Europe :: Serbia
  • Introduction :: Serbia
  • Background:

    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 January 2014 Serbia opened formal negotiations for accession. The EU’s Western Balkans Strategy, released in February 2018, outlines the steps that Serbia needs to take to complete the accession process in a 2025 perspective.

  • Geography :: Serbia
  • Location:
    Southeastern Europe, between Macedonia and Hungary
    Geographic coordinates:
    44 00 N, 21 00 E
    Map references:
    Europe
    Area:
    total: 77,474 sq km
    land: 77,474 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Area - comparative:
    slightly smaller than South Carolina
    Land boundaries:
    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:
    0 km (landlocked)
    Maritime claims:
    none (landlocked)
    Climate:
    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:
    extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 442 m
    elevation extremes: 35 m lowest point: Danube and Timok Rivers
    2169 highest point: Midzor
    Natural resources:
    oil, gas, coal, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, chromite, gold, silver, magnesium, pyrite, limestone, marble, salt, arable land
    Land use:
    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:
    950 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
    Natural hazards:
    destructive earthquakes
    Environment - current issues:
    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:
    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:
    landlocked; controls one of the major land routes from Western Europe to Turkey and the Near East
  • People and Society :: Serbia
  • Population:
    7,078,110 (July 2018 est.)

    note: does not include the population of Kosovo

    country comparison to the world: 103
    Nationality:
    noun: Serb(s)
    adjective: Serbian
    Ethnic groups:
    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:
    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:
    Orthodox 84.6%, Catholic 5%, Muslim 3.1%, Protestant 1%, atheist 1.1%, other 0.8% (includes agnostics, other Christians, Eastern religionists, Jewish), undeclared or unknown 4.5% (2011 est.)

    note: most ethnic Albanians boycotted the 2011 census

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 14.35% (male 523,473 /female 492,339)
    15-24 years: 11.19% (male 408,379 /female 383,385)
    25-54 years: 41.27% (male 1,475,243 /female 1,445,935)
    55-64 years: 14.21% (male 485,849 /female 520,126)
    65 years and over: 18.98% (male 557,307 /female 786,074) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 49.2 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 24.9 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 24.3 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 4.1 (2015 est.)

    note: data include Kosovo

    Median age:
    total: 42.8 years
    male: 41.2 years
    female: 44.5 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Population growth rate:
    -0.47% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 220
    Birth rate:
    8.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    Death rate:
    13.6 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Net migration rate:
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Population distribution:
    a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 56.1% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: -0.07% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

    note: data include Kosovo

    Major urban areas - population:
    1.389 million BELGRADE (capital) (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    27.9 years (2014 est.)

    note: data do not cover Kosovo or Metohija

    Maternal mortality rate:
    17 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 5.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 6.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 4.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 75.9 years (2018 est.)
    male: 73 years (2018 est.)
    female: 79 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Total fertility rate:
    1.44 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    58.4% (2014)
    Health expenditures:
    10.4% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Physicians density:
    2.46 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    Hospital bed density:
    5.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 99.4% of population
    rural: 98.9% of population
    total: 99.2% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0.6% of population
    rural: 1.1% of population
    total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 98.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 94.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 96.4% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 1.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 5.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 3.6% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    <.1% (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    2,700 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    <100 (2017 est.)
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: intermediate (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea (2016)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    21.5% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    1.8% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Education expenditures:
    4% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
    total population: 98.8% (2016 est.)
    male: 99.5% (2016 est.)
    female: 98.2% (2016 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 15 years (2015)
    male: 14 years (2015)
    female: 15 years (2015)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 34.9% (2016 est.)
    male: 32.2% (2016 est.)
    female: 39.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
  • Government :: Serbia
  • Country name:
    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:
    parliamentary republic
    Capital:
    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
    Administrative divisions:

    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:
    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:
    National Day (Statehood Day), 15 February (1835), the day the first constitution of the country was adopted
    Constitution:
    history: many previous; latest adopted 30 September 2006, approved by referendum 28-29 October 2006, effective 8 November 2006 (2016)
    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 (2016)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    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:
    18 years of age, 16 if employed; universal
    Executive branch:
    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%
    Legislative branch:
    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 24 April 2016 (next to be held by April 2020)
    election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - Serbia is Winning 48.3%, SPS-JS-ZS-KP 11.0%, SRS 8.1%, For a Just Serbia 6.0%, DJB 6.0%, Alliance for a Better Serbia 5.0%, Dveri-DSS 5.0%, SVM 1.5%, other 9.1%; seats by party/coalition Serbia is Winning 131, SPS-JS-ZS-KP 29, SRS 22, For a Just Serbia 16, DJB 16, Alliance for a Better Serbia 13, Dveri-DSS 13, SVM 4, other 6; composition - men 165, women 85, percent of women 34%

    note: seats by party, as of May 2018 - SNS 89, SRS 22, SPS 20, DS 12, SDPS 10, PUPS 9, Dveri 6, JS 6, LDP 4, SDS 4, SVM 4, other 34, independent 30; composition - men 164, women 86, percent of women 34.4%

    Judicial branch:
    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 of which 8 are 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 permament; 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:
    Alliance for a Better Serbia (electoral coalition including LDP, LSV, SDS)
    Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians or SVM [Istvan PASZTOR]
    Bosniak Democratic Union of Sandzak or BDZS [Jahja FEHRATOVIC]
    Communist Party or KP [Josip Joska BROZ]
    Democratic Party or DS [Zoran LUTOVAC]
    Democratic Party of Serbia or DSS [Milos JOVANOVIC]
    Dveri [Bosko OBRADOVIC]
    Enough is Enough or DJB [Branislav MIHAJLOVIC]
    For a Just Serbia (electoral coalition including DS, NS, DSVH, VVS)
    Greens of Serbia or ZS [Ivan KARIC]
    League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina or LSV [Nenad CANAK]
    Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Cedomir JOVANOVIC]
    Movement of Socialists or PS [Aleksandar VULIN]
    New Party or NOVA [Zoran ZIVKOVIC]
    New Serbia or NS [Velimir ILIC]
    Party for Democratic Action or PDD [Riza HALIMI]
    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]
    Serbia is Winning (electoral coalition including NDSS, NS, PS, PSS, PUPS, SDPS, SNP, SNS, SPO)
    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]
    Strength of Serbia or PSS [Bogoljub KARIC]
    Together for Serbia or ZZS [Dusan PETROVIC]
    United Serbia or JS [Dragan MARKOVIC]

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

    International organization participation:
    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:
    chief of mission: 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:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Kyle SCOTT (since 5 February 2016)
    embassy: 92 Bulevar kneza Aleksandra Karadjordjevica, 11040 Belgrade, Serbia
    mailing address: 5070 Belgrade Place, Washington, DC 20521-5070
    telephone: [381] (11) 706-4000
    FAX: [381] (11) 706-4005
    Flag description:
    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):
    white double-headed eagle; national colors: red, blue, white
    National anthem:
    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:

    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):
    $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):
    $41.43 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    1.9% (2017 est.)
    2.8% (2016 est.)
    0.8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $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:
    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:
    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:
    agriculture: 9.8% (2017 est.)
    industry: 41.1% (2017 est.)
    services: 49.1% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    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:
    automobiles, base metals, furniture, food processing, machinery, chemicals, sugar, tires, clothes, pharmaceuticals
    Industrial production growth rate:
    3.9% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Labor force:
    2.92 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 19.4%
    industry: 24.5%
    services: 56.1% (2017 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    14.1% (2017 est.)
    15.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Population below poverty line:
    8.9% (2014 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 2.2% (2011)
    highest 10%: 23.8% (2011)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    38.7 (2014 est.)
    28.2 (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Budget:
    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:
    42.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    0.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Public debt:
    62.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    73.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    3.1% (2017 est.)
    1.1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 133
    Central bank discount rate:
    3.5% (9 October 2017)
    4% (31 December 2016)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    8.2% (31 December 2017 est.)
    8.45% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Stock of narrow money:
    $6.756 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $5.189 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Stock of broad money:
    $6.756 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $5.189 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $24.42 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $20.22 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $5.064 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $5.841 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $4.525 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Current account balance:
    -$2.354 billion (2017 est.)
    -$1.189 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Exports:
    $15.92 billion (2017 est.)
    $13.99 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Exports - partners:
    Italy 13.5%, Germany 12.8%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 8.2%, Russia 6%, Romania 4.9% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    automobiles, iron and steel, rubber, clothes, wheat, fruit and vegetables, nonferrous metals, electric appliances, metal products, weapons and ammunition
    Imports:
    $20.44 billion (2017 est.)
    $17.63 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Imports - commodities:
    machinery and transport equipment, fuels and lubricants, manufactured goods, chemicals, food and live animals, raw materials
    Imports - partners:
    Germany 12.7%, Italy 10%, China 8.2%, Russia 7.3%, Hungary 4.9%, Poland 4.1% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $11.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $10.76 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Debt - external:
    $29.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $30.38 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $41.52 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $11.95 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

    NA

    Exchange rates:
    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:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    36.54 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Electricity - consumption:
    29.81 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Electricity - exports:
    6.428 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Electricity - imports:
    5.068 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    7.342 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    65% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    35% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Crude oil - production:
    18,740 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Crude oil - exports:
    123 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Crude oil - imports:
    40,980 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    77.5 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    74,350 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    74,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    15,750 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    18,720 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Natural gas - production:
    509.7 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Natural gas - consumption:
    2.718 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Natural gas - imports:
    2.01 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    48.14 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    50.21 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
  • Communications :: Serbia
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 2,609,592 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 37 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 8,626,903 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 121 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: replacements of, and upgrades to, telecommunications equipment damaged during the 1999 war resulted in a modern digitalized telecommunications system (2016)
    domestic: wireless service, available through multiple providers with national coverage, is growing very rapidly; best telecommunications services are centered in urban centers; 4G/LTE mobile network launched in March 2015 (2016)
    international: country code - 381 (2016)
    Internet country code:
    .rs
    Internet users:
    total: 4,790,488 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 67.1% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 1,474,970 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 21 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
  • Transportation :: Serbia
  • National air transport system:
    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:
    YU (2016)
    Airports:
    26 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Airports - with paved runways:
    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:
    total: 16 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2013)
    under 914 m: 5 (2013)
    Heliports:
    2 (2012)
    Pipelines:
    1936 km gas, 413 km oil
    Railways:
    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: 50
    Roadways:
    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: 82
    Waterways:
    587 km (primarily on the Danube and Sava Rivers) (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Ports and terminals:
    river port(s): Belgrade (Danube)
  • Military and Security :: Serbia
  • Military expenditures:
    1.34% of GDP (2017 est.)
    1.25% of GDP (2016)
    1.41% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Military branches:
    Serbian Armed Forces (Vojska Srbije, VS): Land Forces (includes Riverine Component, consisting of a river flotilla on the Danube), Air and Air Defense Forces (2016)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished December 2010; reserve obligation to age 60 for men and age 50 for women (2013)
  • Transnational Issues :: Serbia
  • Disputes - international:
    Serbia protests the US, and other states', recognition of Kosovo's declaration of its status as a sovereign and independent stateethnic Serbian municipalities living in Kosovo along the northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundaryseveral 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 KosovoSerbia delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections along the Drina River remain in disputeSerbia and Croatia have an unresolved border dispute along the Danube river and numerous other unresolved bilateral issues dating back to the conflicts in the 1990s
    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    refugees (country of origin): 20,346 (Croatia), 9,081 (Bosnia and Herzegovina) (2016)
    IDPs: 199,584 (most are Kosovar Serbs, some are Roma, Ashkalis, and Egyptian (RAE); some RAE IDPs are unregistered) (2018)
    stateless persons: 2,155 (includes stateless persons in Kosovo) (2017)

    note: 685,921 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-November 2018); Serbia is predominantly a transit country and hosts an estimated 3,975 migrants and asylum seekers as of the end of June 2018

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