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Croatia’s population drops nearly 10 percent in a decade

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Croatia’s population drops nearly 10 percent in a decade

Croatia‘s population has shrunk by almost 10 percent in the last decade due to an exodus fueled by a declining economy, the latest census showed on Friday.

The European Union member is home to just 3.8 million people compared to 4.2 million a decade ago, Croatia’s statistics office said.

“It’s an unbelievable disaster for Croatia,” demographer Stjepan Sterc told N1 television.

Central and eastern rural Croatia, already hard hit by the 1990s war of independence, suffered the biggest drops.

The country has been beset by mass migration for years thanks to a largely static economy and a lack of opportunities for young people.

A new wave of migration abroad was also fueled by the country’s accession to the EU in 2013.

More than 250,000 Croats have left since joining the bloc, with many seeking a better life in Germany, Austria or Ireland, official figures show.

According to United Nations projections, Croatia will probably have only 2.5 million inhabitants by the end of the century.

In December, the conservative government in the capital Zagreb announced a new scheme promising Croatian expats in the European Union up to 26,000 euros ($29,800) to return home and start a business.

Source Credit: TheGuardian

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