Kosovo society is in a state of upheaval between a young, western-oriented young population and long-standing community structures, at the center of which are the (extended) family and traditional customs and traditions. Difficult social conditions are accompanied by underdeveloped social systems. Kosovo’s lively culture is gaining international importance (pop music).
According to COMPUTERGEES, the population density in Kosovo is very high with 164.9 residents per km² in 2017, albeit with large regional differences. Sparsely populated mountain regions contrast with densely populated plains. According to the 2011 census, 38.3% Kosovars live in urban and 61.7% Kosovars in rural areas. The largest cities are the capital Prishtinë / Pristina (211,755), Prizren (191,565), Ferizaj / Uroševac (103,003), Pejë / Peć (99,568) and Gjakovë / Đakovica (95,340).
In Kosovo, where every point can be reached in one or two hours by car, national traffic is primarily concentrated in road traffic. The road system has been significantly modernized in recent years and is currently being expanded. In 2017, the Kosovar road network had a total length of 2,043 km, including 630 km of motorways and 90 km of unpaved roads, the latter mainly in rural regions. The main traffic arteries are well developed, not least thanks to the ongoing construction of the motorway.
The longest motorway R7 “Ibrahim Rugova” with 129.8 kilometers, named after Kosovo’s first president, connects the capital Prishtina with the Albanian capital Tirana. It leads from the Kosovar capital via Prizren to Vërmica on the Albanian-Kosovar border, where it connects to the Albanian A1 motorway. The construction of the Kosovar stretch of motorway, which was completed in 2013, was carried out by the US-Turkish consortium Bechtel-Enka and cost 820 million euros. With the completion of the motorway, which is interrupted by a few kilometers of country road on the Albanian side of the border, the driving time was reduced to around three hours. The motorway thus contributes significantly to the intensification of economic relations between Kosovo and Albania as well as Kosovar tourism on the Albanian Adriatic coast. The construction of the R7 motorway to the Merdare border crossing with Serbia and the connection to the pan-European Corridor 10 in Niš has been planned for years. The planned start of construction has been postponed for years due to the political tensions with Serbia.
As a contribution to the EU-led dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, as part of the so-called Berlin Process to improve regional economic cooperation, it was decided to accelerate the construction of the motorway to improve transport connections between the two countries and loans were made available by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) posed. Additional financial aid has been promised by the USA as part of the agreement signed in Washington on September 4, 2020 between the two Western Balkan countries.
In May 2019 the 60 kilometer long (R6) “Arben Xhaferi” was opened, which since then has connected Prishtina with the north Macedonian capital Skopje, and leads via Ferizaj / Uroševac and the border town Han i Elezit / Elez Han.
Road construction in Kosovo is repeatedly linked to allegations of corruption.
The rail network is served by the Kosovar railway company and has a total length of 433 km. The number of passengers in the second quarter of 2018 was around 37,000 and thus around 35% more passengers than in the same period in the previous year. Rail transport is characterized by a patchy infrastructure and significant technical deficiencies. Since the state was separated from Serbia there is only one international train connection to Skopje.
In the north, which is mainly inhabited by Serbs, there is a train connection from Mitrovica Nord to Serbia, which is operated by the state Serbian railway company, ie outside the control of the Kosovar state. In January 2020, the governments of Kosovo and Serbia signed an agreement to restore rail traffic between the two countries, but this has so far remained at the level of declarations of intent.
There are no navigable rivers in Kosovo. The government is in negotiations with Albania about the use of a sea access in Shëngjin, which is expected to stimulate the economy.
Kosovo has a civil airport, Prishtina International Airport (PIA), named after UÇK (Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës’ Liberation Army of Kosovo) fighter Adem Jashari. The airport was opened for intra-Yugoslav flights in 1965 and gradually opened for international air traffic after the war in Kosovo. It has been operated by the Turkish company LIMAK since 2010. In 2013, the old terminal was replaced by a new one next to it, which has three passenger boarding bridges. The passenger numbers have been rising continuously for years, in 2017 they were 1,885 million, an increase of 7% compared to the previous year. Overall, the numbers have doubled within a decade. The route network is concentrated in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which can be explained by the large number of Kosovar Albanians living there. There are also flight connections to Scandinavian countries, Great Britain and Turkey.