According to data released in recent months, more than 250,000 Croatian nationals have left Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina over the last seven years to settle in Germany.
But unlike the generations of so-called “guest workers” who went to Germany in the 1970s and 1980s in large numbers looking for menial work, this time the Croatians who leave are young and well educated. And since only one pay-check can barely cover the average rent and costs of living, entire families choose to move to Germany, HRT reported on Monday.
The famous prediction from years ago by the Croatian economist Djuro Njavro – “If we don’t attract German factories to Croatia, then our workers will leave for Germany,” – is now coming true. In terms of GDP per capita compared with other EU, Croatia was ranked 21st in 2000, only to drop five places to 26th in 2017.
A better-run economy with plenty of job opportunities is the main reasons why Croatians increasingly opt to leave for Germany. According to official statistics, there were nearly 368,000 Croatians living in Germany at the end of 2017. Federal states with the largest numbers of Croatians are Baden-Wuerttemberg with the city of Sttuttgart in the southwest – home to nearly 110,000 Croatians, followed by Bavaria and its capital Munich in the southeast, with some 99,000.
This is more than double from Croatia’s second city of Split, or almost ten mid-sized Croatian towns like Bjelovar or Vinkovci.