Prague, July 22 (CTK) – The population of the Czech capital Prague has been rising in the past 16 years except for the year 2013, and it increased by about 14,000 in 2017, owing its growth mainly to new incomers, a half of whom are foreigners, and also a higher birth rate, the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) data show.

In 2017, the number of newborn children was the highest in Prague since 1979.

Prague’s population has been rising less steeply than that of Vienna, Frankfurt or Munich, but more steeply that in Budapest or Warsaw. This is mainly due to a large number of incoming foreigners.

As for the natural growth, with the number of childbirths prevailing over the number of deaths, it has been steadily rising in Prague since 2006.

Last year, it reached 3,125 people, which is relatively few compared with 11,000, by which the population grew thanks to new incomers settling in the city.

Nevertheless, that natality has been rising and the death rate declining in Prague.

The former trend results from the fact that the people who postponed their parenthood for the sake of their career in the 1990s, are gradually having children now.

The latter trend ensues from the fact that the less numerous generation of those born in the 1930s is dying out, Marek Vacha, from the Prague City Hall’s Institute of Planning and Development (IPR), said.

In the long term, the biggest resource of new inhabitants of Prague is people’s movement.

“As an economically dominating centre, Prague has attracted migrants from all over the country, and also from abroad in recent years,” Vacha said.

Until 2014, the number of Czechs leaving Prague exceeded the number of Czech incomers, which caused the number of residents with Czech citizenship to fall.

The IPR ascribed this to Praguers’ movement from the city to satellite towns in its vicinity.

This trend still continues, but in recent four years, the number of Czechs in Prague has been rising again as a result of an increased number of incomers from other Czech regions, mainly Moravia-Silesia, with its limited offer of qualified jobs, Vacha said.

Out of some 38,000 people, who settled in Prague last year, 44 percent came from abroad, including foreigners and Czech compatriots.

About 20,000 (52 percent) were people with other than Czech citizenship. The ethnic composition of foreign incomers has remained almost unchanged in the past years. In 2017, one quarter of them were Ukrainians, 16 percent Slovaks, 12 percent Russians and 7 percent Vietnamese, Vacha said.

He said Prague population can be expected to further grow in the future, to which the city’s development and flat construction should correspond.

According to IPR, Prague has a relatively low population density now, which is 25 inhabitants per hectare, if the calculation includes less inhabited and uninhabited areas on its outskirts.

In Budapest, the population density is 33, in Vienna 45, in Copenhagen 68 and in Barcelona 158.

In its central parts, Prague has 113 inhabitants per hectare, compared with Vienna’s 137, Copenhagen’s 123 and Budapest’s 91.

Prague has enough reserve areas for further population expansion, mainly in vast brownfields and other unused areas, the IPR said.