Croatia is a Southern European country. Located in the
northwest of the Balkan peninsula, it covers an area of
56 542 km2. Croatia is bathed by the
Adriatic Sea in the west and borders Slovenia in the
northwest, Hungary in the north and Serbia and Bosnia
and Herzegovina in the east and south. The most
important cities are Zagreb, the capital, with 682 300
inhabitants (2004), Split (172 700 inhabitants) and
Rijeka (141 800 inhabitants). The country joined
Yugoslavia from 1918 to 1991.
The country is dominated
by two distinct climates, the Mediterranean and the
continental. The temperate Mediterranean climate
prevails on the coastal strip of the Adriatic Sea, while
the temperate continental climate covers the interior
areas of Croatia.
Croatia's natural resources are well exploited,
especially oil, coal and bauxite. The industry covers
food products, wine, textiles, chemicals, oil and
natural gas. At the agricultural level, the dominant
crops are maize, wheat, beet, potato and
barley. Croatia's main trading partners are Germany,
Italy, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Environmental indicator: the value of carbon dioxide
emissions, per capita, (metric tons, 1999) is 4.8.
The population is 4 494 749 inhabitants (2006), which
corresponds to a population density of 79.51 inhab./km2. The
birth and death rates are, respectively, 9.61% and
11.48%. Average life expectancy is 74.68 years. The
value of the Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.818 and
the value of the Gender-adjusted Development Index (IDG)
is 0.814 (2001). The main ethnic groups are Croatian,
with 89.6%, and Serbian, with 4.5%. The most prominent
religions are Catholic, with 87.8%, and Orthodox, with
4.4%. The official language is Serbo-Croat.
Croatia's union with Hungary remained for eight
centuries and, during that period, an independent
kingdom has always remained. In 1526, Hungary was
defeated by the Ottomans, and most of Croatia came under
Turkish rule until 1699. In 1527, the rest of the
territory came to be dominated by the Austrians and,
together with Slovenia, formed a military border. The
Serbs were moved to the edge of the territory, with the
aim of serving Austria in the wars with Turkey.
Between 1809 and 1813, Croatia integrated the Napoleonic
provinces. In 1867 the Austro-Hungarian Empire was
formed and Croatia and Slovenia became an independent
Hungarian monarchy. In 1918, after the Austro-Hungarian
defeat in World War I, Croatia joined Serbia (with
Bosnia and Herzegovina attached) and Slovenia, and in
1929 this union gave rise to Yugoslavia. However,
relations between Serbs and Croats have never been
easy. During World War II, Germany and Italy established
the Independent State of Croatia. Shortly thereafter,
the union was led by Ante Pavelic, the head of Ustasa (a
fascist terrorist organization). Pavelic carried out an
"ethnic cleansing" campaign that killed hundreds of
thousands of anti-fascist Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and
The socialist period developed an unprecedented
prosperity, which allowed Croatia some autonomy within
the federation. After the collapse of communism in
1989-1990, the country abandoned the federation and
became independent in 1991. These transformations gave
rise to uprisings by Serbian Croats, who outlined
autonomous regions with the help of the Serbian Yugoslav
army. From that moment the conflict between Croatia,
Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina arose. After several
cease-fires have been violated, since 1995, United
Nations forces have been on the territory to ensure
compliance with peace agreements.
Despite the fragile economic and social situation
observed in 2002, the government has been able to
overcome crises both domestically and externally.
The 2003 application for membership of the European
Union is one of the objectives of its external policy,
which will officially take place in 2007.
|1UpTravel.com - Maps of Croatia
|Browse a collection of city, country, political and
shaded relief maps of this European country. Check out
the maps of Zagreb city, Balkan region and former
|Croatia - Merriam-Webster Atlas
|Preview a detailed map of this European country, plus
diagrams, country facts, a historical summary and a flag
|Croatia - National Geographic
|Satellite imaging and political map-making create a
zoomable map of this country, with cities, rivers and
|Croatia - Physical Map
|Presents a colored physical map of Croatia and the
surrounding region, clearly showing mountain ranges,
waterways and water bodies.
|Croatia - Rec.org Map
|Peruse this well-detailed and graphically rendered map
of Croatia to view locations of villages, towns and
cities, plus bordering nations.
|Croatia - University of Texas Library
|View a selection of country, regional and land-use maps,
mostly supplied by the CIA and the Department of State.
|Political Map of Croatia - Atlapedia Online
|Check out a graphical map layout of this disputed
country, including Slovenia, Bosnia and Yugoslavia.