Serbs in Slovenia

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Serbs in Slovenia
Srbi u Sloveniji
Total population
38,964 (2%), according to the 2002 census
Serbian Orthodox

Serbs in Slovenia are, by large, first or second generation immigrants from other republics of former Yugoslavia. In the 2002 census, 38,964 people of Slovenia declared Serb ethnicity, corresponding to 1.98% of the total population, making them the largest ethnic minority in the country.


The vast majority of the Serbs in Slovenia are first or second generation settlers from other republics of former Yugoslavia, mostly from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, but also from Croatia and Montenegro. After World War II, many Serbs employed in the Yugoslav People's Army were stationed in the Socialist Republic of Slovenia with their families. In the period of 1971-1981, many ethnic Serbs migrated from Bosnia and Herzegovina to pursue better careers and economical benefits in Slovenia. Before 1991, many Serbs in Slovenia registered as Yugoslavs, and many still prefer referring to their mother language as Serbo-Croatian, rather than Serbian.

There also exists an autochthonous community of Serbs in White Carniola (see Serbs of White Carniola).

In 2013, the combined community association of Serbs in Slovenia requested that Serbs be given the status of national minority.[1]


Most of Serbs in Slovenia are concentrated in larger urban areas, especially in Ljubljana and Jesenice. The table shows the year and number and percentage of Serbs in Slovenia after World War II, according to the official censuses.

  • 1948 - 7,048
  • 1953 - 11,225 (0.8%)
  • 1961 - 13,609 (0.9%)
  • 1971 - 20,521 (1.2%)
  • 1981 - 42,182 (2.3%)
  • 1991 - 47,097 (2.5%)
  • 2002 - 38,964 (2.0%)

It also has to be noted that in the last census in 2002, more than 10% of all Slovenian population decided not to answer the question regarding their ethnic affiliation. All these elements make the estimate of the overall number of Serbs in Slovenia difficult.


See also: Serbian culture

Yugonostalgia is strong among the older generation.[2] The urban former Yugoslav immigrant community in Slovenia have developed a "Balkan culture" in the 1990s.[2]

The Leskovac-styled grilled meat, including ćevapčići, have today become part of everyday-diet in Slovenia.[3]


Main article: Serbian language

Most Serbs in Slovenia use Slovene as their language of communication, since only 4,300 people in Slovenia declared that they use only Serbian language at home, while about 15,000 declared they use both languages at home. However more than 31,000 people declared their mother tongue as Serbian (and another 36,000 as Serbo-Croatian).

A mixed Slovenian–Serbian slang, srboslovenščina, became an "unofficial" language in football and construction building, among other traditional domains of post-war immigrants from former Yugoslavia.[4]


Serbs in Slovenia are predominantly Eastern Orthodox by faith, adhering to the Serbian Orthodox Church. There is also a substantial number of atheists and agnostics.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Resic & Törnquist-Plewa 2016, p. 198.
  3. ^ Dragana Radojičić. "SERBIAN DISHES ON THE SLOVENIAN TABLE". Traditiones. 39 (1). [Abstract] The research included immigration trends from Serbia to Slovenia from 1918 to the present, and how these are reflected in the acceptance of food-related products and dishes that originated in Serbia and have become part of Slovenians’ everyday diet. 
  4. ^ Resic & Törnquist-Plewa 2016, p. 199.