Southern European state, bordered to the north with Hungary, to the north-east with Romania, to the east with Bulgaria, to the south with Macedonia and Kosovo, to the west with Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the north -West with Croatia. The population at the 2011 census was 7,186,862. (excluding the population of Kosovo), with an annual growth rate of zero and a natural negative increase of 4.8%; in 2014 it was 9,468,378 residents, according to an estimate by UNDESA, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Serbian ethnicity now accounts for 83.3% of the total, followed by Magyars (3.5%), Roma (2.1%) and Bosnians (2%). The religious picture roughly reflects the ethnic composition, with the decisive prevalence of Orthodox, followed by a clear minority of Catholics and Muslims. The Serbian population is only slightly more than half urbanized and the capital, Belgrade, has 1,166,763 residents.
Economic conditions. – The socio-economic conditions of the population present various criticalities: unemployment reaches 21.6% (2014), with more than half of the youth workforce unemployed, while, on the other hand, the share of child labor is 4%; a quarter of the population is below the poverty line, although access to water and sanitation services is good. GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPA) it stands at $ 12,605 (2014). The main criticalities of the economy concern the low competitiveness of Serbian companies on the markets, high inflation (7.6% in 2013) and public debt which, according to estimates for 2013, reached 61% of GDP, more than doubled since 2008, due to a poor fiscal policy. After the acceleration of the 2003-07 period (+ 6% on average) and the contraction following the international crisis of 2009, GDP continued to grow at a slower pace (2.5% in 2013). The industrial sector maintains a significant weight (28% of GDP and 27% of the workforce); the mechanical sector and the activities related to wood processing should be noted. Mining activities are also significant, especially coal (which covers 55% of the national energy mix). On the other hand, the services sector is still developing (61% of GDP and 54% of the workforce). The Serbian economy is now strongly oriented towards the international market and, particularly, towards the countries of the European Union (EU), especially after obtaining, in 2012, the status of candidate country for EU entry, for which negotiations officially began in 2014. In negotiation is a financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), aimed at the macroeconomic stabilization of the country; direct investments also started from the EU in 2012. Among the trading partners, Italy, Germany and Russia are at the top, from which Serbia imports gas and oil at subsidized prices, also determined by the good relations that two countries maintained after the dissolution of the USSR. The relations with the United States, on the other hand, are more tense, accused of having participated in the secession of Kosovo (see), still not recognized by Serbia, even more so after the formal recognition of the country’s independence and sovereignty. in 2008.