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 residents (2004), Split (172 700 residents) and Rijeka (141 800 residents). 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 residents (2006), which corresponds to a population density of 79.51 residents/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. For Croatia democracy and rights, please check intershippingrates.
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 Croats.
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.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Croatia, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Croatia. Listed by popularity.
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 Yugoslavia.
Croatia – Merriam-Webster Atlas
Preview a detailed map of this European country, plus diagrams, country facts, a historical summary and a flag icon.
Croatia – National Geographic
Satellite imaging and political map-making create a zoomable map of this country, with cities, rivers and topography.
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.