expat network

Countries Suffering Population Decline And Why You Should Move There

Depopulation is a growing concern for certain countries, particularly those in Europe. Younger people are travelling more and moving for what they consider to be more rewarding careers. The adverse effects of this are that it can lead to an ageing population and, therefore, a shrinking workforce, which impacts the economy as a whole. However, we’ve explored the advantages of moving to those countries below.

1. Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s population will likely decline to 5.4 million by 2050 from 6.9 million recorded in 2020 due to increased outbound migration. However, this contributes to the country’s struggling economy. One contributing factor to this mass migration is the state of the economy itself. Those who move to Bulgaria will benefit from the excellent weather, beautiful landscape and flexible taxation system, which has very competitive rates compared to other European countries, low prices and a growing property market.

2. Lithuania

Lithuania is also experiencing a period of mass migration and, as a result, will likely lose 600,000 people in the next 30 years. However, one of Lithuania’s shining glories is its high quality of education, attractive to both students and parents alike. It also has excellent healthcare and a high quality of life. Though it is worth noting that salaries in Lithuania are lower than in other European countries, they offer a financial incentive of €3,788 for highly skilled specialists. They also have a flourishing gambling market in which you could either find employment or, at the very least, benefit from a casino payout to boost your income.

3. Latvia

Since it entered the European Union, Latvia’s population has decreased by 20% due to economic migration and low birth rates. Like Lithuania, Latvia boasts quality free healthcare and excellent education standards and is renowned for its artistic excellence.

4. Serbia

Serbia is also being hit with mass migration, as its highly skilled workers and educated population are leaving in search of better job opportunities; unfortunately, there aren’t as many in Serbia. Low birth rates are also a contributing factor that is hurting its population. The population will likely decline by 18.9% in the next 30 years, dropping to around 7.1 million. However, given the remote nature of working post-pandemic, this should not discourage you from moving to Serbia. While many countries are currently struggling with the high cost of living and experiencing a financial crisis, Serbia has a low cost of living, creating a higher quality of life with costs of essentials like food, housing and healthcare being extremely affordable compared to other European countries. The government also offers cash incentives to employers who employ newly settled people in Serbia as a further incentive to move.

5. Bosnia and Herzegovina

With a projected decline of 18.2% and a low birth rate, Bosnia and Herzegovina is among the countries most struggling with population decline. Being an EU candidate country and working closely with the EU makes Bosnia and Herzegovina a great place to move to. The EU is well known for helping countries flourish, and Bosnia and Herzegovina is no exception. It has pledged to give €6 billion across Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Now may be the best time to invest in a move to Bosnia and Herzegovina while property prices are low.

6. Croatia

Experts believe Croatia will shrink by 18.0% in the next 30 years, from 4.1 million to 3.4 million. It has declined since 1991 due to an ageing population and low birth rates. In addition to its beautiful setting, Croatia is a great place to move to if you want to take advantage of affordable healthcare and a relaxed lifestyle. Croatia is known for its slower pace of life than other European countries and boasts over 1,000 islands to enjoy in your downtime. It also offers government subsidies and loan programs to foreign entrepreneurs. It is the perfect place to set up your next business venture.

7. Moldova

With a projected decline of 16.7% by 2050, Moldova has also made the list of top countries experiencing depopulation. Attributed to its ageing population and high mortality rates, the population will likely fall by 600,000. Highly skilled workers and the younger population have been migrating for better job opportunities, but why should you move to Moldova? Its reputation as a friendly country, lovely countryside and, as with all of the depopulated countries on this list, a low cost of living.

8. Japan

This one may surprise you, but Japan is experiencing a period of depopulation and may lose 20.7 million people by 2025. This decline is due to the low birth rates and the ageing population. However, Japan is one of the safest living environments. What’s more, its rich cultural heritage attracts many visitors, and its excellent transportation allows for working in the cities and living in the vast countryside.

9. Albania

Experts estimate that by 2050, the number of Albanians will decrease from 2.9 million to 2.4 million, with approximately 38% of Albanians residing abroad due to the high unemployment rate in the younger population. However, that can all change with the rise of remote work, particularly with the low cost of food, housing and transportation in the country, not to mention the benefits new immigrants will reap from the grant pledged by the EU we discussed above.


Although many locals are leaving these countries, they have opened up opportunities for others, as their mass migration has created a lower cost of living. Coupled with the rise of remote work and physical opportunities opened by a lower population, now may be the time to move and enjoy a higher standard of living yourself.