No Emigrating Youth in Two Croatian Municipalities

Total Croatia News

Meet Dubravica and Luka, two Croatian municipalities with an incredibly low emigration rate

Our uncle moved to Australia in the 60s. My cousin has been living in Sardinia for decades now, the other one in Germany. You’ll hear a lot of similar stories in the families living in Dubravica, a small municipality near Zaprešić. However, all of those stories took place a long time ago, and they haven’t heard anyone from the area left the country in recent years.

Their statement makes sense, as official data shows they’re the municipality with the lowest emigration rate in Zagreb County. According to the Central Bureau for Statistics, out of the 1437 inhabitants of Dubovica, only two have left in 2016 – 0.13 percent of the population. No one in Dubovica knows who those two are, reports Lokalni on November 29, 2017.

According to the locals, there are cases when young people in their 20s leave for Ireland, then return a couple of months later. “You can’t get any rest there, there’s no socialising… You work from 9 to 5, the standard is higher, but the prices match the standard. Once they come back, everyone says they like it best here”, says Josip Drčić, a local resident and the owner of a poultry farm he founded in 1986. These days, the farm is managed by his two sons. It’s also the home of Josip’s wife, his daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. None of his heirs feel the need to move abroad.

People seem to really like Dubovica, a municipality composed of ten villages, because it offers a chance to settle down and live a peaceful, happy life. “Every family has a certain source of income. Most are dealing in agriculture and cattle breeding. The population has been growing recently”, Josip said.

Mayor Marin Štritof remarked living in Dubravica has many advantages – they recently opened a new school, and the only thing the area could use is a new railroad, which they are actively working on.

Right next to Dubovica, you’ll find Luka, the other municipality with an incredibly low emigration rate. Out of 1352 inhabitants, only four have left last year.

Mayor Darko Kralj, a veterinarian by trade, personally knows most of the residents. The Municipality has been making immense efforts to get as many people to enroll their children in local kindergartens and schools; they have been providing financial incentives for every newborn and giving away free schoolbooks. Every third-born child in each family can go to kindergarten free of charge.

Deputy Mayor Valentina Postružin said Luka is home to families with many children, up to six in a single family, while Kralj added that families from other parts of Croatia have been moving to Luka as well. “For example, one family arrived from Pula, and the best indicator of the growing number of such cases is that we don’t recognise them on the street”, the Mayor concluded.


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