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B92 Focus, March 2003.


The latest census shows that Serbia has the lowest percentage of young people in the world and that the average age is steadily increasing

Less and less Serbs
| March 27, 2003.

The percentage of the population over 60 is much higher than the percentage of those under 19. B92’s Snezana Stefanovic reports on democratic predictions that Serbs will be a national minority in their own country within 25 years

Serbs in Serbia are dying out and getting older.  With the lowest youth sector – just 19.7 per cent – in the world, Serbs are the tenth most aged population globally.  According to the latest census, there are less Serbs than in 1991 and, say the demographers, they will be a national minority in Serbia within 25 years.

Serbia had 7,498,001 permanent residents in 2002.  Of this number 5,466 live in central Serbia and 2,031,992 in the northern province of Vojvodina.  This was a fall of 1.1 per cent from the 1991 figure, despite the massive influx of refugees in the intervening period.

The trend is expected to continue and is already so well established that any steps to encourage a higher birth rate would come to late, says the Bureau for Statistic.

Vanishing youth
Births have fallen drastically over the past fifteen years.  Only 19.7 per cent of the population is aged under 18.  The earlier figures were well over 20 per cent.

However a change in the population definitions between the 1991 and 2002 censuses must be taken into account.  Previous surveys had included Serb citizens living abroad, whereas the latest figures do not include “residents” who have been abroad for more than a year.  It did however include refugees without citizenship and foreign citizens who had been resident for more than a year.  It did not include displaced Kosovars.

In 1950, there were 29 births for every thousand citizens, while in 1997 this figure had fallen to 12.  Between 1921 and 1925, women in central Serbia had an average of five children (4.5 in Vojvodina).  This dropped to 4.3 in central Serbia and 3.1 in Vojvodina between 1931 and 1955.  From 1950 to 1955 the number fell to 2.8 in central Serbia and 2.6 in Vojvodina.  It is now 1.43 in central Serbia and 1.44 in Vojvodina, well below the 2.1 average needed to merely keep the population level stable.

At present, the average married couple in Serbia has 0.9 children, one third of marriages are childless and one third of the population remains unmarried.

Other headlines

Former police leaders arrested in hunt for killers

Among those arrested in the wake of the murder of Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic on March 12, are the former head of State Security, Jovica Stanisic, and his assistant Franko “Frankie” Simatovic. This information has been confirmed for TV B92 by Deputy Prime Minister Nebojsa Covic, but there has been no information as to whether they are among the thousand-odd suspects who have been remanded in custody. B92 has prepared brief biographies of Stanisic and Simatovic March 24, 2003

Interview with Dragoljub Micunovic

Dragoljub Micunovic is the speaker of the Parliament of Serbia and Montenegro and the most senior politician in the government. He is also a longtime friend and associate of the late Zoran Djindjic. He spoke to Radio B92 on Friday, two days after the assassination of the prime minister. March 17, 2003

Serbia Loses More Than a Leader

By LAURA SILBER New York Times March 14, 2003

Emergency in the Balkans

Mar 13th 2003 From The Economist Global Agenda March 14, 2003

Djindjic death casts shadow over Belgrade

The Times March 13, 2003

Dreaming of two hundred euros

Employees of Serbia’s justice and health departments, with a monthly pay packet of about 200 euros, see themselves as little better off than the unemployed. B92's Snezana Stefanovic looks at the statistics on Serbia's poor. February 26, 2003

War in Iraq: sooner or later

Radio B92’s Miodrag Vidic looks at Washington’s new project in Iraq in the light of the 1999 attacks on Yugoslavia. Along the way he speaks to George Freedman, the director of Texas information marketer Stratfor, Belgrade political commentator Ejub Stitkovac and Reuters cameraman Fedja Drulovic, currently on assignment in Kuwait. January 21, 2003

More haste, less speed for Kosovo resolution

December 30, 2002

G17 Plus: Plotting the political course

"We're ready for elections. If they were called tomorrow, we'd be prepared." December 21, 2002

Interview with Al-Jazeera’s Belgrade correspondent

Belgrade’s permanent foreign press corps was augmented for last week’s presidential elections by thirteen specially-accredited journalists and crews. These included crews from Croatian television and radio, Polish radio, two journalists from Romania and a correspondent from Qatar’s Al-Jazeera Television. Samir Hasan, a journalist from Al-Jazeera’s Sarajevo office, is an Egyptian from Alexandria who has been working in the former Yugoslav territories for the past six years. Antonela Riha spoke to Samir for B92. December 10, 2002

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