The paper deals with the recent demographic past of Gorski Kotar and the demographic perspective of this depopulation area. Continuous emigration has been a significant factor of its demographic development. Gorski Kotar, characterised as it is by depopulation, shares this demographic fate with other mountainous areas in Croatia. However, in the most recent period depopulation has been slightly less than in other Croatian areas with a similar geography. Namely, during the last intercensus period depopulation in Gorski Kotar has been –3.6%, whereas in other mountain areas of Croatia it has been –6.9%. The main causes of long-term and – as a rule – continuous depopulation, as well as of the negative migration balance, are to be found in the economic, transportational, social and historical, settlemental and other traits of this area. Recently, primarily due to unfavourable mechanical demographic changes, the birth rate has been falling, making Gorski Kotar one of the demographically most depressed regions of our country. The main characteristics of bio-dynamical change in the Gorski Kotar population in the recent period include a permanent reduction in the number of live births and a stabilisation in the yearly death rate. Traditionally, Gorski Kotar has also been one of the emigration areas of Croatia. In this case, however, mechanical population movement has occurred mainly on an interregional and international level then within the region. The main cause of this phenomenon has been a low level of urbanisation in the area and the absence of a significant regional urban centre. In all examined periods the migration balance has been negative, both in the areas as a whole and in its various parts. It has been extremely unfavourable, with only a slight improvement in the last inter-census period. In the closing section of the paper, the author examines demographical projections. All of the examined projections indicate future deterioration of the negative demographical events. The demographical future of this region is very questionable. Further depopulation is expected as well as the extinction of many smaller settlements.