Serbia has lost population the size of Novi Sad

by Cristian Florescu

Since the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) came to power, Serbia has lost a city the size of Novi Sad, population-wise.

Eurostat’s data show that 347,623 Serbian citizens have been given a residence visa in a foreign country in the last eight years, a number that could be doubled, bearing in mind that approximately the same number of citizens work ”off the books”. People from Serbia mainly go to Germany and Croatia to work.

The country to which Serbs go most often is, of course, Germany. In 2021 alone, out of approximately 44,000 Serbian citizens, as many as 16,840 received a residence permit in Germany for the first time. Croatia is second on the list.

Miloš Turinski from the Infostud job site says that according to their survey conducted last year, people between the ages of 25 and 40 usually leave Serbia. “Croatia and Slovenia are more attractive in the summer season when everyone flocks to the coast to earn better money, although some Serbian citizens continue to live there,” he says and adds that the highest number of job advertisements abroad was recorded in 2018 and 2019, after when there was a decline due to the global economic and health crisis.

The most in-demand jobs abroad are drivers and cooks, followed by civil engineers, waiters, mechanical engineers, electricians, doctors and nurses. Turinski adds that in the same survey ”out of 5,500 respondents, as many as 83 per cent planned to leave the country”.

“Among the reasons for leaving they cited the desire to live in an organised system, the possibility of having a better income and living in a healthier social environment,” says Turinski.

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