Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on 2008-02-17. If it achieves international recognition and gets an ISO country code, I will
separate its listing from Serbia's. Some countries have already recognized it, and the U.S. has issued GEC code
it, while changing the GEC code for Serbia from
RI, to reflect the change in territory. The European
Union is using
XK as a temporary substitute for an ISO code. "Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes"
(GENC) also assigns it the two-letter code
XK, as well as the three-letter code
XKS. ISO codes beginning with 'X' are reserved for user-customized codes. Kosovo had been administered under U.N.
supervision since 1999. The GEC change was made official by Change Notice 14, published on 2008-07-31. The latest censuses were reported
separately for Serbia and Kosovo. For the time being, I list them in two tables.
"GENC Edition 2" was issued on 2014-03-31. It has codes for the cities, districts, and municipalities of Serbia, and for the autonomous
province Vojvodina (
RS-VO). It is intended as the U.S. version of ISO 3166-2. The divisions of Kosovo have GENC codes that
XK-, and represent municipalities. ISO has codes for one city, Belgrade, which is at the district level; and for
two autonomous provinces, Kosovo and Vojvodina. There are no ISO codes for ordinary cities or municipalities.
ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number II-1, dated 2010-02-03 and revised on 2010-02-19, has changes to the listing for Serbia, but nothing substantive. The prefix RS- is explicitly added to each autonomous province code (Kosovo-Metohija, Vojvodina). All of the district names have been changed from the noun to the adjective form (e.g. Pirot to Pirotski okrug). The last six districts in alphabetical order were originally omitted from the list by an oversight.
ISO 3166-2 Newsletter I-8, published on 2007-04-17, has ISO codes for the districts of Serbia. They are shown in the table below.
ISO 3166-1 Newsletter V-12, dated 2006-09-26, announces the splitting of Serbia and Montenegro into two countries. Serbia is the successor country to Serbia and Montenegro, so this page will still be the place to look for Yugoslavia's history.
FIPS 10-4 Change Notice 11, dated 2006-07-11, assigned new GEC codes to Serbia and Montenegro as separate countries.
On 2002-03-14, Serbia and Montenegro (the two republics of Yugoslavia) signed an accord. Under its terms, they agreed to restructure their federation, and rename it "Serbia and Montenegro" (Serbian: Srbija i Crna Gora) under the eventual new constitution. Montenegro held a referendum on independence from Serbia on 2006-05-21. The required 55% majority was attained, although barely. The National Assembly of Montenegro declared independence on 2006-06-03. On 2006-06-28, Montenegro became the 192nd member of the United Nations. Serbia remains the successor state to Serbia and Montenegro.
FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 9, affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2004-10-01. The only change was the name of the country, from Yugoslavia to Serbia and Montenegro.
ISO 3166-1 Newsletter V-8 was published on 2003-07-23. It shows the name of Yugoslavia changed to Serbia and Montenegro. The
two-letter country code is changed from
CS, and the three-letter code from
SCG. The three-digit code remains unchanged. The new codes were chosen on the basis of the Serbian form of the country
name. ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-5, dated 2003-09-05, changes the ISO codes for the subdivisions of Yugoslavia so that they contain
the new country code.
Erratum: The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was proclaimed on 1918-12-01, not -04 as stated in the book.
The position of the United States Department of State from about 1992-2000 was that Montenegro and Serbia were two separate, unrecognized
countries. Apparently, after Slobodan Milosevic was defeated in the 2000 election, the U.S. recognized Yugoslavia again. Change Notice
6 to FIPS PUB 10-4 was published on 2001-01-28. The GEC country codes
MW (Montenegro) and
SR (Serbia) were
dropped, to be replaced by
YI (Yugoslavia). (Note: the GEC code for Yugoslavia used to be
YO, in the period
before 1992 when the country consisted of six republics.) Montenegro and Serbia were given codes with a
|GEC code||RI, KV|
In 1900, the Balkans were still balkanized. The Ottoman Empire retained a foothold in Europe. Its vilayet of Kosovo later became part of Yugoslavia, as did northern Monastir and a corner of Saloniki vilayet. Bosnia-Herzegovina and the sanjak of Novibazar, both nominally Ottoman, had been occupied by Austria-Hungary since 1878. Serbia and Montenegro were independent kingdoms. The rest of the area that would eventually become Yugoslavia was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including the Austrian provinces of Carniola and Dalmatia, parts of Coastland and Styria, the Hungarian provinces of Fiume and Croatia and Slavonia, and parts of the Hungarian counties of Bács-Bodrog, Csongrád, Temes, and Torontál. In 1908, Austria-Hungary formally annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina. Following the Second Balkan War, by the Bucharest Peace Treaty (1913-08-10), Serbia annexed lands from the Ottoman Empire including its present southern section and what is now the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The sanjak of Novibazar was split between Serbia and Montenegro. On 1918-12-01, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was proclaimed. This kingdom was soon being called Yugoslavia, although the name didn't become official until 1929. The peace treaties which ended World War I sanctioned the fait accompli. They left the exact border with Italy open for negotiation (see Croatia and Slovenia for more details about this border, which was again shifted after World War II). Yugoslavia was occupied by the axis powers in World War II. After it was liberated, on 1945-11-29, it proclaimed itself the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, formed as a federation of six constituent republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. Within Serbia there were two autonomous divisions: Kosovo region and Voivodina province. When the Communist bloc fell apart, starting in 1991, the republics began declaring themselves independent. Finally, only Montenegro and Serbia remained in the federation. They claimed to be the successor state to Yugoslavia. The United Nations and the United States rejected this claim, and treated them as two separate unrecognized states, until about 2000. The country changed its name to Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. Montenegro became a separate country in 2006. Kosovo declared independence in 2008. Other countries began recognizing it immediately, but Serbia doesn't, and it doesn't have an ISO code.
Serbia: land of the Serbs
Serbia is divided into 24 okruzi (sing. okrug: districts) and one grad (city). Kosovo has another 5 districts, listed separately.
|Central Banat||187,667||208,456||3,256||1,257||Srednje-Banatski Okrug||Zrenjanin|
|North Bačka||186,906||200,140||1,784||689||Severno-Bački Okrug||Subotica|
|North Banat||147,770||165,881||3,256||1,257||Severno-Banatski Okrug||Kikinda|
|South Bačka||615,371||593,666||4,016||1,551||Južno-Bački Okrug||Novi Sad|
|South Banat||293,730||313,937||4,245||1,639||Južno-Banatski Okrug||Pancevo|
|Srem||312,278||335,901||3,486||1,346||Sremski Okrug||Sremska Mitrovica|
|West Bačka||188,087||214,011||2,420||934||Zapadno-Bački Okrug||Sombor|
|Kosovsko-Mitrovica||232,833||226,807||2,050||792||Kosovsko-Mitrovački Okrug||Kosovska Mitrovica|
Note: Tracking the ISO country codes, the first two characters in the HASC codes for entities shown on this page changed from
CS in 2003, and again to
RS in 2006. HASC codes in the table above were inherited from the
codes for the districts of Serbia and Montenegro, viewed as secondary subdivisions, with CS.SR replaced by RS. Exception: the former code
for Prizren was
Serbia uses five-digit postal codes.
See the Municipalities of Serbia page.
The 2011 census reports show a rather complicated territorial breakdown of Serbia. Kosovo has its own census report, which is organized by municipalities. The five districts may still be valid, but they aren't mentioned in the report. As for Serbia, the census report shows it divided at the very top level into Serbia North and Serbia South. Each of those is divided into two regions. The regions are:
|Southern and Eastern Serbia||S||1,563,916|
|Šumadija and Western Serbia||S||2,031,697|
Belgrade region is coextensive with Belgrade city. The other regions are subdivided into districts, as listed under Primary subdivisions. Districts are subdivided in various ways. The secondary divisions are cities (grad) and communes (opstina). The cities Belgrade, Niš, Novi Sad, Požarevac, and Vranje have further subdivisions.
Before Yugoslavia broke up, it was divided into six socialist republics. One of them, Serbia, was further divided into Serbia proper and two autonomous divisions. All of them - republics and autonomous areas - were in turn divided into opčine (communes).
The UN LOCODE page for Serbia lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.
This table shows the divisions of Serbia in 1910, according to sources  and . Serbia was a good deal smaller then than it is now. It didn't include any of Kosovo or Vojvodina, and Kosovo was somewhat larger than it is today.
The two sources give different spellings for the names. Source , corresponding to the column headed "SY Name", is clearly using a transliteration system that differs from modern usage. Another curiosity in source  is that it has separate listings for Chachak and Rudnik, whereas source  says that Chachak is the capital of Rudnik department. Gornji Milanovac and Rudnik departments were contiguous. I have guessed that source  meant Gornji Milanovac when it said Chachak.
|Gornji Milanovac||Chachak||130,989||3,797||Gornji Milanovac|
|Drinska||Sarajevo||Drina R.||Bosnia, Serbia|
|Dunavska||Novi Sad||Danube R.||Serbia, Vojvodina|
|Savska||Zagreb||Sava R.||Croatia, Slavonia|
|Vardarska||Skopje||Vardar R.||Macedonia, Kosovo|
|Vrbaska||Banja Luka||Vrbas R.||Bosnia|
|Zetska||Cetinje||Zeta R.||Montenegro, Novibazar|
International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on December 15, 1998. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For Yugoslavia, the draft standard showed two divisions, which it categorized as "(remaining) socialist republics". The word "remaining", of course, refers to the fact that since 1990, four of Yugoslavia's six original republics had broken away. The final standard shows the same two republics with the same codes. They are no longer described as remaining or socialist. In addition, there are two new entries for the two autonomous provinces of Serbia. Officially, Serbia contains these two provinces, as well as a substantially larger area of Serbia proper. The full set of subdivisions of Yugoslavia according to ISO is shown in this table.
|ISO||Type||ISO Name||English Name|
CS, which also replaced
YUas the first element of the ISO 3166-2 subdivision codes, and of all HASC codes. The code represents Crna Gora and Serbia.
RS, for Republika Srpska.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2,561,961||2,847,459||3,277,948||3,746,000||4,124,256||4,365,639|
1959: Populations are based on a different territorial division. Among other things, all of Kosovo is shown as one district (source
2002: Populations for the five districts of Kosovo were pulled from a variety of sources. The population for Kosovo district is implausible.
2011: sources  and , data for two different dates.
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