Diaspora Sends Record High Remittances to Croatia

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Around 1.3 billion euros were sent by Croats living abroad in 2016.

In 2016, Croats living abroad sent to Croatia 1.3 billion euros, or 53 million euros more than in 2015, according to data from Eurostat and the Croatian National Bank (HNB). That is the highest amount of remittances in the past 16 years since Eurostat started following the statistics, reports tportal.hr on November 15, 2017.

There are no precise data on how many the citizens have actually left the country, and the official statistics used by the Central Bureau of Statistics relies on Interior Ministry data and includes only those who have reported their departure from the country. The real number is likely to be higher than the figure of 125,000 people who officially left Croatia in the period from 2011 to 2016. Since 2000, little more than 200,000 people have left the country, which is about five percent of the total population.

A significant acceleration of emigration occurred in 2014 and 2015, with even higher numbers last year. The number of emigrants in 2011 and 2012 was around 13,000, reaching 15,000 in 2013, which was a 15 percent increase. In 2014, about 21,000 people left the country, with nearly 27,000 people moving abroad in 2015. Last year, according to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, 39,300 people left the country, which was 45 percent more than in 2015.

If we divide the total amount of remittances in 2016 with the number of people living abroad (around 200,000), it turns out that an average Croat living abroad sent approximately 6,775 euros to Croatia. Of course, remittances are not sent just by people who have recently moved overseas, but also by those who left the country in earlier decades and their descendants.

What is alarming is that foreign direct investment in Croatia last year amounted to just 1.7 billion euros, which is only 400 million euros more than workers’ remittances.

The HNB and Eurostat statistics track only transfers through bank accounts, so it is impossible to tell how much money was brought to Croatia in cash. Still, changes in revenues from remittances are consistent with the number of persons who have moved abroad. Thus, the highest growth in payments was recorded in 2015 and 2016, and a substantial increase could be expected this year as well.

Translated from tportal.hr.


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