Slovenia gained its independence in 1991 and since 2004 it has been a member of the European Union. The country ;lies at the heart of Europe, where the Alps and the Mediterranean meet the Pannonian plains and the mysterious Karst. To the north is Austria; to the east, Hungary; to the south, Croatia; and to the west, Italy; (Mat;Kurja). The country;s people are warm and welcoming and they place high values on their cultural and historical heritage. The economic indicators point out to an economic status above the average of the EU and a tendency for continued and sustained growth. Slovenia is currently the 84th largest economy of the globe with an estimated gross domestic product for 2007 of $57.67 billion (Central Intelligence Agency, 2008).
The total population of Slovenia as estimated in 2007 was of 2,007,711 individuals. Almost all inhabitants know how to read and write and the literacy rate has been estimated around 99.7 percent in 2007. The male to female ratios is of 0.95 as according to the 2008 estimates (Central Intelligence Agency, 2008).
;In 2001, the birth rate was estimated at 9.32 per 1,000 population, while the death rate stood at 9.98 per 1,000, giving Slovenia a negative rate of natural increase. In 2001, however, a positive population growth rate was estimated, partly due to immigration from other former Yugoslav republics; (Nations Encyclopedia, 2007). In 2008, the negative rate of population growth remains still obvious and has a value of -0.088. The birth rate is of 8.99 births per 1,000 individuals and the death rate is of 10.51 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants (Central Intelligence Agency, 2008).
The 2 million individuals in Slovenia are structured in the following age categories:
0 to 14 years ; 13.6 percent of the entire population; out of these, 140,686 are male and