Croatia extends north and west of Bosnia and Herzegovina with borders to both the Federation of Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims and the Republic of Serbia (Republika Srpska). Croatia also borders Slovenia and Hungary to the north and Serbia to the east. Both the southern and eastern borders run through areas where before 1991 there was an ethnically composed population. Larger areas are ethnically homogeneous after wars and ethnic cleansing, but there are still tensions between Croats and other ethnic groups in Eastern Slavonia.
More than 80% of Croatia’s residents were Croats in 1991, while about 12% were Serbs, mainly living in Krajina.and in Eastern and Western Slavonia. About 250,000 Serbs fled or were expelled in the autumn of 1995, and in 2001 the Croatian Serbs made up approximately 4.5% of the population. Some of the displaced Croatian Serbs have begun to return, but the return is still happening at a slow pace; since 1996, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has assisted 18,000 Croatian-Serbian refugees from Serbia and Montenegro and 7,500 from Bosnia-Herzegovina to return. The Croatian government estimates that a further 107,000 have returned on their own. The UNHCR estimates that the rest of the approximately 250,000 Croatian Serbs who fled in 1995 are either still considering returning or have taken up permanent residence elsewhere. Croatia also houses a small number of Muslims, Slovenes and Italians (43,000, 22,000 and 21,000 respectively). In 1996 there were also approximately 180.
- Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Croatia? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Landscapes and professions
The western part of the country is dominated by the up to 1500 m high system of mountain ranges the Dinarids or the Dinaric Alps along the Adriatic Sea and includes the landscape of Dalmatia. These karst landscapes have short rivers, large depressions as well as numerous caves and grottoes. The area’s forests are the basis for a well-developed timber and wood industry. Agriculture is largely linked to the often irrigated terraces, and olives, wine and fruit are grown, in the southern part also citrus fruit. Along the Adriatic coast there are approximately 600 islands. The geological fault lines follow roughly the coast, which is rich in natural harbors, and delimit islands, straits and fjords. Bauxite is found between Obrovac and Split and is extracted into aluminum in Šibenik. Dalmatia’s many ancient and much visited towns and seaside resorts form a Riviera with a highway from north to south. The cities are reminiscent of Habsburg, Venetian, Byzantine and even older colonization. In the northwesternmost corner of Croatia lies the Istrian peninsula with important tourist areas, bauxite deposits at Rovinj and the country’s largest coal deposits towards the SE.
Plitvice National Park on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina was created in 1949 and includes a 192 km2 mountain landscape with lakes and beech forests. In the hill country around Zagreb, forests alternate with intensively cultivated arable land with cereals and root vegetables. At Sisak is one of the country’s large iron and steel works.
Slavonia, the fertile plain between the Danube, Drava and Sava, is divided by low tributaries from the Alps, by the Papuk Mountains and by individual horsts. The climate is drier and the steppe areas are mainly used for grain cultivation. There is oil and natural gas immediately east of Sava.
More than half of Croatia’s employees are employed in the service sector, while industry and agriculture account for respectively. 40% and 5%. Not least the tourism industry on Croatia’s long and beautiful coast of the Adriatic is central to the country’s economy. The tourism industry experienced catastrophic declines in activity during the wars of the former Yugoslavia 1991-95 and 1999, but is now largely back to the level from before 1991. Croatia has also from 1991 had to go through a difficult transition from planned economy with large, unprofitable state enterprises to a more market-oriented economy with small and medium-sized private companies. The process still in the early 2000-t. Among other things, for structural reasons has not yet been completed, has led to a high unemployment rate of around 18% of the labor force.
The topography refers railways and major roads to river valleys and lowlands; only a few traffic routes connect the coast with the interior of the country, and sea transport along the Adriatic coast is of great importance. The main rail and motorway connections between Central Europe and the Southern Balkans run through Zagreb and Slavonia. The vital connections from the Croatian core area around Zagreb to Dalmatia and the southern Balkans were only re-established with Croatia’s recapture of Krajina and Western Slavonia in 1995.
Nearly 2/3 of the population lives in cities. Zagreb (German: Agram) has been the episcopal see since 1093 and the capital of Croatia since 1557. It is also an important industrial city with an extensive textile industry, metal and machine industry, pharmaceutical and chemical industry as well as paper and porcelain manufacturing. In Slavonski Brod there is an oil refinery and the manufacture of railway equipment. Rijeka (Italian: Fiume), Italian from 1924-47, is an ancient fortress town and naval port and Croatia’s most important port city with shipyards, oil refineries and a diverse industry. The port city of Split (Italian: Spalato) has shipyards, aluminum production and the chemical industry.
Along the coast and in Istria the summers are hot and often dry, and the winters mild with some rainfall; for example, the average temperature in Split is 8 °C in January and 26 °C in July. The central and eastern parts of Croatia have a more temperate climate, and the difference between winter and summer temperatures increases to the east. Zagreb, for example, has 0 °C in January and 22 °C in July. There is a lot of precipitation on the west-facing mountain slopes.
The Roman Catholic Church with its archbishopric in Zagreb is by far the largest denomination in Croatia. Since Croatia’s secession from socialist Yugoslavia, close links have existed between the Catholic Church and the state. The Orthodox populations, especially in Krajina and Slavonia, are greatly reduced after Serbian emigration and flight. There are also smaller Protestant and Muslim denominations. For culture and traditions of Croatia, please check aparentingblog.
Croatia – language
Ethnic Croats speak one of three Croatian dialects: štokavisk, kajkavisk or čakavisk, spoken by a total of 96% of the population (2001). The default language is based on štokavisk. Until the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1991, Croatian was considered a variant of Serbo-Croatian. In addition, a number of ethnic minority languages are spoken in the country. Most important is Serbian, which is spoken by approximately 44,500 (2001) and until 1995 was particularly prevalent in Krajina. Istro-Romanian is spoken by approximately 1000 people in Istria.