Settlement patterns vary but most villages are small with Populations of less than 1,000. Montenegro is the most sparsely populated republic in the country with only 42 persons per square kilometer in 1981 (as compared to 105 persons in Serbia) . The two major village types are clustered and dispersed. Where land is arable, villages tend to be clustered on the borders of the cultivated basins. Elsewhere, the pattern is more one of dispersed family residences.
Nearly all houses traditionally were made of stone using lime mortar. One or two stories was the general rule. Windows are small and, in older houses, it is still possible to see the loopholes used in warding off Turkish attacks or blood feuding. Roofs were traditionally made of tile, straw, or stone, depending on local availability and economics. Since World War II, modern buildings have appeared, but home styles remain based on the old patterns. During the summer months when livestock are pastured on the high mountain grasses, the herders live in smaller summer cabins grouped together into katuns. These are typically also made of stone.