Southern and Eastern Serbia

The Southern and Eastern Serbia (Serbian: Јужна и источна Србија, romanizedJužna i istočna Srbija) is one of five statistical regions of Serbia. It is also a level-2 statistical region according to the European NUTS. It was formed in 2010. As of 2022 census, the region has a total of 1,406,050 inhabitants.[2]

Southern and Eastern Serbia
Јужна и источна Србија
Južna i istočna Srbija
Statistički regioni Republike Srbije.svg
   Location of Southern and Eastern Serbia in Serbia
Country Serbia
FoundedMay 2010
Largest cityNiš
 • Total26,245 km2 (10,133 sq mi)
 • Rank2nd
 (2022 census)
 • Total1,406,050
 • Density54/km2 (140/sq mi)
 Preliminary results[2]
 • Serbs89.11%
 • Romani3.66%
 • Vlachs2.1%
 • Bulgarians0.99%
 • Others4.14%
HDI (2019)0.797[3]
high · 4th in Serbia


In July 2009, the Serbian parliament adopted a law which divided Serbia into seven statistical regions.[4] At first, it was decided that in the territory of current statistical region of Southern and Eastern Serbia there would be two statistical regions – Eastern Region (Serbian: Источни регион, romanizedIstočni region) and Southern Region (Serbian: Јужни регион, romanizedJužni region). However, in May 2010, the law was changed, thus the Eastern and Southern region were merged into a single statistical region named Southern and Eastern Serbia.


The statistical region of Southern and Eastern Serbia is composed of 9 administrative districts:

District Area (km²) Population
(2011 Census)
Podunavlje 1,250 199,395 Smederevo
Braničevo 3,865 183,625 Požarevac
Bor 3,510 124,992 Bor
Zaječar 3,623 119,967 Zaječar
Nišava 2,727 376,319 Niš
Pirot 2,761 92,479 Pirot
Toplica 2,229 91,754 Prokuplje
Jablanica 2,770 216,304 Leskovac
Pčinja 3,520 159,081 Vranje
Source: Statistical Office of Serbia


Southern and Eastern Serbia region is the poorest in the country. Only Bor and Zaječar have GDP above the national average. The devastated areas include Babušnica, Bela Palanka, Bojnik, Bosilegrad, Vladičin Han, Golubac, Žagubica, Kuršumlija, Kučevo, Lebane, Medveđa, Svrljig, Surdulica, Trgovište and Crna Trava.[5]

Center of Niš, the financial center of Southeastern Serbia

The GDP of the region in 2017 was €6,640,000,000, or 13.8% of Serbia's GDP. The GDP per capita is €4,249.[6]

Cities and townsEdit

The largest cities and towns of the region are:

City or town[7] Population

of city proper
(2011 Census)

Municipal population

(2011 Census)

Niš 187,544 260,237
Smederevo 64,175 108,209
Leskovac 60,288 144,206
Vranje 55,138 83,524
Požarevac 44,183 75,334
Pirot 38,785 57,928
Zaječar 38,165 59,461
Bor 34,160 48,615
Prokuplje 27,333 44,419
Smederevska Palanka 23,601 50,284
Aleksinac 16,685 51,863
Velika Plana 16,088 40,902
Center of Leskovac
University Building, Niš


According to the 2011 census, the population of Southern and Eastern Serbia is 1,563,916. The most populated city is Niš with around 260,000 people in metro area. Other urban centers are Smederevo, Leskovac, Zajecar and Vranje with more than 50,000 people living in city proper area. The region is heavily affected by depopulation. Most critical situation is in municipalities of Gadžin Han, Crna Trava, Ražanj, Trgovište, as well as Bulgarian populated places Dimitrovgrad and Bosilegrad. A good example of depopulation is Crna Trava that had 13,614 people in 1948, while in 2011 only 1,663 people were recorded.[8]

Albanians boycotted the 2011 census. It's estimated that 50,000 Albanians live in the municipalities of Preševo, Bujanovac and Medveđa. They are making up to 90% of population in Preševo, 50% in Bujanovac and 15% in Medveđa. These municipalities have a positive natural growth rate.

According to the census, only Niš had more people than in 2002.


Pan-European Corridor X is passing through Podunavlje, Nišava, Jablanica, Pčinja and Pirot District.

The construction of Niš-Merdare highway should start in the spring of 2020.[9]

Constantine the Great Airport is an international airport located in Niš. It connects the region with important European cities such as Berlin, Vienna, Ljubljana, Rome, Salzburg and others. Niš is also the location of Corridor X branching with one branch going to Sofia and another towards Skopje.


  1. ^ "Региони у Републици Србији" (pdf). (in Serbian). Statistical Office of Serbia. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Први резултати Пописa становништва, домаћинстава и станова 2022". (in Serbian). Statistical Office of Serbia. 21 December 2022. Retrieved 21 December 2022.
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2021-07-19.
  4. ^ "Uvedeno sedam statističkih regiona". (in Serbian). Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  5. ^ "23 devastated areas in Serbia". RTS. 19 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Regional GDP" (PDF). 2016.
  7. ^ "Serbia: Regions, Districts and Major Cities - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information". Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  8. ^ "SANU: Jug Srbije sve prazniji, potrebne sistemske promene". Južne vesti. 25 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Nis-Prisitina in 2020". N1. 12 September 2019.

External linksEdit