The region of Gorenjska  is spread out in north-west Slovenia, bordering Austria (Carinthia) across the Karavanke range in the north, Italy (Furlany-Julijska krajina) and the development region of Gori?ka in the west and Savinjska in the east. Further to the south-east, it opens up into the Central-Slovene region.

The statistical region of Gorenjska comprises 18 local communities: the municipalities of Bled, Bohinj, Cerklje na Gorenjskem, Gorenja vas - Poljane, Gorje, Jesenice, Jezersko, Kranj, Kranjska Gora, Naklo, Preddvor, Radovljica, ?enčur, ?kofja Loka, Tr?ič, ?elezniki, ?iri and ?irovnica.

Covering 2,137 square kilometers, which is 9,9 % of the Slovenia's total surface, Gorenjska is the sixth in size of all Slovenian regions. Population density is under national average (93,2 inhabitants per square kilometer). However, some parts represent bigger densely populated and urbanized areas such as the regional centre in Kranj.

Gorenjska in Slovenia
Gorenjska in Slovenia

Accessible alpine region

Across the region, there is the European 10th motorway and railway corridor. In Brnik, south from Kranj, the central Slovene (international) airport is situated, called Ljubljana Airport (1,2 mio passengers yearly, 16% growth 2005/2004). All these facts contribute to the favourable location of Gorenjska and its relatively good accessibility (with the exception of the ?kofja Loka area). Across Gorenjska, there are 79 km of railway, 41,7 km of motorway, 356 km regional roads, 131 km regional touristic and 1.078 km local roads.

59,4 % of Gorenjska represent forests , 44 % NATURE 2000 areas, 40 % lies 1000m above sea level

Gorenjska is an alpine region with its typical alpine landscape. Considering the natural-geographical characteristics, 70 % of Gorenjska represent the alpine area whereas only 29,8 % make the flat-valley part of the central Slovenia. 40,2 % of the region lies 1000 meters above sea level. 44,4 % comprise the areas of NATURA 2000. Forests represent 59.4 % of Gorenjska, 25,6 % are agricultural lands. 9,9 % are infertile areas.

4th biggest Slovene region considering the No. of inhabitants

Having 199.085 inhabitants (Dec. 2005), the Gorenjska region represents 9,9 % of the national population which ranges it on the 4th place among 12 Slovene development regions.

Population growth has fallen down to Slovene average

Compared to Slovenia, Gorenjska has a similar, very slight population growth (index of Gorenjska 2005/2004 was 100,4; the one of Slovenia was 100,3). After 1981, the number of inhabitants increased in comparison with Slovenia. However, the growth stopped after year 2000 (index of Gorenjska in 1991/81 was 106,4; in 2000/1991 it was 103,1; and in 2005/2000 it was 101,2). According to the data from 2004, the number of population grew due to positive natural increase (410, the highest rate registered in ?kofja Loka, Kranj, ?enčur, Jesenice, Radovljica and ?elezniki). On the other hand, the migrant increase was negative (-58 persons). Municipalities where more people move out than in, are the areas of the biggest urban centres like Kranj, ?kofja Loka, Jesenice and Tr?ič.


40 % inhabitants live in urban centres

39,7 % of Gorenjska?s inhabitants live in towns (Kranj, Jesenice, Tr?ič with Bistrica pri Tr?iču, Radovljica with Lesce, ?kofja Loka). It is the very development axis Jesenice ? Radovljica ? Kranj ? ?enčur ? ?kofja Loka that represents the biggest densely populated area.

More young people, but rapid population growth

The ageing index of Gorenjska (102,8) is unfavourable for the development: there are 15 % of young people up to 15 years and 15,5 % of  65 year-old people and above. But still, this index is relatively better when compared to Slovenia (110,5) and other regions. The ageing index is rapidly falling: in 1999, the one of Gorenjska amounted to 77,5; whereas the one of Slovenia was 86,0 ? in favour of young people. Today, Gorenjska has 28,7 % of population younger than 25 years (Slovenia: 27,2), 55,8 % represent middle generation (Slovenia: 57,2 %) and 15,5 % people above 65 years (Slovenia: 15,6 %). Within the region, there are considerable differences: in the Upper Gorenjska, the growth and age structure are less favourable. This becomes clear when we look at the ageing index liying above Slovene average in Zgornje Jezersko, Kranjska Gora, Radovljica, Bohinj, Bled and ?irovnica.

Above-average educational structure

Educational structure of Gorenjska?s population above 15 years is much better compared to Slovene average. According to the last data (year 2002), Gorenjska has a lower percentage of inhabitants without education (Gorenjska 6,83 %, Slovenia 6,95 %). Moreover, there are more persons with higher education (Gorenjska 13,14 %, Slovenia 12,93 %). The majority in Gorenjska has secondary education ? 55,1 % (Slovenia 54,1 %). This refers to lower or middle vocational, professional and general education.

Under average educational structure in companies

In spite of a relatively good educational structure of Gorenjska?s population, it lies below Slovene average in companies. In 2004, there were only 12,8 % persons with higher education employed in companies; in Slovenia, this percentage amounted to 15,7 %.

Increasing the employment, decreasing the unemployment, growth of no. of unemployed women

Employment indicators seem to be favourable thanks to decreased unemployment rate (by 2,3 %) since 2000.  With its 55,7 % (2004) of employment rate (69.392 working population in 2004 and 72.044 in 2005) and 7,4% unemployment rate (6.497 persons) in 2005, Gorenjska ranks among most successful Slovene regions. On the other hand, this situation on the labour market already shows its influence on the lack of certain professions. In spring 2006, the unemployment rate in all Gorenjska?s municipalities fell below Slovene average.

Gorenjska is slowly turning from an industrial region into a service sector / informational society

Gorenjska used to have its traditional industrial economy (33.203 or 46 % employed in industry, dec. 2005). During the last 5 years, the region has been acquiring the character of a service sector (36.336 or 51 % employed ther in dec. 2005). However, the process of restructuring the labour intensive production may clearly be noticed in economic indicators which mainly lag behind the Slovene average. In agriculture and forestry, there were 2179 employed or 3 % of all employed in Gorenjska in December 2005.

GDP of Gorenjska: below-average and slowly growing

In connection with the results of business environment, also the regional GDP is below average. In 2003, Gorenjska made 435 mrd SIT (in 2002: 410 mrd SIT) of GDP? current prices. This sum amounted to 8,6 % of the national GDP. The highest regional GDP (37,5 %) is achieved by manufacturing (56 % employed persons), business activities (13,7 % of the regional GDP; 6,4 % employed in this sector) and trade (11,1 % with 14 % employed persons).

In 2003, GDP/inhabitant amounted to 10.830 EUR (in 2002: 10.443 EUR) which represents 86,9 % (in 2002: 88,0 %) of the national GDP. In 2002, GDP/inhabitant amounted to 66 % of the average GDP in the EU. Although Gorenjska?s GDP increases, its growth is slower than the national one. This may imply a long-term developmental retardation. In a five-year period 2003-1999, the index of GDP growth was 120,8; while the national one was 122,2. According to the available data, the difference has been increasing in the year 2003 ? 2002 when the growth of Gorenjska?s GDP was only 3, 7 %, and the Slovene one 5,0 %.


Municipalities of Gorenjska
Municipalities of Gorenjska

Foreign investments

In Gorenjska, there are 242 business operators with foreign capital. Out of this, 112 companies come from the field of construction. The latter have recently been built in the municipality of Kranj by construction workers from Albania and other Balkan countries. On the other hand, the largest companies with foreign investments are those in productive sector (Goodyear Kranj, Aqual Sava, Doka Jesenice?). At Brnik Airport, several foreign logistic companies have their headquarters. Moreover, in the area of Bled, Radovljica and Kranjska Gora, there is an increase of small consulting companies, those in service sector, catering and tourism, established by foreigners.

Tourism ? growth varies, 500.000 tourists yearly ? 21 % of all tourists in Slovenia, staying for 3 days in Gorenjska

Gorenjska is yearly visited by 499.522 (2005) tourists which is 21 % of all guests in Slovenia.  75 % out of it are foreign tourists. The prevailing guests are Germans (21,4 %), Italians (12,5 %) and British people (9,8 %). Within Gorenjska region, 408.574 (81,8 %) tourists visit the Julian Alps with the municipalities of Bled, Kranjska Gora and Bohinj. Average length of tourists? staying in Gorenjska is 2,92 days. There are 13.657 beds avaliable (average in 2005), the most in hotels (ca. 36 %), camping sites (30 %) as well as several rooms (17 %).

In Gorenjska, the rate of occupied tourist capacities in 2005 was very low ? only 26,5 %. Although the number of tourists has increased in the last 5 years, tourist attendance fell by 1,1 % in 2005 compared to 2004. Gorenjska is also very popular as a destination for day trip tourism. The touristic data for certain tourist points for 2005 are of great importance: Bled castle (191.883 visitors), Vintgar gorge near Bled (74.913 visitors), Savica waterfall (69.406 visitors) and Loka castle (40.379 visitors).

Agriculture, forestry and gainful activities keep the countryside active

According to the inventory of agricultural holdings in 2000, there are 5032 farms in Gorenjska which occupy 31.622 ha of agricultural areas.  This represents 5,83 % of all Slovene farms and 6,9 % of all agricultural areas. Less than 2 ha of agricultural areas are owned by 878 farms, 2 ? 5 ha are owned by 1697 farms, 5 -10 ha by 893 farms, and over 10 ha by 1664 farms. An average farm in Gorenjska cultivates 6,82 ha of agricultural land and 10,16 ha of forests. Out of all agricultural lands, there are 19 % arable areas and 95,45 % forests. There are 79 % meadows, 19 % fields and 2 % orchards. According to the data of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, there are 65,33 % of agricultural lands in the hill and alpine area. The remaining agricultural lands are situated on a flat land. There are 13 % real farms, 6 % potentially real farms, 37 % mixed, 32 % supplementary and 12 % old farms.  In December 2005, there were 1.734 farmers registered. In Gorenjska, there are 58 % farm owners older than 61 years, and only 293 or 5 % are younger than 41 years.