Fewer People Born, More People Emigrate from Croatia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, August 7, 2018 – Croatia’s population is significantly decreasing, with a trend of fewer births and more deaths, and there has never been a greater wave of emigration, an analysis of demographic trends conducted by the State Bureau of Statistics (DZS) for 2017 indicates.

Compared to 2008 when the population amounted to 4.3 million, ten years later, at the end of 2017, that number had decreased by 204,300 people and Croatia’s population then was 4.1 million.

The number of live births has decreased and for the first time their numbers fell below 40,000 in 2003 and are continuing to decrease, hence in 2017 there were only 36,600 live births.

In 1990, the average age of women having their first child was 24.3 years whereas in 2017 their age had increased by 4.6 years to 29. The average age of mothers having their first child in the EU has also increased to 30.6 years.

Observing the period of the last twenty years, the most deaths were recorded in 2015, while according to the latest data, 53,477 people died in 2017, which is an increase of 3.8% compared to the year before. The most deaths that year were recorded in January and that was the first time in the past 20 years that the number of people who died in one month exceeded 6,000.

A negative natural population growth of more than 10,000 was first recorded in 2002, while 2017 saw the most negative natural population growth in the period observed.

Since Croatia joined the EU in 2013, the number of immigrants has varied between 10,400 in 2013 and 15,600 in 2017. However, the number of people emigrating has increased noticeably more. Even though there was a growing trend in the period between 2011 and 2013, that number has increased significantly since accession.

In 2014, the number of emigrants was 20,900 which was an increase of 36.7% compared to 2013. In mid-2015, most EU member states lifted restrictions on Croatian workers and the number of emigrants increased by almost 10,000 that year. In 2016, that number continued to grow and in 2017 was a record high of 47,400, most of them emigrating to Germany.

Croatia’s population growth hence has been recording negative numbers since 2011 and in 2017 that was -31,799.


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