New EU member states face both migrational and natural demographic decline, while the old member states compensate the negative net birth rate with the immigration. A poor level of development of the economy as well as the accession to EU encouraged net emigration from the new member states. A panel data for the 12 new member states for the period 2007 - 2016 was used to determine how the length of membership and the GDP per capita trailing behind the EU average affect the proportion of the net emigration. It has been shown that a country has to reach at least 85% of the GDP p.c. of the EU average (measured in PPS) to prevent these tendencies, but this level increases with each year of membership by 1,37%. Croatian current GDP p.c. level at 60% of the EU average, lagging more than 30 percentage points behind the non-emigration level, is one of the reasons for the up to that moment unseen level of the net emigration (0,90% of population in 2016).
Keywords: emigration, new EU member states, old EU member states, depopulation, economic development