Basic characteristics of emigration of Croatian population with the focus on emigration in the past fifteen years
The article analyses emigration of Croatian population in the last fifteen years. It is methodologically based on the analysis of data provided in the reports of the Central Bureau of Statistics, i.e. in the official reports on international migration of population of Croatia, due to absence of valid population census. Until 19991 there were so-called inter-republic migrations occurring between Croatia and Slovenia. After 1991, Croatia and Slovenia became independent and internationally recognised states. Therefore, Croatian emigration to Slovenia became international in its character, although it was still a continuation of the once inter-republic migration flows. On the basis of the analysis of situation during the past fifteen years it is concluded, that 147.252 Croatian citizens, aged from 30 to 45, emigrated from the Republic of Croatia. Therefore, in the last fifteen years Croatia lost a demographic potential as high as the number of residents of the town Rijeka. Because methodologies of statistics are not harmonised, the monitoring of emigration is difficult. This is also so due to inability to determine a precise number of Croatian emigrants on the basis of reports by the Ministry of Interior, because in the Republic of Croatia an emigrant is not required to report the change of address. Therefore, the results cannot be considered as entirely correct and valid.
KEYWORDS: emigration, emigrants, migration, population, Croatia
The republic of Croatia is a part of the European circle of countries with the relatively highest numbers of emigrants, i.e. citizens living outside the borders of their country. Statistical monitoring of Croatian emigrants is mainly reduced to data from population census, which takes place every ten years. Because statistical data is not harmonised, this makes monitoring of emigration difficult. In addition, it is impossible to determine a precise number of Croatian emigrants on the basis of reports by the Ministry of interior, because in the republic of Croatia an emigrant is not required to report the change of address. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a register and continuously collect data on Croatian emigrants abroad.
It is assumed that in the past fifteen years the reasons for emigration were economic, political and psychological. The most Croatian citizens moved out from the town of Zagreb and the least from the Međimurje parish.
Germany, Austria and Switzerland, countries of the old emigration, have been attracting Croatian citizens the most. The countries of new emigration include Czech Republic and Slovenia. At the same time, Croatian citizens find a very attractive destination of emigration to be Sweden. The age span of most of the Croatian emigrants is from 30 to 45. According to available data, in the past five years, men were emigrating slightly more than women, although emigration of both sexes has been rather balanced. Trend of emigration of men was present in the earlier phases of migration, when most emigrants were men. Long-term consequences of emigration are in demographic terms dramatic, as it is assumed that most Croatian emigrants lost the interest to return to homeland permanently. In the past fifteen years, 147.252 Croatian citizens emigrated from the republic of Croatia, which is a demographically comparable to the number of residents of the town Rijeka.
Membership of the republic of Croatia in the EU could, but not necessarily, decrease the emigration of Croatian citizens and encourage circulation of ‘brain’ and highly educated labour force throughout the European space.