Croatia Increasing Investments in Islands

By 24 February 2018

ZAGREB, February 24, 2018 - Croatia invested 1.7 billion kuna in the developments of its islands in 2016, the last year for which full data is available, which was by 200 million kuna more than the average annual investments into the islands in the previous 20 years, according to the government's report on the implementation of the Islands Act.

Since 1999, when the law was adopted, the state and public sector have invested 1.5 billion kuna annually on average into the 50 inhabited islands and the peninsula of Pelješac. According to the 2011 census, 132,756 residents lived on those islands and on Pelješac.

Croatia has 78 islands, 524 islets and 642 reefs in its part of the Adriatic sea. Of those islands, 50 are permanently or occasionally inhabited.

There are the four islands connected by bridges to the mainland – Krk, Pag, Vir and Čiovo – and their population increased by 10.3% from the previous census in 2001, to 42,245 inhabitants in 2011. All other islands had 82,710 inhabitants on the aggregate, down 2.1% compared to 2001.

Some municipalities and towns on the islands saw a rise in their population in the period from 2011 to 2014. For instance, the municipality of Šolta on the island with the same name saw an increase from 1,770 to 1,990, while Pašman on the island of Pašman saw a rise from 2,131 to 2,275.

Of those 1.7 billion kuna invested in the islands in 2016, 1.3 billion kuna were non-repayable grants, and 432 million kuna were loans approved by the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR), according to the report forwarded to the national legislature.