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Europe :: Serbia Print
Page last updated on October 14, 2020
  • Introduction :: Serbia
  • Background field listing

    The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed in 1918; its name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Communist Partisans resisted the Axis occupation and division of Yugoslavia from 1941 to 1945 and fought nationalist opponents and collaborators as well. The military and political movement headed by Josip Broz "TITO" (Partisans) took full control of Yugoslavia when their domestic rivals and the occupiers were defeated in 1945. Although communists, TITO and his successors (Tito died in 1980) managed to steer their own path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades. In 1989, Slobodan MILOSEVIC became president of the Republic of Serbia and his ultranationalist calls for Serbian domination led to the violent breakup of Yugoslavia along ethnic lines. In 1991, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia declared independence, followed by Bosnia in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in April 1992 and under MILOSEVIC's leadership, Serbia led various military campaigns to unite ethnic Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Serbia." These actions ultimately failed and, after international intervention, led to the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995.

    MILOSEVIC retained control over Serbia and eventually became president of the FRY in 1997. In 1998, an ethnic Albanian insurgency in the formerly autonomous Serbian province of Kosovo provoked a Serbian counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo. The MILOSEVIC government's rejection of a proposed international settlement led to NATO's bombing of Serbia in the spring of 1999. Serbian military and police forces withdrew from Kosovo in June 1999, and the UN Security Council authorized an interim UN administration and a NATO-led security force in Kosovo. FRY elections in late 2000 led to the ouster of MILOSEVIC and the installation of democratic government. In 2003, the FRY became the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, a loose federation of the two republics. Widespread violence predominantly targeting ethnic Serbs in Kosovo in March 2004 led to more intense calls to address Kosovo's status, and the UN began facilitating status talks in 2006. In June 2006, Montenegro seceded from the federation and declared itself an independent nation. Serbia subsequently gave notice that it was the successor state to the union of Serbia and Montenegro.

    In February 2008, after nearly two years of inconclusive negotiations, Kosovo declared itself independent of Serbia - an action Serbia refuses to recognize. At Serbia's request, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in October 2008 sought an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on whether Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence was in accordance with international law. In a ruling considered unfavorable to Serbia, the ICJ issued an advisory opinion in July 2010 stating that international law did not prohibit declarations of independence. In late 2010, Serbia agreed to an EU-drafted UNGA Resolution acknowledging the ICJ's decision and calling for a new round of talks between Serbia and Kosovo, this time on practical issues rather than Kosovo's status. Serbia and Kosovo signed the first agreement of principles governing the normalization of relations between the two countries in April 2013 and are in the process of implementing its provisions. In 2015, Serbia and Kosovo reached four additional agreements within the EU-led Brussels Dialogue framework. These included agreements on the Community of Serb-Majority Municipalities; telecommunications; energy production and distribution; and freedom of movement. President Aleksandar VUCIC has promoted an ambitious goal of Serbia joining the EU by 2025. Under his leadership as prime minister, in 2014 Serbia opened formal negotiations for accession.

  • Geography :: Serbia
  • Location field listing
    Southeastern Europe, between Macedonia and Hungary
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    44 00 N, 21 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 77,474 sq km
    land: 77,474 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly smaller than South Carolina
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 2,322 km
    border countries (8): Bosnia and Herzegovina 345 km, Bulgaria 344 km, Croatia 314 km, Hungary 164 km, Kosovo 366 km, Macedonia 101 km, Montenegro 157 km, Romania 531 km
    Coastline field listing
    0 km (landlocked)
    Maritime claims field listing
    none (landlocked)
    Climate field listing
    in the north, continental climate (cold winters and hot, humid summers with well-distributed rainfall); in other parts, continental and Mediterranean climate (relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns)
    Terrain field listing
    extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 442 m
    lowest point: Danube and Timok Rivers 35 m
    highest point: Midzor 2,169 m
    Natural resources field listing
    oil, gas, coal, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, chromite, gold, silver, magnesium, pyrite, limestone, marble, salt, arable land
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 57.9% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 37.7% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 3.4% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 16.8% (2011 est.)
    forest: 31.6% (2011 est.)
    other: 10.5% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    950 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
    Natural hazards field listing
    destructive earthquakes
    Environment - current issues field listing
    air pollution around Belgrade and other industrial cities; water pollution from industrial wastes dumped into the Sava which flows into the Danube; inadequate management of domestic, industrial, and hazardous waste
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    landlocked; controls one of the major land routes from Western Europe to Turkey and the Near East
  • People and Society :: Serbia
  • Population field listing
    7,012,165 (July 2020 est.)

    note: does not include the population of Kosovo

    country comparison to the world: 105
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Serb(s)
    adjective: Serbian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Serb 83.3%, Hungarian 3.5%, Romani 2.1%, Bosniak 2%, other 5.7%, undeclared or unknown 3.4% (2011 est.)

    note: most ethnic Albanians boycotted the 2011 census; Romani populations are usually underestimated in official statistics and may represent 5–11% of Serbia's population

    Languages field listing
    Serbian (official) 88.1%, Hungarian 3.4%, Bosnian 1.9%, Romani 1.4%, other 3.4%, undeclared or unknown 1.8% (2011 est.)

    note: Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, Romanian, Croatian, and Ruthenian (Rusyn) are official in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina; most ethnic Albanians boycotted the 2011 census

    Religions field listing
    Orthodox 84.6%, Catholic 5%, Muslim 3.1%, Protestant 1%, atheist 1.1%, other 0.8% (includes agnostics, other Christians, Eastern, Jewish), undeclared or unknown 4.5% (2011 est.)

    note: most ethnic Albanians boycotted the 2011 census

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 14.07% (male 508,242/female 478,247)
    15-24 years: 11.04% (male 399,435/female 374,718)
    25-54 years: 41.19% (male 1,459,413/female 1,429,176)
    55-64 years: 13.7% (male 464,881/female 495,663)
    65 years and over: 20% (male 585,705/female 816,685) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 52.5
    youth dependency ratio: 23.4
    elderly dependency ratio: 29.1
    potential support ratio: 3.4 (2020 est.)

    note: data include Kosovo

    Median age field listing
    total: 43.4 years
    male: 41.7 years
    female: 45 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Population growth rate field listing
    -0.47% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 224
    Birth rate field listing
    8.8 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Death rate field listing
    13.5 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Net migration rate field listing
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Population distribution field listing
    a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 56.4% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: -0.07% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

    note: data include Kosovo

    Major urban areas - population field listing
    1.398 million BELGRADE (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    27.9 years (2014 est.)

    note: data do not cover Kosovo or Metohija

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    12 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 5.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 6.4 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 4.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 76.3 years
    male: 73.4 years
    female: 79.4 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.46 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    58.4% (2014)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 99.4% of population
    rural: 99% of population
    total: 99.2% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0.6% of population
    rural: 1% of population
    total: 0.8% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    8.4% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    3.11 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    5.6 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 95.1% of population
    total: 97.6% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 4.9% of population
    total: 2.4% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    <.1% (2018 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    3,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <100 (2018 est.)
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: intermediate (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    21.5% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    1.8% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Education expenditures field listing
    4% of GDP (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 98.3%
    male: 99.1%
    female: 97.5% (2016)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 15 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 15 years (2017)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 29.7%
    male: 28.3%
    female: 32% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
  • Government :: Serbia
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Republic of Serbia
    conventional short form: Serbia
    local long form: Republika Srbija
    local short form: Srbija
    former: People's Republic of Serbia, Socialist Republic of Serbia
    etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but seems to be related to the name of the West Slavic Sorbs who reside in the Lusatian region in present-day eastern Germany; by tradition, the Serbs migrated from that region to the Balkans in about the 6th century A.D.
    Government type field listing
    parliamentary republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Belgrade (Beograd)
    geographic coordinates: 44 50 N, 20 30 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    etymology: the Serbian "Beograd" means "white fortress" or "white city" and dates back to the 9th century; the name derives from the white fortress wall that once enclosed the city
    Administrative divisions field listing

    119 municipalities (opstine, singular - opstina) and 26 cities (gradovi, singular - grad)

    municipalities: Ada*, Aleksandrovac, Aleksinac, Alibunar*, Apatin*, Arandelovac, Arilje, Babusnica, Bac*, Backa Palanka*, Backa Topola*, Backi Petrovac*, Bajina Basta, Batocina, Becej*, Bela Crkva*, Bela Palanka, Beocin*, Blace, Bogatic, Bojnik, Boljevac, Bor, Bosilegrad, Brus, Bujanovac, Cajetina, Cicevac, Coka*, Crna Trava, Cuprija, Despotovac, Dimitrov, Doljevac, Gadzin Han, Golubac, Gornji Milanovac, Indija*, Irig*, Ivanjica, Kanjiza*, Kladovo, Knic, Knjazevac, Koceljeva, Kosjeric, Kovacica*, Kovin*, Krupanj, Kucevo, Kula*, Kursumlija, Lajkovac, Lapovo, Lebane, Ljig, Ljubovija, Lucani, Majdanpek, Mali Idos*, Mali Zvornik, Malo Crnice, Medveda, Merosina, Mionica, Negotin, Nova Crnja*, Nova Varos, Novi Becej*, Novi Knezevac*, Odzaci*, Opovo*, Osecina, Paracin, Pecinci*, Petrovac na Mlavi, Plandiste*, Pozega, Presevo, Priboj, Prijepolje, Prokuplje, Raca, Raska, Razanj, Rekovac, Ruma*, Secanj*, Senta*, Sid*, Sjenica, Smederevska Palanka, Sokobanja, Srbobran*, Sremski Karlovci*, Stara Pazova*, Surdulica, Svilajnac, Svrljig, Temerin*, Titel*, Topola, Trgoviste, Trstenik, Tutin, Ub, Varvarin, Velika Plana, Veliko Gradiste, Vladicin Han, Vladimirci, Vlasotince, Vrbas*, Vrnjacka Banja, Zabalj*, Zabari, Zagubica, Zitiste*, Zitorada;

    cities: Beograd, Cacak, Jagodina, Kikinda*, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Krusevac, Leskovac, Loznica, Nis, Novi Pazar, Novi Sad*, Pancevo*, Pirot, Pozarevac, Sabac, Smederevo, Sombor*, Sremska Mitrovica*, Subotica*, Uzice, Valjevo, Vranje, Vrsac*, Zajecar, Zrenjanin*

    note: the northern 37 municipalities and 8 cities - about 28% of Serbia's area - compose the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina and are indicated with *

    Independence field listing
    5 June 2006 (from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro); notable earlier dates: 1217 (Serbian Kingdom established); 16 April 1346 (Serbian Empire established); 13 July 1878 (Congress of Berlin recognizes Serbian independence); 1 December 1918 (Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) established)
    National holiday field listing
    National Day (Statehood Day), 15 February (1835), the day the first constitution of the country was adopted
    Constitution field listing
    history: many previous; latest adopted 30 September 2006, approved by referendum 28-29 October 2006, effective 8 November 2006
    amendments: proposed by at least one third of deputies in the National Assembly, by the president of the republic, by the government, or by petition of at least 150,000 voters; passage of proposals and draft amendments each requires at least two-thirds majority vote in the Assembly; amendments to constitutional articles including the preamble, constitutional principles, and human and minority rights and freedoms also require passage by simple majority vote in a referendum
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Serbia
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age, 16 if employed; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Aleksandar VUCIC (since 31 May 2017)
    head of government: Prime Minister Ana BRNABIC (since 29 June 2017)
    cabinet: Cabinet elected by the National Assembly
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 2 April 2017 (next to be held in 2022); prime minister elected by the National Assembly
    election results: Aleksandar VUCIC elected president in the first round; percent of vote - Aleksandar VUCIC (SNS) 55.1%, Sasa JANKOVIC (independent) 16.4%, Luka MAKSIMOVIC (independent) 9.4%, Vuk JEREMIC (independent) 5.7%, Vojislav SESELJ (SRS) 4.5%, Bosko OBRADOVIC (Dveri) 2.3%, other 5.0%, invalid/blank 1.6%; Prime Minister Ana BRNABIC reelected by the National Assembly on 5 October 2020
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Narodna Skupstina (250 seats; members directly elected by party list proportional representation vote in a single nationwide constituency to serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 21 June 2020 (originally scheduled for 26 April 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic) (next to be held in 2024)
    election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - For Our Children 60.7%, SPS-JS 10.4%, SPAS 3.8%, SVM 2.2%, Straight Ahead 1%, Albanian Democratic Alternative .8%, SDA .8%, other 20.3%; seats by party/coalition For Our Children 188, SPS-JS 32, SPAS 11, SVM 9, Straight Ahead 4, Albanian Democratic Alternative 3, SDA 3; composition (preliminary) -  men 165, women 85, percent of women 30%

    note: seats by party as of May 2019  - SNS 91, SRS 22, SPS 20, DS 13, SDPS 10, PUPS 9, Dveri 6, JS 6, LDP 4, SDS 4, SVM 4, other 36, independent 25; composition - men 157, women 93, percent of women 37.2%

    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Cassation (consists of 36 judges, including the court president); Constitutional Court (consists of 15 judges, including the court president and vice president)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court justices proposed by the High Judicial Council (HJC), an 11-member independent body consisting of  8 judges elected by the National Assembly and 3 ex-officio members; justices appointed by the National Assembly; Constitutional Court judges elected - 5 each by the National Assembly, the president, and the Supreme Court of Cassation; initial appointment of Supreme Court judges by the HJC is 3 years and beyond that period tenure is permanent; Constitutional Court judges elected for 9-year terms
    subordinate courts: basic courts, higher courts, appellate courts; courts of special jurisdiction include the Administrative Court, commercial courts, and misdemeanor courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Albanian Democratic Alternative (coalition of ethnic Albanian parties) Shaip KAMBERI
    Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians or SVM [Istvan PASZTOR]
    Democratic Party or DS [Zoran LUTOVAC]
    Democratic Party of Macedonians or DPM [Nenad KRSTESKI]
    Democratic Party of Serbia or DSS [Milos JOVANOVIC]
    Dveri [Bosko OBRADOVIC]
    For Our Children (electoral alliance includes SNS, SDP, PS, PUPS, PSS, SNP, SPO, NSS) [Aleksandar VUCIC]
    Justice and Reconciliation Party or SPP [Muamer ZUKORLIC] (formerly Bosniak Democratic Union of Sandzak or BDZS)
    Movement of Socialists or PS [Aleksandar VULIN]
    Party of Democratic Action of the Sandzak or SDA [Sulejman UGLJANIN]
    Party of United Pensioners of Serbia or PUPS [Milan KRKOBABIC]
    People's Party or NARODNA [Vuk JEREMIC]
    People's Peasant Party or NSS [Marijan RISTICEVIC]
    Serbian Patriotic Alliance or SPAS [Aleksandar SAPIC]
    Serbian People's Party or SNP [Nenad POPOVIC]
    Serbian Progressive Party or SNS [Aleksandar VUCIC]
    Serbian Radical Party or SRS [Vojislav SESELJ]
    Serbian Renewal Movement or SPO [Vuk DRASKOVIC]
    Social Democratic Party or SDS [Boris TADIC]
    Social Democratic Party of Serbia or SDPS [Rasim LJAJIC]
    Socialist Party of Serbia or SPS [Ivica DACIC]
    Straight Ahead (electoral coalition includes SPP, DPM)
    Strength of Serbia or PSS [Bogoljub KARIC]
    Together for Serbia or ZZS [Nebojsa ZELENOVIC]
    United Serbia or JS [Dragan MARKOVIC]

    note: Serbia has more than 110 registered political parties and citizens' associations

    International organization participation field listing
    BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, EU (candidate country), FAO, G-9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    Ambassador Djerdj MATKOVIC (since 23 February 2015)
    chancery: 2233 Wisconsin Ave NW, #410, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 332-0333
    FAX: [1] (202) 332-3933
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Anthony GODFREY (since 24 October 2019)
    telephone: [381] (11) 706-4000
    embassy: 92 Bulevar kneza Aleksandra Karadjordjevica, 11040 Belgrade, Serbia
    mailing address: 5070 Belgrade Place, Washington, DC 20521-5070
    FAX: [381] (11) 706-4005
    Flag description field listing
    three equal horizontal stripes of red (top), blue, and white - the Pan-Slav colors representing freedom and revolutionary ideals; charged with the coat of arms of Serbia shifted slightly to the hoist side; the principal field of the coat of arms represents the Serbian state and displays a white two-headed eagle on a red shield; a smaller red shield on the eagle represents the Serbian nation, and is divided into four quarters by a white cross; interpretations vary as to the meaning and origin of the white, curved symbols resembling firesteels (fire strikers) or Cyrillic "C's" in each quarter; a royal crown surmounts the coat of arms

    note: the Pan-Slav colors were inspired by the 19th-century flag of Russia

    National symbol(s) field listing
    white double-headed eagle; national colors: red, blue, white
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Boze pravde" (God of Justice)
    lyrics/music: Jovan DORDEVIC/Davorin JENKO

    note: adopted 1904; song originally written as part of a play in 1872 and has been used as an anthem by the Serbian people throughout the 20th and 21st centuries

  • Economy :: Serbia
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Serbia has a transitional economy largely dominated by market forces, but the state sector remains significant in certain areas. The economy relies on manufacturing and exports, driven largely by foreign investment. MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of international economic sanctions, civil war, and the damage to Yugoslavia's infrastructure and industry during the NATO airstrikes in 1999 left the economy worse off than it was in 1990. In 2015, Serbia’s GDP was 27.5% below where it was in 1989.

    After former Federal Yugoslav President MILOSEVIC was ousted in September 2000, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition government implemented stabilization measures and embarked on a market reform program. Serbia renewed its membership in the IMF in December 2000 and rejoined the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Serbia has made progress in trade liberalization and enterprise restructuring and privatization, but many large enterprises - including the power utilities, telecommunications company, natural gas company, and others - remain state-owned. Serbia has made some progress towards EU membership, gaining candidate status in March 2012. In January 2014, Serbia's EU accession talks officially opened and, as of December 2017, Serbia had opened 12 negotiating chapters including one on foreign trade. Serbia's negotiations with the WTO are advanced, with the country's complete ban on the trade and cultivation of agricultural biotechnology products representing the primary remaining obstacle to accession. Serbia maintains a three-year Stand-by Arrangement with the IMF worth approximately $1.3 billion that is scheduled to end in February 2018. The government has shown progress implementing economic reforms, such as fiscal consolidation, privatization, and reducing public spending.

    Unemployment in Serbia, while relatively low (16% in 2017) compared with its Balkan neighbors, remains significantly above the European average. Serbia is slowly implementing structural economic reforms needed to ensure the country's long-term prosperity. Serbia reduced its budget deficit to 1.7% of GDP and its public debt to 71% of GDP in 2017. Public debt had more than doubled between 2008 and 2015. Serbia's concerns about inflation and exchange-rate stability preclude the use of expansionary monetary policy.

    Major economic challenges ahead include: stagnant household incomes; the need for private sector job creation; structural reforms of state-owned companies; strategic public sector reforms; and the need for new foreign direct investment. Other serious longer-term challenges include an inefficient judicial system, high levels of corruption, and an aging population. Factors favorable to Serbia's economic growth include the economic reforms it is undergoing as part of its EU accession process and IMF agreement, its strategic location, a relatively inexpensive and skilled labor force, and free trade agreements with the EU, Russia, Turkey, and countries that are members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $105.7 billion (2017 est.)
    $103.8 billion (2016 est.)
    $101 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 82
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $41.43 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    1.9% (2017 est.)
    2.8% (2016 est.)
    0.8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $15,100 (2017 est.)
    $14,700 (2016 est.)
    $14,200 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 111
    Gross national saving field listing
    15.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
    16% of GDP (2016 est.)
    14.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 78.2% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 10.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 18.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 52.5% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -61.3% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 9.8% (2017 est.)
    industry: 41.1% (2017 est.)
    services: 49.1% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    wheat, maize, sunflower, sugar beets, grapes/wine, fruits (raspberries, apples, sour cherries), vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes), beef, pork, and meat products, milk and dairy products
    Industries field listing
    automobiles, base metals, furniture, food processing, machinery, chemicals, sugar, tires, clothes, pharmaceuticals
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    3.9% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Labor force field listing
    2.92 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 19.4%
    industry: 24.5%
    services: 56.1% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    14.1% (2017 est.)
    15.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Population below poverty line field listing
    8.9% (2014 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.2%
    highest 10%: 23.8% (2011)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 17.69 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 17.59 billion (2017 est.)

    note: data include both central government and local goverment budgets

    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    42.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    0.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Public debt field listing
    62.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    73.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    3.1% (2017 est.)
    1.1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Current account balance field listing
    -$2.354 billion (2017 est.)
    -$1.189 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Exports field listing
    $15.92 billion (2017 est.)
    $13.99 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Exports - partners field listing
    Italy 13.5%, Germany 12.8%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 8.2%, Russia 6%, Romania 4.9% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    automobiles, iron and steel, rubber, clothes, wheat, fruit and vegetables, nonferrous metals, electric appliances, metal products, weapons and ammunition
    Imports field listing
    $20.44 billion (2017 est.)
    $17.63 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery and transport equipment, fuels and lubricants, manufactured goods, chemicals, food and live animals, raw materials
    Imports - partners field listing
    Germany 12.7%, Italy 10%, China 8.2%, Russia 7.3%, Hungary 4.9%, Poland 4.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $11.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $10.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Debt - external field listing
    $29.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $30.38 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Exchange rates field listing
    Serbian dinars (RSD) per US dollar -
    112.4 (2017 est.)
    111.278 (2016 est.)
    111.278 (2015 est.)
    108.811 (2014 est.)
    88.405 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Serbia
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production field listing
    36.54 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    29.81 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Electricity - exports field listing
    6.428 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Electricity - imports field listing
    5.068 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    7.342 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    65% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    35% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Crude oil - production field listing
    17,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    123 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    40,980 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    77.5 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    74,350 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    74,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    15,750 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    18,720 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Natural gas - production field listing
    509.7 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    2.718 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    2.01 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    48.14 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    50.21 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
  • Communications :: Serbia
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 2,574,691
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 8,431,365
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 119 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: Serbia's integration with the EU has helped regulator reforms and promotion of telecoms; wireless service is available through multiple providers; national coverage is growing very rapidly; best telecommunications services are centered in urban centers; 4G/LTE mobile network launched; 5G trials; high mobile penetration the result of multiple SIM cards (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line 36 per 100 and mobile-cellular 119 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 381
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 5,192,501
    percent of population: 73.36% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 1,552,160
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 22 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
  • Military and Security :: Serbia
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Serbian Armed Forces (Vojska Srbije, VS): Land Forces (includes Riverine Component, consisting of a river flotilla on the Danube), Air and Air Defense Forces, Serbian Guard; Ministry of Interior: Gendarmerie (2019)
    note: the Guard is a brigade-sized unit that is directly subordinate to the Serbian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff
    Military expenditures field listing
    2.2% of GDP (2019)
    1.6% of GDP (2018 est.)
    1.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    1.7% of GDP (2016)
    1.8% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    size estimates for the Serbian Armed Forces vary; approximately 25,000 active duty troops (13,500 Land Forces; 5,000 Air/Air Defense; 1,500 Guards Brigade; 5,000 other, including training, logistics, intelligence, medical, and other support staff) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the inventory of the Serbian Armed Forces consists of Russian and Soviet-era weapons systems; since 2010, most of its weapons imports have come from Russia, but it has also received equipment from Belarus (second-hand aircraft), Germany, Montenegro (second-hand aircraft), and the US (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    175 Lebanon (UNIFIL) (March 2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished December 2010 (2019)
  • Transportation :: Serbia
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 2 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,424,886 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2.748 million mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    YU (2016)
    Airports field listing
    26 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 10 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 16 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2013)
    under 914 m: 5 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    2 (2012)
    Pipelines field listing
    1936 km gas, 413 km oil
    Railways field listing
    total: 3,809 km (2015)
    standard gauge: 3,809 km 1.435-m gauge (3,526 km one-track lines and 283 km double-track lines) out of which 1,279 km electrified (1,000 km one-track lines and 279 km double-track lines) (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Roadways field listing
    total: 44,248 km (2016)
    paved: 28,000 km (16,162 km state roads, out of which 741 km highways) (2016)
    unpaved: 16,248 km (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Waterways field listing
    587 km (primarily on the Danube and Sava Rivers) (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Ports and terminals field listing
    river port(s): Belgrade (Danube)
  • Transnational Issues :: Serbia
  • Disputes - international field listing

    Serbia with several other states protest the US and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaration of its status as a sovereign and independent state in February 2008; ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo's northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundary; several thousand NATO-led Kosovo Force peacekeepers under UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo authority continue to keep the peace within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority in Kosovo; Serbia delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections along the Drina River remain in dispute

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 18,232 (Croatia), 8,270 (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (2018)
    IDPs: 199,584 (most are Kosovar Serbs, some are Roma, Ashkalis, and Egyptian (RAE); some RAE IDPs are unregistered) (2019)
    stateless persons: 2,052 (includes stateless persons in Kosovo) (2018)

    note: 733,558 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-September 2020); Serbia is predominantly a transit country and hosts an estimated 6,304 migrants and asylum seekers as of the end of May 2020; 8,827 migrant arrivals in 2018

    Illicit drugs field listing
    transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western Europe on the Balkan route; economy vulnerable to money laundering