North Macedonia (Macedonia prior to February 2019), formally the Republic of North Macedonia, is a Southeast European nation. It won independence in 1991 as one of Yugoslavia's successor republics. It is a landlocked nation bounded to the northwest by Kosovo, to the north by Serbia, to the east by Bulgaria, to the south by Greece, and to the west by Albania. It accounts for around one-third of the wider geographical territory of Macedonia. The capital and biggest city, Skopje, is home to a quarter of the country's 1.83 million people. The ethnic Macedonians, a South Slavic ethnicity, make up the vast bulk of the population. Albanians account for around 25% of the population, followed by Turks, Romani, Serbs, Bosniaks, Aromanians, and a few other ethnicities.
The history of the area began with the kingdom of Paeonia, a Thraco-Illyrian monarchy. The Persian Achaemenid Empire annexed the territory in the late sixth century BC, and it was later integrated into the Kingdom of Macedonia in the fourth century BC. In the second century BC, the Roman Empire captured the territory and included it into the wider province of Macedonia. The territory remained part of the Byzantine Empire, but Slavic tribes began raiding and settling there in the sixth century of the Christian period. Following centuries of conflict between the Bulgarian, Byzantine, and Serbian Empires, it was part of the Ottoman Empire from the mid-14th century until the early twentieth century, when the modern territory of North Macedonia came under Serbian rule following the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913.
The province was administered by Bulgaria during World War I, but after the war, it was restored to Serbian control as part of the newly established Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. During WWII, it was administered by Bulgaria again, and in 1945 it was admitted as a component state of communist Yugoslavia, where it remained until its peaceful independence in 1991. The nation joined the United Nations in April 1993, however, due to a name dispute with Greece, it was accepted under the interim title "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (abbreviated as "FYR Macedonia" or "FYROM"). Macedonia and Greece reached an agreement in June 2018 to rename the nation "Republic of North Macedonia." This rename becomes effective in February 2019.
A unitary parliamentary constitutional republic, North Macedonia is a member of the UN, NATO, the Council of Europe, the World Bank, OSCE, CEFTA, BSEC, and the WTO. It has also been a candidate for membership in the European Union since 2005. North Macedonia is an upper-middle-income nation that has undertaken significant economic reform in order to build an open economy since its independence. It is a developing nation that ranks 82nd on the Human Development Index and offers its residents social security, a universal health care system, and free primary and secondary education.