Since the 1990s, Serbia’s population has been gradually declining. At 9.88 million in 1995, the population is now 8.74 million in 2020. According to current projections, the population will be cut in half by the end of the century with an estimated 4.28 million people by the end of 2099.
Serbia’s population decreased at a rate of 0.40% from 2019 to 2020, resulting in a population loss of about 35,000 people. This population decline rate has been increasing every year since 2015. The fertility rate is low at 1.46 births per woman. Additionally, Serbia has a “brain drain,” where the most educated skilled people leave to other countries to find better opportunities.
The population decline is considered a national emergency by the Serbian government, who enlisted the help of the United Nations to try and slow the shrinking.
Serbia Population Growth
The last official census was conducted in 2011 and excluded Kosovo, which held its own census placing its population at 1.73 million. Serbia itself has been in demographic crisis since the early 1990's with a death rate that still exceeds its birth rate. Serbia, along with Bulgaria, has one of the most negative population growth rates in the world, with one of the lowest fertility rates (just 1.44 children per woman). 1/5 of all households consist of just one person and Serbia has among the 10 oldest populations in the world.
Serbia Population Projections
The slight negative growth of Serbia is expected to continue declining in the years to come and become somewhat more drastic. In the next 30 years, it is projected that the rate of decrease will nearly double from -0.34% in 2020 to -0.61% in 2050. These projections state that the actual number of citizens in Serbia will decrease by more than a million during this time with the population being 8,703,942 in 2020, 8,355,445 in 2030, 7,912,824 in 2040, and 7,447,023 by 2050.