Covid-19 impact on the Serbian youth

Bogdan Joković, Serbia

Pandemic of Covid-19 obviously changed the world and marked the year of 2020. In Serbia corona virus “arrived” in March, and on 15th we had a state of emergency. It doesn’t seem any different almost a year after while I’m writing this in 2021.

In the research of Boban Stojanović and Tamara Vukov, one thousand one hundred and three youngsters between 15 and 30 answered on sixty questions related to their life during this period. There were slightly more females, the sample is taken all around Serbia with the less number of participants from south and east parts of the country (21,7%), yet well-balanced percentage from Belgrade, Vojvodina and West/Šumadija regions. 38% of them come from big cities and 20,4% are from the small places (<10.000 residents). 54,5% of them have finished High school. 30,7% are employed, others declared as pupils, students or unemployed.


The biggest number of participants worked just like before the state of emergency (53,7%), then come the ones who worked occasionally (24,7%). The percentage of youth who got fired but were re-engaged is 9,1%. The less lucky got fired permanently (12,6%). One third of the youth answered that they had had a fear of losing a job during pandemic which is staggering.

While the workers raced to buy a web-cam and microphone, new furniture and upgrade their internet speed, it looks like the productivity and earnings mostly did not change for the youth who had to work from their homes (32% said so) or those who still went to work regularly (57,3%). Still, there is higher number of examinees of both workplaces who estimated their productivity lower rather than higher. But those who were making less money than usually were 42,2% of the group, almost the same as those who earned equally(42,3%).


When asked to rate the influence of the state of emergency on their schooling, from 1 (unfavorable) to 5 (highly positive) these were the grades:  1(21,8%), 2(38,9%), 3(26,6%), 4(11,4%), 5(4,3%). Basically, not even 15% of pupils/students saw a positive aspect in remote learning.

Only 6,1% of youngsters told they had access to the education required for the personal development, but almost a fifth considered it good for the given situation.


Asked to rate their feeling of being endangered during the state of emergency (1 – not at all, 5 – highly endangered) the average grade was 2,9.

Majority feared of having their families infected (71,7%). And 32,6% feared of getting the virus themselves. 24,7% chose the fear of death as one prominent phobia during the pandemic.

Isolation took a toll on 53,4% who rated its influence as bad or really bad, while 29% of them did not “see any difference”. For 17,6% of young people isolation was good or really good.

Health concern37,1%
Concern for future45,7%
Concern for family and friends57,5%
Panic attacks21,5%
Feelings during the state of emergency


A portion of the young people who are planning to leave Serbia counts to 27% , which is as many as those who don’t. But 46% of them responded they think about it but don’t plan it for now.

Only 1,8% told that now their intention to leave Serbia reduced, compared to 41,8% who agreed that pandemics influenced them and now they want to flee even more.

We can all conclude that the main problem of youth believing in institutions, finding their jobs and emigrating from Serbia dug deeper in infamous 2020 and the consequences are yet to be felt.

Source: Research done by Boban Stojanović and Tamara Vukov within Krovna organizacija mladih Srbije