Number of births in 2023 lowest since statistics have been kept

NEWS 01.02.202413:13 0 komentara

The number of births in Croatia in 2023 was the lowest since statistics have been kept, the number of new marriages grew and the number of deaths decreased, easing to some extent the negative rate of natural increase, show data from the national statistical office (DZS).

In 2023 there were 32,047 live births or almost 2,000 fewer than in 2022, which continued the trend of significant decline in the number of live births. For the sake of comparison, in 2000 there were 43,746 live births.

On the other hand, there were as many as 6,000 fewer deaths in 2023 as against the year before. Last year, 51,319 people died as against 56,979 in 2022. For the sake of comparison, in 2020 there were 57,023 deaths and in 2021, when the COVID-19 epidemic was at its peak, there were as many as 62,712 deaths.

Last year’s decline in the number of deaths eased the negative rate of natural increase, with the difference between live births and deaths having dropped from -23,096 to -19,272.

However, due to the significantly lower number of live births, the trend of declining natural population growth is still very unfavourable, said DZS official Dubavka Rogic-Hadzalic.

Marriage statistics are favourable

In 2023 there were 19,467 new marriages, almost 1,400 more than in 2022.

The increase is believed to have to do, among other things, with the post-COVID period, when people who had to postpone their marriage during the epidemic married.

Preliminary data for 2023, published by the DZS on Wednesday, show that the number of divorces in 2023 dropped from 4,808 in 2022 to 4,001.

Detailed and final data for the natural population growth in 2022 show that that year there were 34,027 births, 7.2% less than in 2021, with one in four children having been born out of wedlock.

The significant decline in the number of live births is also evidenced by a comparison with previous years, with the difference in live births in 2022 and 2000 being close to 10,000.

Fertility rate below replacement level

The fertility rate was only 1.53, which is significantly below the rate of 2.1 needed to maintain the population replacement level.

The fertility rate in Croatia has been below that level since the end of the 1960s.

“The reason for that is an unfavourable age structure and emigration of the youger population,” Rogic-Hadzalic said.

As in previous years, in 2022 most new births were first births (44.9%), followed by second births (34.2%), third births (13%) and fourth and subsequent births (6.8%). Compared to data for 2000, there are no significant differences except for data on the fourth and subsequent births.

90% of new mothers employed women

In 2022 8,405 children were born out of wedlock, 24.8% of the total number of live births, while in 2000 9% of live births were children born out of wedlock.

The average age of the mother at first birth has been growing for a number of years – in 1968 it was 22.8 years, in 2000 25.6 years and in 2022 29.5 years.

Statistics show that almost 90% of women who gave birth in 2022 were employed or actively sought employment, with close to a half of them having a post-secondary or university degree.

In 2022, as in previous years, most deaths were due to diseases of the circulatory system (34.3% were men and 43.8% women) and cancer (27% were men and 19.7% women).

That year also saw 139 infant deaths, of which 25.9% happened in the baby’s first day of life.

The mortality rate for infants has been falling, from 41.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 13.1 deaths in 1988, 7.4 in 2000, and 4.1 in 2022.

The natural growth rate in 2022 was negative, at -6, while the vital index (live births per 100 deaths) was 59.5.

49.4% of couples enter into civil marriage, 50.6% into religious marriage

In 2022 18,074 marriages were registered, 0.7% less than in 2021. The nuptiality rate shows that there were 4.7 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants.

The average age of women marrying for the first time in 2022 was 29.3 and that of the bridesgroom 31.7 years, as against 25.3 and 28.6 in 2000.

Of the total number of marriages in 2022, civil marriages accounted for 49.4% (8,929 couples) and religious for 50.6% (9,145 couples).

In 2022 there were 4,808 divorces, or 266 per 1,000 marriages.

The average duration of the marriage before divorce was 15.3 years, while in 2000 it was 13.5 years.

In 42.2% of the divorces there were no dependent children, in 29.3% there was one dependent child, and in 27.5% there were two or more dependent children.

Child custody in most cases (81.9%) was given to the mother, while in 12% of the cases it was given to the father, in 5.8% of the cases to both parents, and in 0.3% of the cases to other persons and institutions.

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