Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, commonly referred to as SFR Yugoslavia or simply Yugoslavia, was a country in Southeast and Central Europe that existed from its foundation in the aftermath of World War II until its dissolution in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. Covering an area of 255,804 km2 (98,766 sq mi), the SFRY bordered the Adriatic Sea and Italy to the west, Austria and Hungary to the north, Bulgaria and Romania to the east, and Albania and Greece to the south. It was a one-party socialist state and federation governed by the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and made up of six socialist republicsBosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia—with Belgrade as its capital; it also included two autonomous provinces within Serbia: Kosovo and Vojvodina.

Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia
  • Federativna Narodna Republika Jugoslavija[a]
  • Федеративна Народна Република Југославија[b]
  • Federativna ljudska republika Jugoslavija[c]

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
  • Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija[a]
  • Социјалистичка Федеративна Република Југославија[b]
  • Socialistična federativna republika Jugoslavija[c]
Motto: "Brotherhood and unity"
  • Bratstvo i jedinstvo
  • Братство и јединство
  • Bratstvo in Enotnost
  • Братство и Единство
Anthem: "Hey, Slavs"
  • Hej, Slaveni/Hej, Sloveni
  • Хеј, Слaвени/Хеј, Слoвени
  • Hej, Slovani
  • Еј, Словени

Map of Europe in 1989, showing Yugoslavia highlighted in green
and largest city
44°48′N 20°28′E
Official languagesNone at federal level
Recognised national languagesSerbo-Croatian[d]
Official scriptCyrillic   Latin
Ethnic groups
Secular state[2][3]
State atheism (de facto)
Government1945–1948: Federal
Marxist–Leninist one-party
socialist republic
1948–1971: Federal Titoist
one-party socialist republic
1971–1990: Federal Titoist
one-party socialist directoral
1990–1992: Federal
parliamentary directoral
General Secretary 
 1945–1980 (first)
Josip Broz Tito
 1989–1990 (last)
Milan Pančevski
 1945–1953 (first)
Ivan Ribar
 1991 (last)
Stjepan Mesić
Prime Minister 
 1945–1963 (first)
Josip Broz Tito
 1989–1991 (last)
Ante Marković
LegislatureFederal Assembly
Chamber of Republics
Federal Chamber
Historical eraCold War
29 November 1943
29 November 1945
31 January 1946
1 September 1961
 Death of Tito
4 May 1980
27 June 1991
27 April 1992
255,804 km2 (98,766 sq mi)
 1991 estimate
HDI (1989) 0.913[4]
very high
CurrencyYugoslav dinar (YUD to 1990, YUN from 1990 to 1992)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+38
Internet TLD.yu
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Democratic Federal Yugoslavia
Free Territory of Trieste
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Today part ofBosnia and Herzegovina
North Macedonia
  1. ^ Name in the Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian languages, written in the Latin alphabet (see Name section for details).
  2. ^ Name in Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian, written in Cyrillic.
  3. ^ Name in Slovene (Slovene uses Latin only).
  4. ^ There was no de jure official language at the federal level,[5][6][7] but Serbo-Croatian was de facto official and the only language spoken and taught throughout the country. However, it was the official language in the federal republics of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.[5][6]
  5. ^ Official in Slovenia.
  6. ^ Official in Macedonia.
  7. ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 97 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 112 UN member states are said to have recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.

The SFRY traces its origins to 26 November 1942, when the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia was formed during World War II to resist Axis occupation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Following the country's liberation, King Peter II was deposed, the monarchy was ended, and on 29 November 1945, the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia was proclaimed. Led by Josip Broz Tito, the new Communist government sided with the Eastern Bloc at the beginning of the Cold War but pursued a policy of neutrality following the Tito–Stalin split in 1948; it became one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, and transitioned from a command economy to market-based socialism.

Following the death of Tito on 4 May 1980, the Yugoslav economy started to collapse, which increased unemployment and inflation.[8][9] The economic crisis led to rising ethnic nationalism and political dissidence in the late 1980s and early 1990s. With the Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, efforts to transition into a confederation also failed; the two wealthiest republics, Croatia and Slovenia, seceded and gained some international recognition in 1991. The federation dissolved along the borders of federated republics, hastened by the start of the Yugoslav Wars, and the federation formally broke up on 27 April 1992. Two republics, Serbia and Montenegro, remained within a reconstituted state known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, or FR Yugoslavia, but this state was not recognized internationally as the official successor state to SFR Yugoslavia. Former Yugoslavia is now commonly used retrospectively.