How much population will Serbia have lost after the October census?

The census in Serbia will begin on 1 October and will last one month.

In the last census in 2011, Serbia had a population of 7,186,862. The demographer Ivan Marinković warns that Serbia is a country of the elderly and that after the census, he expects the number of inhabitants to drop by up to 700,000.

A UNICEF assessment estimates that Serbia is among the five oldest nations in Europe. We’ll find out whether this claim is correct once the preliminary results of this year’s census are revelead on the last day of November.

Marinković says: “I expect to see a big drop in the number of inhabitants, by at least 500,000. Once we get the data we will see how much external migration took place. Realistically, I expect a decrease to be even 700,000 inhabitants.”

Marinković says that some positive results will come out of the census such as the population’s educational structure is improved, computer literacy will be at a higher level, and some economic parameters will probably be better.

He underlines that democratic trends were established several decades ago and that, overall, we cannot expect good results. “We are ageing from ground up, because every year fewer and fewer children are born and each generation is smaller in number. We are also ageing from top down as life expectancy increases,”  Marinkovic adds.

Marinković also says that, on an annual level, “between 15,000 and 20,000 more people leave Serbia than move in, so we expect a negative migration balance of up to 200,000. As for the annual statistics of births and deaths, from 2011 to 2013, we lost around 30,000 people. This figure went up to 40,000 in the following years. The last two years of the pandemic made a big difference, with over the number going up to 50,000, even 70,000, so, all in all, we lost half a million inhabitants,”

He underlined that villages and rural areas, in general, are rather disadvantaged demographically. “The villages sprang up spontaneously and were not formed according to a plan, so many did not have a demographic future,” says Marinković.

In the early 1950s, about 160,000 children a year were born in Serbia, while now that number has dropped to 65,000.

(B92, 07.09.2022)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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