North Macedonia Census Reveals Big Drop in Population
The official results of the September 2021 national headcount, published on Wednesday, show the country's population has shrunk by 9.2 per cent over two decades since the last census.
The population now stands at 1,836,713, which is 185,834 people less than the number recorded in the previous census conducted in 2002.
Together with 260,606 counted non-residents, whose participation in the census was optional, the number rises to a total of 2,097,319, the State Statistical Office said at a press conference in Skopje.
Results show the average age of the population is just over 40, and 207 settlements in the country, predominantly villages, are now empty of people.
While the population has fallen sharply, as many experts anticipated, the results have shown that the ethnic composition of the population has not shifted that much.
The ethnic ratio has been a matter of much concern over the past two decades, and was the main reason for several postponements, and for scrapping the census of 2011.
The new results show that, of the resident population, 58,44 per cent are ethnic Macedonians and 24,3 per cent are ethnic Albanians.
Of the rest, 3,86 per cent are ethnic Turks, 2,53 per cent are Roma, 1,3 per cent are Serbs, 0,87 per cent are Bosniaks and 0,47 per cent are Vlachs.
Taking into account the non-residential population as well, the ratio between Macedonians and Albanians has shifted a little in favour of the latter.
In this case, Macedonians comprise 54,21 per cent of all counted citizens while Albanians make up 29,52 per cent.
Compared to the previous census from 2002, the number of Albanians in the country has remained largely the same but the number of ethnic Macedonians has shrunk.