Long-term demographic implications of low fertility in the region of former Yugoslavia

Vladimir Nikitovic, Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade

Decades-long same socio-economic framework and the dominant cultural model in socialist Yugoslavia contributed to the process of demographic homogenization of the region, in particular to mitigate the differences between sub-regions in which they were most pronounced after the WWII. Since the long history of the common state, it could be useful to examine if the similar demographic patterns as regards population dynamics and ageing are in work two decades after. Furthermore, the sub-region of Kosovo was demographically for decades in sharp distinction to the rest of Yugoslavia showing extreme values even in the global context. Recent world population prospects by United Nations (UN) pointed to depopulation trend in the region on the long run. However, there were some major drawbacks regarding demographic indicators of population living in Kosovo. Even it was the first probabilistically based set of world projections by UN, the issue caused by territorial disputes between Kosovo entity and Serbia burdened the quality of projection outcomes. This paper made an effort in order to overcome obstacles in terms of historic data and jump-off projection values not only in this case but for the whole region in accordance with adjusted data from national records. Besides, it offers the first probabilistically consistent set of population projections across the region starting from UN methodology. Thus, it is possible to evaluate demographic implications of long term population trends across the countries particularly from the aspect of current differences among them. The official projections of national statistic institutes are used as an evaluation tool. Population reduction and ageing in the two largest states (Serbia and Croatia) is expected with certainty for a longer period of time, which essentially determines the demographic future of the region particularly as regards migration flows.

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Presented in Poster Session 2