Introduction    Croatia Top of Page
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. In January 2008, Croatia assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008-09 term, and in April 2008 it joined NATO. Croatia is a candidate for eventual EU accession.
   Geography    Croatia Top of Page
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia
Geographic coordinates:
45 10 N, 15 30 E
Map references:
total: 56,594 sq km
land: 55,974 sq km
water: 620 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries:
total: 1,982 km
border countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina 932 km, Hungary 329 km, Serbia 241 km, Montenegro 25 km, Slovenia 455 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)
Total renewable water resources:
105.5 cu km (1998)
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
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
controls most land routes from Western Europe to Aegean Sea and Turkish Straits; most Adriatic Sea islands lie off the coast of Croatia - some 1,200 islands, islets, ridges, and rocks
   People    Croatia Top of Page
4,489,409 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 15.6% (male 358,360/female 340,098)
15-64 years: 67.5% (male 1,506,364/female 1,522,789)
65 years and over: 17% (male 295,960/female 465,838) (2009 est.)
Median age:
total: 41 years
male: 39.1 years
female: 42.8 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.052% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:
9.64 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate:
11.75 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
Net migration rate:
1.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
urban population: 57% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 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: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 6.37 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.42 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.33 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.35 years
male: 71.72 years
female: 79.18 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.42 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
200 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 10 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
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: 98.1%
male: 99.3%
female: 97.1% (2001 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
4.5% of GDP (2004)
   Government    Croatia Top of Page
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
name: Zagreb
geographic coordinates: 45 48 N, 16 00 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
20 counties (zupanije, zupanija - singular) and 1 city* (grad - singular); Bjelovarsko-Bilogorska, Brodsko-Posavska, Dubrovacko-Neretvanska (Dubrovnik-Neretva), Istarska (Istria), Karlovacka, Koprivnicko-Krizevacka, Krapinsko-Zagorska, Licko-Senjska (Lika-Senj), Medimurska, Osjecko-Baranjska, Pozesko-Slavonska (Pozega-Slavonia), Primorsko-Goranska, Sibensko-Kninska, Sisacko-Moslavacka, Splitsko-Dalmatinska (Split-Dalmatia), Varazdinska, Viroviticko-Podravska, Vukovarsko-Srijemska, Zadarska, Zagreb*, Zagrebacka
25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 8 October (1991); note - 25 June 1991 was 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 Austro-Hungarian law system with Communist law influences; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal (16 years of age, if employed)
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Stjepan (Stipe) MESIC (since 18 February 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Jadranka KOSOR (since 6 July 2009); Deputy Prime Ministers Bozidar PANKRETIC (since 6 July 2009), Damir POLANCEC (since 15 February 2005), Djurdja ADLESIC (since 12 January 2008), Slobodan UZELAC (since 12 January 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers named by the prime minister and approved by the parliamentary assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 16 January 2005 (next to be held in January 2010); the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president and then approved by the assembly
note: Stjepan MESIC reelected president; percent of vote in the second round - Stjepan MESIC 66%, Jadranka KOSOR 34%
Legislative branch:
unicameral Assembly or Sabor (153 seats; members elected from party lists by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 November 2007 (next to be held in November 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; number of seats by party - HDZ 66, SDP 57, HNS 6, HSS 6, HDSSB 3, IDS 3, SDSS 3, other 9
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court; judges for both courts are appointed for eight-year terms by the Judicial Council of the Republic, which is elected by the Assembly
Political parties and leaders:
Croatian Democratic Congress of Slavonia and Baranja or HDSSB [Vladimir SISLJAGIC]; Croatian Democratic Union or HDZ [Ivo SANADER]; Croatian Party of the Right or HSP [Anto DJAPIC]; Croatian Peasant Party or HSS [Josip FRISCIC]; Croatian Pensioner Party or HSU [Silvano HRELJA]; Croatian People's Party or HNS [Radimir CACIC]; Croatian Social Liberal Party or HSLS [Djurdja ADLESIC]; Independent Democratic Serb Party or SDSS [Vojislav STANIMIROVIC]; Istrian Democratic Assembly or IDS [Ivan JAKOVCIC]; Social Democratic Party of Croatia or SDP [Zoran MILANOVIC]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
other: human rights groups
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC
chancery: 2343 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-5899
FAX: [1] (202) 588-8936
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Robert A. BRADTKE
embassy: 2 Thomas Jefferson Street, 10010 Zagreb
mailing address: use street address
telephone: [385] (1) 661-2200
FAX: [385] (1) 661-2373
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue, superimposed by the Croatian coat of arms (red and white checkered)
   Economy    Croatia Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Once one of the wealthiest of the Yugoslav republics, Croatia's economy suffered badly during the 1991-95 war as output collapsed and the country missed the early waves of investment in Central and Eastern Europe that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall. Between 2000 and 2007, however, Croatia's economic fortunes began to improve slowly, with moderate but steady GDP growth between 4% and 6% led by a rebound in tourism and credit-driven consumer spending. Inflation over the same period has remained tame and the currency, the kuna, stable. Nevertheless, difficult problems still remain, including a stubbornly high unemployment rate, a growing trade deficit and uneven regional development. The state retains a large role in the economy, as privatization efforts often meet stiff public and political resistance. 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. The EU accession process should accelerate fiscal and structural reform. While long term growth prospects for the economy remain strong, Croatia will face significant pressure as a result of the global financial crisis. Croatia's high foreign debt, anemic export sector, strained state budget, and over-reliance on tourism revenue will result in higher risk to economic stability over the medium term.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$82.39 billion (2008 est.)
$80.46 billion (2007 est.)
$76.26 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$69.33 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2.4% (2008 est.)
5.5% (2007 est.)
4.7% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$18,300 (2008 est.)
$17,900 (2007 est.)
$17,000 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 27.7%
services: 66.3% (2008 est.)
Labor force:
1.731 million (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 31.3%
services: 63.6% (2008)
Unemployment rate:
13.7% (2008 est.) 11.8% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
11% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 23.1% (2005 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
29 (2008) 29 (1998)
Investment (gross fixed):
31.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
revenues: $26.86 billion
expenditures: $28.54 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt:
46.8% of GDP (2008 est.) 41.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.1% (2008 est.) 4.5% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
9% (31 December 2008) 9% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
$10.71 billion (31 December 2008) $11.61 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$33.17 billion (31 December 2008) $31.86 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$49.79 billion (31 December 2008) $45.7 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$26.79 billion (31 December 2008) $65.98 billion (31 December 2007) $29.01 billion (31 December 2006)
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:
1.7% (2008 est.)
Electricity - production:
12.25 billion kWh (2007)
Electricity - consumption:
18.61 billion kWh (2007)
Electricity - exports:
1.451 billion kWh (2007)
Electricity - imports:
7.511 billion kWh (2007)
Oil - production:
17,580 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
101,200 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007)
Oil - imports:
83,800 bbl/day (2007)
Oil - proved reserves:
79.15 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production:
2.892 billion cu m (2007)
Natural gas - consumption:
3.3 billion cu m (2007)
Natural gas - exports:
751.7 million cu m (2007)
Natural gas - imports:
1.055 billion cu m (2007)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
40.9 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance:
-$4.447 billion (2007 est.)
$14.69 billion (2008 est.) $12.62 billion (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
transport equipment, machinery, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels
Exports - partners:
Italy 18.9%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 15.3%, Germany 10.7%, Slovenia 7.7%, Austria 5.7% (2008)
$30.74 billion (2008 est.) $25.56 billion (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, transport and electrical equipment; chemicals, fuels and lubricants; foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Italy 17.1%, Germany 13.4%, Russia 10.5%, China 6.1%, Slovenia 5.6%, Austria 4.9% (2008)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$12.96 billion (31 December 2008 est.) $13.67 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
$54.79 billion (31 December 2008) $48.93 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$27.17 billion (31 December 2008 est.) $23.17 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$3.374 billion (31 December 2008 est.) $3.124 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange rates:
kuna (HRK) per US dollar - 4.98 (2008 est.), 5.3735 (2007), 5.8625 (2006), 5.9473 (2005), 6.0358 (2004)
   Communications    Croatia Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
1.851 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
5.924 million (2008)
Telephone system:
general assessment: the telecommunications network has improved steadily since the mid-1990s; the number of fixed telephone lines holding steady at about 40 per 100 persons; the number of cellular telephone subscriptions exceeds the population
domestic: more than 90 percent of local lines are digital
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 2 fiber-optic trunk connections with Slovenia and a fiber-optic trunk line from Rijeka to Split and Dubrovnik; the ADRIA-1 submarine cable provides connectivity to Albania and Greece (2008)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 16, FM 98, shortwave 5 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
36 (plus 321 repeaters) (1995)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
1.111 million (2008)
Internet users:
1.995 million (2007)
   Transportation    Croatia Top of Page
68 (2009)
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 (2009)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 45
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 37 (2009)
1 (2009)
gas 1,327 km; oil 583 km (2008)
total: 2,722 km
standard gauge: 2,722 km 1.435-m gauge (980 km electrified) (2008)
total: 28,788 km (includes 877 km of expressways) (2006)
785 km (2008)
Merchant marine:
total: 80
by type: bulk carrier 25, cargo 11, chemical tanker 3, passenger/cargo 30, petroleum tanker 8, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 2
registered in other countries: 30 (Bahamas 1, Belize 2, Liberia 2, Malta 9, Marshall Islands 6, Panama 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Omisalj, Ploce, Rijeka, Sibenik, Vukovar (on Danube River)
   Military    Croatia Top of Page
Military branches:
Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia (Oruzane Snage Republike Hrvatske, OSRH), consists of five major commands directly subordinate to a General Staff: Ground Forces (Hrvatska Kopnena Vojska, HKoV), Naval Forces (Hrvatska Ratna Mornarica, HRM; includes coast guard), Air Force and Air Defense Command, Joint Education and Training Command, Logistics Command; Military Police Force supports each of the three Croatian military forces (2009)
Military service age and obligation:
18-27 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age with consent for voluntary service; 6-month conscript service obligation; full conversion to voluntary military service by 2010 (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,035,712
females age 16-49: 1,037,896 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 770,798
females age 16-49: 849,957 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 27,620
female: 26,154 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures:
2.39% of GDP (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Croatia Top of Page
dispute remains with Bosnia and Herzegovina over several small 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 unratified and in dispute; Slovenia also protests Croatia's 2003 claim to an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic; as a European Union peripheral state, Slovenia imposed a hard border Schengen regime with non-member Croatia in December 2007
Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 2,900-7,000 (Croats and Serbs displaced in 1992-95 war) (2007)
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 (2008)

This page was last updated on 14 May 2009


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