FYROM (Macedonia) Census

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Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Genealogy

Census Records

  • Censuses were conducted in connection with Ottoman population registers until 1913 when FYROM (Macedonia) was absorbed by Serbia.
  • The first national census was conducted in 1921 when FYROM (Macedonia) was part of Yugoslavia. The location of the census returns is unknown.

Research use: Quickly identifies family groups.

Record type: Population enumerations compiled by the government.

General: Censuses were conducted in connection with Ottoman population registers (see para 4.5) until 1913 when Macedonia was absorbed by Serbia. The first national census was conducted in 1921 when FYROM (Macedonia) was part of Yugoslavia.

Time period: 1921-present.

Contents: Most likely head of household, social status, names of family members, their ages, family relationships, residence.

Location: Yugoslavian census returns are most likely to be in the Yugoslav National Statistical Office in Beograd, though there might be a local copy in Skopje.

Population coverage: 90-95% coverage of the population.

Reliability: High.[1]

Ottoman population registers

Research use: Early registers quickly identify the male portion of families and later registers do the same for the whole family. Their value is somewhat limited because they are written in Ottoman Turkish which is archaic and difficult to read.

Record type: Registration of birth, marriage, and death; census reports of males and, in later years, of all family members.

General: Population registers and census returns were introduced concurrently in 1829-1831. They were amalgamated into a single system of record keeping in 1881-1889. The registers and census returns were kept by officials at the kaza (district) level. Administrative divisions in 1831 were substantially altered in 1864-1871 and remained in effect until the Balkan Wars in 1913. The reason for population registration before 1881 was to levy taxes on non-Muslims and to identify Muslims for conscription. Only males were registered. After 1881 the census was conducted to establish population figures for a variety of social and political reasons. All individuals were counted in both the census and the population registers after that date.

Time period: 1831-1913.

Contents: Before 1881 the registers only listed males. The registers for Muslims included the name, birth year, birth date of those moving in from elsewhere, height, complexion, eye color, date of death or departure if moved, and other dates with regard to military service. It is assumed the military information is missing from the registers for non-Muslims. After 1881 the registers listed all family members; sex; birth date; residence; age; religion; craft or occupation; marital status, marriage date; health; military status. The name of the deceased are crossed out with a death date noted.

Location: The State Archive of Macedonia. Some may be in the Ottoman Archives at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.

Population coverage: There was under-reporting in the census returns caused by isolation of some groups, difficulties in communication with some areas, and the resistance of some groups to being registered. Even after women were counted, their total number was consistently half that of men. The Muslim population was undercounted more often than the Christian population because Christians were sedentary, compactly settled, and easily accessible. Population registers functioned well until 1853 and the Crimean War. They were neglected until the 1860s and were again revived until 1913.

Reliability: High.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Macedonia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1998.