Year after year more people die in Croatia than they are born. This alarming data is the latest summary about the natural movement of the population published by the Central Bureau of Statistics a few days ago.
In the period from 2011 to 2013 this negative difference was around 10,000 people annually, whilst since 2014 it exceeded the psychological limit, thus in 2015, even 16,702 more people died than they were born. In 2016, this difference was slightly less, however, still alarming for a small nation such as Croatian. The data show that last year 14,005 more people died than they were born. Therefore, only last year, when 37,537 people were born, and 51,542 people died, it is estimated that a town of the size of Slatina disappeared in Croatia.
Furthermore, in the last five years, less than 232,000 people were born, and more than 300,000 died. The negative natural increase is around 71,000 people, which means that in this short period of time, in terms of demographic monitoring, disappeared the city of the size of Zadar.
In the monthly analysis, starting from June 2016, the worst month was January this year when there were almost twice as many deaths (6441) than births (3232).
For the demographer Stjepan Sterc this devastating trend is expected considering the massive emigration and the age of the population.
''This is the reality of Croatia. In the first months of 2017 the natural decline compared to the same period of 2016 is higher by almost 40,2 percent thus it is highly expected that at the end of this year we will face the data of almost 20,000 more deaths than births. If this massive wave of emigration and other negative trends continue, more than 200,000 people could disappear by the natural decline in only ten year period'', warned Sterc.
Since the last census in 2011, more than 200,000 people emigrated from Croatia, out of which 30 percent from Slavonia, or 70,000 people. The black statistics of the country's foreign migrations show that around 57,000 people moved to Germany, whilst 80,000 people immigrated to Ireland.
Even though analyses and comparisons as well as unofficial and official data count 4 million or even 4,2 million people in Croatia, demographers are warning that the Croatian population has already fallen below this number and that today, considering the massive migratory wave, Croatia's population has shrunk to less than 4 million people.