Kosovo’s Census Shows Population Decline

Kosovo’s population census has drawn to a close, offering insights into an estimated 1.6 million residents and around 600,000 diaspora members.

The Kosovo Agency of Statistics announced on Monday that the population census in Kosovo, which started on April 5 and for the first time included a separate count for the diaspora and housing units, is expected to show a significant decrease in population, from 1.8 million registered in the first census in 2011 to 1.6 million residents thirteen years later. 

“The resident population of Kosovo is expected to be around 1.6 million, with approximately 600 thousand from the diaspora registered through Friday. However, it is anticipated that there will be a further increase, as the registration period for diaspora has been extended until August”, Avni Kastrati , the director of the Kosovo Agency of Statistics, said in a press conference on Monday.

The headcount was planned to conclude on May 17, but was extended for several days after reports indicating that some citizens had not been able to register in time, while the deadline for the diaspora was extended until the end August.

Kastrati told media on Monday that there was interest from all communities in participating except the Serbian community in 4 northern municipalities, which only partially registered due to ‘political pressures’.

“In some areas within the Serbian community, from a political perspective, there was a certain type of pressure on enumerators”, Kastrati added, explaining that many enumerators had to be replaced because of quitting, “sometimes up to 3 times” for the same location.

The 2011 census was also boycotted by Serb majority municipalities, the populations of which had to then be estimated, a step expected to be followed in this census as well.

Kosovo had around 1.8 million inhabitants at the time of the 2011 census. The decrease in population since then is mainly attributed to the emigration of young people to the EU, as well as a decline in the birth rate, according to the World Bank indicator report in 2022.

“We all know, there is a shrinking of the population, but there is also a change within Kosovo, some cities have grown to an enormous number, some have been emptied, I cannot go into further details now”, Kastrati explained during the conference.

The first official data are expected to be published in July, while preliminary results are expected at the end of August 2024.

The next Population Census in Kosovo is expected to be conducted in 2031, according to head of KAS, Avni Kastrati.

Source @Prishtina Insight: Read more : Kosovo Kosovo News