies." For more see: F. A. K. Yasamee, Nationality in the Balkans: The case of the Macedonians. Balkans: A Mirror of the New World Order, Istanbul: Eren Publishing, 1995; pp. 121-132.
  131. "As in Kosovo, the restoration of Serbian rule in 1918, to which the Strumica district and several other Bulgarian frontier salients accrued in 1919 (Bulgaria also having lost all its Aegean coastline to Greece), marked the replay of the first Serbian occupation (1913 – 1915). Once again, the Exarchist clergy and Bulgarian teachers were expelled, all Bulgarian-language signs and books removed, and all Bulgarian clubs, societies, and organizations dissolved, The Serbianization of family surnames proceeded as before the war, with Stankov becoming Stankovic and Atanasov entered in the books by Atanackovic... Thousands of Macedonians left for Bulgaria. Though there were fewer killings of "Bulgarians" (a pro-Bulgarian source claimed 342 such instances and 47 additional disappearances in 1918 – 1924), the conventional forms of repression (jailings, internments etc.) were applied more systematically and with greater effect than before (the same source lists 2,900 political arrests in the same period)... Like Kosovo, Macedonia was slated for Serb settlements and internal colonization. The authorities projected the settlement of 50,000 families in Macedonia, though only 4,200 families had been placed in 280 colonies by 1940." For more see: Ivo Banac, "The National Question in Yugoslavia. Origins, History, Politics" The Macedoine, Cornell University Press, 1984; ISBN 0801416752, pp. 307-328.
  132. Yugoslav Communists recognized the existence of a Macedonian nationality during WWII to quiet fears of the Macedonian population that a communist Yugoslavia would continue to follow the former Yugoslav policy of forced Serbianization. Hence, for them to recognize the inhabitants of Macedonia as Bulgarians would be tantamount to admitting that they should be part of the Bulgarian state. For that the Yugoslav Communists were most anxious to mold Macedonian history to fit their conception of Macedonian consciousness. The treatment of Macedonian history in Communist Yugoslavia had the same primary goal as the creation of the Macedonian language: to de-Bulgarize the Macedonian Slavs, and to create an national consciousness that would inspire identification with Yugoslavia. For more see: Stephen E. Palmer, Robert R. King, Yugoslav communism and the Macedonian question, Archon Books, 1971, ISBN 0208008217, Chapter 9: The encouragement of Macedonian culture.
  133. The Serbianization of the Vardar region ended and Yugoslavization was not introduced either; rather, a policy of cultural, linguistic, and “historical” Macedonization by de-Bulgarianization was implemented, with immediate success. For more see: Irina Livezeanu and Arpad von KlimoThe Routledge as ed. History of East Central Europe since 1700, Routledge, 2017, ISBN 1351863428, p. 490.
  134. In Macedonia, post-WWII generations grew up "overdosed" with strong anti-Bulgarian sentiment, leading to the creation of mainly negative stereotypes for Bulgaria and its nation. The anti-Bulgariansim (or Bulgarophobia) increased almost to the level of state ideology during the ideological monopoly of the League of Communists of Macedonia, and still continues to do so today, although with less ferocity... However, it is more important to say openly that a great deal of these anti-Bulgarian sentiments result from the need to distinguish between the Bulgarian and the Macedonian nations. Macedonia could confirm itself as a state with its own past, present and future only through differentiating itself from Bulgaria. For more see: Mirjana Maleska. With the eyes of the "other" (about Macedonian-Bulgarian relations and the Macedonian national identity). In New Balkan Politics, Issue 6, pp. 9-11. Peace and Democracy Center: "Ian Collins", Skopje, Macedonia, 2003. ISSN 1409-9454.
  135. After WWII in Macedonia the past was systematically falsified to conceal the fact that many prominent ‘Macedonians’ had supposed themselves to be Bulgarians, and generations of students were taught the pseudo-history of the Macedonian nation. The mass media and education were the key to this process of national acculturation, speaking to people in a language that they came to regard as their Macedonian mother tongue, even if it was perfectly understood in Sofia. For more see: Michael L. Benson, Yugoslavia: A Concise History, Edition 2, Springer, 2003, ISBN 1403997209, p. 89.
  136. Once specifically Macedonian interests came to the fore under the Yugoslav communist umbrella and in direct confrontation with the Bulgarian occupation authorities (during WWII), the Bulgarian part of the identity of Vardar Macedonians was destined to die out – in a process similar to the triumph of Austrian over German-Austrian identity in post-war years. Drezov K. (1999) Macedonian identity: an overview of the major claims. In: Pettifer J. (eds) The New Macedonian Question. St Antony’s Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London; ISBN 978-0-333-92066-4, p. 51.
  137. Additionally, some 100,000 people were imprisoned in the post-1944 period for violations of the law for the "protection of Macedonian national honor," and some 1,260 Bulgarian sympathizers were allegedly killed. (Troebst, 1997: 248-50, 255-57; 1994: 116-22; Poulton, 2000: 118-19). For more see: Roudometof, Victor, Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question, Praeger Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-275-97648-3, p. 104.
  138. Smith A.D. The Antiquity of Nations. 2004, p. 47
  139. Rae, Heather (2002). State identities and the homogenisation of peoples. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN 0-521-79708-X.
  140. Danforth, L. The Macedonian Conflict. Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World. p. 25
  141. Ancient Macedonia: National Symbols. L Danforth in A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. Wiley –Blackwell 2010. p. 597-8
  142. The Handbook of Political Change in Eastern Europe, Sten Berglund, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013, ISBN 1782545883,p. 622.
  143. Transforming National Holidays: Identity Discourse in the West and South Slavic Countries, 1985–2010, Ljiljana Šarić, Karen Gammelgaard, Kjetil Rå Hauge, John Benjamins Publishing, 2012, ISBN 9027206384, pp. 207–208.
  144. Muhić, Maja; Takovski, Aleksandar (2014): Redefining National Identity in Macedonia. Analyzing Competing Origins Myths and Interpretations through Hegemonic Representations. In Etnološka tribina 44 (37), p. 144.
  145. Sinisa Jakov Marusic, More Macedonians Apply for Bulgarian Citizenship. Aug 5, 2014, Balkans Inside.
  146. Здравка Андонова, За шест години близо 30 хиляди македонци са станали български граждани. в-к Дневник, 26 юни 2018 г.
  147. Bulgaria wants to speed up the process of issuing passports to 53.000 Macedonians. 20 September 2017, META.MK.
  148. Bulgaria which has an ethnic citizenship regime and has a liberal dual citizenship regime makes a constitutional distinction between Bulgarians and Bulgarian citizens, whereas the former category reflects an ethnic (blood) belonging and the later the civic (territorial) belonging. In line with this definition, naturalization in Bulgaria is facilitated for those individuals who can prove that they belong to the Bulgarian nation...The birth certificates of parents and grandparents, their mother tongue, membership in Bulgarian institutions as the Bulgarian Church, former Bulgarian citizenship of the parents and so on are relevant criteria for the establishment of the ethnic origin of the applicant. In the case of Macedonian citizens, declaring their national identity as Bulgarian suffices to obtain Bulgarian citizenship, without the requirement for permanent residence in Bulgaria, or the language examination etc. For more see: Jelena Džankić, Citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro: Effects of Statehood and Identity Challenges, Southeast European Studies, Ashgate Publishing, 2015, ISBN 1472446410, p. 126.
  149. Raymond Detrez, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, Historical Dictionaries of Europe, Rowman & Littlefield, 2014, ISBN 1442241802, p. 318.
  150. Jo Shaw and Igor Štiks as ed., Citizenship after Yugoslavia, Routledge, 2013, ISBN 1317967070, p. 106.
  151. Rainer Bauböck, Debating Transformations of National Citizenship, IMISCOE Research Series, Springer, 2018, ISBN 3319927191, pp. 47-48.
  152. Диана Тодорова, Българските общности в страните от Западните Балкани, 2.06.2018, Новини, БНТ.
  153. Michael Palairet, Macedonia: A Voyage through History (Vol. 2, From the Fifteenth Century to the Present), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016, ISBN 1443888494, p. 347.
  154. μακεδνός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  155. μακρός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  156. Macedonia, Online Etymology Dictionary
  157. Eugene N. Borza, Makedonika, Regina Books, ISBN 0-941690-65-2, p.114: The "highlanders" or "Makedones" of the mountainous regions of western Macedonia are derived from northwest Greek stock; they were akin both to those who at an earlier time may have migrated south to become the historical "Dorians".
  158. Nigel Guy Wilson, Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, Routledge, 2009, p.439: The latest archaeological findings have confirmed that Macedonia took its name from a tribe of tall, Greek-speaking people, the Makednoi.
  159. Jelavich Barbara, History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century, 1983, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521274591, page 91.
  160. John S. Koliopoulos, Thanos M. Veremis, Modern Greece: A History since 1821. A New History of Modern Europe, John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN 1444314831, p. 48.
  161. Richard Clogg, Minorities in Greece: Aspects of a Plural Society. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1850657068, p. 160.
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  163. J. Pettifer, The New Macedonian Question, St Antony's group, Springer, 1999, ISBN 0230535798, pp. 49–51.
  164. Anastas Vangeli, Nation-building ancient Macedonian style: the origins and the effects of the so-called antiquization in Macedonia. Nationalities Papers, the Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, Volume 39, 2011 pp. 13–32.
  165. Roumen Daskalov, Tchavdar Marinov, Entangled Histories of the Balkans, Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies, BRILL, 2013, ISBN 900425076X, pp. 283–285.
  166. Chris Kostov, Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900–1996, Peter Lang, 2010, ISBN 3034301960, p. 65.
  167. Raymond Detrez, Pieter Plas, Developing cultural identity in the Balkans: convergence vs divergence, Volume 34 of Multiple Europesq Peter Lang, 2005, ISBN 9052012970, p. 173.
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  173. Jacques Bacid, PhD Macedonia Through the Ages. Columbia University, 1983.
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  181. Second Macedonian newspaper in Greece"Втор весник на Македонците во Грција...Весникот се вика "Задруга"...За нецел месец во Грција излезе уште еден весник на Македонците/A Second Macedonian Newspaper in greece...The Newspaper is Called "Zadruga/Koinothta"...Barely a month ago in Greece another newspaper for the Macedonians was released."
  182. Македонците во Грција треба да си ги бараат правата Archived 23 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine""Нова зора"...печати во 20.000 примероци/Nova printed in 20,000 copies"
  183. "Нова зора" – прв весник на македонски јазик во Грција Archived 9 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine""Нова зора" – прв весник на македонски јазик во Грција...При печатењето на тиражот од 20.000 примероци се појавиле само мали технички проблеми/Nova Zora – the first Macedonian language newspaper in Greece...There were only small technical problems with the printing of the circulation of 20,000"
  184. Нема печатница за македонски во Грција"Весникот е наречен "Нова зора" и треба да се печати во 20.000 примероци/The Newspaper is called Nova Zora and 20,000 copies are printed."
  185. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2014. Retrieved 2015-06-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  186. Artan Hoxha and Alma Gurraj, Local Self-Government and Decentralization: Case of Albania. History, Reforms and Challenges. In: Local Self Government and Decentralization in South — East Europe. Proceedings of the workshop held in Zagreb, Croatia 6 April 2001. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Zagreb Office, Zagreb 2001, pp. 194–224 (PDF).
  187. Day, Alan John; East, Roger; Thomas, Richard (2002). Political and economic dictionary of Eastern Europe. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 1-85743-063-8.
  188. (in Bulgarian) Official census data
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