Serbs in Slovenia

Serbs in Slovenia

The Serbs in Slovenia are an ethnic group living in Slovenia. In the official census of 2002, 38964 people of Slovenia declared themselves of being of Serb ethnicity, which corresponds to 1,98% of the total population of Slovenia, making them the second largest ethnic group in the country, after the Slovenes.

Most of the Serbs in Slovenia are first or second generation settlers from other republics of former Yugoslavia, mostly from Bosnia and Hercegovina and Serbia (including Kosovo), 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 registered as Yugoslavs, and many still prefer referring to their mother toungue as Serbo-Croatian rather than Serbian. In the last years, many Serbs from Montenegro started referring to themselves as Montenegrians, while some Serbs from Bosnia and Hercegovina have registered as Bosnians. 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.

Most of Serbs in Slovenia are concentrated in larger urban areas, especially in Ljubljana and Jesenice. In the 1981 population census, there were only 5 settlements in Slovenia where Serbs had absolute ethnic majority (50.0% and more) on the territory of 300 sq. km. The highest concentration of the Serbs in Slovenia was in some suburban areas of Ljubljana. The 1991 population census registered 17,486 Serbs in five Ljubljana municipalities or 37.1% of the total number of Serbs in Slovenia. A higher concentration of Serbs occurred in the settlements and municipalities with developed mining and other industries.

Apart from the immigrant community that makes up the vast majority of Serbs in Slovenia, there are a few villages in the region of White Carniola inhabited by descendants of Serbs that fledFact|date=August 2008 from the Ottoman Empire in the 17th and 18th century. Many of them have kept the Serbian Orthodox faith and their distinctive culture, although they have been almost completely assimilated to their Slovene-speaking environment.

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

Demographic history

The table shows the year and number and percentage of Serbs in Slovenia after World War Two, 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%)

Notable people

Notable Slovenes of Serb descent include:

*Milenko Ačimovič, football player;
*Mladen Dabanovič, football player;
*Sara Isakovič, swimmer (Serbian father);
*Zoran Janković, manager and politician, mayor of Ljubljana(Serbian father);
*Darko Karapetrovič, football player;
*Rasho Nesterovič, basketball player;
*Milivoje Novakovič, football player;
*Damir Pekič, football player;
*Robert Pešut - Magnifico, singer and actor;
*Boris Popovič, politician, mayor of Koper;
*Miroslav Radulovič, football player;
*Rade Šerbedžija, actor;
*Zlatko Zahovič, football player.

Serbs who were born or have lived in Slovenia include:

*Milan Aksentijević, general of the Yugoslav People's Army;
*Branko Đurić, actor;
*Draža Mihailović; resistance and collaborationist military leader in Yugoslavia during World War II;
*Željko Ražnatović Arkan, paramilitary leader in the Yugoslav wars.

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