Mass emigration from Croatia has become a crisis. According to the official data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, from 2013 until the end of 2017, about 150,000 citizens left Croatia. However, some regions have seen an increase in the number of inhabitants, such as Istria and Zagreb, while in some the depopulation trend is much less severe than in others, reports Gradonačelnik.hr on November 21, 2018.
The latest information on population trends in towns reveals that some towns have seen a trend of drawing residents from other Croatian towns and abroad. This is due to the economic development and jobs which have been created there, mainly thanks to tourism in the coastal areas. As many as nine out of ten towns with the largest number of new residents are located on the coast, with the only exception being Samobor near Zagreb.
The town which has attracted most residents in the past six years – as many as 1,545 people moved there from 2011 to 2017 – is Dubrovnik, which just confirms its title as the best town in Croatia which it recently also won.
The second best is Kaštela near Split, whose population increased by 1,345, followed by Solin, also near Split, with 1,299 more inhabitants. The fourth best is Vodice near Šibenik (612 more citizens), followed by Umag in Istria (562). Among the top ten are also Krk, Poreč, Novalja, Supetar and, at the tenth position, the only town from inland Croatia, Samobor.
Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic says these are very encouraging numbers. Kaštela Mayor Denis Ivanović points out that the reason for such good results of his town is the fact that it is located near Split. They also introduced new demographic measures to keep young people living there.
Samobor is the only town from inland Croatia among the top ten towns by the number of newcomers. “Samobor is the only larger town without a local income tax, which encourages the arrival of new inhabitants and families who can find here everything they need for a peaceful, fulfilled life,” says Mayor Krešo Beljak.
Novalja is ranked eighth by the number of newcomers (396), but this figure makes it the second-best town in Croatia by the percentage, immediately behind Vis. The population of Novalja has increased by 10.8% since 2011. Mayor Ante Dabo says that the trend of people moving to Novalja was first seen 20 years ago. He is proud that most new inhabitants are well integrated into the local community, with many of them having their families in Novalja and their children feeling the sense of belonging to the local area.
After Vis and Novalja, the list of top ten towns by percentage includes many other smaller towns on the coast: Supetar, Krk, Nin, Stari Grad, Novigrad, Vodice, Hvar and Komiža.
For more on Croatia’s demographic crisis and the mass emigration from Croatia, click here.