Goran Penev, a demographer with the Belgrade Institute of Social Sciences, stated on Jan. 26 that with 136,000 lives lost, last year's total number of deaths was the greatest Serbia had witnessed since the Second World War.
In an interview for BETA, Penev claimed that earlier prognoses that 2021 had an "exceptional" impact on Serbia's population have been confirmed by a recent demographic growth report issued by the Serbian Statistics Bureau. According to him, while Covid-19 was definitely a primary cause of such dire statistics, the numbers reported are also the result of long-term trends in Serbia's mortality and fertility rates.
According to the Statistics Bureau, 62,062 live-births and 135,901 deaths took place in Serbia in the year 2021, resulting in a population decrease of 73,839 -- which is one of the largest drops in population Serbia has seen in decades. Due to its negative demographic growth rate, Serbia's population in 2021 was reduced by 202 people daily.