The meeting of a hundred women on Triglav (2.864 m) is traditional annual event. Photo: Stane Klemenc

Slovenia has a population of two million people. Similarly to other modern societies, the country has been facing demographic issues, such as ageing, and low birth rate.

Slovenia’s population is slowly declining. Families used to be quite large, but have been growing smaller over recent decades. Both birth and mortality rates have decreased, and there has been growing concern about lower birth rates. The year 1993 was the first to see a negative demographic trend.

Since 1993 the population of Slovenia has been increasing only due to immigration, while the birth rate has been negative since 1993. In 2009, 21,856 children were born (1.53 children per woman), and 18,750 persons died. Fortunately, the mortality rate among infants is low (2.4 per 1,000 live births in 2009). It is notable that many children in Slovenia are born outside wedlock – some to single mothers, and others to unmarried couples. With regard to the status of such couples and their offspring, no particular distinctions apply.

Between 250,000 and 400,000 Slovenes (depending on whether second and subsequent generations are counted) live outside the country, in other continents and in EU countries.

Slovenia took last place among EU countries in 2009 with 3.2 marriages per 1000 population. The divorce rate per 1000 population is 1.1. Only in Italy and Ireland was the divorce rate lower than in Slovenia.

The literacy rate is 99.7% of the total population.

Slovenia’s population is ageing

Approximately 51% of the population lives in urban areas. Photo: Jakše-Jeršič

The age structure is changing not only beacuse of the decreased birth rate, but also due to longer life. Like in other developed countries, Slovenia’s population is ageing. In the beginning of the 1950s the median age in Slovenia was around 30, surging to 41.2 years at the end of 2004. In the 1953 census, the ratio between persons younger than 15 and persons aged 65 or over was 27.6 per cent vs. 7.6 per cent in favour of the young, while in 2004 it was 14.4 per cent vs. 15.3 per cent in favour of persons aged 65 or over.

Population density

Population density in Slovenia is about 100 inhabitants per km2 (256/sq mi), which is much lower than in the majority of European states. Approximately one third of the population live in towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants, the rest live in nearly six thousand smaller towns and villages.

The larger towns are Ljubljana (the capital), Maribor, Kranj, Celje, Koper, Novo mesto, Nova Gorica, Velenje, Ptuj, Murska Sobota, Slovenj Gradec.