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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 unsuccesful - campaign until signing the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995. MILOSEVIC kept tight control over Serbia and eventually became president FRY in 1997. In 1998, a small-scale 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 by FRY forces and Serb paramilitaries. The MILOSEVIC government's rejection of a proposed international settlement lead to the NATO 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 and created a UN Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to foster self-governing institutions. 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 the fall of 2000 led to the ouster of MILOSEVIC and installed Vojislav KOSTUNICA as president. The arrest of MILOSEVIC in 2001 allowed for his subsequent transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague to be tried for crimes against humanity. (MILOSEVIC died at The Hague in March 2006 before the completion of his trial.) In 2001, the country's suspension from the UN was lifted, and it was once more accepted into UN organizations. In 2003, the FRY became Serbia and Montenegro, a loose federation of the two republics with a federal level parliament. Violent rioting in Kosovo in 2004 caused the international community to reopen negotiations on the future status of Kosovo in January 2006. In May 2006, Montenegro invoked its right under the Constitutional Charter of Serbia and Montenegro to hold a referendum on independence from the state union. The referendum was successful and Montenegro 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.
Geography Serbia
Southeastern Europe, between Macedonia and Hungary
Geographic coordinates:
44 00 N, 21 00 E
Map references:
total: 88,361 sq km
land: 88,361 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than South Carolina
Land boundaries:
total: 2,027 km
border countries: Albania 115 km, Bosnia and Herzegovina 302 km, Bulgaria 318 km, Croatia 241 km, Hungary 151 km, Macedonia 221 km, Montenegro 203 km, Romania 476 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
in the north, continental climate (cold winters and hot, humid summers with well distributed rainfall); in other parts, continental and Mediterranean climate (hot, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall)
extremely varied; to the north, rich fertile plains; to the east, limestone ranges and basins; to the southeast, ancient mountains and hills
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: NA
highest point: Daravica 2,656 m
Natural resources:
oil, gas, coal, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, antimony, chromite, nickel, gold, silver, magnesium, pyrite, limestone, marble, salt, arable land
Land use:
arable land: NA
permanent crops: NA
other: NA
Irrigated land:
Natural hazards:
destructive earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
air pollution around Belgrade and other industrial cities; water pollution from industrial wastes dumped into the Sava which flows into the Danube
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, 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
Geography - note:
controls one of the major land routes from Western Europe to Turkey and the Near East
People Serbia
9,396,411 (2002 census)
Median age:
total: 40.4 years
male: 39.1 years
female: 41.7 years
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74 years
male: 71 years
female: 76 years
Total fertility rate:
1.78 children born/woman (2006 est.)
noun: Serb(s)
adjective: Serbian
Ethnic groups:
Serb 66%, Albanian 17%, Hungarian 3.5%, other 13.5% (1991)
Serbian Orthodox, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Protestant
Serbian (official nationwide); Romanian, Hungarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, and Croatian (all official in Vojvodina); Albanian (official in Kosovo)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.4%
male: 98.9%
female: 94.1% (2002 est.)
Government Serbia
Country name:
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
Government type:
name: Belgrade
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
Administrative divisions:
29 districts (okrugov; singular - okrug), 1 capital city*
Serbia Proper: Borski Okrug, Branicevski Okrug, Grad Beograd*, Jablanicki Okrug, Kolubarski Okrug, Macvanski Okrug, Moravicki Okrug, Nisavski Okrug, Pcinjski Okrug, Pirotski Okrug, Podunavski Okrug, Pomoravski Okrug, Rasinski Okrug, Raski Okrug, Sumadijski Okrug, Toplicki Okrug, Zajecarski Okrug, Zlatiborski Okrug
Vojvodina Autonomous Province: Juzno-Backi Okrug, Juzno-Banatski Okrug, Severno-Backi Okrug, Severno-Banatski Okrug, Srednje-Banatski Okrug, Sremski Okrug, Zapadno-Backi Okrug
Kosovo and Metojia Autonomous Province: Kosovski Okrug, Kosovsko-Mitrovacki Okrug, Kosovsko-Pomoravski Okrug, Pecki Okrug, Prizrenski Okrug
5 June 2006 (from Serbia and Montenegro)
National holiday:
National Day, 27 April
10 November 2006
Legal system:
based on civil law system
18 universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Boris TADIC (since 11 July 2004); Kosovo - President Fatmir SEJDIU (since 10 February 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Vojislav KOSTUNICA (since 3 March 2004); Kosovo - Prime Minister Agim CEKU (since 10 March 2006)
cabinet: Federal Ministries act as cabinet; Kosovo - ministry heads act as cabinet; some ministry functions are controlled by the UNMIK
elections: president elected by direct vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 27 June 2004 (next to be held in 2007 due to constitutional changes); prime minister elected by the Assembly; Kosovo - president is elected by the Assembly for a three-year term; prime minister and proposed cabinet are elected by the Assembly
election results: Boris TADIC elected president in the second round of voting; Boris TADIC received 53% of the vote
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (250 deputies elected by direct vote for a four-year term); Kosovo - unicameral Assembly (120 deputies - 100 deputies elected by direct vote and 20 deputies from minority community members; elected for a three-year term)
elections: last held 28 December 2003 (next to be held 21 January 2007); Kosovo - last held 23 October 2004 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: SRS 83, DSS 53, DS 37, G17 Plus 34, SPO-NS 22, SPS 22; Kosovo - LDK 46, PDK 30, AAK 9, SLKM 8, Ora 7, Bosniak Vakat coalition 4, KDTP 3, other 13
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court (fifteen justices with three-year probationary periods before life tenure); Kosovo: Supreme Court, district courts, municipal courts, minor offense courts; note - Ministry of Justice was created on 20 December 2004; UNMIK appoints all judges and prosecutors; UNMIK is working on transferring competencies
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Party of Serbia or DSS [Vojislav KOSTUNICA]; Democratic Party or DS [Boris TADIC]; G17 Plus [Mladjan DINKIC]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Cedomir JOVANOVIC]; Serbian Radical Party or SRS [Vojislav SESELJ (currently on trial at The Hague), but Tomislav NIKOLIC is acting leader]; Socialist Party of Serbia or SPS [Ivica DACIC]; New Serbia or NS [Velimir ILIC]; Serbian Renewal Movement or SPO [Vuk DRASKOVIC]; Kosovo Democratic League of Kosovo or LDK [Fatmir SEJDIU]; Democratic Party of Kosovo or PDK [Hashim THACI]; Alliance for the Future of Kosovo or AAK [Rmuch HARADINAJ]; Serb List for Kosovo and Metohija or SLKM [Oliver IVANOVIC]; Ora Citizens' List or Ora [Veton SURROI]; Kosovo Democratic Turkish Party of KDTP [Mahir YAGCILAR]; Albanian Christian Democatic Party or PShDK [Mark KRASNIQI]; Serb Democratic Party or SDS KiM [Slavisa PETKOVIC]; New Democratic Initiative of Kosovo or IRDK [Xhevdet NEZIRAJ]; Popular Movement of Kosovo or LPK [Emrush XHEMAJLI]; Liberal Party of Kosovo or PLK [Gjergi DEDAJ]; Justice Party or PD [Sylejman CERKEZI]; United Roma Partty of Kosovo or PREBK [Zylfi MERXHA]; Democratic Ashkali Party of Kosovo or PDAK [Sabit RRAHMANI]; Citizens' Initiative of Gora or GIG [Rustem IBISI]; Party of Democratic Action or SDA [Numan BALIC]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ivan VUJACIC
chancery: 2134 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-0333
FAX: [1] (202) 332-3933
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael C. POLT
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
note: there is a branch office in Pristina at 30 Nazim Hikmet 38000 Prstina, Kososvo; telephone: [381] (38) 549-516; FAX:[381] (38) 549-890
Flag description:
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
Economy - overview:
MILOSEVIC-era mismanagement of the economy, an extended period of 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 October 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, a down-sized 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 only minimal progress in restructuring and privatizing its holdings in major sectors of the economy, including energy and telecommunications. It has made halting progress towards EU membership and is currently pursuing a Stabilization and Association Agreement with Brussels. Serbia is also pursuing membership in the World Trade Organization. Unemployment remains an ongoing political and economic problem. The Republic of Montenegro severed its economy from Serbia during the MILOSEVIC era; therefore, the formal separation of Serbia and Montenegro in June 2006 had little real impact on either economy. Kosovo's economy continues to transition to a market-based system and is largely dependent on the international community and the diaspora for financial and technical assistance. The euro and the Yugoslav dinar are both accepted currencies in Kosovo. While maintaining ultimate oversight, UNMIK continues to work with the EU and Kosovo's local provisional government to accelerate economic growth, lower unemployment, and attract foreign investment to help Kosovo integrate into regional economic structures. The complexity of Serbia and Kosovo's political and legal relationships has created uncertainty over property rights and hindered the privatization of state-owned assets in Kosovo. Most of Kosovo's population lives in rural towns outside of the largest city, Pristina. Inefficient, near-subsistence farming is common.
note: economic data for Serbia currently reflects information for the former Serbia and Montenegro, unless otherwise noted; data for Serbia alone will be added when available
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$44.83 billion for Serbia (including Kosovo) (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$19.19 billion for Serbia alone (excluding Kosovo) (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.9% for Serbia alone (excluding Kosovo) (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$4,400 for Serbia (including Kosovo) (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 16.6%
industry: 25.5%
services: 57.9% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
2.961 million for Serbia (including Kosovo) (2002 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 30%
industry: 46%
services: 24%
note: excluding Kosovo and Montenegro (2002)
Unemployment rate:
note: unemployment is approximately 50% in Kosovo (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
note: data covers the former Serbia and Montenegro (1999 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
15.5% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
14.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
revenues: $11.45 billion
expenditures: $11.12 billion; including capital expenditures $NA; note - figures are for Serbia and Montenegro; Serbian Statistical Office indicates that for 2006 budget, Serbia will have revenues of $7.08 billion (2005 est.)
Public debt:
53.1% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, maize, sugar beets, sunflower, beef, pork, milk
sugar, agricultural machinery, electrical and communication equipment, paper and pulp, lead, transportation equipment
Industrial production growth rate:
1.4% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:
33.87 billion kWh (excluding Kosovo and Montenegro) (2004)
Electricity - consumption:
Electricity - exports:
12.05 billion kWh (excluding Kosovo; exported to Montenegro) (2004)
Electricity - imports:
11.23 billion kWh (excluding Kosovo; imports from Montenegro) (2004)
Oil - production:
14,660 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - consumption:
85,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
38.75 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
650 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
2.55 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
2.1 billion cu m
note: includes Montenegro (2004)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
48.14 billion cu m (1 January 2005)
Current account balance:
$-2.451 billion (2005 est.)
$4.553 billion (excluding Kosovo and Montenegro) (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
manufactured goods, food and live animals, machinery and transport equipment
$10.58 billion (excluding Kosovo and Montenegro) (2005 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$5.35 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$15.43 billion (including Montenegro) (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$2 billion pledged in 2001 to Serbia and Montenegro (disbursements to follow over several years; aid pledged by EU and US has been placed on hold because of lack of cooperation by Serbia in handing over General Ratco MLADIC to the criminal court in The Hague)
Currency (code):
Serbian Dinar (RSD)
Exchange rates:
new Yugoslav dinars per US dollar - 58.6925
Communications Serbia
Telephones - main lines in use:
2,685,400 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
5.229 million (2005)
Telephone system:
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 only 65% digitalized in 2005
domestic: teledensity remains below the average for neighboring states; GSM wireless service, available through two providers with national coverage, is growing very rapidly; best telecommunications service limited to urban centers
international: country code - 381
Radio broadcast stations:
153 (2001)
Internet country code:
.rs; note - former ccTLD .yu will remain in service until the end of 2006
Internet hosts:
Internet users:
1.4 million (2006)
Transportation Serbia
39 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 4 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 23
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 12 (2006)
4 (2006)
gas 3,177 km; oil 393 km (2006)
total: 4,135 km
standard guage: 4,135 km 1.435-m guage (electrified 1,195 km) (2005)
total: 37,887 km
paved: 23,937 km
unpaved: 13,950 km (2002)
587 km - primarily on Danube and Sava rivers (2005)
Merchant marine:
note: see entry for Montenegro
Military Serbia
Military branches:
Serbian Armed Forces (Vojska Srbije, VS): Serbian Land Forces (Kopnene Vojska, KoV), Air Force and Air Defense Force (Vozduhoplostvo i Protivozduhoplovna Odbrana, ViPO), naval force to be determined (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
peacetime service obligation begins at age 17 and lasts until age 60 for men and 50 for women; under a state of war or impending war, the obligation can begin at age 16 and be extended beyond 60 (2006)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$14.85 million
Transnational Issues Serbia
Disputes - international:
the final status of the Serbian province of Kosovo remains unresolved and several thousand peacekeepers from the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) have administered the region since 1999, with Kosovar Albanians overwhelmingly supporting and Serbian officials opposing Kosovo independence; the international community had agreed to begin a process to determine final status but contingency of solidifying multi-ethnic democracy in Kosovo has not been satisfied; ethnic Albanians in Kosovo refuse demarcation of the boundary with Macedonia in accordance with the 2000 Macedonia-Serbia and Montenegro delimitation agreement; Serbia and Montenegro delimited about half of the boundary with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but sections with Serbia along the Drina River remain in dispute
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 180,117 (Croatia); 95,297 (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
IDPs: 225,000 - 251,000 (mostly ethnic Serbs and Roma who fled Kosovo in 1999) (2005)
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin moving to Western Europe on the Balkan route; economy vulnerable to money laundering

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007