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The lands that today comprise Croatia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the close of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following World War II, Yugoslavia became a federal independent Communist state under the strong hand of Marshal TITO. Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands. Under UN supervision, the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998.


Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia

Geographic coordinates:

45 10 N, 15 30 E


total: 56,542 sq km
land: 56,414 sq km
water: 128 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 2,197 km
border countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina 932 km, Hungary 329 km, Serbia and Montenegro (north) 241 km, Serbia and Montenegro (south) 25 km, Slovenia 670 km


5,835 km (mainland 1,777 km, islands 4,058 km)

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


Mediterranean and continental; continental climate predominant with hot summers and cold winters; mild winters, dry summers along coast


geographically diverse; flat plains along Hungarian border, low mountains and highlands near Adriatic coastline and islands

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Dinara 1,830 m

Natural resources:

oil, some coal, bauxite, low-grade iron ore, calcium, gypsum, natural asphalt, silica, mica, clays, salt, hydropower

Land use:

arable land: 25.82%
permanent crops: 2.19%
other: 71.99% (2005)

Irrigated land:

110 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:

destructive earthquakes

Environment - current issues:

air pollution (from metallurgical plants) and resulting acid rain is damaging the forests; coastal pollution from industrial and domestic waste; landmine removal and reconstruction of infrastructure consequent to 1992-95 civil strife

Geography - note:

controls most land routes from Western Europe to Aegean Sea and Turkish Straits


4,494,749 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 16.2% (male 373,638/female 354,261)
15-64 years: 67% (male 1,497,958/female 1,515,314)
65 years and over: 16.8% (male 288,480/female 465,098) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 40.3 years
male: 38.3 years
female: 42.1 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

-0.03% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

9.61 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

11.48 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

1.58 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 6.72 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.74 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.68 years
male: 71.03 years
female: 78.53 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.4 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

200 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 10 (2001 est.)


noun: Croat(s), Croatian(s)
adjective: Croatian

Ethnic groups:

Croat 89.6%, Serb 4.5%, other 5.9% (including Bosniak, Hungarian, Slovene, Czech, and Roma) (2001 census)


Roman Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 1.3%, other and unspecified 0.9%, none 5.2% (2001 census)


Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German) (2001 census)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.5%
male: 99.4%
female: 97.8% (2003 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Croatia
conventional short form: Croatia
local long form: Republika Hrvatska
local short form: Hrvatska
former: People's Republic of Croatia, Socialist Republic of Croatia

Government type:

presidential/parliamentary democracy



Administrative divisions:

20 counties (zupanije, zupanija - singular) and 1 city* (grad - singular); Bjelovarsko-Bilogorska Zupanija, Brodsko-Posavska Zupanija, Dubrovacko-Neretvanska Zupanija, Istarska Zupanija, Karlovacka Zupanija, Koprivnicko-Krizevacka Zupanija, Krapinsko-Zagorska Zupanija, Licko-Senjska Zupanija, Medimurska Zupanija, Osjecko-Baranjska Zupanija, Pozesko-Slavonska Zupanija, Primorsko-Goranska Zupanija, Sibensko-Kninska Zupanija, Sisacko-Moslavacka Zupanija, Splitsko-Dalmatinska Zupanija, Varazdinska Zupanija, Viroviticko-Podravska Zupanija, Vukovarsko-Srijemska Zupanija, Zadarska Zupanija, Zagreb*, Zagrebacka Zupanija


25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 8 October (1991); note - 25 June 1991 is the day the Croatian Parliament voted for independence; following a three-month moratorium to allow the European Community to solve the Yugoslav crisis peacefully, Parliament adopted a decision on 8 October 1991 to sever constitutional relations with Yugoslavia


adopted on 22 December 1990; revised 2000, 2001

Legal system:

based on civil law system


18 years of age; universal (16 years of age, if employed)

Legislative branch:

unicameral Assembly or Sabor (152 seats; note - one seat was added in the November 2003 parliamentary elections; members elected from party lists by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 23 November 2003 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; number of seats by party - HDZ 66, SDP 34, HSS 10, HNS 10, HSP 8, IDS 4, Libra 3, HSU 3, SDSS 3, other 11
note: minority government coalition - HDZ, DC, HSLS, HSU, SDSS

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Constitutional Court; judges for both courts appointed for eight-year terms by the Judicial Council of the Republic, which is elected by the Assembly

Economy - overview:

Before the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Croatia, after Slovenia, was the most prosperous and industrialized area with a per capita output perhaps one-third above the Yugoslav average. The economy emerged from a mild recession in 2000 with tourism, banking, and public investments leading the way. Unemployment remains high, at about 18%, with structural factors slowing its decline. While macroeconomic stabilization has largely been achieved, structural reforms lag because of deep resistance on the part of the public and lack of strong support from politicians. Growth, while impressive at about 3% to 4% for the last several years, has been stimulated, in part, through high fiscal deficits and rapid credit growth. The EU accession process should accelerate fiscal and structural reform.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$53.56 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$34.99 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.5% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$11,600 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 8.1%
industry: 31%
services: 60.8% (2005 est.)

Labour force:

1.71 million (2005 est.)

Labour force - by occupation:

agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 32.8%
services: 64.5% (2004)

Unemployment rate:

18.7% official rate; labor force surveys indicate unemployment around 14% (December 2004 est.)

Population below poverty line:

11% (2003)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 24.5% (2003 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

29 (2001)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.2% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

28.1% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $17.69 billion
expenditures: $19.35 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public debt:

52.1% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

wheat, corn, sugar beets, sunflower seed, barley, alfalfa, clover, olives, citrus, grapes, soybeans, potatoes; livestock, dairy products


chemicals and plastics, machine tools, fabricated metal, electronics, pig iron and rolled steel products, aluminum, paper, wood products, construction materials, textiles, shipbuilding, petroleum and petroleum refining, food and beverages, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:

4.5% (2005 est.)

Electricity - production:

11.15 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

15.81 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

550 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - imports:

5.99 billion kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

20,500 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:

90,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:

93.6 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural gas - production:

1.85 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

2.99 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - imports:

1.08 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

24.72 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current account balance:

-$1.79 billion (2005 est.)


$10.3 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

transport equipment, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels

Exports - partners:

Italy 23%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 13.4%, Germany 11.4%, Austria 9.6%, Slovenia 7.6% (2004)


$18.93 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery, transport and electrical equipment; chemicals, fuels and lubricants; foodstuffs

Imports - partners:

Italy 17.1%, Germany 15.5%, Russia 7.3%, Slovenia 7.1%, Austria 6.9%, France 4.4% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$8.811 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$29.28 billion (30 June 2005 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

ODA, $166.5 million (2002)

Currency (code):

kuna (HRK)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

1,887,600 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

2.553 million (2003)

Telephone system:

general assessment: NA
domestic: reconstruction plan calls for replacement of all analog circuits with digital and enlarging the network; a backup will be included in the plan for the main trunk
international: country code - 385; digital international service is provided through the main switch in Zagreb; Croatia participates in the Trans-Asia-Europe (TEL) fiber-optic project, which consists of two fiber-optic trunk connections with Slovenia and a fiber-optic trunk line from Rijeka to Split and Dubrovnik; Croatia is also investing in ADRIA 1, a joint fiber-optic project with Germany, Albania, and Greece

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 16, FM 98, shortwave 5 (1999)

Television broadcast stations:

36 (plus 321 repeaters) (September 1995)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

19,369 (2005)

Internet users:

1.014 million (2003)


68 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 23
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 9 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 45
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 37 (2005)


1 (2005)


gas 1,340 km; oil 583 km (2004)


total: 2,726 km
standard gauge: 2,726 km 1.435-m gauge (984 km electrified) (2004)


total: 28,588 km
paved: 24,186 km (including 583 km of expressways)
unpaved: 4,402 km (2003)


785 km (2006)

Merchant marine:

total: 76 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,090,162 GRT/1,738,590 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 24, cargo 13, chemical tanker 2, passenger/cargo 27, petroleum tanker 5, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 4
registered in other countries: 34 (The Bahamas 1, Cyprus 2, Liberia 6, Malta 11, Marshall Islands 2, Panama 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 8) (2005)

Ports and terminals:

Omisalj, Ploce, Rijeka, Sibenik, Vukovar (on Danube)

Military branches:

Ground Forces (Hrvatska Kopnena Vojska, HKoV), Naval Forces (Hrvatska Ratna Mornarica, HRM), Air and Air Defense Forces (Hrvatsko Ratno Zrakoplovstvo i Protuzrakoplovna Obrana, HRZiPZO), Joint Education and Training Command, Logistics Command; Military Police Force supports each of the three Croatian military forces (2006)

Disputes - international:

discussions continue with Bosnia and Herzegovina over several small disputed sections of the boundary related to maritime access that hinders ratification of the 1999 border agreement; the Croatia-Slovenia land and maritime boundary agreement, which would have ceded most of Pirin Bay and maritime access to Slovenia and several villages to Croatia, remains un-ratified and in dispute; as a European Union peripheral state, neighboring Slovenia must conform to the strict Schengen border rules to curb illegal migration and commerce through southeastern Europe while encouraging close cross-border ties with Croatia

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 12,600 (Croats and Serbs displaced in 1992-95 war) (2005)

Illicit drugs:

transit point along the Balkan route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe; has been used as a transit point for maritime shipments of South American cocaine bound for Western Europe