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The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


Click for a detailed map (PDF)

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Parliament has put forth a decentralization plan, which is integral to the country’s bid for European Union membership and is expected to improve living conditions for women and children. But progress remains fragile due to frequently changing governments, social tensions and ongoing economic problems.

Issues facing children in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


  • Although there are more than 300 medical facilities in rural areas, nearly 90 per cent of residents feel their access to health care is inadequate.

  • Mortality rates for Roma children are almost double those of the general population. Nearly a quarter of Roma women give birth at home, without medical care.

  • Juveniles are treated as adults by the criminal justice system.

  • In Roma and Turkish communities, the lack of quality secondary schools leads to high dropout rates and low school-completion rates. After primary school, boys often go directly into the labour market and girls marry as young as 15.

  • The vocational education system continues to train students for jobs that haven’t been necessary or available since the Yugoslav era. 

  • Hundreds of children live in public institutions, where they have irregular access to education and health care and are deprived of family care.

  • Young people’s knowledge of HIV/AIDS risks is low. 

  • Though official statistics don’t reflect it, domestic violence is a problem.


Activities and results for children


  • Hepatitis B vaccinations have been integrated into the standard package of immunizations for all children.

  • UNICEF helped the Ministry of Health procure 200,000 doses of polio vaccine.  Immunization rates remain above 95 per cent, and iodine deficiency has been eliminated.

  • Childbirth education classes are now available to all pregnant women.

  • UNICEF supported a draft juvenile justice law that would treat minors differently than adults, and would focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. 

  • A life skills curriculum adopted by several schools has had great success at improving the overall quality of education.

  • UNICEF and its partners provided basic literacy training to 900 girls and young women in poor Roma and rural Turkish and Albanian areas. Dropout and non-enrolment rates for girls and Roma children have decreased by a quarter.

  • UNICEF and its partners launched a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of child trafficking. UNICEF also helped tailor standards for treatment of child trafficking victims.

  • The office of the Ombudsman for Children has created a National Children’s Board to encourage young people to participate in political decisions.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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