The latest emigration numbers are here.
According to the data for 2016, nearly 36,500 people emigrated from Croatia. However, it should be emphasised that the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics are not complete and that the real figure is much larger, reports Index.hr on 4 July 2017.
The Central Bureau of Statistics collects data from the Interior Ministry, which counts only those who have officially unregistered their residence in Croatia before moving abroad. Therefore, the real number of emigrants from Croatia is not known, but it is evident that the actual figure is far greater than the one presented by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
As many as 54,245 people from moved from Croatia to Germany last year, while in 2014 that number was 57,006. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Statistics in Wiesbaden, 180,000 Croatian citizens have moved to Germany since 2013.
In addition to Germany, Croats are moving in massive numbers to Ireland, Austria, Italy and other countries.
The Central Bureau of Statistics says these are just the initial results for 2016, while full results will be released on 21 July. They will include information on migrations by countries, age groups, and gender. They will also publish number by Croatian counties which will show from which parts of the country people are moving abroad.
If these results are compared with those for 2015, it is evident that the number of people leaving Croatia is growing rapidly. In 2015, 29,651 people moved abroad, of which 95.3% were Croatian citizens, and 4.6% were foreigners previously living in Croatia.
Of the total number of immigrants to Croatia, 32.5 percent of people have moved from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Demographics expert Anđelko Akrap says that the problem with emigration has been present for many years. He thinks that Croatia must introduce a series of measures. First, the housing problem needs to be solved, along with measures of economic policy. “France has outstanding demographic policies, and those who raise children have various kinds of benefits. These are a series of steps that allow them not to be in a worse position than those who have no children.”
“The attitude of entrepreneurs to families is positive; women can go to maternity leave and have no problem with finances. Their job is waiting for them, unlike in Croatia where women often get fired if they get pregnant or after they return from maternity leave. These are measures of population policy developed by the European countries in the last century when they realised that a large number of their residents was about to retire. A similar situation exists in Scandinavian countries as well,” says Akrap, adding that Croatia should provide housing and business security for young people.
“If people do not have a job, of course, they will move,” says Akrap, adding that the government needs to adopt a strategy of economic development that would be driven by demographic measures.
“Croatia is slowly but surely dying, and from 1991 to 2015 we had about 230,000 more deaths than births. When we add to this the rising number of emigrants, it is clear that there are fewer and fewer of us,” says Akrap.
At the same time, there are few people moving to Croatia. “Who would move here when there are no jobs even for our own citizens? Migration policy can be solved with an agreement of the authorities, entrepreneurs and trade unions, all working together,” concludes Akrap.
In Croatia, only the elderly population remains, so it is no wonder that in some schools in Croatia there is no one to sit in classrooms because everybody has left the country. This is particularly true of Slavonia and Baranja. The evidence of this are houses being sold. There is a house near Belišće which can be bought for 7,000 euros. Used cars are often more expensive than that. A 106-square-metre house in Beli Manastir can be purchased for 15,000 euros. Prices are similar throughout Slavonia and Baranja.