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Yugoslavia (former) World War II and Recovery
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Fifth International Technical Exposition, Belgrade, 1961
    Courtesy Yugoslav National Tourist Office, New York

    World War II and Recovery

    Before World War II, Yugoslavia was one of Europe's most underdeveloped countries. The eradication of feudalism after World War I left over 75 percent of the population living in poverty and dependent on small, inefficient peasant farms. Economic growth, though steady, was modest. In 1938 per capita income was 30 percent below the world average.

    The German invasion of Yugoslavia and the subsequent partition of the country among Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Italy destroyed all semblance of normal economic life. The Germans built new factories in Slovenia and Croatia and converted remaining plants to produce military equipment. The peasants continued to farm, but over 50 percent of livestock and 80 percent of equipment were destroyed or confiscated during the occupation. The communications network was sabotaged, and over half the railroads and rolling stock was demolished. Inflation was rampant, and barter became the prime means for transacting business. The most devastating blow to Yugoslavia fell on its people: over 11 percent of the prewar population was killed; another 25 percent was left homeless.

    Postwar reconstruction in Yugoslavia was financed by aid from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. The administration provided a total of US$60 million of aid in food, clothing, medical supplies, seed, livestock, jeeps, and railroad stock. By the end of 1946, Yugoslav national income was restored to its 1938 level.

    Data as of December 1990

    NOTE: The information regarding Yugoslavia (former) on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Yugoslavia (former) World War II and Recovery information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Yugoslavia (former) World War II and Recovery should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 27-Mar-05
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