People from Međimurje, Varaždin and Istria are at the bottom of the list.
There is no municipality or town in Croatia from which at least a single person has not moved to Zagreb. The scale of immigration from municipalities, towns and counties to the capital speak a lot about the level of centralization and underdevelopment in the country where life flourishes in just a handful of wealthier areas, in several large and medium-sized town and developed counties, while the rest of the country is almost am economic desert, reports Večernji List on October 24, 2016.
Almost 11,000 people moved to Zagreb in 2015, mostly from disadvantaged municipalities, towns and counties. The myth is that people from Dalmatia are the ones who make up the largest share of immigrants. It is actually Slavonia which tops the list, even though many people from there are also moving abroad.
The data published by Central Bureau of Statistics shows that among immigrants who are moving to Zagreb there are the fewest people from more developed counties like Međimurje, Varaždin, Istria and Primorje-Gorski Kotar. The highest number of immigrants come from Požega-Slavonia, Brod-Posavina, Bjelovar-Bilogora and Sisak-Moslavina Counties, as well as from Zagreb County, which is right next to City of Zagreb.
The largest Split-Dalmatia County, with nearly 455,000 inhabitants, is only the 16th according to the number of immigrants in Zagreb per 1,000 people, and last year just 1,070 people moved from there to the capital.
Among individual towns, not including the ones from Zagreb County and taking into account their population, the highest number of immigrants to Zagreb came from Hrvatska Kostajnica, Garešnica, Petrinja, Kutina, Požega, Imotski, Pakrac, Metković, Velika, Nova Gradiška, Slavonski Brod, Ilok, Županja, Vukovar, Vinkovci, Knin, Bjelovar…
Although the largest share of immigrants comes from Zagreb County, demographer Nenad Pokos says that it is to be expected since Zagreb County is right next to the City of Zagreb. “It is much more interesting that in the second and third position are Požega-Slavonia County with 4.2 immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants and Brod-Posavina County with 4 immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants. Zagreb is becoming more interesting destination for people from Slavonia, which can be connected with the mass emigration from Slavonia in the last two to three years”, says Pokos.
He adds that we should be careful with smaller towns such as Hrvatska Kostajnica because just a few immigrants can affect the statistics. “However, the fact that Kostajnica, Petrinja, Garešnica and Kutina are near the top of the list can be explained with the proximity of Zagreb, but also with the lack of economic prospects in those areas”, says Pokos.
“Today, most of migrations within Croatia lead to Zagreb, and partly to Split. It makes sence that people are fleeing towns where they cannot find jobs. If Croatia wants to begin to recover demographically, it must decentralize its development policies”, says demographer Anđelko Akrap.