Top 10 Facts About Poverty in Serbia

Free Birds Eye View of Zemun Stock Photo

Serbia officially became an independent nation in 2006, following the split of the country known as Serbia and Montenegro. Being a newly independent country, it faces the challenges of poverty and unemployment. Nonetheless, progress is being made, as these top 10 facts about poverty in Serbia are showing:

  1. Approximately 25% of Serbians are impoverished, which translates to close to 1.8 million people. Absolute poverty, a more severe condition of poverty, has been slowly decreasing, from 7.6% in 2010 to 7.3% in 2016.
  2. The levels of poverty vary significantly across different regions of Serbia. Generally, the southern region has a higher rate of people at risk of poverty compared to the northern region. Additionally, rural areas, where almost half of the population resides, have double the poverty rate of urban areas.
  3. Households are more likely to be impoverished if the head of the house has not completed primary school. The risk of poverty directly correlates with the level of education of the head of the household.
  4. Serbia is vulnerable to floods and earthquakes. Earthquakes affect 60,000 people a year and result in losses of $300 million. Floods are even more frequent and also more impactful, affecting 200,000 people and causing a loss of $1 billion yearly.
  5. The primary school completion rate is 95%. Enrollment rates have been above 90% for both boys and cards for more than two decades. Additionally, approximately 100% of the population aged 15 and above can read and write.
  6. The overall unemployment rate is 8.68%. Youth unemployment rate is 30.4%. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the reason for these high rates is the disparity between workforce needs and the Serbian education system. However, in 2021, Serbia adopted an employment-focused Action Plan, among other plans, in an attempt to decrease unemployment.
  7. The YF Innovation Serbia project, completed in 2016, is another way Serbia has made progress toward improving unemployment rates. One of the project’s goals was to encourage entrepreneurship in Serbia by assisting startups, funding projects and opening research institutions. It ultimately helped improve Serbia’s economic growth and create more job opportunities for its citizens.
  8. Serbia is working on becoming a member of the European Union (EU). To achieve this goal, the country must go through a pre-ascension phase that includes economic development, increased human rights and an improved government system.
  9. Serbia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to grow at about 3% to 4% annually. In 2017, however, drought and energy production issues slowed Serbia’s economic growth temporarily. Other sectors, such as industry and services, did show growth despite these problems.
  10. Serbia’s Human Development Index score was 0.805 in 2022, ranking 65th out of 193 countries. This score reflects Serbia’s high level of human development.

While poverty remains an issue in Serbia, action is certainly being taken to counter it, especially through joining the EU. The standards that the EU holds for its members encourage a better economy and quality of life for its citizens. In the past, most countries have seen economic growth as a result of this same process. Evidently, in these top facts about poverty in Serbia, Serbian poverty shows promise of slowing down.

– Massarath Fatima

Photo: Pexels
Updated: May 29, 2024