The Influence of Migration on Regional Development in Croatia (076-0762385-2375)

Timeline: 2007-2013

Head of the Project: Ivan LAJIĆ 
Junior Researchers: Ivana LUČEV, Mario BARA
Associate: Roko MIŠETIĆ (2007-2010; 2010 – researcher)

Brief description of the project


The research project The Influence of Migration on Regional Development in Croatia is based on the fact that migrations (internal and external) are the main components which defined contemporary demographic development of Croatian regions. They determined two main Croatian demographic poles: depopulation and population growth pole. The depopulation pole covers the entire continental mountain area, while islands and wider continental hinterland are emigration and depopulation areas within the littoral Mediterranean region. In the continental Pannonian region, depopulation areas are Eastern Slavonia and Posavina, intensified by recent forced migration and, to a certain degree, by war biodynamics. Demographically most dynamic and immigration area in our country is the narrower coastal continental zone and wider Zagreb macro region. Depopulation areas can be found within the progressive pole as well, while more serious enclaves of demographic growth within a depopulation area are to be found in rare cases. Most rural villages experience depopulation, but this type of settlement is increasingly joined by small and medium-sized cities. In this way Croatia is threatened by duocentric development because the central macro region and the narrow coastal area is being developed, while at the same time a large part of Croatian territory is in the phase of depopulation, and even extinction. The problem of demographic resources is an important discouraging factor for socio-economic development of large areas, but the lack of development programmes does not create a pull factor for migration flows.

The goals of the research project are:

  • to study the influence of all forms of migration in order to define their impact on regional development;
  • to determine migration models in order to revitalize the demographically most threatened and strategically important areas of Croatia (war devastated areas, hilly and mountainous areas and islands;
  • to study the influence of forced migration on the development of Croatia and its regions;
  • to define the impact of migration on the process of urbanisation and deruralisation in Croatia.


Project implementation


Most scientific and research goals have been realized. Four field researches have been conducted in which pull and push factors of certain regions as well as migration intentions of some demographic structures have been defined. A very poor implementation and delayed processing of the 2011 census results presented one of major problems in the research process. Research and junior researchers on the project have published five monographs, 20 papers in scientific journals, 11 chapters in books and 20 summaries in proceedings from national and international conferences.


The main publications:


Podgorelec, Sonja (2008). Ostarjeti na otoku: kvalieta života starijega stanovništva hrvatskih otoka / Growing old on an island: the quality of life of elderly population on Croatian islands. Zagreb: Institut za migracije i narodnosti.


Lajić, Ivan and Bara, Mario (2009). Ratovi, kolonizacije i etnička struktura Slavonije u 20. stoljeću / Wars, colonizations and ethnic structure of Slavonia in 20th century. Zagreb: Institut za migracije i narodnosti.


Nejašmić, Ivo; Toskić, Aleksandar and Mišetić, Roko (2009). Demografski resursi Republike Hrvatske: sintetični pokazatelji za županije, gradove i općine / Demographic resources of the Republic of Croatia: Synthetic Indicators for Counties, Towns and Municipalities. Zagreb: Hrvatsko geografsko društvo.


Lajić, Ivan (ed.) (2010). Migracije i regionalni razvoj Hrvatske / Migration and Regional Development in Croatia. Zagreb: Institut za migracije i narodnosti.


Podgorelec, Sonja and Klempić Bogadi, Sanja (2013). Gradovi potopili škoje – promjene u malim otočnim zajednicama / Cities sunk the islands – changes in small island communities. Zagreb: Institut za migracije i narodnosti.