Zagreb is the capital of Croatia. In terms of population, it is also the largest city in the country. The city has an estimated population of 806,920 as of 2016, reflecting some growth since the census was taken in 2011 which showed a population of 792,875. The metropolitan area has a much larger population that exceeds 1.2 million people and is the largest in the country. The metro area is also the only one in Croatia that has a population exceeding one million people.
The majority of the residents living in Zagreb are native to Croatia, comprising 93% of the total population as recorded during the 2011 census. Approximately 55,000 residents are minorities, with the largest minority groups including Serbs, Bosniaks and Albanians. The city has the highest nominal gross domestic product per capita and PPP in the country. It is considered the richest city in Croatia.
The city is home to many Central European-based company headquarters and is also home to the Zagreb Stock Exchange, the only stock exchange in the country. The city’s rate of unemployment recorded in 2012 was around 9.5%.
The oldest settlement on the site of Zagreb was called Andautonia, which dates back to as early as the 1st century. The name of Zagreb was recorded in 1094, although the city was at the time split in two. The settlements were attacked in 1242 by the Tatars. Because the city provided a safe haven for King Bela IV, the city was exempted from the rule of the county and was allowed to have its own judicial system. Dark times fell upon Zagreb in the 17th and 18th centuries with widespread fires and the plague. The city bounced back, however, in the 19th century when institutions were erected and the city really began to flourish. The first mayor of the city was also elected during this time period. Other highlights include the development of the first railway to connect the city to other Croatian cities, as well as the opening of its waterworks and gasworks.
An earthquake hit the city in 1880. After the earthquake, the city expanded through development of a theaters, museums, buildings, parks and monuments. Another expansion occurred during the first half of the 20th century, particularly when it came to the development of neighborhoods.
The city saw a significant increase in population during the 1920s. The city continued to develop and flourish, including new residential developments.
Zagreb Population Growth
The city’s population exceeded 792,000 at the time of the 2011 census. This reflected a fairly significant increase from the population recorded during the 2001 census, which was 779,145. A substantial influx of immigrants living within the city has contributed to this growth, which is only expected to continue steadily into the future.