The 26th Anniversary of Slovenia’s Independence in Figures and Facts

During this time, the demographic structure of the country has undergone significant changes. An average Slovenian, according to the Statistics Service (SURS), became older by 7 years. If the average age of a Slovenian in the beginning of 1991 was 35.9 years, then on 1 January 2017, this indicator grew to 43 years. In 1991, almost 21% of the Slovenia’s residents were under 15 years old, and in early 2017, their share was 14.9%. Even greater difference is observed in the category of elderly people (65 years and above). 26 years ago, their share was just over 1/10 of the population, which is 10.8%. This year, their number has almost doubled reaching the figure of 18.9%.

Accordingly, the number of pensioners has also increased. In 1992, there were 420,000 of them, and in 2016, their number grew to 615,000. In the first year of independence, the proportion of the working population in Slovenia was also higher (894,000 people) as compared to 817,000 people last year. The unemployment rate in Slovenia has increased as well. In 1991, the officially registered number of unemployed exceeded 75,000 people (7.8%). At the end of last year, there were slightly more than 103,000 officially unemployed in Slovenia (11.2%).

Nevertheless, Slovenia is now richer than it was 26 years ago. In 1991, the gross domestic product (GDP) in Slovenia per capita was almost four times lower (5,100 euros) than in 2016 (19,300 euros). According to this indicator, Slovenia ranks 13th in the EU.

Average salaries of the Slovenes, in comparison with 1991, have increased as well. Experts from the Statistics Service estimated that since 1991, the prices have been growing more slowly than salaries. Therefore, for example, an average Slovenian should now work a third of the time less to buy 1 kilogram of bread, and 5 hours less to buy a kilo of coffee.

Analysts of the Statistical Service emphasize that the material well-being of the population most significantly reflects the level of individual consumption per capita according to the purchasing power standards. Until 2008, this indicator had been growing and reached 80% of the EU average. Then it began to decline and last year, it made 75% of the EU average. A similar figure is in Poland, Greece, Slovakia (77%), and the Czech Republic (78%). Luxembourg residents have the highest individual consumption per capita (132%).

The structure of the Slovenian economy has also changed significantly. In the early 90’s of the 20th century, Slovenia exported mainly cars (11%), textiles and clothing (10%), electrical appliances and equipment (9%). By the end of 2016, automobiles and electrical appliances accounted for the lion’s share of the exports value—15% and 10%, respectively. The pharmaceuticals and medical products make the 10%-share of exports. However, the Slovenian textile industry, according to the Statistics Service, is in a depressing state today.

Last year, the risk levels of poverty and social exclusion decreased by 0.4% to 13.9% and by 0.8% to 18.4%, respectively, as compared to 2015. The poverty line “decreased” by 3 euros and now makes 7,396 euros, which means 616 euros per month for a single household (per 1 person).

The poverty line in Slovenia for a family of 4 people, consisting of 2 adults and 2 children under 14, was 1,294 euros per month, and the poverty line for a childless household of 2 persons made 925 euros per month. According to the Living Conditions analytical study (Slovene: Življenjski pogoji), in 2016 the poverty risk level in Slovenia was 13.9%. This means that there were approximately 280,000 people with the income below the poverty line in Slovenia. That is, 7,000 fewer people than in 2015.

In general, 16.9% of persons in this category or 83,000 people are retired (57,000 women and 26,000 men), 61,000 people are the unemployed, 50,000 are working, 46,000 are minors, and 40,000 are representatives of other categories.

In 2016, the risk level of social exclusion (the rejection of an individual or a group of people by the social environment) in Slovenia decreased by 0.8% as compared to 2015. It amounted to 18.4%, which means that there were approximately 371,000 people in the risk zone of social exclusion. The risk level of social exclusion was the highest in Lower Sava (22.6%) and Central Sava (22.4%), and the lowest—in the Littoral–Inner Carniola region (12.9%).