Of course, the reasons are mainly financial.
According to Eurostat data, the average European household in 2016 consisted of 2.3 members, with the largest average household recorded in Croatia (2.8 members) and the lowest in Sweden (1.9 members), followed by Germany and Denmark (2 members), reports Index.hr on September 5, 2017.
Sweden is the unquestioned European champion in the number of households with just one member; in the Scandinavian country, such households represent 52 percent, or more than half, of all households. The least number of households with one member is in Malta, just 20 percent. In Croatia, single-member households represent the share of about 23 percent.
Over the ten year period, from 2006 to 2016, Croatia is the only member of the European Union to increase the number of members of the average household, from 2.7 to 2.8. This does not mean that there are now more Croats living in the country, but is most likely the result of the fact that the long-term economic recession has led to the loss of residence for many people, so many different generations are now again living in same households.
On the other hand, the average household in the same ten-year period decreased most in Lithuania, from 2.8 to 2.1 members. During that time, Lithuania was affected by a massive wave of population emigration, which explains the drastic reduction in the number of members of the average household in the Baltic state.
The highest number of households with two members, couples without children, is in Finland (32 percent), while Ireland has the highest share of households with couples and children, 28 percent.
About 33 percent of European households consist of one person, 25 percent of two members, mostly couples without children, 20 percent of households include couples with children, and 4 percent are single parents with children. So, almost two-thirds of households in 28 EU member states consist of one or two people.
The number of households in the EU has increased in the past ten years: in 2006, there were 199 million households, and in 2016 there were 220 million of them. Significantly, Croatia is again an exception to the European trend, being one of just two EU member states in which the total number of households in those ten years declined. In Croatia, the number dropped by 0.57 percent a year, and in Bulgaria by 0.44 percent.
In any case, the Eurostat data provide a clear picture of the economic situation in Croatia, as well as of the common conservative values of the Croatian society. Croatia is actually returning to the times of the first half of the 20th century when several generations of one family lived under the same roof, which is, when compared with trends in the rest of the European Union, another indicator of a decline.
Translated from Index.hr.