Demographer: Population in Croatia Will be 25% Foreign by 2053

Paul Bradbury

RTL screenshot

July 30, 2023 – Some worrying demographic trends: how the population in Croatia will look in 30 years, reports

DEMOGRAPHER Tado Jurić referred to the latest data showing that last year for the first time in Croatia there were more immigrants than emigrants and that we are witnessing an increasing number of foreign workers. He also touched on the issue of demographic decline and possible measures that could improve the demographic situation in the country.

Croatia is obviously, like the rest of Europe, doomed to import labor. In the studio of RTL Danas, demographer Tado Jurić was a guest, who touched on this issue, but also on the fact that last year the fewest children were born in Croatia in the last hundred years. He also commented on possible measures that could improve the demographic picture of Croatia.

In the continuation of the article, we transmit the conversation from the show.

For the first time last year, we had more immigrants than emigrants – we are close to the number of 200,000 work permits for foreigners. What is the future of Croatia?

The future of Croatia is probably the same as that of Austria and Germany. Every fourth resident there is a foreigner. We estimate that in the next three decades, every fourth inhabitant in Croatia will be a foreigner. Foreign workers, illegal migrants, asylum seekers, wealthy German pensioners and Ukrainian refugees should be distinguished here. Croatia is interesting in the European Union because no other country has had such high emigration and immigration. We are the number one immigrant country in the EU.

Why are we so specific?

We are specific because it is claimed that it is normal for everyone to move to the EU. However, we see that only one percent of workers emigrated from Germany and Britain, and 18 percent from Croatia. The movement goes from the periphery towards the core of the European Union and Germany.

Last year, the fewest children were born in the last 100 years, which is truly alarming. What to do?

It should be seen as a structural problem. All countries that have accepted the neoliberal ideology have a demographic decline. If we were to introduce all the measures that Germany has, we would again have the situation Germany is in today, i.e. a demographic decline. The measures alone cannot change the atmosphere of that neoliberal spirit that says “if you have children, you will not be happy”. In Africa there are six children per woman, in the EU it is 1.4. We have one pressure of ideology that aims against the family, religion.

But the general impression is that these measures are not successful. 165 people returned to Croatia under the I Choose Croatia measure, even 27 thousand euros did not help. Is the government aware of the gravity of the problem?

It is certain that whoever puts demographics first in the elections will win them. This should have been done a long time ago, but COVID swallowed all the threads. Now, not a single party will be able to get away without demography.

Life in Croatia is expensive, we don’t have enough kindergartens for all children, some are paid, some are not… What is the solution?

A whole series of coordinated measures is needed. Today, Zagreb is one of the worst-off in Croatia according to demographic measures, so again, there is not such a drop. So, a whole series of economic and social measures are connected there. There is no need to disclose hot water, a child allowance is needed as a first measure of 250 euros as in Germany, which we do not have in Croatia.

Another measure is remote work to prevent the depopulation of our rural areas and so that young people do not have to come to Zagreb from Slavonia. And the third measure is that foreigners who immigrate must undergo an integration course. We are now importing labor without any preparation for the European lifestyle. This is about exploiting them, but this type of import encourages further emigration of Croats.


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