Compared with the 2000-2001 school year, the number of children enrolled in Osijek-Baranja County elementary schools was down by 10,000, heard a round-table debate held on Monday at the Faculty of Agriculture in the eastern Croatian city of Osijek where the national campaign aimed at stopping brain drain was presented.
The event was also attended by Osijek-Baranja County Deputy Prefect Petar Lagator who voiced his concern over the departure of young people.
He said that economic indicators in the county over the past year were somewhat better, adding that monthly salaries recorded an increase and the number of jobless was reduced, but that the demographic picture was nevertheless worrying.
The proof of that is that a total of 23,000 children were enrolled in Osijek-Baranja County elementary schools in the 2000-2001 school year, while this year there were slightly over 13,000 enrolled pupils.
He also presented figures released by the Employment Service according to which there are 105,000 people economically active in the country last year, of whom 87,500 are employed and 17,500 are seeking employment.
"This year, the number of the unemployed was reduced by 4,000, while the number of the employed increased by 2,500, which means that approximately 1,500 people have disappeared somewhere. It is hard to say whether they moved abroad or have resolved their status in another way," the deputy prefect said.