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Serbian diaspora: Wikis


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There are currently 3.5 million Serbs in diaspora throughout the world (those that are not constitutional peoples; like in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in this case). The Serb diaspora (commonly known as the Serbian diaspora) was the consequence of either voluntary departure, coercion and/or forced migrations or expulsions that occurred in six big waves:

  1. To the west and north, caused mostly by the Ottoman Turks.
  2. To the east (Czechoslovakia, Russia, Ukraine and across the former USSR from World War I and World War II, to until the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe by the early 1990's).
  3. To the USA for economic reasons, but Serbians also migrated to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South America.
  4. During wartime, particularly World War II and post-war political migration, predominantly into overseas countries (large waves of Serbians and other Yugoslavians into the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).
  5. Going abroad for temporary work as "guest workers" and "resident aliens" who stayed in their new homelands during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s (to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), however some Serbians returned to Yugoslavia in the 1980's.
  6. Escaping from the uncertain situation (1991-1995) caused by the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the renewal of vicious ethnic conflicts and civil war, as well as by the disastrous economic crises, which largely affected the educated or skilled labor forces (i.e. "brain drain"), increasingly migrated to Western Europe, North America and Australia/New Zealand.

The existence of the centuries-old Serb or Serbian diaspora in countries such as Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine, is the result of historical circumstances – the migrations to the North and the East, due to the Turkish conquests of the Balkans and as a result of politics, especially when the Communist Party came into power, but even more when the communist state of Yugoslavia collapsed into inter-ethnic conflict, resulting in mass expulsions of people from certain regions as refugees of war. Although some members of the Serbian diaspora do not speak the Serbian language nor observe Christianity (some Serbians are Jews, Slavic Muslims, Protestants, Roman Catholics, Eastern Rite Catholics, and atheists who don't practice religion) or members of the overseas dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church, they are still traditionally regarded as Serbs or Serbians other than Yugoslavians or Yugoslavs.


Regions with significant diasporic Serb populations

Geographical location of the Serb diaspora
Country Number of Serbs
 Germany 625,000 (2005)[1]
 Austria 300,000 (2008)[2]
 Switzerland 186,000 (2008)[3]
 United States around 1,000,000
 Canada 145,540 (2007)
 Australia 96,895 (2006)[4]
 Sweden 35,000 to 40,000 (2008)[5]
 France 70,000 to 100,000
 Italy 68.542 (2007)[6]
 Slovenia 38,964 (2002)[7]
 Macedonia 36,000 (2002)[8]
 United Kingdom 31,244 (2005)[9]
 Romania 22,518 (2002)[10]
 Netherlands 10,000-15,500
 Norway 12,500 (2006)
 Denmark 12,000 (2001)
 Greece 10,000 (2001)[11]
 Luxembourg 7,923 (2008)[12]
 Hungary 7,350[13]
 Russia 4,156 (2002)[14]
 Belgium 1,857 (2008)[15]
 Spain 4,392 (2006)[16]
 Czech Republic 1,801 (2001)
 United Arab Emirates 1,000 (2007)
 Turkey 600[17]
 Poland 381 (2001) [18]
 Slovakia 134 (2001)
 New Zealand 75
 Chile 25(2008)

Serb diaspora in Australia

Serbs in the United Kingdom

Serb diaspora in the United States

Serb-American war veterans

Serb diaspora organizations


  1. ^ Über uns | Zentralrat der Serben in Deutschland
  2. ^ 20 Minuten Online: Serben-Demo eskaliert in Wien
  3. ^ "Erstmals über eine Million EU- und EFTA Angehörige in der Schweiz". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 14. Oktober 2008.  
  4. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics
  5. ^ Nordstrom, p. 353. (Lists Former Yugoslavia and Iran as top two countries in terms of immigration beside "Other Nordic Countries," based on Nordic Council of Ministers Yearbook of Nordic Statistics, 1996, 46-47)
  6. ^ Statistiche demografiche ISTAT
  7. ^ "The Euromosaic study - Other languages in Slovenia". European Commission.  
  8. ^ Државен завод за статистика: Попис на населението, домаќинствата и становите во Република Македонија, 2002: Дефинитивни податоци (PDF)
  9. ^ "The Serbian Council of Great Britain". Serbian Council of Great Britain. Retrieved 2008-09-20.  
  10. ^ Structura Etno-demografică a României
  11. ^ Statistics of Greece 2002
  12. ^ Statistiques - 01.06.2008
  13. ^ Hungarian Central Statistical Office: Population by languages spoken with family members or friends, affinity with nationalities' cultural values and sex
  14. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики: 4.1. Национальный состав населения
  15. ^ "Etrangers inscrits dans tous les registres (1,2,3,4 et 5) du registre national - Remarque : Une nationalité "d'origine" désigne un réfugié politique reconnu
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Ethnic groups of Turkey
  18. ^ Staues 2001
a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The Assembly of Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence on 17 February 2008, a move that is recognised by 65 of the 192 UN member states and the Republic of China (Taiwan), but not by other UN member states. Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory.

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