The central and eastern region of what was once Yugoslavia, Serbia was a pariah state until Slobodan Milosevic was ousted in 2000. Montenegro broke away in 2006, and Kosovo in 2008.
Geography: Landlocked since secession of Montenegro. Fertile Danube plain in the north, rolling uplands in the center and southeast. Mountains in southwest.
Climate: Continental in north, with wet springs and warm summers. Colder winters with heavy snow in south.
People and Society: Serbs are Orthodox Christian, and their language uses Cyrillic script. The Catholic Magyars (Hungarians) live mainly in Vojvodina, which has been granted some autonomy. Society was severely shaken in the 1990’s by interethnic conflict. EU integration is dependent on Serbia’s cooperation in apprehending suspected war criminals.
The Economy: Recovering from sanctions and 1999 NATO bombing: GDP is only just back to pre-1990 level. Reserves of coal, oil. Strong industrial base. Privatization ongoing. Foreign investment growing. Danube is a key transportation link.
Insight: The medieval Serbian Empire reached into northern Greece
Official Name: Republic of Serbia
Date of Formation: 2006
Population: 7.75 million
Total Area: 34,116 sq. miles (88,361 sq. km)
Density: 259 people per sq. mile
Languages: Serbian*, Hungarian
Religions: Orthodox Christian 85%, other 6%, Roman Catholic 6%, Muslim 3%
Ethnic Mix: Serb 83%, other 10%, Magyar 4%, Bosniak 2%, Roma 1%
Government: Parliamentary system
Currency: Dinar = 100 para