According to an analysis conducted by Professor Sasa Randjelovic from the Belgrade Faculty of Economics and based on an IMF study, the population in Serbia will decline by a million by 2050, while the country’s workable population will decline by between 800,000 and 900,000.
Due to fewer workers and lower productivity, as a result of the inexorable ageing of the population, it is estimated that Serbia’s annual GDP growth will fall by 0.8% in the next 30 years without any demographic exodus.
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15% of the decline in the number of the Serbian population will be attributed to the people leaving the country, while two thirds will be due to a negative birth rate. The expected decline in the population of Serbia is higher than the average in the Central, Eastern and South-Eastern European countries. Only seven of these 20 countries will experience a greater decline in population than Serbia in the next 30 years.
Furthermore, economic growth will slow down due to demographic devastation.
The decline of the population will reduce the number of workable people by a fifth or 800,000, and this is even lower than the average in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, where the number of workers will decrease by a quarter. The fall in birth rate and the consequent ageing of the population by about four years by 2050 will lead to lower productivity. Although some studies show that older and more experienced workers actually increase the productivity of the economy, it is much more logical to assume that that older workers tend to adapt to changes better but that their physical and mental capacities decrease with age.
One of the consequences of this development, which could be described as positive, is that automation in production processes should compensate for labour shortages.
However, the negative consequences are much greater. In particular, economic growth in Serbia is expected to be 0.8% lower each year over the next 30 years and by 2050, GDP per capita will be lower than it would have been if there had been no negative demographic trends. This is somewhat better than the average for the Central and South-Eastern European region, which is expected to record a 1.5% decline in economic growth.
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