In addition to adults, many children are also emigrating.
Croatia has lost about 300,000 citizens in the last seven years. The exact number of those who went to other countries in search of better life is not known, but the demographic disaster seems to be even worse than initially thought. The latest data show that more than 20,000 children have moved abroad with their parents just in the last five years, reports RTL on May 6, 2018.
While the government claims that people are moving abroad because there are no longer administrative barriers since Croatia joined the European Union, many families say that the reason is primarily financial.
Klara, a 15-year-old girl, is getting ready to move to Germany with her family in the next few weeks. “I am sad to leave my friends, but I am glad to be with my family; we will all be together,” said Klara.
The decision was not easy for the family, but with seven children and the eight on the way, there was not much choice. “We have a large family, My husband has already gone to Germany, and we are leaving because the financial situation has become unbearable, just like for many other families who are moving abroad. My husband was the only bread-winner, and five of our children are attending school. It is very difficult,” said Klara’s mother Kristina Uvalić from Petrinja.
They will leave behind everything they have been building for years. “Here we will leave all our friends, relatives, children’s acquaintances,” said Kristina.
They are not the only ones forced to leave Croatia, which is one of the reasons why this year there will again be fewer first-grade students. Last year, 39,690 children enrolled in the first grade of elementary schools, while this year it is expected that the number will be substantially lower.
“According to the figures for this year, the number of children enrolled in pre-school kindergartens is currently smaller by 2,916, but the number of first-grade students will be even lower, since many of those who enrolled in pre-school have moved abroad in the meanwhile or will do it before classes begin in September,” said demographer Nenad Pokos.
Fewer children in schools mean less work for teachers. “All these graduate students of Croatian language, mathematics, history, geography, biology, chemistry, they will not be able to find a job in a few years because of the reduced number of schools and classes,” said Pokos.
Many of them will also follow Klara and her family in moving abroad, and the vicious circle will continue.
Translated from RTL (reported by Matea Damjanović).