The unemployment rate for young people up to 29 years of age is the highest among Croatia’s domestic population, and the lowest among young people from third countries.
As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of April, 2019, the Republic of Croatia is among the countries of the EU with the best integrated immigrants from third countries, which can only be met with surprise by those people who do not know that these ”immigrants” are actually mostly just Croats born in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by a few immigrants from Serbia, Germany, Slovenia, Kosovo and Macedonia.
According to the latest census, 584,947 (13.7 percent) of the population of Croatia were born abroad. The number of migrants are as follows: Serbia (9 percent), Germany (5.8 percent), Kosovo (3.5 percent), Slovenia (3.4 percent), Macedonia ( 1.7 percent). Immigrants to Croatia, predominantly from Bosnia and Herzegovina, are doing much better in terms of the employment rate of young people up to 29 years of age, meaning that they’re significantly better integrated into the Croatian labour market than those born in Croatia and those from other EU countries.
This data were presented by sociologists Snježana Gregurević and Sonja Podgorelec, and social geographer Sanja Klempić Bogadi from the Institute for Migration and Ethnicity in the presentation “The Influence of Immigrant Groups on the Social Cohesion of the Receiving Society – the case of Croatia”.
A large number of Croatian residents born in Bosnia and Herzegovina are the result of labour migration during the socialist period of Yugoslavia and immigration during the Bosnian war. Most immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina live in Zagreb (98,579), Split-Dalmatia County (36,864), Zagreb County (35,427), Brod- Posavina (29,537) and Osijek-Baranja County (28,051), these are the “entrance” Croatian counties, those closest to the border regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the exception of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, from which emigration towards Croatia was the most intensive,” stated Klempić Bogadi.
By the year 2015, Croatia, along with Serbia, Germany and Austria, was the most common destination for immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, since 2016, the trend is for the Bosnian population to migrate to Germany and Austria, and the number of such persons in Croatia and Serbia is steadily decreasing.
“According to Eurostat’s data, immigrants from third countries, predominantly immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, are better involved in the Croatian labour market than the domestic population and immigrants from other EU countries in terms of the employment rate of young people aged from 15 to 29. The employment rate of young people from third countries in Croatia is higher by 18 percent when compared to the employment of domestic youth,” said Snježana Gregurović.
As stated, the unemployment rate for young people up to 29 years of age is highest among the domestic Croatian population, and is actually the lowest among young people from third countries.
“Because of their small share of the total population of Croatia, immigrants haven’t endangered or undermined the country’s social cohesion. Because of the modest share of the immigrant population in Croatia who do not have Croatian ethnic origin, and the large share of those who do have it, the integration challenges are not yet posing any sort of significant cost to the state, or a threat to the domestic population,” says Podgorelec.
In Zagreb, the largest concentration of immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina live in Sesvete, where the research “Influence of immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina on the socio-demographic development of Croatian urban regions” was conducted on a sample of 301 people aged 18 and over born in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Most of them (93.4 percent) were ethnic Croats, ethnic Serbs made up 3.7 percent of them, Bosniaks made uo 2.3 percent, and 0.7 percent was made up of others. Otherwise, 85.2 percent of Croats born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and living in Croatia are actually Croats, 6.3 percent of them are actually Serbs, and just 6 percent are Bosniaks.
A third of respondents hold dual citizenship, (Croatian and Bosnia and Herzegovina). Almost half of them work, of which 68 percent are mostly in trade or the construction industry. 14.6 percent are unemployed, those who stay at home make up 6.6 percent, pensioners make up 29.2 percent, and students and pupils in education make up 2.7 percent. The largest number of immigrants from Bosnia and Herzegovina living in Sesvete have secondary education, and 6,3 percent have higher education.
“Most respondents feel very welcome in the local community, they have a strong sense of belonging to the Croatian society, and they vote in large numbers during elections in the Republic of Croatia, but are exceptionally poorly involved in any organisation and/or civil society. Given the fact that many of them also have Croatian citizenship and therefore they vote in the elections in the Republic of Croatia, many are significantly less interested in political developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which shows a high level of political integration,” concluded Podgorelec, reports Večernji list.
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