South Slavs

The South Slavs are a subgroup of Slavic peoples who speak the South Slavic languages. They inhabit a contiguous region in the Balkan Peninsula and the eastern Alps, and in the modern era are geographically separated from the body of West Slavic and East Slavic people by the Romanians, Hungarians, and Austrians in between, or geographically the Black Sea. The South Slavs today include the nations of Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs and Slovenes. They are the main population of the Southeastern European countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.

South Slavs
  South Slavic countries
  West and East Slavic countries
Total population
c. 30 million[1]
Regions with significant populations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia
East South Slavic languages:
West South Slavic languages:
Serbo-Croatian (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin)
Orthodox Christianity
(Bulgarians, Macedonians, Montenegrins and Serbs)
Roman Catholicism
(Croats and Slovenes)
Sunni Islam
(Bosniaks, Pomaks, Gorani and Torbeši)
Related ethnic groups
Other Slavs

In the 20th century, the country of Yugoslavia (literally "South Slavia" or "Southern Slavland") united the regions inhabited by South Slavic nations—with the exception of Bulgaria—into a single state. The concept of Yugoslavia, a single state for all South Slavic peoples, emerged in the late 17th century and gained prominence through the 19th-century Illyrian movement. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, was proclaimed on 1 December 1918, following the unification of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs with the kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro.

With the Breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, several independent sovereign states were formed.