Croatia sits at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Southern Europe and Central Europe, and thus has very diverse climates. The climate is inviting to cold winters and hot summers over the majority of the country, with coastal areas enjoying milder conditions.
90.4% of the population is Croats. This makes Croatia the most ethnically homogeneous of the 6 countries of former Yugoslavia. Other groups include Serbs (4.4%), Bosniaks, Italians, Germans, Czechs, Romani and Hungarians.
Croats arrived in the area during the 7th century and founded the kingdom of Croatia, which retained sovereignty for almost 200 years. It was conquered and eventually declared independence once more in 1991. The Croatian War of Independence caused a sharp drop in population, with hundreds of thousands fleeing violence outside the country.
78% of Croatians speak at least one foreign language. About half speak English as a second language, while 34% speak German and 14% speak Italian. Croatian is the official language in Croatia.
Croatia Religion, Economy and Politics
According to the constitution of Croatia, there is no official religion in the country and its citizens have freedom of religion. However, more than 86% of the population is Roman Catholic. The second-most common religion is Eastern Orthodoxy at 4%, and 0.34% are Protestant. Aside from 1.47% of the population practicing Islam, there are no other major religions represented in Croatia.
Post-civil war in the 1990s, the economy in Croatia has been doing increasingly well, largely due to its shift into a market-based economy. The majority of Croatia's GDP is tied up in the services sector. In terms of exports, the industrial sector plays a big roll in the economy through the building of ships, which account for 10% of the country's GDP. Another one of Croatia's important outputs is food processing and chemical engineering. Agriculture only accounts for 5% of the GDP. Tourism is a flourishing industry during the summer months.
Croatia Population History
The country of Croatia doesn't have much of an extended history. They joined the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in 1918 following the breakdown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The area was renamed Yugoslavia in 1929 and the government became a centralized dictatorship, but the Croatian Peasant Party fought for their autonomy. The Germans invaded Croatia in 1941, killing hundreds of thousands of Jewish people are Serbs.
A new constitution was written up declaring Croatia's complete autonomy in 1974, and the collapse of communism in eastern Europe led to a more democratic system. Still not completely independent, Croatian Serbs in the east ousted other Croats with the help of the Yugoslavian Army in 1991. The UN stepped in to separate the Serbs from the Croats, with the Croats eventually taking back the land that was invaded by the Serbs.