The Republic of Serbia is a democratic state of all of its citizens. Its history and achievements make it an integral part of modern civilisation and the international community.
The Republic of Serbia in its composition also comprises two autonomous provinces: Vojvodina and Kosovo-Metohija. Belgrade is the capital of Serbia. With a population of 1,659,440, it is the country's administrative, economic and cultural centre.
The territorial organisation of Serbia includes five regions (Belgrade region, Vojvodina region, Sumadija and western Serbia region, eastern and southern Serbia region and Kosovo-Metohija region).
They include the City of Belgrade as a separate territorial unit established by the Constitution and law, and 30 administrative areas, 24 cities, 30 urban municipalities, 150 municipalities, 6,158 villages and 193 urban settlements
Serbia is located in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula, on the most important
route linking Europe and Asia, occupying an area of 88,499 square kilometres. Its
climate is temperate continental, with a gradual transition between the four seasons
of the year.
The length of Serbia's border is 2,361.7 km (land border 1,567.3 km, river border 751.1 km and lake border 43.3 km). Serbia borders Bulgaria to the east, Romania to the north-east, Hungary to the north, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to the west, Montenegro to the south-west and Albania and Macedonia to the south.
Serbia is referred to as the cross-roads of Europe. The international roads and railways passing down its river valleys make up the shortest link between Western and Central Europe, on the one side, and the Middle East, Asia and Africa, on the other. Hence the geopolitical importance of its territory. These roads follow the course of the valley of the river Morava, splitting in two near the city of Nis. One route follows the valleys of the rivers Juzna Morava and Vardar to Thessaloniki; the other, the Nisava River to Sofia and Istanbul.
Serbian rivers belong to the basins of the Black, Adriatic and Aegean Seas. Three of them, the Danube, Sava and Tisa, are navigable. The longest river is the Danube, which flows for 588 km of its 2,857 km course through Serbia. The Danube basin has always been important for Serbia. With the commissioning of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal in September 1992, the Black Sea and the Near and Far Eastern ports have come much nearer to Europe. Serbia is linked to the Adriatic Sea and Montenegro via the Belgrade-Bar railway.
Northern Serbia is mainly flat, while its central and southern areas consist
of highlands and mountains. The flatlands are mainly in Vojvodina (the Pannonian
Plain and its rim: Macva, the Sava Valley, the Morava Valley, Stig and the Negotin
Marches in Eastern Serbia). 55% of Serbia is arable land, and 27% is forested. Of
its mountains 15 reach heights of over 2,000 metres, the highest being Djeravica
in the Prokletije range (2,656 metres).
The ethnic composition of the population of the Republic of Serbia is very diverse, which is a result of the country's turbulent past. The majority of the population of Serbia are Serbs, with another 21 ethnicities whose number is above 2,000. All citizens have equal rights and responsibilities and enjoy full ethnic equality. The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia guarantees rights to minorities, in accordance with the highest international standards. The final data from the 2011 census put the population of Serbia (excluding Kosovo-Metohija) at 7,186,862.
The official language in Serbia is Serbian and the script in official use is Cyrillic, while the Latin script is also used. In the areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, the languages and scripts of the minorities are in official use, as provided by law. A total of 88.1% of the population of the Republic of Serbia consider the Serbian language their mother tongue, followed by the Hungarian language (3.4%), Bosnian (1.9%) and Roma (1.4%).
The main religion of Serbia is Christian Orthodox. According to the final results of 2011Census, more than six million inhabitants of Serbia are Orthodox (84.6% of the total population). The second largest group are Catholics, with 350,000 (5%), while there are more than 220,000 Islamic members (3%).
The Republic of Serbia is in the ethnic sense a multinational community. Besides Serbs (83.3%), Hungarians are the most numerous (mostly represented in the region of Vojvodina), followed by Roma (Region of South and East Serbia and Vojvodina region) and Bosniaks (mostly living in Sumadija and Western Serbia).
The final results of Serbian 2011 census of population, households and dwellings showed that in Serbia there are 21 ethnic communities whose number exceeds two thousand members.
There are 5,988,150 Serbs, 5,809 Albanians, 145,278 Bosniaks, 18,543 Bulgarians, 16,706 Bunjevci, 35,330 Vlachs, 7,767 Gorani, 23,303 Yugoslavs, 253,899 Hungarians, 22,755 Macedonians, 22,301 Muslims, 4,064 Germans, 147,604 Roma, Romanians 29,332, 3,247 Russians, 14,246 Ruthenians, 52,750 Slovaks, 4,033 Slovenes, 4,903 Ukrainians, 57,900 Croats, 38,527 Montenegrins and 17,558 other.
With its Constitution and a number of laws, the Republic of Serbia regulated the manner of exercising constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms of national minorities.In addition to rights that are guaranteed to all citizens under the Constitution, they guarantee additional individual or collective rights.
The industrial and mining sectors of the Republic of Serbia encompass ore and stone mining, the processing industry and the production and distribution of electricity, gas and water.
Industrial production in the Republic of Serbia in 2014 was lower by 6.5% than in 2013. The industrial production volume in 2014, compared to 2013, recorded a fall in 20 divisions whose share in the structure of industrial production is 68% and a rise in nine areas whose share in the structure of industrial production is 32%.
Observed by sectors, in 2014, compared to 2013, the following changes were recorded: the section of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning - a drop of 20.1%, the mining sector - a drop of 16.6% and the sector Manufacturing industry - a drop of 1.4%.
The data on industrial production in 2014 - by destination, compared to the previous year, show a decline in energy production (17.4%), capital goods (4.1%) and intermediate goods, except energy (3.2%). A growth was recorded in the production of durable consumer goods (0.4%) and non-durable consumer goods (0.9%).
The largest influence on industrial production fall in 2014, compared to 2013, was caused by Electricity production, Production of metal products, except machinery, Coal mining, Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products and Exploitation of metal ores.
The Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) encompasses coal mines, electric power sources (hydroelectric power plants, thermal power plants, heating plants) and grid distribution systems.
The largest share in the production of energy products in the Republic of Serbia in 2013 was made by coal production (41.63%). Oil and oil derivatives accounted for the import of 53.23%, while electricity was exported the most (46.19%). As part of the final consumption in 2013, the largest amount of coal was used in households (39.18%), in the transportation sector oil derivatives were used the most (61.30%), electricity was used the most in households (52.58%), and natural gas in the industry sector (70.67%).
The Mining industry in Serbia is a basis of domestic industry, and therefore of the Serbian economy in general.
Low-calorie coals – lignites, which are mined at the Kolubara and Kostolac sites, provide 65% of electricity in Serbia. The Kolubara mining basin is the largest coal producer in the "Electric Power Industry of Serbia". About 52% of total electricity in Serbia is produced annually on the basis of lignite, while coal is extracted at only one open-pit mine at Kolubara - Field D, which accounts for 32% of electricity production in Serbia.
The Bor mining and metallurgical complex produces copper ore in quantities significant at a regional level and stimulates the development of the entire region. Secondary precious metal refining is also substantial.
Exploitation of industrial minerals in Serbia is gaining on importance. Highly profitable projects are planned based partly on the estimated and partly on the confirmed reserves of boron minerals, phosphates, zeolites, granite alluviums, limonite, zircon etc. Foreign companies are especially interested in the exploitation of industrial materials.
According to the 2012 Agricultural Census, the total agricultural land in the territory of the Republic of Serbia covers 3,861,477 hectares, and our country has 631,552 agricultural holdings.
Of the total value of agricultural production in 2014, crop production accounted for 66.9%, and livestock with 33.1%. Compared to 2013, the net index of physical volume of agricultural production increased by 2.1%.
Plant production compared to 2013 increased by 5.7%. The value of crop production increased by 11.9%, while the fruit-growing dropped by 20.5%, and viticulture by 38.7%.
The value of livestock production compared to 2013 increased by 0.4%. Within the structure of livestock production, cattle breeding value decreased by 0.1% and sheep breeding by 0.5%, while poultry and pig production increased by 0.5% and 4.8% respectively.
Of the total agricultural area in 2014, arable land accounted for 74.3%, with 4.7% include orchards, vineyards 0.6%, meadows 10.9%and pastures 9.5%.
In the structure of sown areas, grain accounted for 69.8%, industrial crops 13.3%, vegetable crops 2% and fodder 9.3%.
The production in 2014, compared to 2013, is higher for maize by 35.6% and sugar beet by 10.3%, while it was lower in wheat by 11.3% and sunflower by 0.7%.
Compared to 2013, there is a greater number of livestock units (by 4.1%), and the production of cow's milk and meat increased by 2.8% and 2.5% respectively.
The climate is moderate continental with an average annual temperature of 11–12°C. Average annual precipitation ranges from 600 mm to 800 mm in the plains and between 800 mm and 1,200 mm in the mountains.
Soil and climate conditions are highly conducive to the development of agriculture. The plains of Vojvodina, Kosovo Polje, Metohija, Pomoravlje, Posavina, Tamnava, Krusevac and Leskovac offer favourable conditions for mechanised field crop farming and vegetable production.
Rolling hills and foothills support fruit and wine production and livestock breeding. The hills and mountains of Zlatibor, Rudnik, Stara Planina, Kopaonik and Sar Planina are attractive for developing sheep and cattle breeding and forestry.
The total land area under forests in the Republic of Serbia is 2,168,746 hectares, of which 953,218 hectares, or approximately 44%, are state owned, while the remaining 56% are in the private sector.