Population ageing in Croatia - the case study of the Zadar County

Vera Graovac Matassi, University of Zadar

With the population of 4.2 million inhabitants, Croatia is ranked among the smallest countries in Europe. The most prominent demographic processes in the last several decades have been depopulation and population ageing. According to the official census data, in the period from 1971 to 2011 the proportion of the elderly population increased from 10.2 to 17.7 per cent, and the mean age of the population increased from 34.0 to 41.7. The above-mentioned changes were the result of two negative demographic processes – long-term intensive emigration of young adults and natural decrease, which were additionally intensified by the Homeland War in early 1990s and economic crisis in late 2000s. The aim of this paper is to analyze the population ageing in Croatia from 1971 onward and investigate the causes and consequences of that process, particularly in the context of age-related expenditure. However, since there are significant regional changes in population ageing, the example of the Zadar County will be used to underline the differences, particularly between coastal settlements on one hand, and the insular and hinterland settlements on the other.

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Presented in Poster Session 2