The trend in the number of first, second, and third generation Croatians moving to live in Croatia from abroad is increasing, according to statistics from the State Office for Croats Abroad.
Whilst young Croatians continue to leave Croatia in their droves, the number of Croatians and their descendants returning to Croatia have been continuing to rise.
According to statistics from the State Office for Croats Abroad, a total number of 8,534 Croatians, and second and third generation Croatians moved back to Croatia. Four years later in 2015, that number has increased when 11,706 returned.
Whilst statistics for 2016 have not been released yet, the number last year is expected to be more than 2015.
Those who have returned have mostly arrived from nations where there are big Croatian communities – Germany, Austria, USA, Canada, Australia and South America.
Those who have returned include those who have retired and students, and an increasing number of families with children with parents aged between 30 and 50, Vecernji list reports.
Last year 2,223 people with Croatian heritage received Croatian citizenship.
Earlier reports suggest that there are at least 2.6 million Croats, including their descendants, living in more than 25 countries around the world. Nearly half of that total is in the USA.
According to estimates from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration last year, around 1.2 million people with Croatian descent are living in the USA. The most are based in the States of Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio in Pittsburgh, Chicago and Cleveland, as well as in California. There are also large communities in Missouri, Indiana, Minnesota, Kansas, Montana, New York, and New Jersey.
In Canada, it is estimated that around 200,000 Croatians and their descendants live. Most are located in Toronto, Mississauga, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. Between 150,000 and 200,000 are estimated to be living in Australia, with the largest communities in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Canberra, and Brisbane.