Monday, 4 February 2019

43,000 People Moved to Croatia in 2018, Mostly from Bosnia and Serbia

43,219 foreigners moved to Croatia in 2018 and were granted temporary residence, which is almost three times more than in 2016. About 31,000 immigrants came from the countries of the former Yugoslavia, mainly Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo, which is to be expected because it is difficult to imagine that immigrants from more developed countries would decide to move to Croatia, reports Večernji List on February 4, 2019.

Croatia mostly attracts less educated people. Of the 43,219 foreigners who were granted temporary residence last year, just 2,064 had a university degree. The majority of immigrants had a high school diploma, while for almost 9,000 the education level was unknown. About 2,690 had managed to graduate just from an elementary school. These numbers come from the Interior Ministry’s data.

As far as temporary immigrants are concerned, 28,000 of them are under the age of 39. The figures do not include asylum seekers accepted by Croatia because they are covered by separate legislation.

The demographer Stjepan Šterc says that the number of foreigners who have been granted temporary residence in Croatia is not an indication of the number of refugees who came here. “The largest number of immigrants are seasonal workers, who came here due to the needs of the labour market and the economy, which is also evident by the fact that most of them are under the age of 40. Agriculture, tourism and construction that the main sector in Croatia which are looking for less educated workers. It is clear that most immigrants to Croatia are less educated, while those with university diplomas mostly come to work in foreign-owned companies. It is also to be expected that most workers would come from neighbouring countries,” says Šterc.

The majority of people who have been granted temporary residence have the citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina (19,560), which means that Croats from Bosnia are not included in this number because they have Croatian citizenship. The second place belongs to the citizens of Serbia (6,354). The number of EU immigrants who were last year granted temporary residence in Croatia is negligible, but most of them came from Slovenia, Germany, Italy, Poland, Britain, France, Austria, Spain, Hungary and the Czech Republic. When it comes to foreigners from non-European countries, the highest number of temporary residence permits was granted to people coming from China (574), USA (497), Russia (413), India (220), followed by the Philippines (156), Mexico (143), Korea (135), Thailand (132), Brazil (126).

Permanent residency was last year granted to 1,448 foreigners, mostly from Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Italy, Russia, Britain and Macedonia. Šterc estimates that these are mostly people who own real estate or companies in Croatia.

Since Croatia has not found a way to stop the emigration of its young population and did not address the issue more seriously, further increase in the immigration of foreign workers is expected. For comparison, in 2018 there were twice as many foreigners with temporary residence approved than in 2017. “We have the emigration of young people from Croatia and the immigration of mostly poorly educated foreigners. We are approaching the point when the number of foreigners moving in will almost equalise the number of our people moving out. This is a serious process, and if it is intensively pursued over the next ten years, there will be ‘the population exchange’,” says Šterc.

The number of descendants of Croatian emigrants who have been granted Croatian citizenship has also increased. There were 1,005 of them last year, and most of them came from South America, Australia and the USA.

More news on the demographic trends in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Dijana Jurasić).

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Immigration Key for Croatian Economic Development

ZAGREB, December 8, 2018 - Croatia could be left without 800,000 inhabitants by 2050, and its economy will need a million new workers during that period, the conference "Migration and Identity: Culture, Economy, State" has been told in Zagreb, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) said on Friday. Therefore, immigration is key for the Croatian economic development.

Between criticisms about the price of labour being driven down on the one hand and the preservation of cultural identity on the other, Croatia must adopt smart immigration policies and overcome its prejudices in order to survive, the conference heard.

"The Croatian economy does not stand a chance without immigration, because the emigration of people is a much bigger economic loss than their remittances could ever compensate for," Davorko Vidović, adviser to the HGK president on labour policy and employment, said at a panel on migration and the labour market.

Krešimir Ivanda of the Zagreb School of Economics presented the Croatian labour market from the point of view of immigrants, citing structural problems such as a disproportion between labour market needs and education, very late employment and early retirement, and emigration.

"A remarkable shortage of labour due to negative demographic trends is yet to be expected. According to projections for 2051, counties will lose 30 percent of working-age population on average per year, if the labour activity rate remains at its present level. Although we are a country of emigration, we have also always been a country of immigration. Some sectors, such as construction, tourism and the manufacturing industry, have depended on immigrant labour for the last decade or so," Ivanda said.

"Immigrants behave like local people with regard to economic activity, which is not good, because their activity should be much higher," he added.

Željko Bogdan of the Zagreb School of Economics said that the Croatian diaspora could help the Croatian economy with their remittances because they have a positive impact on domestic demand and growth. He, however, added that the inflow of foreign currency could adversely affect the price competitiveness of exports.

His colleague Antea Barišić said that remittances have a countercyclical effect. Citing World Bank data, she said that remittances accounted for 4.5 percent of GDP in 2017. She noted that these were only remittances made via current accounts, while their actual amount was believed to be between 30 and 50 percent higher.

"Emigration has a social and political effect. According to the neoclassical model, the winners are workers in the country of emigration and capitalists in the country of immigration," Barišić said, adding that as a result of emigration GDP declines generally but per-capita GDP rises.

For more on the Croatia’s emigration crisis, click here.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

German Couple Delighted with Move to Valpovo

“The longer we are here, the more we are sure we made a good decision.”

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

After Criticism, Swedish Expat Publishes Eight Positive Things about Living in Croatia

Blixt writes that people in Croatia are more friendly than she is used to.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Swedish Expat on Experience of Living in Croatia

“It is more complicated than to move to the Moon.”

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Palestinian Doctor Captures the Hearts of Croatian Patients

The most popular doctor in the town often sees more than a hundred patients a day.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

“Croatia Should Bring in 50,000 Immigrants”

A demographer says that the immigrants should come from culturally similar, preferably Christian countries.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Expatriates from EU Moving to Croatia

They say Croatia is the best country in Europe for raising children.

Monday, 19 December 2016

About 30,000 People Left Croatia in One Year

At the same time, around 11,000 people moved to Croatia.

Monday, 24 October 2016

More Slavonians Than Dalmatians Moving to Zagreb

People from Međimurje, Varaždin and Istria are at the bottom of the list.

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