Montenegro is a country in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the southeast. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is the former Royal Capital City.
Sixty-five percent of the population belongs to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Nineteen percent are Muslim (most of these people live in Kosovo, and the majority are Sunni, although there are some Shi'ite as well); 4 percent are Roman Catholic; 1 percent are Protestant; and the remaining 11 percent practice other religions. Before World War II there was a sizable Jewish population. It shrunk from 64,405 in 1931 to 6,835 in 1948.
About 43 percent of the people are Montengrin, 32 percent Serbian, 8 percent Bosnian, and 5 percent Albanian. Serbian, in the Ijekcvian dialect, is the official language.
Montenegro’s lower areas have a Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Temperature varies greatly with elevation. Average January temperatures range from 46 °F (8 °C) at Bar on the southern coast to 27 °F (−3 °C) in the northern mountains.
State-funded national radio-TV broadcaster operates 2 terrestrial TV networks, 1 satellite TV channel, and 2 radio network. There are 4 public TV stations and some 20 private TV stations; 14 local public radio stations and more than 40 private radio stations (2010).
The United States recognized Montenegro on June 12, 2006 and formally established diplomatic relations on August 15, 2006. The U.S. maintains an Embassy in Podgorica. The overriding goal of U.S. assistance to Montenegro is to help the country transition to a prosperous, market-based democracy fully integrated into Euro-Atlantic institutions, including NATO and the European Union.
Compulsory education in Montenegro includes the 8 grades of primary school, attended by students typically aged 7 through 14. Serbian is the official language of instruction in Montenegrin schools, almost all of which are public. In some areas, Albanian is also offered as a language of instruction at the elementary and secondary levels.
The government provides obligatory health care to citizens for preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative services. Average life expectancy in 1999 was 76.3. Infant mortality is 11 per 1000 people.
Serbia and Montenegro is a confederal parliamentary democratic republic, with two constituent states—the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro. As of April 2003, the Serbian province of Kosovo remained governed by the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and has self-government.
Montenegro is industrially underdeveloped, and unemployment and corruption are serious problems. Bauxite mining and aluminium production form the largest industrial sector. The fastest growth area is tourism, which is attracting substantial foreign investment.
Government control over independent broadcast and print media has discouraged political opposition parties that have called for greater democracy and more open economy. Montenegro has about 297 radios and 282 television sets for every 1000 people.