Changes in Population Structure by Mother Tongue in East Serbia in the Last Century

Reference work entry


East Serbia is a region in Serbia that consists of 9 districts and 53 municipalities. It borders Central Serbia, Kosovo and Metohija to the west, Vojvodina to the northwest, and has international borders with Romania to the north and northeast, Bulgaria to the east, and the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia to the south. According to the 2011 Census, it has 1,563,916 residents. It is distinguished by having a variety of different national minorities and several mother tongues beside official Serbian (Vlach, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Roma, Romanian, etc.). Population censuses began in 1921 and continued to 1931, 1948, 1953, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2002, and 2011. This chapter discusses the changing numbers of people who declared Serbian as their mother tongue. During the Cold War (1945–1990) and the existence of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia many inhabitants were identified as speaking the Yugoslavian (Serbian) language. Of course, political issues should not be underestimated, especially during the last two decades among the Albanian population in this region and their boycott of the census. Those decisions provided a different picture of the mother tongue structure in municipalities where this minority lived. We will discuss present and future changes in the mother tongue structure as well as related contemporary challenges.


East Serbia Mother tongue Census of population 



This work is part of the project “Ethnic groups of Vojvodina in twenty-first century – situation and perspective of sustainability” (No. 142-451-2490/2018-01) funded by Provincial Secretariat for Higher Education and Scientific Research.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Sciences, Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel ManagementUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia
  2. 2.Faculty of Philosophy, Department of HistoryUniversity in Novi SadNovi SadSerbia

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