- What spheres of Serbian economy are growing?
- Salaries in Serbia in 2023
- Minimum wage in Serbia
- Average wage in Serbia
- Salaries and income levels in Serbia by industry
- What income category does Serbia belong to?
- Serbian economy and World Bank’s forecast
- What are the main reasons for relocating to Serbia?
Serbia is a Balkan country that has friendly relations with all national states. To boost economic development, the Serbian authorities do their best to attract highly qualified specialists from abroad as well as foreign investors. Entrepreneurs, freelancers, IT specialists, and people of other professions from the east and the west are relocating to Serbia.
If you are thinking of moving to Serbia, you certainly have to do your homework. In particular, you have to find out how much money you are going to need for a living and how much money you can make in Serbia. Below we answer the following questions:
- Is Serbia a high-income country?
- What are the salaries in Serbia in 2023?
- What are the best-paid jobs in the country?
- What income category does Serbia belong to?
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What spheres of Serbian economy are growing?
The Statistical Office of the Serbian Republic regularly publishes various data that reflect the economic situation in the country.
The number of tourists visiting Serbia was by 19% more in March 2023 than a year before. The number of applicants for residence and work permits exceeded 15,000 people in March 2023.
The population of Serbia exceeded 6 million people in the first quarter of 2023. The number of people who had jobs was 2,349,747 in the period. In comparison to 2022, the number of employed people grew by 2.9%.
The spheres of employment that grew most significantly in the first quarter of 2023 included the following ones:
- Information and communication technologies (growth by 16,809 people);
- Professional services, science, and technology (growth by 10,262 people);
- Wholesale and retail (growth by 8,300 people);
- Automobile and motorcycle repairs (growth by 6,550 people);
- Administrative and auxiliary services (growth by 5,597 people).
The Statistical Office also reports a 1.7% increase of foreign trade volume in the first quarter of 2023 in comparison to the same period last year. The number of trade agreements with foreign companies has been growing for years in Serbia.
Salaries in Serbia in 2023
Below please find the official statistics on the salaries in Serbia in 2023. We discuss the minimum, average, and maximum wages in the country.
Minimum wage in Serbia
As of today, the minimum wage in Serbia is set at 230 dinars per hour after taxes. This is equivalent to 2 euros. The minimum wage is low in Serbia in comparison to well-developed countries. For example, in Germany it is set at 12 euros per hour.
Thus, if you work full time for the minimum wage, you can make 40,020 dinars (340 euros) per month in Serbia. This is not much even though the minimum wage grew by 27.78 dinars in 2023 in comparison to the previous year.
Please note that the minimum market basket currently costs 50,190 dinars (430 euros) per month in Serbia.
Average wage in Serbia
According to the Serbian Statistical Office, the average wage in Serbia in 2023 is 114,228 dinars per month before taxes. This is equivalent to 975 euros. After taxes, the average salary is 82,769 dinars (705 euros) in Serbia. This is 16.7% more than in the previous year.
The highest wages are paid in the district of Vracar in Belgrade (189,122 dinars or 1,615 euros per month). The lowest wages are paid in Bojnik, Jablanica County (77,212 dinars or 660 euros per month).
Salaries and income levels in Serbia by industry
The income that a working person can make in Serbia depends on the industry that he/ she works for. The table below shows the salaries that people working for different industries are paid. Please note that only the income of hired personnel is shown in the table. People working for themselves in the same industries usually earn much more.
|Sector of economy||Dinars per month||Euros per month|
|Finance and insurance||169,500||1,445|
|Extraction of mineral resources||166,427||1,420|
|Professional, scientific, and technical activities||149,201||1,270|
|Supply of electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning||146,976||1,255|
|Real estate transactions||108,389||925|
|Education (primary, secondary, tertiary education and private tutors)||104,858||895|
|Water supply, sewage, and waste management||99,350||845|
|Production||from 97,101||from 830|
|Arts, entertainment, and recreation||95,898||820|
|Transport and storage||95,037||810|
|Wholesale and retail||95,026||810|
|Construction (construction workers)||94,667||805|
|Fishery, agriculture, and forestry||91,556||780|
To have a better understanding of what net income you can make in Serbia, you have to take the taxes into account. To reckon if you can find a job in a certain area, you have to know the level of unemployment in the country. We provide the information below.
- The personal income tax rate is progressive in Serbia. The tax can be between 10% and 20%.
- The level of unemployment is 8% to 10%.
- Around 800,000 people are registered as unemployed in Serbia. Almost 50% of young people are unable to find suitable jobs.
Foreign nationals relocating to Serbia usually work in construction, production, IT, sales, and tourism. Many of them also register their own companies in the country or work as freelancers.
What income category does Serbia belong to?
The World Bank has published a report on Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in 2022. The countries are divided into four categories:
- Those with low GNI;
- With GNI below average;
- With GNI above average;
- With high GNI.
Serbia is ranked as a country with a GNI above average. This category includes countries where the income per capita is between 4,256 and 13,205 US dollars per year.
The following countries belong to the same category: Northern Macedonia, Argentina, Georgia, Belarus, Russia, Belize, Bulgaria, China, Thailand, Maldives, Turkey, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, and others.
As you can see, Serbia is not among the countries with low or below average GNI. Even though it is not among the richest countries either, the economic growth potential of Serbia is great. This opinion is shared by the Serbian authorities, the World Bank, the IMF, and other international financial and economic organizations.
Serbian economy and World Bank’s forecast
Serbia has the Economic Freedom Index of 63.5, which makes it the 58th freest country in 2023. The Index is 1.7 points lower than it was a year ago. Serbia ranks 34th among the 44 European countries for economic freedom. This puts Serbia above average in the world and below average in the region. This means that there is good growth potential.
The World Bank has the following forecast for the economic growth in Serbia in 2023-2025:
- In 2023, the GDP will grow at the same rate of 2.3%, in 2024, it will grow at the rate of 3%, and in 2025, at the rate of 3.8%.
- The state debt of Serbia will decrease to 55.5% of the GDP in 2023, to 53.1% of the GDP in 2024, and to 51.5% of the GDP in 2025.
- Currently, the inflation rate in the country is 12.2%. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development expects the inflation rate to be at 5.3% in 2024.
- The budget deficit will remain the same in Serbia in 2023 as a year before – 3.1%.
Please note that the currency reserves of the National Bank were record high in December 2022. They reached €19.4 billion. Foreign nationals are welcome to open accounts in Serbian banks.
What are the main reasons for relocating to Serbia?
If you compare Serbia to the EU countries, you will have to admit that the income level is lower in the country. However, Serbia still offers some advantages that are of great importance to people relocating there from other lands. The advantages include the following ones:
- Most nationalities can enter Serbia without visas and stay in the country for considerable periods.
- You can obtain a residence permit in Serbia if you buy real property in the country. What is important, there is no set value of the property in the Serbian legislation.
- The cost of living in Serbia is comparatively low. If you have a good job or if you are engaged in commercial activities in the country, you can live a life of ease there.
- Locals are friendly to all nationalities and they are ready to cooperate with people from any country of the world.
- Business immigration to Serbia is possible not only for affluent entrepreneurs but also for freelancers working remotely.
- The banking sector and the IT sector are very well developed in Serbia.
- The business climate and the economic environment are extremely comfortable in Serbia. If you are a skilled professional or an avid entrepreneur, you will certainly be able to find ways to prosper while living in the country.
We would like to make a special note about unemployment in Serbia. Yes, the rate is rather high in the country but many countries doing better in economic terms are not doing much better in terms of the unemployment rates. The rate in Lithuania, for example, is 6.2%, in Portugal 6.5%, in Sweden 6.8%, in France 7.1%, in Italy 8%, and in Spain 12.9%, which is higher than the unemployment rate in Serbia.
If you would like to learn more about the opportunities that you can find if you relocate to Serbia, please do not hesitate to contact us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a back office in the country and we find out about things happening in Serbia ‘from the horse’s mouth’. We will be delighted to assist you in setting up a bank account in Serbia, registering a company there, buying property, handling administrative, fiscal, customs, and many other issues.