The rate that Croatia’s population is shrinking is reaching alarming proportions. With less births, rising mortality rates and a huge number of citizens crossing European borders in search of higher paid jobs the population is dropping like a stone in the Adriatic.
The state statistics bureau has released more data on the population levels for 2017 and it doesn’t make pleasant reading. In 2008 the country’s population was around 4.3, but today ten years later the population is 4.1 million, in other words has dropped by 204,300 in ten years. And the worrying factor is that the speed in the drop of citizens doesn’t look like slowing down. Croatia could well have less than 4 million citizens by 2020.
In 1990 the average age of women having their first child was 24.3 years of age, whereas in 2017 the average increased to 29. In the meantime, the average age of mothers having their first child in the European Union also increased to 30.6 years.
In mid-2015, most EU member countries had lifted restrictions on Croatian workers and the number of emigrants increased by almost 10,000 that year. In 2016, the number continued to grow, and in 2017 was at a record high of 47,400, with most leaving to Germany.
As a result, Croatia's population has been shrinking since 2011, and in 2017 it lost nearly 31,800 people.