Serbs (Serbian: Срби; Romaniz.: Srbi) are a South Slavic ethnic group inhabiting primarily Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina (and Republika Srpska) and neighboring countries. There are around 6 million Serbs living in southern Europe, while an estimated total of between 11 and 13 million worldwide. Due to political, social and economic reasons, many Serbs migrated to various parts of the world, establishing a remarkable Serbian diaspora. Large Serb communities exist in several countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany, Chile, Brazil, New Zealand, and South Africa. Serbs are known for their unique culture which, through the ages, has been in many ways influenced by East and West, and fought for defense and survival against the Ottomans. Serbs are predominantly Orthodox and their language is Serbian.
Most Serbs (about 6,700,000) live in the Serbian homeland in the states of Serbia and Montenegro. A large population of Serbs also live in Bosnia and Herzegovina (about 1,500,000) - where they are a constituent nation and live mainly in the Serbian Republic (Република Српска, Republika Srpska) - and Croatia (about 200,000) - the majority into the entity that during the 1990s constituted the internationally unrecognized Serbian Republic of Krajina.
Several Serb minorities also exist in the Republic of Macedonia (about 36,000), Slovenia (about 39,000), Romania (about 23,000), Albania (about 37,000) and Hungary (about 4,000). Large numbers of Serbs also dispersed around the world, with most notable populations in Germany (700,000), Austria (350,000), Switzerland (about 186,000), the United States (about 314,080), Canada (about 120 320), United Kingdom (75,000), France (130,000), Italy (52,954) and Australia (97,000), in addition to other countries.
In Brazil, there are more than 400,000 among Serbs and their descendants.
The largest urban populations of Serbs in the former Yugoslavia are found in Belgrade (more than 1,659,440), Novi Sad (about 373,000), Niš (about 260,237) and Banja Luka in Bosnia (about 200,000).
Outside the country, Vienna (Austria) is known as the most populous city in Serbia, followed by Chicago and its metropolitan area in the United States, and Toronto in Canada.
Serbs constituted around 70% of the population of the former state of Serbia and Montenegro.
Prominent figures include scientists Nikola Tesla, Mihajlo Pupin, Ruđer Bošković, Jovan Cvijic, Milutin Milanković and Mileva Marić (mathematician and first wife of Albert Einstein); the famous composer Josip Runjanin; the celebrated author Ivo Andric; the productive inventor Ogneslav Kostovic Stepanovic; the sage Djura Jaksic; sports stars Vlade Divac and Peja Stojaković. The Serbian ruler during the Middle Ages Stephen Nemania and his son Saint Sava (Rastko Nemanjic) founded the monastery of Hilandar for the Serbian Orthodox Church, one of the largest and oldest Orthodox Christian monuments on the planet.
The mother of two of the later Byzantine emperors, John VIII Palaiologos and Constantine XI Palaiologos, was the Serbian princess Helena Dragasa.
Serbs speak the Serbian language, one of the Slavic languages. the writing is perfectly digraphic, that is, it supports the Cyrillic alphabet, and the Latin alphabet, having no problems in the conversion.
There are numerous variants of the Serbian language. The oldest forms of Serbian are Old Serbian and Slavonic-Serbian, a version of
Church Slavonic language.
Some members of the Serbian dispersion do not speak the language (usually in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom), but are considered Serbs by ethnic origin or descent. Non-Serbs who have studied the Serbian language include some prominent figures such as Goet