• 26.1%

    Total unemployment rate (15-64 yrs) Source: Serbian Statistical Office 2012

  • 50.9%

    Youth Unemployment Rate (Source: National action plan of employment 2012)

  • 74.7

    Life expectancy at birth (Source: Human Development Report 2012)

  • 92.1%

    Percentage of children that finish elementary schools (Devinfo 2011)

  • 85%

    Percentage of children that finish regular high school (RSO 2010)

  • 32.7%

    Percentage of women among MPs in the National Assembly of Serbia (NARS 2013)

  • 39

    Corruption Perception Index (Transparency International 2012)

  • 21.2%

    % of energy generated from renewable sources in final energy consumption (Ministry of Energy)

  • 61.1

    Number of personal computers per 100 people (Devinfo 2012)

About Serbia

Introduction


Ada Bridge in Belgrade turned blue on World Autism Day

The Republic of Serbia is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. The country is landlocked and borders Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; FYR Macedonia to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the west; also, it borders Albania through the disputed region of Kosovo*. The capital of Serbia, Belgrade, is among Europe's oldest cities, and one of the largest in East Central Europe.

*The name does not imply Kosovo's status and is in accordance with Resolution 1244 and the opinion of the International Court of Justice regarding Kosovo's declaration of independence

History


Making of traditional "Pirot carpet"

In the recent history, Serbia became a stand-alone sovereign republic in the summer of 2006 after Montenegro voted in a referendum for independence from the Union of Serbia and Montenegro.

A special session of parliament in Belgrade declared Serbia to be the legal successor of the Union. Serbia inherited membership of the United Nations and other international institutions such as  Council of Europe, OSCE, PfP, BSEC and CEFTA.

The end of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro marked the closing chapter in the history of the separation of the six republics of the old Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia which was proclaimed in 1945 and comprised Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia.

Challenges


UNDP and Ministry of Energy, development and Environmental Protection visiting eastern Serbia

Economic reforms have mostly stalled in 2012. After a feeble growth rate of 1.6 % in 2011, which represents one of the lowest recorded in the region, economic growth in 2012 has led to a GDP decrease by 2 %, mostly due to a combination of weak external and domestic demand. Industrial production and exports continued to decline in the second quarter of 2012, and a summer drought badly affected agricultural output, leading to losses beyond 50% for many crops.

The fiscal deficit increased substantially and the level of public and publicly guaranteed debt has surpassed the 45 % ceiling, equivalent to 7% of GDP, as set by the Budget System Law which envisages budget deficit reduction to 3.6% of GDP.

Labor market indicators deteriorated for a fourth year in a row. Economic contraction was followed with rising unemployment, which soared to above 28% nationwide, with rates exceeding 50% in South and Southwestern Serbia. Both activity and employment rates declined to their lowest levels in a decade.

Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index reveals socio-economic disparities that are widening in Serbia.

If consensus towards a market economy prevails, further measures to improve economic performance and enhance the resilience of the economy will be needed. The Government will have to find ways to sustain the pro-investment model that it had pursued in the first 100 days of its work. The medium-term prospects remain favorable, provided confidence of domestic and foreign investors can be restored.

Successes

Belgrade University students
Belgrade University students

Serbia scores relatively well on the Human Development Index (HDI).  In 2012 HDI was estimated at 0.769, thus positioning Serbia in the high human development category.  The country’s average annual increase is about 0.6 %, which is consistent with the projected Country Program Document target.  Serbia is, however, facing structural problems that will constrain long-term growth and threaten sustained gains in the HDI.

Serbia is an official candidate for membership in the European Union, but not has opened the EU entry talks yet. Serbia is an upper-middle income economy (WB, IMF), which has made largest progress in the region in terms of overall democracy scores (FH) and overall democratic, economic and governance transformation.

 

Despite perpetuating political and economic constrains, the government’s commitment towards the fight against corruption significantly accelerated.

Country flag
Country map
Statistics
Capital
Belgrade
Population
7.120.666
Area (in sq. km)
86.361
Human Development Index
0.769

Sources: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia