Europe :: Serbia
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Serbia
Location of Serbia
Map of Serbia
Introduction ::Serbia
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed in 1918; its name was changed to Yugoslavia in 1929. Various paramilitary bands resisted Nazi Germany's occupation and division of Yugoslavia from 1941 to 1945, but fought each other and ethnic opponents as much as the invaders. The military and political movement headed by Josip TITO (Partisans) took full control of Yugoslavia when German and Croatian separatist forces were defeated in 1945. Although Communist, TITO's new government and his successors (he died in 1980) managed to steer their own path between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West for the next four and a half decades. In 1989, Slobodan MILOSEVIC became president of the Serbian Republic and his ultranationalist calls for Serbian domination led to the violent breakup of Yugoslavia along ethnic lines. In 1991, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia declared independence, followed by Bosnia in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro declared a new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in April 1992 and under MILOSEVIC's leadership, Serbia led various military campaigns to unite ethnic Serbs in neighboring republics into a "Greater Serbia." These actions led to Yugoslavia being ousted from the UN in 1992, but Serbia continued its - ultimately unsuccessful - campaign until signing the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. MILOSEVIC kept tight control over Serbia and eventually became president of the FRY in 1997. In 1998, an ethnic Albanian insurgency in the formerly autonomous Serbian province of Kosovo provoked a Serbian counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions of ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo. The MILOSEVIC government's rejection of a proposed international settlement led to NATO's bombing of Serbia in the spring of 1999 and to the eventual withdrawal of Serbian military and police forces from Kosovo in June 1999. UNSC Resolution 1244 in June 1999 authorized the stationing of a NATO-led force (KFOR) in Kosovo to provide a safe and secure environment for the region's ethnic communities, created a UN interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to foster self-governing institutions, and reserved the issue of Kosovo's final status for an unspecified date in the future. In 2001, UNMIK promulgated a constitutional framework that allowed Kosovo to establish institutions of self-government and led to Kosovo's first parliamentary election. FRY elections in September 2000 led to the ouster of MILOSEVIC and installed Vojislav KOSTUNICA as president. A broad coalition of democratic reformist parties known as DOS (the Democratic Opposition of Serbia) was subsequently elected to parliament in December 2000 and took control of the government. DOS arrested MILOSEVIC in 2001 and allowed for him to be tried in The Hague for crimes against humanity. (MILOSEVIC died in March 2006 before the completion of his trial.) In 2001, the country's suspension from the UN was lifted. In 2003, the FRY became Serbia and Montenegro, a loose federation of the two republics with a federal level parliament. Widespread violence predominantly targeting ethnic Serbs in Kosovo in March 2004 caused the international community to open negotiations on the future status of Kosovo in January 2006. In May 2006, Montenegro invoked its right to secede from the federation and - following a successful referendum - it declared itself an independent nation on 3 June 2006. Two days later, Serbia declared that it was the successor state to the union of Serbia and Montenegro. A new Serbian constitution was approved in October 2006 and adopted the following month. After 15 months of inconclusive negotiations mediated by the UN and four months of further inconclusive negotiations mediated by the US, EU, and Russia, on 17 February 2008, the UNMIK-administered province of Kosovo declared itself independent of Serbia.
Geography ::Serbia
Southeastern Europe, between Macedonia and Hungary
44 00 N, 21 00 E
total: 77,474 sq km
country comparison to the world: 116
land: 77,474 sq km
water: 0 sq km
slightly smaller than South Carolina
total: 2,026 km
border countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina 302 km, Bulgaria 318 km, Croatia 241 km, Hungary 151 km, Kosovo 352 km, Macedonia 62 km, Montenegro 124 km, Romania 476 km
0 km (landlocked)
none (landlocked)
in the north, continental climate (cold winters and hot, humid summers with well distributed rainfall); in other parts, continental and Mediterranean climate (relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall and hot, dry summers and autumns)
extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills
lowest point: NA
highest point: Midzor 2,169 m
oil, gas, coal, iron ore, copper, zinc, antimony, chromite, gold, silver, magnesium, pyrite, limestone, marble, salt, arable land
arable land: NA
permanent crops: NA
other: NA
208.5 cu km (note - includes Kosovo) (2003)
destructive earthquakes
air pollution around Belgrade and other industrial cities; water pollution from industrial wastes dumped into the Sava which flows into the Danube
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
controls one of the major land routes from Western Europe to Turkey and the Near East
People ::Serbia
country comparison to the world: 95
note: does not include the population of Kosovo (July 2009 est.)
0-14 years: 15.4% (male 586,806/female 549,900)
15-64 years: 67.8% (male 2,503,194/female 2,502,807)
65 years and over: 16.8% (male 508,606/female 728,026) (2009 est.)
total: 41 years
male: 39.3 years
female: 42.7 years (2009 est.)
-0.468% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 227
9.19 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207
13.86 deaths/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 25
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
urban population: 52% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and above: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 6.75 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 173
male: 7.79 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 73.9 years
country comparison to the world: 96
male: 71.09 years
female: 76.89 years (2009 est.)
1.38 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
6,400 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
fewer than 100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne disease: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
noun: Serb(s)
adjective: Serbian
Serb 82.9%, Hungarian 3.9%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.4%, Yugoslavs 1.1%, Bosniaks 1.8%, Montenegrin 0.9%, other 8% (2002 census)
Serbian Orthodox 85%, Catholic 5.5%, Protestant 1.1%, Muslim 3.2%, unspecified 2.6%, other, unknown, or atheist 2.6% (2002 census)
Serbian 88.3% (official), Hungarian 3.8%, Bosniak 1.8%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.1%, other 4.1%, unknown 0.9% (2002 census)
note: Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, and Croatian all official in Vojvodina
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.4%
male: 98.9%
female: 94.1% (2003 census)
note: includes Montenegro
Government ::Serbia
conventional long form: Republic of Serbia
conventional short form: Serbia
local long form: Republika Srbija
local short form: Srbija
former: People's Republic of Serbia, Socialist Republic of Serbia
name: Belgrade (Beograd)
geographic coordinates: 44 50 N, 20 30 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
167 municipalities (opcstine, singular - opcstina)
Serbia Proper: Belgrade City (Beograd): Barajevo, Cukarica, Grocka, Lazarevac, Mladenovac, Novi Beograd, Obrenovac, Palilula, Rakovica, Savski Venac, Sopot, Stari Grad, Surcin, Vozdovac, Vracar, Zemun, Zvezdara; Bor: Bor, Kladovo, Majdanpek, Negotin; Branicevo: Golubac, Kucevo, Malo Crnice, Petrovac, Pozarevac, Veliko Gradiste, Zabari, Zagubica; Grad Nis: Crveni Krst, Mediana, Niska Banja, Palilula, Pantelej Jablanica: Bojnik, Crna Trava, Lebane, Leskovac, Medveda, Vlasotince; Kolubara: Lajkovac, Ljig, Mionica, Osecina, Ub, Valjevo; Macva: Bogatic, Koceljeva, Krupanj, Ljubovija, Loznica, Mali Zvornik, Sabac, Vladimirci; Moravica: Cacak, Gornkji Milanovac, Ivanjica, Lucani; Nisava: Aleksinac, Doljevac, Gadzin Han, Merosina, Nis, Razanj, Svrljig; Pcinja: Bosilegrad, Bujanovac, Presevo, Surdulica, Trgoviste, Vladicin Han, Vranje; Pirot: Babusnica, Bela Palanka, Dimitrovgrad, Pirot; Podunavlje: Smederevo, Smederevskia Palanka, Velika Plana; Pomoravlje: Cuprija, Despotovac, Jagodina, Paracin, Rekovac, Svilajnac; Rasina: Aleksandrovac, Brus, Cicevac, Krusevac, Trstenik, Varvarin; Raska: Kraljevo, Novi Pazar, Raska, Tutin, Vrnjacka Banja; Sumadija: Arandelovac, Batocina, Knic, Kragujevac, Lapovo, Raca, Topola; Toplica: Blace, Kursumlija, Prokuplje, Zitorada; Zajecar: Boljevac, Knjazevac, Sokobanja, Zajecar; Zlatibor: Arilje, Bajina Basta, Cajetina, Kosjeric, Nova Varos, Pozega, Priboj, Prijepolje, Sjenica, Uzice
Vojvodina Autonomous Province: South Backa: Bac, Backa Palanka, Backi Petrovac, Becej, Beocin, Novi Sad, Sremski Karlovci, Srobobran, Temerin, Titel, Vrbas, Zabalj; South Banat: Alibunar, Bela Crkva, Kovacica, Kovin, Opovo, Pancevo, Plandiste, Vrsac; North Backa: Backa Topola, Mali Idjos, Subotica; North Banat: Ada, Coka, Kanjiza, Kikinda, Novi Knezevac, Senta; Central Banat: Nova Crnja, Novi Becej, Secanj, Zitiste, Zrenjanin; Srem: Indija, Irig, Pecinci, Ruma, Sid, Sremska Mitrovica, Stara Pazova; West Backa: Apatin, Kula, Odzaci, Sombor
5 June 2006 (from Serbia and Montenegro)
National Day, 15 February
adopted 8 November 2006; effective 10 November 2006
based on civil law system
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President Boris TADIC (since 11 July 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister Mirko CVETKOVIC (since 7 July 2008)
cabinet: Federal Ministries act as cabinet
elections: president elected by direct vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 3 February 2008 (next to be held in 2013); prime minister elected by the National Assembly
election results: Boris TADIC elected president in the second round of voting; Boris TADIC received 51.2% of the vote and Tomislav NIKOLIC 48.8%
unicameral National Assembly (250 seats; deputies elected according to party lists to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 11 May 2008 (next to be held in May 2012)
election results: percent of vote by party - For a European Serbia coalition 38.4%, SRS 29.5%, DSS-NS 11.6%, SPS-led coalition 7.6%, LPD 5.2%, other 7.7%; seats by party - For a European Serbia coalition 102, SRS 77, DSS-NS 30, SNS 21, SPS-led coalition 20, LDP 13, other 7; note - the seat allocation for the SNS and SRS is uncertain because of an ongoing dispute with the SRS
Constitutional Court, Supreme Court (to become court of cassation under new constitution), appellate courts, district courts, municipal courts
Coalition of Albanians of the Presevo Valley or KAPD [Riza HALIMI]; Coalition for Sandzak or KZS [Sulejman UGLJANIN]; Democratic Party of Albanians or PDSh [Ragmi MUSTAFA]; Democratic Party of Serbia or DSS [Vojislav KOSTUNICA]; Democratic Party or DS [Boris TADIC]; Democratic Union of the Valley or BDL [Skender DESTANI]; For a European Serbia [Boris TADIC]; Force of Serbia Movement or PSS [Bogoljub KARIC]; G17 Plus [Mladjan DINKIC]; League of Vojvodina Hungarians or SVM [Istvan PASTOR]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Cedomir JOVANOVIC]; Movement for Democratic Progress or LPD [Jonuz MUSLIU]; New Serbia or NS [Velimir ILIC]; Party of Democratic Action or PVD [Riza HALIMI]; People's Party or NS [Maja GOJKOVIC]; Roma Party or RP [Srdjan SAJN]; Serbian Progressive Party or SNS [Tomislav NIKOLIC]; Serbian Radical Party or SRS [Vojislav SESELJ (currently on trial at The Hague), with Dragan TODOROVIC as acting leader]; Socialist Party of Serbia or SPS [Ivica DACIC]; Union of Roma of Serbia or URS [Rajko DJURIC]
chief of mission: Ambassador Vladimir PETROVIC
chancery: 2134 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-0333
FAX: [1] (202) 332-3933
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Cameron MUNTER
embassy: Kneza Milosa 50, 11000 Belgrade
mailing address: 5070 Belgrade Place, Washington, DC 20521-5070
telephone: [381] (11) 361-9344
FAX: [381] (11) 361-8230
three equal horizontal stripes of red (top), blue, and white; charged with the coat of arms of Serbia shifted slightly to the hoist side
Economy ::Serbia
MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of international economic sanctions, and the damage to Yugoslavia's infrastructure and industry during the NATO airstrikes in 1999 left the economy only half the size it was in 1990. After the ousting of former Federal Yugoslav President MILOSEVIC in September 2000, the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) coalition government implemented stabilization measures and embarked on a market reform program. After renewing its membership in the IMF in December 2000, Yugoslavia continued to reintegrate into the international community by rejoining the World Bank (IBRD) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). A World Bank-European Commission sponsored Donors' Conference held in June 2001 raised $1.3 billion for economic restructuring. In November 2001, the Paris Club agreed to reschedule the country's $4.5 billion public debt and wrote off 66% of the debt. In July 2004, the London Club of private creditors forgave $1.7 billion of debt just over half the total owed. Belgrade has made progress in trade liberalization and enterprise restructuring and privatization, including telecommunications and small- and medium-size firms. It has made halting progress towards EU membership despite signing a Stabilization and Association Agreement with Brussels in May 2008. Serbia is also pursuing membership in the World Trade Organization. Unemployment and the large current account deficit remain ongoing political and economic problems.
$80.34 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$76.22 billion (2007 est.)
$71.17 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
$50.06 billion (2008 est.)
5.4% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
7.1% (2007 est.)
5.6% (2006 est.)
$10,800 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
$10,200 (2007 est.)
$9,500 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 12.3%
industry: 24.2%
services: 63.5% (2007 est.)
2.961 million (2002 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
agriculture: 30%
industry: 46%
services: 24% (2002)
18.8% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
6.5% (2007 est.)
30 (2003)
country comparison to the world: 116
20.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
revenues: $9.6 billion
expenditures: $9.8 billion (2007 est.)
37% of GDP (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 62
6.8% (2007)
country comparison to the world: 115
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 45
9.57% (31 December 2007)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 73
11.13% (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 68
$4.632 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 59
$12.19 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 80
$13.44 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 66
$23.93 billion (31 December 2007)
$10.99 billion (31 December 2006)
wheat, maize, sugar beets, sunflower, raspberries, beef, pork, milk
sugar, agricultural machinery, electrical and communication equipment, paper and pulp, lead, transportation equipment
1.8% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
33.87 billion kWh (2004)
country comparison to the world: 61
kWh NA
12.05 billion kWh (2004 est.)
11.23 billion kWh (2004)
11,420 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83
bbl/day NA
3,641 bbl/day (2005)
country comparison to the world: 108
70,760 bbl/day (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
77.5 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
650 million cu m (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
2.55 billion cu m (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
0 cu m (2005)
country comparison to the world: 129
2.1 billion cu m (2004 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
48.14 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
$-6.889 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167
$8.824 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
manufactured goods, food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment
$18.35 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
$14.22 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
$14.22 billion (2007 est.)
$26.24 billion (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
$11.95 billion (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
Serbian dinars (RSD) per US dollar - 54.5 (2007), 59.98 (2006)
Communications ::Serbia
3.085 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 49
9.619 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 61
general assessment: modernization of the telecommunications network has been slow as a result of damage stemming from the 1999 war and transition to a competitive market-based system; network was 90% digitalized in 2006
domestic: teledensity remains below the average for neighboring states; GSM wireless service, available through multiple providers with national coverage, is growing very rapidly; best telecommunications service centered in urban centers
international: country code - 381
153 (station types NA) (2001)
181,313 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 64
2.936 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 59
Transportation ::Serbia
28 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 121
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2009)
total: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 8 (2009)
2 (2007)
gas 1,921 km; oil 323 km (2008)
total: 3,379 km
country comparison to the world: 52
standard gauge: 3,379 km 1.435-m gauge (electrified 1,254 km) (2006)
total: 36,875 km
country comparison to the world: 92
paved: 31,392 km
unpaved: 5,483 km (2006)
587 km (primarily on Danube and Sava rivers) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 81
Military ::Serbia
Serbian Armed Forces (Vojska Srbije, VS): Land Forces Command (includes Riverine Component, consisting of a river flotilla on the Danube), Joint Operations Command, Air and Air Defense Forces Command (2009)
19-35 years of age for male compulsory military service; under a state of war or impending war, conscription can begin at age 16; conscription is to be abolished in 2010; 6-month service obligation, with a reserve obligation to age 60 for men and 50 for women (2007)
males age 16-49: 1,415,007
females age 16-49: 1,379,541 (2009 est.)
male: 44,601
female: 41,845 (2009 est.)
Transnational Issues ::Serbia
Serbia with several other states protest the U.S. and other states' recognition of Kosovo's declaring itself as a sovereign and independent state in February 2008; ethnic Serbian municipalities along Kosovo's northern border challenge final status of Kosovo-Serbia boundary; several thousand NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers under UNMIK authority continue to keep the peace within Kosovo between the ethnic Albanian majority and the Serb minority in Kosovo; Serbia delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections along the Drina River remain in dispute
refugees (country of origin): 71,111 (Croatia); 27,414 (Bosnia and Herzegovina); 206,000 (Kosovo), note - mostly ethnic Serbs and Roma who fled Kosovo in 1999 (2007)
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western Europe on the Balkan route; economy vulnerable to money laundering