More People Living on Croatian Islands

Total Croatia News

Economic measures are bringing results.

In 2014 and 2015, the public sector invested a total of 3.27 billion kunas in the economic development of Croatian islands. Almost half of all the islands recorded an increase in the total population, but on only two islands – Vir and Čiovo – this was an effect of more people being born than dying, according to a government report analyzing the consequences of the implementation of the Law on Islands in these two years, reports on 28 July 2017.

Various ministries, agencies and institutions invested a billion and a half kunas in island development during 2015, which is also the average for annual investments since 1999, when the Law on Islands was passed. In 2014, the investments were above average, reaching nearly 1.8 billion kunas.

In 2015, the largest investments were made in islands’ traffic connections (345 million kunas), transportation infrastructure (310 million), communal infrastructure (177 million), economy (217 million), and tourism (175 million).

The report gives a detailed breakdown of where and how much was invested, so it is evident, for example, that in 2015 the state provided nearly 310 million kunas of subsidies to maintain lines in coastal liner traffic to islands. The funds were received by 13 shipping companies to connect 44 out of 50 permanently or occasionally inhabited islands.

According to the 2011 census, 132,756 inhabitants lived on the islands and the Pelješac peninsula. The total number of islanders increased between the last two censuses, although the depopulation is clearly present on smaller and more remote islands. An increase in the total population was recorded on almost half of Croatian islands, but only two – Vir and Čiovo – have more people being born than dying. Reduced birth rates and high mortality rates have been compensated in recent years by people moving to islands, but settlers are largely older and economically inactive persons.

On the islands of Krk, Pag, Vir, Murter and Čiovo, which are connected to the mainland by bridges, there were 42,245 inhabitants according to the latest census, which was an increase of 10.3 percent compared to the 2001 census. All other islands had a total population of 82,710, which was a decrease of 1.7 percent compared to 2001.

From the more recent data of the Central Bureau of Statistics on the number of inhabitants in the municipalities and towns at state level and on the islands in the period 2011-2014, it is evident that the number of residents of the islands rose by 2.4 percent, while the number of inhabitants at the state level decreased by of 1.8 percent.

“The stagnation of the depopulation trend was certainly a result of a number of development and revitalization measures and investments by the state and the entire public sector, which should continue since there are still many islands where the problem of depopulation is present,” the report says.

The majority of the towns and municipalities on the islands recorded an increase in the number of inhabitants. The trend was strongest in the municipalities of Šolta, Milna, Sućuraj, Malinska-Dubašnica, Pašman and Kolan. For example, the island of Šolta had 1,770 inhabitants in 2011 and 1,990 residents in 2014. Small decreases in the number of inhabitants were recorded in Pag, Korčula, Vela Luka (on Korčula) and Ston (on Pelješac).

The comprehensive report, which the government has adopted and sent for consideration to the Parliament, says that the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea has 78 islands, 524 islets, and 642 rocks and skerries.

Translated from


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