The Slavic countries are countries that are made up of Indo-European ethnolinguistic groups. The majority of people in Slavic countries speak Indo-European Slavic Language. The people of Slavic countries are known as Slavs. Countries that are home to the Slavs make up about 50% of the entire continent of Europe. Slavs are broken down into three different groups: West Slavs, East Slavs and South Slavs. In total there are more than 360 million Slavs around the world.
The history of the Slavs dates back to between the 5th century and the 10th century. The ancient Slavs were members of tribal societies throughout Eastern and Central Europe. By the end of the 8th century, the population of Slavs expanded and the groups began to extend to other regions. The early Slavs were primarily Christian and lived in Christian states including Croatia, Serbia and Poland. These people built sunken settlements known as “Grubenhauser” along the rivers. The stone ovens found in the corners of the buildings are a characteristic still used in Eastern European homes today.
Today, many Slavs follow the Christian faith. Most Slavs in the East and South Slavic countries are Eastern Orthodox, while West and Western South Slavic countries are Roman Catholic. There are other religions practiced among Slavs, but these are minority religions. The minority religious groups include atheists, Muslims and Protestants. The religion of Slavs has influenced the alphabet that is used in Slavic countries. Roman Catholic Slavs use the Latin alphabet and those who follow the Orthodox faith use the Cyrillic alphabet.
As of 2018, there are 13 Slavic countries. These include Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Russia has the highest number of Slavs in the world, totaling 130 million. Poland and Ukraine round out the top three highest Slav populations in the world. Montenegro has the lowest population of Slavs with just 750,000 Montenegrins.