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The main goal of this paper is to identify the challenges of the sustainable demographic development in terms of the changes and current demographic situation in the Western Balkan countries, as well as to detect the importance of comprehensive and consistent population policies. The analysis is based on the relevant indicators for demographic changes identified in the Sustainable Development Strategy of the EU. The comparative analysis is made for the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia and Serbia. The available data from the Eurostat statistics and other relevant data sources for the last decade are used. Also, relevant studies considering the demographic development and adopted population policies are observed. The added value of this research is in the comparison of the demographic indicators and recognizing their importance for the sustainable demographic development of this region as one of the key preconditions for the future sustainable development.
The results of the analysis show that the demographic changes are big challenge for the sustainable development in all Western Balkan countries. They have implications in many domains and should be in the focus not only of the demographers, but of the researchers and policy makers in different fields of the macroeconomics as well. The lack of data for old-age income adequacy and public finance sustainability imposes the need for comprehensive database in each country as a precondition for continuous monitoring of the demographic changes and for creating appropriate policies regarding the sustainable development. Based on the results of this research, the common areas where the population policies of these countries should be directed are identified.
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