Mass Exodus from Croatia Continues

By 27 September 2017

New emigration numbers are here.

Accurate data on the number of people leaving Croatia do not exist – at least not if you are asking Croatian institutions about them. The Central Bureau of Statistics (DZS) collects data from the Interior Ministry, which counts only those who have formally registered that they are leaving Croatia, which often does not happen, reports Index.hr on September 27, 2017.

However, Index.hr has contacted the countries to which Croats most often move and gathered the most accurate figures to date. According to the data obtained, in the last few years, at least 172,604 people have moved from Croatia to the six countries (Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Norway).

This number is dramatically higher than the one which has been mentioned so far, and it clearly shows that the number of people leaving Croatia is growing significantly from one year to the next. For example, according to the CBS data, a total of 29,651 individuals went abroad in 2015. According to these data, actually 57,000 Croats left for Germany alone that year.

When other countries are taken into consideration, it can be estimated that about 200,000 inhabitants have left Croatia in the last few years.

What is apparent from the data received from the states mentioned above is that there is a steady increase in the number of people fleeing Croatia. It should also be emphasized that even this figure is not complete, as some countries still do not have data for 2016, and it is well-known that the massive emigration has continued in 2017 as well.

The country to which Croats continue to move in the largest numbers is Germany. The State Bureau of Statistics in Wiesbaden has provided the information that from 2012 to 2016, 138,302 people from Croatia moved to Germany. This does not include the whole of 2016. These figures also show that the number of Croats fleeing to Germany is snowballing. In 2012, 12,608 Croats came to Germany, 24,845 in 2013, 43,843 in 2014, and 57,006 in 2015.

The Austrian Bureau of Statistics said that between 2002 and 1 January 2017, a total of 73,334 Croats moved to Austria. If we look at the data for the last couple of years, it is evident that more Croats started moving to Austria after Croatia entered the EU. Thus, in 2014, 6,036 residents from Croatia moved there, 4,183 in 2013, 5,832 in 2015, and 5,097 in 2016.

In addition to Germany and Austria, Ireland is the promised land for many Croats. The Central Bureau of Statistics in Dublin reported that, in the period from 2011 to 2015, 4,118 Croats arrived in Ireland. However, these data do not include 2016 as well as the first half of 2017, and it should be noted that in that period a large number of Croats went to live and work in Ireland, which means that real numbers are much, much worse.

Another country to which Croats often move is Sweden. The state sent data from the Central Bureau of Statistics for the period from 2013 to 2017. During that time frame, 4,688 Croats moved to Sweden. In the same period, 2,278 residents of Croatia moved to Italy, and 1,999 to Norway.

Of course, these numbers do not include those who left to other countries and continents. There are plenty of people who have moved to the United States, Canada and Australia, but they have not cancelled their residence in Croatia, so it is impossible to know the actual number precisely.

Translated from Index.hr.