Skopje became the capital of Tsar Stefan Dusan's empire.Following Dusan's death, a weak successor appeared, and power struggles between nobles divided the Balkans once again.
The capital and largest city, Skopje, is home to roughly a quarter of the nation's 2.06 million inhabitants.
The majority of the residents are ethnic Macedonians, a South Slavic people.
It became a member of the United Nations in 1993, but, as a result of an ongoing dispute with Greece over the use of the name "Macedonia", was admitted under the provisional description the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia It constitutes approximately the northwestern third of the larger geographical region of Macedonia, which also comprises the neighbouring parts of northern Greece and smaller portions of southwestern Bulgaria and southeastern Albania.
The country's geography is defined primarily by mountains, valleys, and rivers.
Since 2005 it has also been a candidate for joining the European Union and has applied for NATO membership.
Although one of the poorest countries in Europe, Macedonia has made significant progress in developing an open, market based economy.Albanians form a significant minority at around 25 percent, followed by Turks, Romani, Serbs, and others.Macedonia's history dates back to antiquity, beginning with the kingdom of Paeonia, a Thracian polity.In 356 BC Philip II of Macedon absorbed Philip's son Alexander the Great conquered the remainder of the region, and incorporated it in his empire, reaching as far north as Scupi, but the city and the surrounding area remained part of Dardania.The Romans established the Province of Macedonia in 146 BC.In the late sixth century BCE the area was incorporated into the Persian Achaemenid Empire, then annexed by the Kingdom of Macedonia in the fourth century BCE.