Last year, the birth rate in Serbia was the lowest since the World War I, the latest data collated by the State Statistical Office shows.
Only 64,734 babies were born in Serbia in 2016, which is a thousand less than in 2015, and 6,263 less than a decade ago.
On average, a municipality the size of Becej, Savski Venac or Prijepolje disappears every year due to such low birth rate. The Statistical Office estimates that a total of 7,058,322 people live in Serbia; 183,062 more women than men.
“Out of 169 municipalities in Serbia, only five of them had a positive birth rate last year – Sjenica, Novi Sad, Presevo, Novi Pazar and Tutin. Although, almost a quarter of Serbian population lives in Belgrade, not a single Belgrade municipality had a positive birth rate last year. In Bujanovac, for instance, we recorded a negative birth rate. In other words, in 2016, we had the least number of babies born since we have been collating this vital statistical data, and the reasons for these devastating demographic trends are mostly down to the fact that more and more young people are leaving Serbia. This can be also seen in the number of new marriages last year. In 2016, there were almost a thousand less marriages than in 2015. In the last six years, Serbian population decreased by 233,144 persons”, Gordana Bjelobrk from the State Statistical Office warns.
The demographic experts are also worried about the age of first time mothers. According to the latest data, in urban areas, an average first mother is 30 years old, while in rural areas she is 27.8 years old. Also, most of the families in Serbia have only one child.
Last year, there were a total of 35,921 marriages, a thousand less than in 2015. The grooms were 31.2 years old on average, and brides 28.2 years. In 46.3% of marriages, both spouses work.
In 2016, there were 9,046 divorces in Serbia, and most of them happened after 13.4 years of marriage. In 56% of cases, the divorced couples had children. The average age of divorced women is 40, while the average age of divorced men is 43.5.