Vlada republike SrbijeGovernment of the Republic of Serbia

Jezici

Who Are the Poor in Serbia?

Poverty in Serbia is monitored and reported on under two methodological concepts for measuring poverty (the concepts of absolute and relative poverty). Absolute poverty represents the inability to meet the minimum, basic needs, while relative poverty entails the inability to achieve a standard of living adequate from the perspective of the society in which an individual lives.

Although assessments of the population’s financial status and living standard are performed by applying different methodological concepts, with ongoing improvements to the methodology and indicators, it is noteworthy that there are no significant differences between the profiles of the poor under the absolute and relative poverty concepts. Data show that the most vulnerable population includes:

  • Children up to the age of 14,
  • Youth (15–24),
  • Multi-person households,
  • Non-urban population,
  • Persons living in households where the heads of the household have a low education level,
  • Persons living in households where the heads of the household are unemployed or outside the labour market.

The key poverty risk factors are:

  • Education (complete or incomplete primary education),
  • Labour market status (unemployed/inactive),
  • Household size (five-person and larger households),
  • Place of permanent residence (non-urban area, Eastern/South-Eastern Serbia), and
  • Age (children and youth).

A specific focus on these population categories is required when designing social policy measures.

Absolute poverty rates of the most vulnerable groups, 2006–2018, %

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total population – average for the Republic of Serbia 8.8 8.3 6.1 6.6 7.6 6.6 6.3 7.4 7.6 7.4 7.3 7.2 7.1
Non-urban areas 13.3 11.2 7.5 9.0 12.1 9.4 8.7 10.5 10.9 10.5 10.5 10.5 10.4
Region of Southern and Eastern Serbia 11.4 10.7 10.7 15.0 15.5 11.3 11.8 14.7 13.5 13.1 12.8 12.1 11.9
Unemployed, household head 14.7 10.9 16.9 17.0 16.5 16.9 16.7 18.0 21.8 19.0 22.5 23.8 20.6
Incomplete primary education, household head 21.0 18.8 9.0 17.4 14.3 16.5 15.6 20.5 18.8 21.8 19.0 18.5 21.3
Primary education, household head 13.7 13.2 10.5 10.4 13.7 11.0 11.4 13.8 14.9 11.8 12.2 14.8 12.7
Five-member family 8.3 8.1 5.2 5.5 9.8 8.8 10.9 11.6 8.9 8.7 7.3 10.6 8.1
Six-member and larger family 17.3 14.4 10.0 13.7 14.3 12.7 10.1 14.0 15.4 15.8 12.1 15.2 9.8
Children up to 13 11.6 11.2 7.3 9.7 11.9 9.7 9.4 10.4 10.5 9.9 8.4 9.1 7.6
Children 14–18 11.7 8.8 6.9 8.3 7.9 9.0 9.7 8.8 9.9 10.6 8.5 10.6 8.2
Note: The absolute poverty line defined on the basis of the food line plus the sum of other expenditures (clothes, footwear, housing, health care, education, transport, recreation, culture, other goods and services), calculated in 2006, was increased by the amount of inflation (measured by the consumer price index) for each year. Source: HBS, SORS.

For more information on the poverty profile in Serbia, see:

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Mapping Social Care Services and Material Support within the Mandate of Local Governments in the Republic of Serbia
September, 2020 arrow right pdf [8 MB]
Income of the Poorest Deciles of Serbia’s Population, Focus on Agricultural Activities
July, 2020 arrow right pdf [2 MB]
E2E: Public Policy Testing – Innovative Approaches to Youth Employment
April, 2020 arrow right pdf [1 MB]
E2E: Public Policy Testing – Innovative Approaches to Youth Employment (leaflet)
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Availability of Local Support Services and Measures for Roma Children
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E2E: Ex-post Evaluation of the Open Call “Supporting Innovative Approaches to tackle Youth Employment and Employability” (2018–2019) – Summary
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National Employment Action Plan for 2020
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