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:

For the demography of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918–1945), see Kingdom of Yugoslavia#Demographics.

Ethnic groups[edit]

Ethnic map of Yugoslavia in 1991.
Ethnic composition of Yugoslavia in 1981
Serbs
36.3%
Croats
19.7%
Muslims (nationality)
8.9%
Slovenes
7.8%
Albanians
7.7%
Macedonians
6.0%
Yugoslavs
5.4%
Montenegrins
2.6%
Hungarians
1.9%
Roma
0.7%
Turks
0.5%
Slovaks
0.4%
Romanians
0.2%
Bulgarians
0.2%
Italians
0.1%
other/undetermined
1.7%

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.

Nationality 1971 % 1981 %
Serbs 8,143,246 39.7% 8,136,578 36.3%
Croats 4,526,782 22.1% 4,428,135 19.7%
Muslims (nationality) 1,729,932 8.4% 2,000,034 8.9%
Slovenes 1,678,032 8.2% 1,753,605 7.8%
Albanians 1,309,523 6.4% 1,731,252 7.7%
Macedonians 1,194,784 5.8% 1,341,420 6.0%
Yugoslavs 273,077 1.3% 1,216,463 5.4%
Montenegrins 508,843 2.5% 577,298 2.6%
Hungarians 477,374 2.3% 426,865 1.9%
Romani 78,485 0.4% 148,604 0.7%
Turks 127,920 0.6% 101,328 0.5%
Slovaks 83,656 0.4% 80,300 0.4%
Romanians 58,570 0.3% 54,721 0.2%
Bulgarians 58,627 0.3% 36,642 0.2%
Vlachs 21,990 0.1% 32,071 0.1%
Rusyns 24,640 0.1% 23,320 0.1%
Czechs 24,620 0.1% 19,609 0.1%
Italians 21,791 0.1% 15,116 0.1%
Ukrainians 13,972 0.1% 12,716 0.1%
Germans 12,875 0.1% ? ?
Russians 7,427 ? ?
Jews 4,811 ? ?
Poles 4,033 ? ?
Greeks 1,564 ? ?
other/not determined 136,398 0.6% 302,254 1.5%
total 20,522,972 100.0% 22,438,331 100.00%

Republics by population[edit]

Population of Yugoslavia by republics and provinces in 1991
Serbia
40.9%
Serbia proper
24.0%
Croatia
20.6%
Bosnia and Herzegovina
18.8%
Macedonia
8.8%
Vojvodina
8.6%
Kosovo
8.4%
Slovenia
8.2%
Montenegro
2.6%

The population data are from the 1991 census and from 2017 estimation census.

Rank Republic/Province Population 1991 % Density Population 2017 %
1  SR Serbia 9,506,174 40.9% 114.0 7,040,272b 32.81%
--- Socialist Republic of Serbia Serbia proper 5,582,611 24.0% 99.4 5,108,463 23.81%
2  Croatia 4,784,265 20.6% 84.6 4,154,200 19.36%
3  Bosnia and Herzegovina 4,377,053 18.8% 85.6 3,531,159c 16.46%
4  Macedonia 2,033,964 8.8% 79.1 2,103,721 9.80%
--- Vojvodina 1,996,367 8.6% 92.8 1,931,809 a 9.00%
---  Kosovo 1,956,196 8.4% 183.1 1,920,079 8.95%
5  Slovenia 1,913,355 8.2% 94.5 2,065,895 9.63%
6  Montenegro 615,035 2.6% 44.5 642,550 2.99%
 Yugoslavia 23,229,846 100% 92.6 21,457,875 100%

a 2011 census

b includes Serbia proper and Vojvodina but not Kosovo

c 2013 census

Republics by population density[edit]

Population density of Yugoslavia by republics and provinces in 1991
Kosovo
183.1
Serbia
114.0
Serbia proper
99.4
Slovenia
94.5
Vojvodina
92.8
Yugoslavia
92.6
Bosnia and Herzegovina
85.6
Croatia
84.6
Macedonia
79.1
Montenegro
44.5
Rank Republic/Province Population Area (km²) Density
---  Kosovo 1,956,196 10,686 183.1
1  SR Serbia 9,506,174 83,361 114.0
--- Socialist Republic of Serbia Serbia proper 5,582,611 56,169 99.4
2  Slovenia 1,913,355 20,246 94.5
--- Vojvodina 1,996,367 21,506 92.8
3  Bosnia and Herzegovina 4,377,053 51,129 85.6
4  Croatia 4,784,265 56,524 84.6
5  Macedonia 2,033,964 25,713 79.1
6  Montenegro 615,035 13,810 44.5
 Yugoslavia 23,229,846 250,790 92.6
Demographics of Yugoslavia (1961–1991), Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

History of national minorities in SFR Yugoslavia[edit]

1940s and 1950s[edit]

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.[1] 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[2]) 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.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yugoslavia's National Minorities under Communism by Paul Shoup In: Slavic Review, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Mar., 1963), pp. 64-81
  2. ^ Yugoslavia's National Minorities under Communism by Paul Shoup In: Slavic Review, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Mar., 1963), pp. 76
  3. ^ Yugoslavia's National Minorities under Communism by Paul Shoup In: Slavic Review, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Mar., 1963), p. 80