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Migration One of Top Demographic Challenges in Serbia

According to Serbian official data, 190,000 citizens of Serbia migrated to European Western countries, mainly Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Sweden and Italy. The data taken from the official sources from these countries indicate that number to be even higher, showing 340,000 citizens of Serbia living and working in these countries.

PERFORM is supporting the Cabinet of the Minister without Portfolio in charge of Demography and Population Policy with education series aimed at fostering a stronger link between policymakers and demographers. Second in a series of workshops aimed at better understanding current and future demographic challenges took place on April 26th, this time focusing on migration of the population in Serbia. 

Senior Researchers from the Center for Demography of the Institute for Social Sciences presented the data related to migration and emigration of Serbian population in the last 20 years. Municipalities in East Serbia are leading the way by the number of citizens living abroad, mainly in Austria, Germany and France.

One of the main concerns discussed at the workshop was access to and accuracy of the data. From the perspective of researchers, there is a strong demand to resolve the issue of data systematisation, and a need to introduce a civic register as an additional mechanism to follow population data, which would be more useful than population census. Population census held in 2011 was boycotted by Albanian population from three municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, which affected the accuracy of the data. Having in mind the changes of the state undergone in the past 20 years - from Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1981, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, Serbia and Montenegro in 2003, and Serbia in 2011 (excluding Kosovo where population census is not conducted), is significantly affecting the usefulness of data to the decision makers. 

By the end of the year PERFORM will support two more workshops for the line ministries and governmental agencies that are part of the Population Council of the Government of Serbia.

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