Land, People, and Economy
Most of Slovenia is situated in the Karst plateau and in the Julian Alps. The largely mountainous and forested republic is drained by the Drava and Sava rivers. Ljubljana, Maribor, and Celje are the chief cities. The Slovenes constitute more than 80% of the population, but there are also Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks. Almost 60% are Roman Catholic, and there are Muslim and Eastern Orthodox minorites.
Slovenia is the most industrialized and urbanized of all the former Yugoslav republics. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, Slovenia's economy grew and tourism increased markedly, unimpeded by the warfare that devastated other regions. Many state companies, however, were not privatized. That situation contributed to a recession in 2009 that was aggravated by excessive lending by state-controlled banks; the subsequent financial crisis led to the adoption of privatization measures in 2012.
Iron, steel, aluminum, electronics, motor vehicles, electric power equipment, wood products, textiles, chemicals, and machine tools are the main industrial products. Farming and livestock raising are important occupations, with potatoes, hops, wheat, sugar beets, corn, and wine grapes the main crops. There are mineral resources of coal, lead, zinc, mercury, uranium, and silver. Exports include household appliances, machinery and transportation equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and food. Machinery, consumer goods, chemicals, and fuels are imported. The country's chief trading partners are Germany, Italy, Austria, France, and Croatia.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.