Demographic Catastrophe Threatening Croatia

Total Croatia News

Croatia is losing population at a worrying rate.

More people are dying, too few people are born, and the young active segment of population has been moving abroad at incredible rate in the last ten years, says demographer Stjepan Šterc. He claims that in about 20 to 30 years, there will be not enough people in Croatia to make payments into pension funds so that pensions for retirees could be paid, reports on August 14, 2016.

Šterc said that last year Croatia by natural decline lost about 17,500 people, while about 60,000 people emigrated abroad. The total negative migration balance stood at over 50,000 people, which confirms the total depopulation at the level of around 70,000 people last year.

He is particularly concerned because politicians have not introduced any measures which could help solve the problem and added that it was clear that negative trends would continue with a very likely intensification. “It is absolutely clear that increasing birth rates must be promoted, when there are already so many unnecessary things being promoted in our country. The reproduction of human resources is the most important process in a society and all serious countries promote it in the interest of its overall development, economic and otherwise, because with no demographic development there is also no economic development”, said Šterc.

He listed some of the measures that could help – direct payments per child, monthly benefits for each child under ten years of age, reduction of prices of kindergartens, higher youth employment, providing security for young families, harmonization of work and other benefits with demographical needs, solving the issue of housing through public housing projects, extension of maternity leave to one year, benefits for unemployed mothers.

By 2020, Croatia will probably lose more than 300,000 inhabitants, if the negative trends of emigration and natural population decline from 2015 continue, even without any intensification. “As soon as 2021, Croatia could have fewer than four million inhabitants. The data are really worrying, and we are not even trying to introduce some kind of population policies”, concluded Šterc.


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