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Slovenia, Population

population of Slovenia, Cyrillic alphabet, University of Ljubljana, Slovenes, Latin alphabet

The population of Slovenia at the 1991 census was 1,962,606. In 2002 the country had an estimated population of 1,932,917, giving it an overall population density of 95 persons per sq km (247 per sq mi). Slovenes, a Slavic ethnic group, constitute about 88 percent of the republic’s population. Slovenes speak Slovenian, the republic’s official language. Unlike other Slavic cultures, Slovenes have been heavily influenced by German and Austrian cultures for nearly a millennium. Despite more than 70 years of affiliation with Yugoslavia, Slovene culture exhibits many similarities to Germanic cultures. Slovenian is written in the Latin alphabet—unlike Serbian and many other Slavic languages, which are written in the Cyrillic alphabet—and has many dialects. In addition, most people in Slovenia are Roman Catholic. Ethnic Serbs (about 2 percent), Croats (about 3 percent), and various other ethnic groups (about 7 percent) constitute the remainder of Slovenia’s population. In addition, in the mid-1990s Slovenia was home to some 20,000 refugees from the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Some 50 percent of all Slovenes live in urban areas, particularly in Ljubljana (population, 1997 estimate, 330,000) and Maribor (103,113), the republic’s two largest cities. Many of the remainder live in rural areas throughout the republic, particularly in alpine villages, where skiing is one of the most popular forms of recreation. In the cities Slovenes enjoy concerts, operas, and art galleries.

The Slovene government requires that all children attend school between the ages of 7 and 15. Almost all Slovenes over the age of ten can read and write, and 53 percent of students receive postsecondary or higher levels of education. There are 30 institutions of higher education in Slovenia; among them is the University of Ljubljana, which was founded in 1595.

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