Croatian Census 2021: Only 3 Cities Now with 100,000+ Inhabitants

By 14 January 2022
Croatian Census 2021: Only 3 Cities Now with 100,000+ Inhabitants

January 14, 2022 - More on the Croatian census 2021, as the pace of emigration in Osijek means that there are now only three Croatian cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.

As previously reported on TCN, the Central Bureau of Statistics published the first results of the 2021 census in the morning. has some further information from the Croatian census 2021 regarding the cities in Croatia.

The results contain data on the total number of enumerated persons and on the total number of inhabitants, households and housing units at the level of the Republic of Croatia, level 2 statistical regions, counties, cities, municipalities and settlements. Croatia lost 396,360 people in 10 years. Only three cities have more than 100,000 inhabitants - Zagreb, Split and Rijeka.

Osijek fell below 100,000 inhabitants

The fourth largest city in Croatia is still Osijek, but it has fallen below 100,000 inhabitants - now there are 96,848. In 2011, Osijek had 108,048 inhabitants. Rijeka lost 14.6 percent of its population, and Split 13.7 percent.

The ten largest cities in Croatia are: Zagreb (769,944 inhabitants), Split (161,312 inhabitants), Rijeka (108,622 inhabitants), Osijek (96,848 inhabitants), Zadar (70,829 inhabitants), Velika Gorica (61,198 inhabitants), Pula (52,411 inhabitants), Slavonski Brod (50,039 inhabitants), Karlovac (49,594 inhabitants) and Varaždin (43,999 inhabitants).

A historical demographic catastrophe

The population of Croatia has been declining since 1991, when it had a population of 4,784,265. In the decades before that year, the population grew: in 1981 there were 4,601,469 inhabitants in Croatia, in 1961 4,159,696, in 1953 3,936,022, in 1948 3,779,858, and in 1931 3,430,270 inhabitants.

Since the 1948 census, Croatia has not recorded such a low number. Since 1991, it has lost 895,736 inhabitants, almost all of Zagreb. In the last ten years, ie since the last census, which was held in 2011, 396,360 inhabitants have been lost, almost 10%.

The real population is probably smaller

In reality, this number is even lower because many were counted, although they work abroad most of the year, and some may have moved away altogether, but their families are still counted in Croatia. All parts of Croatia have lost inhabitants, mostly Slavonia.

There is no county in Croatia that has recorded population growth. Vukovar-Srijem lost almost every fifth inhabitant (more than 19%), Sisak-Moslavina and Brod-Posavina 17.53%, and the smallest decline was in Zagreb, Dubrovnik-Neretva and Zadar counties.