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Coordinates: 45°10′N 15°30′E / 45.167°N 15.500°E / 45.167; 15.500

Republic of Croatia
Republika Hrvatska (Croatian)[a]
Anthem: "
  • 6.4% No religion
  • 2.3% Others
  • 3.9% Undeclared[4]
  • Demonym(s)
    GovernmentUnitary parliamentary republic
    • President
    Zoran Milanović
    Andrej Plenković
    Gordan Jandroković
    Establishment history
    • Duchy
    9th century
    • Kingdom
    • Joined Habsburg Monarchy
    1 January 1527
    • Secession from
    29 October 1918
    4 December 1918
    25 June 1991[5]
    12 November 1995
    1 July 2013
    • Total
    56,594 km2 (21,851 sq mi) (124th)
    • Water (%)
    • 2021 census
    Neutral decrease 3,871,833[6] (128th)
    • Density
    68.4/km2 (177.2/sq mi) (152th)
    GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
    • Total
    Increase$150 billion[7] (80th)
    • Per capita
    Increase$37,549 (49th)
    GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
    • Total
    Increase$69.38 billion (81st)
    • Per capita
    Increase$17,318[7] (66th)
    Gini (2020)Positive decrease 28.3[8]
    HDI (2021)Increase 0.858[9]
    very high · 40th
    CurrencyCroatian kuna (HRK)
    Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
    • Summer (DST)
    UTC+2 (CEST)
    Date formatdd. mm. yyyy. (CE)
    Driving sideright
    Calling code+385
    ISO 3166 codeHR
    Internet TLD

    Croatia (/krˈʃə/ (listen), kroh-AY-shə; Croatian: Hrvatska, pronounced [xř̩ʋaːtskaː]), officially the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Republika Hrvatska, (listen)),[e] is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. It shares a coastline along the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Italy to the west and southwest. Croatia's capital and largest city, Zagreb, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, with twenty counties. The country spans an area of 56,594 square kilometres (21,851 square miles), hosting a population of nearly 3.9 million.

    The Croats arrived in the late 6th century. By the 9th century, they had organized the territory into two duchies. Croatia was first internationally recognized as independent on 7 June 879 during the reign of Duke Branimir. Tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. During the succession crisis after the Trpimirović dynasty ended, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of Austria to the Croatian throne. In October 1918, the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, independent from Austria-Hungary, was proclaimed in Zagreb, and in December 1918, merged into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, most of Croatia was incorporated into a Nazi-installed puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia. A resistance movement led to the creation of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, which after the war became a founding member and constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared independence, and the War of Independence was successfully fought over the next four years.

    Croatia is a republic governed under a

    euro area member. Should there be no unforeseen obstacles, Croatia should also join the Schengen Area on the same date.[11] An active participant in United Nations peacekeeping, Croatia contributed troops to the International Security Assistance Force and filled a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2008–2009 term. Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors

    Croatia is classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy and ranks highly on the Human Development Index. Service, industrial sectors, and agriculture dominate the economy, respectively. Tourism is a significant source of revenue for the country, which is ranked among the 20 most popular tourist destinations. The state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Croatia provides social security, universal health care, and tuition-free primary and secondary education while supporting culture through public institutions and corporate investments in media and publishing.


    Croatia's name derives from Medieval Latin Croātia, itself a derivation of North-West Slavic *Xərwate, by liquid metathesis from Common Slavic period *Xorvat, from proposed Proto-Slavic *Xъrvátъ which possibly comes from the 3rd-century Scytho-Sarmatian form attested in the Tanais Tablets as Χοροάθος (Khoroáthos, alternate forms comprise Khoróatos and Khoroúathos).[12] The origin is uncertain, but most probably is from Proto-Ossetian / Alanian *xurvæt- or *xurvāt-, in the meaning of "one who guards" ("guardian, protector").[13] The oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ is of the variable stem, attested in the Baška tablet in style zvъnъmirъ kralъ xrъvatъskъ ("Zvonimir, Croatian king"),[14] although it was archaeologically confirmed that the ethnonym Croatorum is mentioned in a church inscription found in Bijaći near Trogir dated to the end of the 8th or early 9th century.[15] The presumably oldest preserved stone inscription is the 9th-century Branimir inscription found near Benkovac, where Duke Branimir is styled Dux Cruatorvm, likely dated between 879 and 892, during his rule.[16] The Latin term Chroatorum is attributed to a charter of Duke Trpimir I of Croatia, dated to 852 in a 1568 copy of a lost original, but it is not certain if the original was indeed older than the Branimir inscription.[17][18]


    Stone Sculpture
    Left: Vučedol culture, Vučedol dove made between 2800 and 2500 BCE
    Right: Croatian Apoxyomenos, Ancient Greek
    statue, 2nd or 1st century BC.


    The area known as Croatia today was inhabited throughout the

    Palaeolithic period were unearthed in northern Croatia, best presented at the Krapina site.[19] Remnants of Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures were found in all regions.[20] The largest proportion of sites is in the valleys of northern Croatia. The most significant are Baden, Starčevo, and Vučedol cultures.[21][22] Iron Age hosted the early Illyrian Hallstatt culture and the Celtic La Tène culture.[23]


    The 1st century-built Pula Arena was the sixth largest amphitheatre in the Roman Empire

    Much later, the region was settled by Illyrians and Liburnians, while the first Greek colonies were established on the islands of Hvar,[24] Korčula, and Vis.[25] In 9 AD, the territory of today's Croatia became part of the Roman Empire. Emperor Diocletian was native to the region. He had a large palace built in Split, to which he retired after abdicating in AD 305.[26]

    During the 5th century, the

    Croat invasions in the first half of the 7th century and the destruction of almost all Roman towns. Roman survivors retreated to more favourable sites on the coast, islands, and mountains. The city of Dubrovnik was founded by such survivors from Epidaurum.[28]

    Middle Ages

    King Tomislav


    anthroponyms of Croatian people.[29]

    According to the work

    vassal states of Francia at the time.[38]

    The Frankish overlordship ended during the reign of

    Christianisation of Croats began in the 7th century, but the claim is disputed, and generally, Christianisation is associated with the 9th century.[40] The first native Croatian ruler recognised by the Pope was Duke Branimir, who received papal recognition from Pope John VIII on 7 June 879.[16]

    Personal union with Hungary (1102) and Habsburg Monarchy (1527)

    For the next four centuries, the Kingdom of Croatia was ruled by the

    Croatian Parliament met in Cetin and chose Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg as the new ruler of Croatia, under the condition that he protects Croatia against the Ottoman Empire while respecting its political rights.[44][46]

    Nikola Šubić Zrinski is honoured as a national hero for his defence of Szigetvár against the Ottoman Empire

    Following the decisive Ottoman victories, Croatia was split into civilian and military territories in 1538. The military territories became known as the

    The Ottoman wars drove demographic changes. During the 16th century, Croats from western and northern Bosnia, Lika, Krbava, the area between the rivers of Una and Kupa, and especially from western Slavonia, migrated towards Austria. Present-day Burgenland Croats are direct descendants of these settlers.[48][49] To replace the fleeing population, the Habsburgs encouraged Bosnians to provide military service in the Military Frontier.


    Queen Maria Theresa
    made significant contributions to Croatian affairs, such as introducing compulsory education.

    Between 1797 and 1809, the

    Croatian National Revival, a political and cultural campaign advocating the unity of South Slavs within the empire. Its primary focus was establishing a standard language as a counterweight to Hungarian while promoting Croatian literature and culture.[53] During the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, Croatia sided with Austria. Ban Josip Jelačić helped defeat the Hungarians in 1849 and ushered in a Germanisation policy.[54]

    The Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia was an autonomous kingdom within Austria-Hungary created in 1868 following the Croatian–Hungarian Settlement

    By the 1860s, the failure of the policy became apparent, leading to the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867. The creation of a personal union between the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary followed. The treaty left Croatia's status to Hungary, which was resolved by the Croatian–Hungarian Settlement of 1868 when the kingdoms of Croatia and Slavonia were united.[55] The Kingdom of Dalmatia remained under de facto Austrian control, while Rijeka retained the status of corpus separatum introduced in 1779.[43]


    federalisation with Croatia as a federal unit, were stopped by World War I.[58]

    First Yugoslavia (1918–1941)

    Stjepan Radić, leader of the Croatian Peasant Party who advocated federal organisation of the Yugoslavia
    , at the assembly in Dubrovnik, 1928

    On 29 October 1918 the Croatian Parliament (Sabor) declared independence and decided to join the newly formed

    1921 constitution defining the country as a unitary state
    and abolition of Croatian Parliament and historical administrative divisions effectively ended Croatian autonomy.

    The new constitution was opposed by the most widely supported national political party—the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) led by Stjepan Radić.[60]

    The political situation deteriorated further as Radić was assassinated in the

    National Assembly in 1928, leading to King Alexander to establish a dictatorship in January 1929.[61] The dictatorship formally ended in 1931 when the king imposed a more unitary constitution.[62] The HSS, now led by Vladko Maček, continued to advocate federalisation, resulting in the Cvetković–Maček Agreement of August 1939 and the autonomous Banovina of Croatia. The Yugoslav government retained control of defence, internal security, foreign affairs, trade, and transport while other matters were left to the Croatian Sabor and a crown-appointed Ban.[63]

    World War II

    German dictator Adolf Hitler with Quisling and dictator of the Independent State of Croatia Ante Pavelić at the Berghof outside Berchtesgaden, Germany

    In April 1941,

    concentration camps (most notably the Rab, Gonars and Molat camps) were established in Italian-occupied territories, mostly for Slovenes and Croats.[68] At the same time, the Yugoslav Royalist and Serbian nationalist Chetniks pursued a genocidal campaign against Croats and Muslims,[67][70] aided by Italy.[71] Nazi German forces committed crimes and reprisals against civilians in retaliation for Partisan actions, such as in the villages of Kamešnica and Lipa in 1944.[72][73]


    Yugoslav Partisan movement, a communist, multi-ethnic anti-fascist resistance group led by Josip Broz Tito.[76] In ethnic terms, Croats were the second-largest contributors to the Partisan movement after Serbs.[77] In per capita terms, Croats contributed proportionately to their population within Yugoslavia.[78] By May 1944 (according to Tito), Croats made up 30% of the Partisan's ethnic composition, despite making up 22% of the population.[77] The movement grew fast, and at the Tehran Conference in December 1943, the Partisans gained recognition from the Allies.[79]

    With Allied support in logistics, equipment, training and airpower, and with the assistance of

    persecution in Yugoslavia, and many were interned.[81]

    The political aspirations of the Partisan movement were reflected in the

    AVNOJ—its counterpart at the Yugoslav level.[82][83]

    People of Zagreb celebrating liberation on 12 May 1945 by Croatian Partisans

    Based on the studies on

    wartime and post-war casualties by demographer Vladimir Žerjavić and statistician Bogoljub Kočović, a total of 295,000 people from the territory (not including territories ceded from Italy after the war) died, which amounted to 7.3% of the population,[84] among whom were 125–137,000 Serbs, 118–124,000 Croats, 16–17,000 Jews, and 15,000 Roma.[85][86] In addition, from areas joined to Croatia after the war, a total of 32,000 people died, among whom 16,000 were Italians and 15,000 were Croats.[87] Approximately 200,000 Croats from the entirety of Yugoslavia (including Croatia) and abroad were killed in total throughout the war and its immediate aftermath, approximately 5.4% of the population.[88][89]

    Second Yugoslavia (1945–1991)


    Declaration on the Status and Name of the Croatian Standard Language demanding equal treatment for their language.[90]

    SFR Yugoslavia from 1944 to 1980; Pictured: Tito with the US president Richard Nixon in the White House
    , 1971