Demographics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
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This article is about the demographics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during its existence from 1945 until 1991. With the dissolution of the state, the following nations now have their own demographic studies:
- Demographics of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Demographics of Croatia
- Demographics of Kosovo
- Demographics of Montenegro
- Demographics of North Macedonia
- Demographics of Serbia
- Demographics of Slovenia
For the demography of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918–1945), see Kingdom of Yugoslavia#Demographics.
This is data from two Yugoslav censuses (1971 and 1981). Ethnic groups that were considered to be constitutive (explicitly mentioned in the constitution, and not considered minority or immigrant) appear in bold text.
Republics by population
|Rank||Republic/Province||Population 1991||%||Density||Population 2017||%|
|3||Bosnia and Herzegovina||4,377,053||18.8%||85.6||3,531,159c||16.46%|
a 2011 census
b includes Serbia proper and Vojvodina but not Kosovo
c 2013 census
Republics by population density
|3||Bosnia and Herzegovina||4,377,053||51,129||85.6|
History of national minorities in SFR Yugoslavia
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1940s and 1950s
The SFRY recognised "nations" (narodi) and "nationalities" (narodnosti) separately; the former included the constituent Slavic peoples, while the latter included other Slavic and non-Slavic ethnic groups such as Bulgarians and Slovaks (Slavic); and Hungarians and Albanians (non-Slavic). About a total of 26 known ethnic groups were known to live in Yugoslavia, including non-European originated Romani people.
Some of the largest non-Slavic ethnic minorities – Hungarians, Germans, Albanians and Italians – had been considered "troublesome" by Yugoslav authorities already in the first, interwar Yugoslavia, in part for supporting their ethnic interests and nation states as opposed to pan-Slavic ambitions during World War I. Minority rights of non-Slavs were neither guaranteed nor upheld, but rather stifled if they had proved "anti-Yugoslavian". Education in Hungarian and German was limited, a number of Hungarian and German cultural societies had been banned in the Kingdom until the late 1930s, when the country drifted towards pro-axis positions. Nonetheless, local Germans collaborated with the Nazi occupation forces during World War II, and ethnic Hungarians generally welcomed the return of Bačka region to Hungary. The Yugoslav communist partisan movement was unpopular among those minorities, with the German Ernst Thälmann unit existing merely on paper and the Hungarian Petőfi unit numbering mere hundred men. After the occupation forces were pushed out of Yugoslavia, Germans, Hungarians and Italians who had collaborated with German and Italian military were either imprisoned in labor camps (such as Goli Otok prison) or executed in summary executions.
The overwhelming majority of Germans were expelled or fled, fearing reprisals. Similarly, between 200,000 and 250,000 Italians were expelled or fled the newly annexed areas in Istria and Rijeka, as well as from Dalmatia. Hundreds (several thousands, according to some estimates) were summarily killed in the process. The same befell Hungarians, although to a much lesser extent, who faced summary executions in Vojvodina. After the war, however, free education in the native languages of the minorities were guaranteed by the Communist constitution.
During the era of Tito-Stalin split, many Hungarians (who in 1953 made up around 25% of the population in Vojvodina) were sympathetic towards the Hungarian People's Republic, and the words of Radio Budapest spread among the villagers.
In 1950s, various ethnic stereotypes about specific nations in the country were commonly recounted and circulated in the media. Bulgarians were reported to be a "poor and backward minority", while in contrast, Czechs and Slovaks were "industrious and valuable minorities" for Yugoslavia. Some Czechs and Slovaks also emigrated after the war, but a "large number" of them returned after communists seized power in Czechoslovakia in 1948.
- Yugoslavia's National Minorities under Communism by Paul Shoup In: Slavic Review, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Mar., 1963), pp. 64-81
- Yugoslavia's National Minorities under Communism by Paul Shoup In: Slavic Review, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Mar., 1963), pp. 76
- Yugoslavia's National Minorities under Communism by Paul Shoup In: Slavic Review, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Mar., 1963), p. 80