Monday, 18 January 2021

Croatian Demographics: Number of Porec Newborns Grows by 8 Percent

January the 18th, 2021 - The Croatian demographic picture has sadly been deteriorating for many years, with Eastern Croatian areas such as Slavonia seeing people leave en masse in search of better futures in European countries like the UK, Ireland and Germany. Since Croatia joined the EU back in July 2013, this trend has unfortunately only increased as borders were suddenly opened and the need for work permits generally ceased. The Istrian city of Porec, however, recorded an increase even during the tremendously difficult year of 2020. Porec newborns increased by eight percent.

As Morski writes, in what was a deeply challenging pandemic-dominated 2020, this beautiful Istrian city distributed 155 grants for Porec newborns, as much as eight percent more than in the previous year, for which 232,500 kuna was paid from the city budget, equalling 1,500 kuna per Porec newborn.

Although the official data on the exact number of Porec newborns from back in 2019 isn't yet known, the data on paid benefits shows that 12 more children were born last year in that city than were born in the year before, which is a very good indicator. It's worth mentioning that not only is the growing number of Porec newborns encouraging, but the influx of people moving from elsewhere to Porec is also excellent.

The above means that the need for the placement of children in the city's kindergartens is growing day by day, so the opening of new such institutions and the employment of new people is very well accepted.

The construction of the third kindergarten and nursery in the past three years alone in Porec is now underway, and after the opening of new primary schools in Zbandaj and Finida, the former school building in Veli Maj was converted into a new nursery, while European Union (EU) funds were used for the building of the former community centre and nursery in Dracevac.

Regional kindergartens in Varvari and Baderna were constructed back in earlier years, and this future practice in Zbandaj once again continues the good practice of opening preschools in smaller places near the homes of young families, which is very well accepted by both users and those from the education and child care profession. The kindergarten in Zbandaj will be the regional department of the "Radost/Joy" kindergarten from Porec, and it will be able to accept a total of 64 children from early to preschool age.

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Saturday, 17 October 2020

Does Another Demographic Crisis Await Croatia? Experts Believe So

October the 17th, 2020 - Demography has always presented issue in Croatia. From political issues driving people away from the country to the economic ones which threaten stability today, the words ''demographic crisis'' aren't unusual in the Croatian media. The coronavirus pandemic hasn't helped the situation in the slightest, and experts believe that yet another demographic crisis faces Croatia over the next couple of years.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 16th of October, 2020, the emigration of Croatia's residents to Austria is expected to grow in the next two years, as Croatian citizens living here in Croatia are searching the term "Bewerbung" (job application in German) on the Internet more and more intensively, equal to the amount of searches for "job application/zamolba za posao" in Croatian, which means they're preparing or at least seriously considering emigrating to Austria and Germany.

More concerning still, every fifth job seeker in the Republic of Croatia inquires about a job abroad, according to a report from Vecernji list.

When it comes to the Croatian emigrants already living in Germany, the terms "learning German", "Mass in Croatian", "divorce" and "pension" are often searched, while the more promising terms "investing in Croatia", "return to Croatia" are very rarely sought. Nor are the names of historic Croatian names from across all fields such as Stjepan Radic, Miroslav Krleza, Tin Ujevic.

This data was drawn from a piece of research entitled "Monitoring migration with approaches to digital demography - What Facebook and Google Trends can tell us about Croatian migration" undertaken by the Croatian Catholic University (HKS), which was supported by its partner institution, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

The first such research showed that the data from Facebook and Google Trends match the official data, and that when planning migration, Croatian emigrants most often search for the term "job" and "job application", then "resume". The degree of integration of Croatian emigrants into German society can also be monitored through digital tools.

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Saturday, 26 September 2020

Minister Zdravko Maric: Coronavirus Crisis Will Pass, One Problem Remains

As Novac writes on the 25th of September, 2020, a new round of tax reforms with changes that should take effect early next year will bring a reduction in corporate income tax rates, but a great opportunity for them is to withdraw money from European Union funds, said Finance Minister Zdravko Maric on Friday.

Ahead of the meeting on tax changes, which is usually organised at this time of year in the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), Minister Zdravko Maric said that he was carrying a "new message of tax relief" in the form of reducing income tax rates, noting that this also opens up a great opportunity for the use of European Union funds designed to help the economy fight the consequences of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

''What we're offering in the fifth round of reforms is the lowering of the income tax rate, I think that's more than enough, but I certainly want to hear what you want in terms of parafiscal levies and other burdens,'' said Minister Zdravko Maric, adding that it turned out that lowering tax rates ultimately brings in more to the state budget, but that there's a lower limit and as such it can't just be reduced indefinitely. He warned that the coronavirus crisis will pass, but that we'll be left with a demographic problem that will remain a burning issue.

According to earlier announcements, in the new round of tax reforms, income tax rates would be reduced from 36 percent to 30 percent and from 24 to 20 percent at the beginning of next year. There are also plans to reduce the corporate income tax rate from 12 down to 10 percent, for small and medium-sized companies, ie for all enterprises with an annual income of up to 7.5 million kuna.

Regarding the reduction of VAT rates on all food, Minister Zdravko Maric reiterated that this is part of the government's programme, as is the abolition of property sales/transfer tax, but that the government hasn't committed to any specific date when these measures should take effect.

HGK President Luka Burilovic said that businessmen were "extremely interested" in any tax relief.

He announced that he would ask Minister Zdravko Maric for measures to provide additional liquidity, especially over the next six months, as well as to speed up the procedures dealt with by HAMAG-BICRO in HBOR.

The head of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce also announced talks with the Ministry of Labour and trade unions on amendments to the Labour Law which will start next week. That law, he said, is outdated, and businessmen believe it should be more flexible. Flexibility, as he pointed out, shouldn't be feared by good workers.

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Thursday, 12 March 2020

EU Youth Conference: Croatian Youth in Rural Areas Must be Prioritised

The Croatian demographic crisis is continuing to bite just as hard as it has ever done, with more and more Croatian youth abandoning the country and taking advantage of Croatia's EU membership for a better life and more economic stability in Western Europe, many feel the government has simple forgotten about them.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marta Duic writes on the 12th of March, 2020, in the Croatian capital of Zagreb at an EU conference, fifty experts discussed both opportunities and challenges.

On Wednesday, Zagreb hosted a two-day meeting where the topic of not only Croatian youth, but youth from across the bloc was discussed. The meeting of the leaders of the Youth Authorities' Administrations in Zagreb is the third in a series of such meetings of the presiding countries of Romania, Finland and Croatia, and a symbolic handover of the presidency to the German delegation was organised at the end of the meeting.

Within the main theme of the meeting, officials discussed the challenges facing today's generations of young people, including disillusioned Croatian youth, and the need to ensure equal life opportunities for all young people. Although the topic of youth in rural and remote areas is one of the priorities of Croatia's EU Council Presidency, the discussion also included other current issues.

Otherwise, the three-day conference entitled ''Youth Opportunities in Rural Areas - How to Ensure Rural Sustainability in EU Countries'' organised by the Ministry of Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy brought together youth representatives from EU member states, delegates of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, national and international youth organisations and researchers and scientists, as well as youth decision makers.

In her opening speech, Vesna Bedekovic, Minister for Demography, Family, Youth and Social Policy, stressed that Croatian youth and others across the EU living in rural and remote areas needed to be recognised as a priority of Croatia's EU Council Presidency because of the growing inequality between young people living in the countryside and those living in cities.

She added that the desire is to encourage young people to participate in democratic life, to increase their involvement in society and to ensure that as many young people as possible contribute to the formulation of youth policies. The conclusions of the conference will serve to shape the documents regarding future youth policies.

For more on Croatian youth and the current demographic crisis, follow our dedicated politics page.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Demographic Measures Employed as Croatian Houses Sell for One Kuna

The selling of Croatian houses for a mere one kuna is one of the many demographic measures taken by municipal authorities in an attempt to retain and attract young families to their area.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 10th of March, 2020, in Podravina, a real hit was the possibility for people to to buy real estate and construction land for the much more than acceptable price tag of a mere one kuna, HRT reports.

Inquiries have been coming from all Croatian regions, as well as from neighbouring countries. The Croatian demographic picture is bleak, and with more and more of the working population leaving for lives elsewhere in the EU, the move might just be enough to keep hold of a few who remain as yet undecided.

After visiting about twenty properties in the municipality of Legrad, the picturesque village at the mouth of the Mura along the Drava river, the Ros family decided that the house in Antolovac would be their new home. They bought it today for just one kuna.

''We chose this house, the house is in really good condition. We also visited the surrounding villages, but this is the best place for us,'' said Osman Ros.

An acquaintance found out about this possibility. The condition is that those purchasing the property must be under forty years of age and that they will remain in Legrad for the next fifteen years. For the Strmecki family with seven children and an eighth on the way, the opportunity to purchase Croatian houses for such a low price is not to be missed.

''Our goal is as it is because we have both girls and the boys, and it's important for them to have their own rooms,'' says Valentina Strmecki.

In the attic of one of the houses, Viktor Holcman will get his room. It was bought by his mother thanks to a municipal grant of almost 30,000 kuna.

''The municipality has already provided assistance. A request was made, the request was granted within two months. The money was there soon enough and everything was in full swing,'' says Paula Holcman.

In addition to Croatian houses owned by the municipality of Legrad, construction land can be purchased for one kuna. The municipality subsidises the purchase of houses in its area for natural persons with up to a maximum of 35,000 kuna, or provides 25,000 kuna for the renovation of existing ones. They are subsidising the kindergarten, a primary school has been built, and nursery is being built. But that's not all.

''We have the lowest unemployment rate in the county, given the proximity of the larger areas of Koprivnica, Ludbreg, Prelog. We have virtually no unemployed people,'' says Legrad Mayor Ivan Sabolic.

As stated, the possibility to purchase Croatian houses for such little money has attracted numerous enquiries from all over Croatia and even from neighbouring Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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Monday, 9 March 2020

Croat in Ireland Details Other Side of "Irish Promised Land" Story

One Croat in Ireland has detailed how he often finds himself on the verge of purchasing a ticket back to Croatia, more specifically to Dubrovnik, from what is often marketed as the promised land - the Emerald Isle.

Ireland has become a favourite destination alongside the likes of Germany for Croatian citizens seeking a better life and more economic stability abroad. Since the country joined the EU back in July 2013, the barriers to foreign labour markets within the EU dropped and allowed for the ease of entry of Croats hungry for a fatter wage packet and the chance to get jobs based on skill rather than connections.

While many are glad to have left, others are greeted with quite the shock after the novelty of life in Ireland has worn off, and it isn't just this Croat in Ireland dreaming nostalgically of home in Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 9th of March, 2020, the beginnings of almost anything are always difficult, and for this Croat in Ireland and for many others like him, one has to get used to the different customs, the very different Irish climate, they need to find an apartment... but Mario thinks that he's doing well, and his desire for learning and new experiences hasn't left him.

Mario Miletic changed his address at the end of January this year. A Dubrovnik man who founded the Croatian Parking Services Association and very often and very openly criticised various social anomalies online, but also warned others about the bad situation in Croatia, decided to seek his happiness in Ireland, which, as stated, has become a new home for thousands of Croats over the last few years.

He told Dubrovacki dnevnik a little more about his experiences, as well as a decision he had long thought about. After landing in Dublin in January, he had to return after a week for personal reasons, but did not give up on the move to Ireland. He said that staying here in Croatia was simply not an option.

“I've been thinking about leaving for years, since the first legal process was initiated (a precedent for an administrative lawsuit against the University of Dubrovnik was obtained). Before leaving, I decided to do everything in my power to try to change things and try to make a positive impact on society, so I set up a civil society association with my colleagues. The idea of ​​leaving was, de facto, realised by itself. When you decide to do something, everything comes together for you to be able to accomplish it. Although, the internet has helped a little bit,'' says this Croat in Ireland who is currently working as a bartender in an Irish pub, but doesn't intend to stay there.

Therefore, he applies daily for job advertisements, aiming to get a job in the IT industry. He has even contacted Google and is aiming to continue his education, perhaps to graduate from college in Ireland. The decision to leave was not an easy one.

This Croat in Ireland often finds himself on the verge of buying a ticket back to Dubrovnik.

"The departure was extremely difficult, it still is, and I'm on the verge of buying a plane ticket to Dubrovnik every day. The people close to him in his life, right up until his last day in Croatia, didn't believe he was really leaving. And now it's hard for them, at least that's what they say,'' Mario said.

"My first experience was a bit negative, it was a clash of customs. But after things were explained, the positives prevailed and I returned again. As the Irish explained to me, the weather in February 2020 was the worst in recent years, after our January sunshine, this was a huge change for the worse. For now, I think I've done well, the language isn't a problem, the fact the system is all online is a great thing for me, and I'm learning a little more. The biggest challenge is finding a reasonably priced apartment because they're astronomical when compared to what we're used to,'' said Mario.

The biggest Croatian problem is the reluctance of institutions to change anything, according to Mario.

In Croatia, he said, he was extremely disturbed by the lack of functioning of institutions, which isn't the case in Ireland, which, Miletic points out, respects the rights of workers. General inertia, nepotism, an atmosphere of less value, lies that came from representatives of political power and, as he says, an artificially created negative atmosphere, are just some of the reasons for his departure from Croatia, despite the pangs of his heart that often lead to him wanting to buy a return ticket home to Dubrovnik.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Croatian Hospitality Industry Begins Search for Foreign Seasonal Workers

As Novac/Tanja Simundic Bendic writes on the 17th of February, 2020, never before have Croatian hospitality industry employers from the coast set out in search of a workforce so early before. The situation is alarming, there is a shortage of chefs, waiters, support staff, to such an extent that the search for a good worker began as early as October last year.

In comparison, in the previous tourist seasons, Croatian hospitality industry employers started looking for staff at the end of March. This year, the situation is already desperate. This is known firsthand, from the famous Croatian chef, Duje Pisac from Split, a man who last year brought 200 workers from neighbouring Serbia to work in Dalmatian restaurants.

''This year, more are coming, people of all profiles,'' he stated for Slobodna Dalmacija.

Ever since he became known as being some sort of help in getting foreign workers, his mobile phone hasn't stopped ringing. Croatian hospitality industry employers have been calling him non stop, from Dubrovnik to Istria, begging him not to forget about them, otherwise they'll end up with huge workforce issues. Pisac in Serbia two weeks ago, as he had last year rented a hotel, gave a cooking presentation and then a workshop where he sought to fill the gaps of the staff shortage in Dalmatia. He tells us that 800 people came to work in Croatia.

''It's a miracle, people really want to come to Croatia. They have a safe job here, and if they prove to be good, they also have a place here next year. Their salaries are twice as high as they are over in Serbia. They're provided with accommodation and food, and if they're good at what they do, excellent tips. We're the eldorado for them. This year everyone is interested in Dalmatia because of the strained relations between Serbia and Montenegro, too. They told me that they felt they might have some discomfort [in Montenegro] and that's why they responded en masse to us. I can’t say I was shocked by such interest, but I admit I was surprised. Obviously, those who worked with us last summer told us a lot about what was good about us,'' Duje Pisac said.

But it is far from just Serbian hospitality workers who are interested in the Croatian summer buzz. There are also Bosnian and Macedonian chefs, who have been coming to work for Croatian hospitality industry employers for years now. Owing to the utter lack of manpower, employers from Croatia throw their ''nets'' out to much wider areas in their increasingly desperate search. Their support staff come from as far away as Nepal and India to work in Dalmatian and Istrian restaurants.

''Eighty percent of the workers who came from Serbia last summer will work in the same locations this year. These are the professionals that I myself included in my team at the top restaurant of the heritage hotel in Pucisca, on Brac. The workshop is attended by top chefs. In winter, they work in luxury Serbian hotels, speaking three languages ​​each. In addition to the chefs, there are waiters who know their business well. I will tell you frankly, there is no language barrier, no thinking about where anyone came from. The guest doesn't care, he doesn't care what dialect or with what accent they speak. He just wants superior service. These people eventually get another paycheck from the tips they earn. I take my hat off to them, because when you see that old school style, the service they provide, the masterful work, I have to say that they deserve it,'' says Pisac.

Why did Croatian hospitality industry employers run into this kind of problem in the first place? When annoying political philosophising is removed, the bare truth remains. And the truth says - Croatian youth has gone. Many unemployed people wouldn't even get jobs in kitchens for auxiliary tasks such as cutting, chopping, cleaning, washing dishes. No, they think they can do more. Schools cannot produce as much staff as the market needs.

''Split has turned into a big kitchen, it smells like oil, like fat. My job is to go to restaurants and see what's on offer. For the most part, this is something inedible, which is often accompanied by poor service. Food aside, what about the waiters? They must be agile, fast, quiet, unobtrusive. They need to know how to suggest, advise, know how something is served, whether it's just a coffee or a top dish. We don't have these people.

They don't come out of schools with the knowledge that today's hospitality sector needs. And that's why we import foreign waiters. There should be some order, not every space in the city can be turned into a restaurant. The worst part is that we haven't even reached the maximum yet, and when we do, this story will just burst like a soap bubble,'' notes Pisac.

''Split is bursting at the seams in terms of the the number of restaurants. The infrastructure in the old centre is hardly sustaining it. The city under Marjan has transformed from a transit centre into a tourist destination, so many who are looking for light, fast, seasonal earnings see it as a cash cow,'' he adds.

Make sure to follow our business page for more on Croatian hospitality industry employers and the current Croatian demographic crisis.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Croatian Demographic Crisis: Half a Million Workers Now Gone

Croatia has lost half a million workers in the last decade alone. Without foreign workers and with the state of the Croatian demographic crisis, at least according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), we simply cannot go on.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 15th of January, 2020, half a million workers have left Croatian territory in the last ten years. We knew that the shortage of workers in Croatia was a dire and alarming situation, but the rally at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Rijeka was now backed up by extremely worriyng figures, writes local Rijeka portal

Measures to curb the negative trend were also presented, and one of the most important economic measures was the total abolition of quotas for foreign workers.

Despite the chronic shortage of workers, this will not be felt here in season. Aware of the situation, the owner of an Opatija restaurant, Stipe Dunatov, prepared himself on time.

"Recently I was in Dubai, interviewing twenty people, they are mostly from Pakistan and India and they're ready to come to Croatia. They're ready to come to the EU to work. Nine people are coming here to work for me, I'm opening a new Japanese restaurant and fourteen people will work there,'' Dunatov says, clearly doing all he can to avoid the effects of the ongoing Croatian demographic crisis.

"In the past ten years, from 2008 to 2018, Croatia has lost 500,000 people in the working contingent, 200,000 naturally, meaning the aging of the population, leaving the working contingent and inflow of children into the working contingent, and about 300,000 have been lost to migration," emphasised Davorko Vidović, a counse;lor for Labour Policy and Employment at CCE.

The plan is to include people in the labour market and prevent emigration, and the Croatian Employment Service is also involved in funding through the European Social Fund.

“We expect about 25,000 new people to be included in 2020. Looking at the three-year period, we can say that a total of over 126,000 people have gone through the system of active employment policy measures,'' says Ante Lončar, Director of the Croatian Employment Service.

About 40,000 foreigners (non-EU) worked in Croatia last year, and 65,000 permits were issued for that purpose. From the middle of this year, there will be no more quotas. However, the tourist season has to be prepared for, because the paperwork takes about two months to process owing to the unutterably slow system and the ever-lagging MUP.

The shortage of workers, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, is not a temporary problem that will disappear. Foreign labour is what awaits Croatia in the future.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more on the Croatian demographic crisis.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Croatian Demographic Crisis: Novigrad Podravski Experiencing Baby Boom

The Croatian demographic crisis is continuing to bite and its grip is becoming tighter in many areas, with the labour force being one of the most pressing issues caused by the country's increasingly poor demographic outlook. Still, in some areas, such as Novigrad Podravski in continental Croatia, more babies are being born as demographic measures are employed in hope of persuading families to stay.

As Novac writes on the 14th of January, 2020, the municipality of Novigrad Podravski finally welcomed a real ''baby boom'' in 2019 after years of extremely poor demographics. Given the Croatian demographic crisis which has spread far from the region of Slavonia, where there have been major issues for a long time, to the rest of the country, Novigrad Podravski's Zdravko Brljek has reason to be pleased.

As was announced on the municipality's website, a total of 165,000 kuna was paid out to parents residing in the municipality for the births of their newborn children in 2019, local portal Podravski reports.

Since the individual amount per child is 5,000 kuna, it can be seen that the money had been paid out to the parents of 33 newborns, two of whom are twins.

''I'm pleased that we were financially able to pay 5,000 kuna per child to parents within less than five working days of the request having been received,'' said Brljek.

He also recalled the fact that in a local primary school in Novigrad Podravski, fifteen students enrolled in the first grade back in 2016, fifteen students enrolled in 2017, a further fifteen students enrolled in 2018, and then nineteen students enrolled last year.

''This year has greatly improved the municipal demographic. I hope that most of these young people will stay in our municipality and that as many young people as possible come back here or move here,'' Brljek concluded.

Unfortunately, the demographic picture regarding newborns in Koprivnica-Križevci County, in which Novigrad Podravski is situated, is otherwise not so positive and reflects the overall Croatian demographic crisis accurately.

Namely, in 2019, according to data from the aforementioned county, 866 children were born, which is fifteen less than one year before when 881 children were born. Thus, the positive trend that started in 2018 compared to 2017 when 860 children were born came to a halt once again.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more on the Croatian demographic crisis.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Croatian Brain Drain Second Only to Maltese Demographic Crisis

The Croatian brain drain is second only to the Maltese demographic crisis, recording the second largest brain drain in the European Union. The entire region and the countries of the former Yugoslavia are massively affected by the departure of the population, but where does Croatia stand in comparison to other ex-YU countries?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 13th of January, 2020, In 2019 alone, the most people to have ever departed to date left neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 60,000 citizens, while in 2018, about 40,000 left that country.

The departure of residents, especially young people, from the Balkan countries to the economically highly developed countries of Western Europe is one of the biggest problems facing all the countries in Croatia's immediate region in recent years, writes Anadolija. Although accurate official data from state institutions on this crucial social issue is still lacking, it has long since become clear that this is a worrying demographic trend and that the Croatian brain drain is reaching alarming depths.

According to unofficial data and estimates of certain Croatian and international organisations and associations, almost every country in the Balkans is annually left without a population the size of a smaller city. There has been a steady increase in departures from Bosnia and Herzegovina over the last six years. Since 2013, more specifically since the Bosnia and Herzegovina Sustainable Return Union has been keeping actual records, until the end of last year, more than 200,000 people have abandoned that country.

This data shows that in the past two years, approximately 50,000 persons emigrated from Bosnia and Herzegovina and headed abroad. Serbia is facing a similar demographic problem, if not a much more difficult one, which, according to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), has seen around 654,000 people leave, most of them between the ages of 15 and 24, from the beginning of this century to the end of 2018. Eurostat figures also show that 51,000 people left Serbia to go to the EU in 2018.

The Croatian brain drain isn't something new, but it has become much worse despite the fact that the country has been facing the problem of population exodus for years, which is especially pronounced in its smaller communities, and it is particularly worrying that Croatia is struggling to retain its population even large cities. According to unofficial data, around 190,000 people have left Croatia in the last five years alone.

Examples are municipalities such as Civljan and Ervenik in the Šibenik-Knin County, which lost 39.3% or 37.8% of the population in five years, which means that every third inhabitant left the area in five years. A report by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) also showed that 39,515 people emigrated from Croatia in 2018 alone, which is the second largest number after 2017, where a record 47,352 people emigrated.

The results of a World Bank report "Migration and brain drain in Europe and Central Asia" from last year showed that after Malta, the highest rate of emigration in the European Union is Croatia, with 21.9 percent of the population having left, which means that more than a fifth of its former population now lives abroad. According to Eurostat, around 62,000 people left Albania to go the the EU in 2018 alone. According to the latest World Bank report on migration, about 40 percent of the population has left that country so far.

A dramatic trend of emigration has been present in Northern Macedonia for years, from which, according to the latest Eurostat data, 24,300 people left in 2018 alone, while World Bank data shows that over 25 percent of the population, or a quarter of Macedonians, now reside outside of this non-EU Balkan country. According to the latest Eurostat data, 34,500 people emigrated from the territory of Kosovo in 2018 and about 3,000 from Montenegro, both of which are not EU member states.

If just Eurostat's 2018 data and other unofficial data is taken into account alone, it can be concluded that over the past few years, an average of 200,000 people, or even more than this number, have left the Balkan countries annually.

For more on the Croatian brain drain, keep up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page.

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