(Photo: Ivica Galovic/PIXSELL) (Photo: Ivica Galovic/PIXSELL)

Despite the good news, demographic trends overall continue their downward slide, as deaths once again out-paced births.

Experts, like demographer Stjepan Šterc, say more must be done to keep young families in Croatia and offer more incentives and protections for mothers.

"A serious measure would be if they decided to pay women the same salary before, during, and after maternity leave; that unemployed women earn the average Croatian salary during the maternity period; and enact legal guarantees that completely protect women during the maternity period; that they cannot get fired, and that their jobs will be there when they get back," said Šterc.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitrović has made improving demographics the focal point of her mandate.

Source: HRT