2020 might have been a terrible year for a multitude of reasons, but if you look the bright side of life, 13 Croatian counties can boast of more babies born in 2020 than a year earlier, exactly Croatia is richer by 800 children.
Finally some good news has come out of earthquake-stricken Sisak-Moslavina County, more exact city of Novska. There has been some good news if we're looking at a previously unfavourable demographic picture. The Novska baby boom took place in 2020. The highest number of children were born in Novska last year in comparison to the last six years. A total of 138 babies were born during the so-called Novska baby boom, as many as twenty more than were born in 2019.
Kindergartens are full. In the last three years, two such facilities have been expanded and two more have been built, but even that will not be enough. In the autumn of 2020, 278 children were enrolled, which is the highest in the last 45 years! There are now 350 of them. The city gives families HRK 2,500 for the first child, HRK 5,000 for the second and HRK 10,000 for the third and each subsequent child. They also receive a gift package of 1500 kuna. And for working on the birth rate, they receive another unusual reward - free city spaces to celebrate births and baptisms.
The number of children in schools and kindergartens ranked Novska among the five cities in the country that also recorded an increase in the number of high school students. For years, Novska has been at the very top in terms of scholarship allocations, so in the last school year they provided 1.3 million kuna for scholarships, and 127 students and as many as 151 students received them.
Novska has become the centre of the blooming Croatian gaming industry, thanks to the PISMO Novska project, which is linked to the economic development of the city, also important as demographic measure. Young people and families from all over Croatia are coming to live here.
It is extremely commendable that the mayor and his city administration are trying to improve the pronatality policy, and for this purpose over half a million kuna has been provided in the budget, thus encouraging positive trends.