Number of non-university educated workers who are emigrating from Serbia high too

Depopulation is an issue that marks the 21st century and will mark the decades to come too. Population reduction is a phenomenon that has been affecting the whole of Europe and Serbia for nearly half a century.

Danilo Vukovic, a professor at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade and an associate of the United Nations Development Program, has participated in writing the National Human Development Report for Serbia titled “Human Development in Response to Demographic Change.”

The first and fundamental conclusion of the report is that population decline and ageing are inevitable. There is no scientific evidence or experience from other countries to suggest that we can reverse this process by increasing the birth rate which has been declining for decades.

Nevertheless, the state cannot give up trying to do something because it is socially and politically important to help people have as many children as they want, because there are parents who want to have more children, but are often prevented from doing so due to various circumstances.

“In this sense, the state cannot give up pro-birth measures. People are resources, and like any resource, if there are fewer of them, they are more valuable. This means that every person living in Serbia is now a much more valuable resource than ever before. The number of students has been reduced by a third compared to two decades ago, which means that the two-thirds we now have includes our future doctors, engineers, welders, craftsmen, journalists and professors, which is why no one should be excluded from the educational process,” Professor Vukovic warns.

Serbia also has a problem with workforce outflow – both university and high-school educated workers. “We have analyzed the destination countries in detail and our analysis shows that the brain drain is a myth. We have an outflow of workers but it is not the university graduates that are leaving in the highest numbers – they have it relatively good here. The difference between their life here and let’s say in Vienna, is smaller than the difference between the quality of life of a high-school educated worker in Belgrade and Vienna,” the professor says.

The national report contains several measures to mitigate the impact of depopulation on life in Serbia, such as investments in education, health care and other areas important for the functioning and progress of a society. “It is necessary to start the decentralization of the country by investing in medium-sized cities. The demographic future of Serbia will be defended in cities like Šabac, Leskovac or Vranje,” he concluded.

(RTS, 07.06.2022)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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