Recent research on Croatians who settled in Germany indicates that the main regions they come from are central and eastern Croatia, that they are on average better educated than the general Croatian population, and that few of them have plans to return.
Most likely to emigrate are persons between 25 and 45 years of age. Most Croatians who left the country and settled in Germany have a high school education (60.7 percent) and the share of university-educated emigrants is 37.8 percent, or 12 percentage points more than in Croatia in the 25-40 age group, Glas Slavonije reported.
Around 79 percent of those polled said they were happy with their new life in Germany, and 88.5 percent said they never regretted leaving Croatia, according to research by professor Tado Juric from the Catholic University of Croatia (HKS) in which he polled 1,200 Croatians settled in Germany over the last three years.
Juric said the research pointed clearly to poor ethics in politics and the weak government institutions as causes of emigration. Most emigrants polled said that the main reason for moving abroad was better economic environment. Better working conditions were also frequently mentioned, Glas Slavonije reported.
"It was easy to assume that the legal and economic uncertainty, the ammorality of political elites, and corruption all contributed to emigration. But what we did not expect is that many were motivated by so-called subjective reasons, things like their wish to experience something new, or to get professional experience, which they have no opportunity for in their home country," Juric said.
By region, most inclined to consider emigrating were people from Zagreb and central Croatia, and eastern Croatia, which is in line with data by the state statistics bureau which puts the share of emigrants from Zagreb at 13.4 percent, followed by the Osijek-Baranja County with 10 percent, and Zagreb County surrounding the capital at 8 percent.
As for plans to return, some 85 percent of those polled said they intend to stay in Germany until retirement. Only 15 percent said they considered returning in the foreseeable future, and 45 percent might consider returning after retirement. On the other hand, 40 percent of those polled said they had no intention of ever coming back to Croatia.