It has been 12 months of heartwarming stories of Croatians opening their arms to help those fleeing the war in Ukraine. Memories of their own Homeland War less than 30 years ago are very fresh in the memory, and the overall Croatian response has been outstanding.
The influx of Ukrainians into Croatian society is plain to see, from the school and kindergartens to the labour market. But just how many Ukrainians came to Croatia?
Russians opposed to Putin and/or looking to avoid conscription have also left Russia in their droves.
I recently contacted the Ministry of the Interior to get statistics on how many foreigners were living in Croatia with temporary and permanent residence. When I did the same request in 2018, MUP’s information showed that there were just 29,156 foreigners here with temporary and permanent residence. Of those, only 5 – BiH, Slovenia, Serbia, Germany and Italy – had more than 1,000 nationals in the country.
How times change – the data as of December 31, 2022 below – 129,227 in all, a big jump.
Although I had expected the larger numbers from Nepal, India and the Philippines, I was surprised that there were not more Ukrainians. MUP explain that these were foreigners with either 1-yea temporary or permanent residence permits only, and that there were considerably more Ukrainians here, to which they put a number from my next enquiry:
There are currently 244 international protection applicants from the Russian Federation in the Republic of Croatia.
As regards the number of Ukrainian citizens who have arrived in the Republic of Croatia since the beginning of the war in Ukraine (since 25 February 2022), please note that a total of 22,450 persons displaced from Ukraine came to the Republic of Croatia until 19 February 2023.
For more on the changing demographics in Croatia, click here.
Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.