According to the latest UN report on demographic situation in the world entitled ‘’World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision’’, by the end of this century, Croatia's population will drop to 2.5 million.
If corrected predictions of UN demographic experts prove right, in 2050 Croatia will have only 3,461,000 people, whilst that number will continue to plummet to 2,5 million by the end of 2100. According to the UN data, Croatia now has a population of 4,189,000 people; however, Croatian data show that the country has 4,050,000 inhabitants.
On the other hand, the number of the world population is growing continuously. It is estimated that by 2050 that number will reach 9,8 billion, mostly due to a higher natural growth in African countries. Unfortunately, Croatia does not follow this positive trend. Actually, by 2050 a decline of 728,000 is expected, whilst the population figures will drop to 2,5 million by the end of this century.
The UN report also states that half of the world’s population growth concerns only nine countries - India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Uganda, and Indonesia.
It is interesting to note that the population growth is declining in almost all regions around the world. However, a group of 47 most underdeveloped countries had a relatively high fertility rate of 4,3 children per woman in the period from 2010 to 2015. An increasing number of world countries currently have the fertility rate below the limit that keeps the number of population constant. Croatia is among them, the birth rate in the country is lower than 1.5.
Therefore, Croatia is one of the European countries that are threatened by the demographic collapse. A decline in the number of inhabitants by the middle of this century represents a threat to 51 world countries, but only ten of them will record declines higher than 15 percent; Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Moldova, Ukraine, and the US Virgin Islands.
The most significant consequence of the decline in the number of population is economic situation. Apart from the lack of labour force, there will be a lack of people to spend money, which further affects investments as well as the pension and health care system.