ZAGREB, July 20, 2018 – In 2017, more than 47,000 people emigrated from Croatia while about 15,000 people immigrated to Croatia, which means that the population decreased by almost 32,000 that year, the latest figures from the State Bureau of Statistics (DZS) show.
According to DZS data, last year 15,553 people immigrated to Croatia – 50.9% were Croatian citizens and 49.1% were foreigners, while 47,352 people emigrated from the country, 95.8% being Croatian citizens.
The majority of immigrants came from Bosnia and Herzegovina (31.8%) while Germany was the number one destination for emigrants, with 61.4% of emigrants having left Croatia for that country. Most emigrants (48%) were aged 20 to 39.
In 2017, the majority of immigrants settled in Zagreb (23.9%), followed by Split-Dalmatia County (12.8%).
Most of those who emigrated were from Zagreb (14.4%) and Vukovar-Srijem and Osijek-Baranja counties (10.8% each).
A comparison of the 2017 data and data of ten years ago shows that in 2008 Croatia had a positive population balance, with 7,053 more immigrants than emigrants. The following year, however, that balance was negative, with the number of emigrants exceeding the number of immigrants by 1,472. By 2015, that figure was -17,945 and in 2016 it was -22,451.
Zagreb had the highest positive migration balance in 2017, with the number of people settling in Zagreb either from within the country or immigrating from abroad exceeding by the number of emigrants by 1,003.
The highest negative balance was in Vukovar-Srijem County (-5,665) and Osijek-Baranja County (-5,460).
The natural population growth in 2017 also recorded negative rates. In 2017, 36,556 children were born, 2.6% or 981 less children than in 2016. In addition to the decrease in the number of births, the number of deaths increased by 1,935 or 3.8% from 2016. A total of 53,477 people died in 2017. The natural population growth in Croatia in 2017 was -16,921.
Negative rates were recorded in all counties, the worst being in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (-1,794).
Forty towns and municipalities recorded positive population growth rates while 506 towns and municipalities showed negative figures. The population size in nine units remained the same as in 2016.
Data in the period from 2008 to 2017 indicates a constant increase in the number of deaths over births. The number of births fell from 43,753 in 2008 to 36,556 in 2017. In 2008, the negative natural birth rate was -8,398 whereas in 2017 it was -16,921, DZS data shows.