Vlada republike SrbijeGovernment of the Republic of Serbia


Data for 2003

Citizens with a low level of education

The risk of poverty for people who did not complete primary education is twice as high as for the general population. The depth and severity of poverty are significantly greater for this group than for those with more education. Only 2% of university graduates is poor.

The unemployed

The unemployed are most at risk of poverty (59.4% higher than the population average) as well as being likely to experience the greatest depth and severity of poverty.

The elderly

The elderly (over 65) make up almost a quarter of the total number of the poor, 17.7% of the total population, with the elderly without pensions being most at risk.


Children also represent a category with an above average risk of poverty. 12.7% of this age group is poor. At the same time, their poverty is relatively deep compared to other age groups.

Households with five of more members

On the basis of the size of the household , the most vulnerable are households with five or more members (poverty risk + 26,3%). According to the household composition, poverty is most prevalent in single-person and especially two-member elderly households where the risk of poverty is almost two thirds higher than the population average, especially in rural areas.

Rural population

Poverty in Serbia has become a rural phenomenon (as in the majority of countries in transition) primarily because of a faster real growth of wages and pensions, which are the predominant source of income for the urban population. The poverty index of the rural population (14.2%) is almost twice as high as the poverty index of the urban population. Compared to the urban population, people in rural areas are confronted with a higher risk, depth and severity of poverty.

Southeast Serbia population:

The region with the highest level of poverty is Southeast Serbia, particularly rural areas which are two times more exposed to a risk of poverty than the average population. Poverty in this region is deepest and most severe. Rural population of the south-east and part of western Serbia comprise 25% of the poor.

The most vulnerable groups

Refugees and internally displaced persons: 25% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Roma: Compared to other vulnerable groups, Roma are the most vulnerable. The unemployment rate among Roma is four times higher than in other groups. 32.5% of Roma are without any education or have completed less than 4 grades of primary school. Only 0.3% of Roma are attending higher education and universities.

Persons with disabilites: There are around 350.000 persons with disabilities living in Serbia. Only 13% of these persons are given the opportunity to work!

Women: Due to poorer qualifications and shorter service spans, women on average have 15% lower wages than men. Those most a risk from poverty are elderly women in rural areas, single mothers, housewives, Roma women, refugees, the uneducated and unemployed, the sick and women with disabilities, and victims of violence.

Regional dispersion of poverty:

  • 23.5% of the population in Southeast Serbia is poor
  • 13.2% of the population in Western Serbia is poor
  • 11.4% of the population in Eastern Serbia is poor
  • 9.7% of the population in Šumadija is poor
  • 7.9% of the population in Vojvodina is poor and
  • 4.2% of the population in Belgrade is poor

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Documents > <

Income and Consumption Decile Analysis in the Republic of Serbia in 2018
July, 2020 arrow right xlsx [62 KB]
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)
April, 2020 arrow right pdf [2 MB]