Introduction 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.

Long in conflict with Rome, the region of Dalmatia was definitively subdued by Augustus (35 BC-33 BC) and was incorporated with part of Illyria as a Roman province. Century and half after fall of Roman Empire Croats settled in the Western Balkan Peninsula, Dalmatian coast as a part of the greater populace of Southern Slavs. The establishment of the Trpimirović dynasty, circa 850, strengthened the Dalmatian Croat Duchy, which together with the Pannonian principality became a Kingdom in 925 under King Tomislav I.

In 1102, Croatia entered into a personal union with the Hungarian Kingdom. After several centuries of struggle, chiefly between Venice and the crowns of Hungary and Croatia, the coastal islands and most of Dalmatia, except Dubrovnik, were under Venetian control by 1420. After the 1526 Battle of Mohács Croatian nobles voted to become a part of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1527. This was a vote for continuation of personal union with the Hungarian Kingdom. Most of Croatia was managed by the Ottoman Empire between 1527-1699.

By the secret Treaty of London (1915) the Allies promised Dalmatia to Italy in return for Italian support in World War I. In end of October 1918 Croatian parliament has voted to abolish union with Hungary and in december 1918, Croatia has become part of the newly established kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (after 1929 Yugoslavia), but Italy continued to claim Dalmatia. The Treaty of Rapallo (1920) gave Dalmatia to Yugoslavia, except for Zadar and several islands, which subsequently passed to Italy. During World War II, Germany has established Independent State of Croatia which will fall together with 3rd Reich in 1945. After the victory of the Yugoslav Partisans led by Josip Broz Tito, a half-Croatian, half-Slovenian, Croatia became a republic within Yugoslavia. The Italian peace treaty of 1947 gave Yugoslavia the islands that had been ceded to Italy after World War I.

In 1991 Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia and a bitter and costly war was fought by the Croatian government against the Milošević - led Yugoslav People's Army, Serbian paramilitary forces and rebel Serbs from Croatia who wanted to create "Greater Serbia" from Croatian and Bosnian and Herzegovian territory. Later, the war turned into a conflict between the Republic of Croatia and the rebel Serbs who lived in Croatia. The war came to an end with a Croatian victory, liberating the lost territory and its constitution to the state before war started, which made possible signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1995 by all war sides, that gave peace in the neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Geography Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia
Geographic coordinates: 45 10 N, 15 30 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 56,542 sq km
land: 56,414 sq km
water: 128 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia
Land boundaries: total: 2,197 km
border countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina 932 km, Hungary 329 km, Serbia 241 km, Montenegro 25 km, Slovenia 670 km
Coastline: 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
Climate: Mediterranean and continental; continental climate predominant with hot summers and cold winters; mild winters, dry summers along coast
Terrain: 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-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: controls most land routes from Western Europe to Aegean Sea and Turkish Straits; the vast majority of Adriatic Sea islands lie off the coast of Croatia - some 1,200 islands, islets, ridges, and rocks

Since the adoption of the 1990 Constitution, Croatia has been a democratic republic. Between 1990 and 2000 it had a semi-presidential system, and since 2000 it has a parliamentary system.

The President of the Republic (Predsjednik) is the head of state, directly elected to a five-year term and is limited by the Constitution to a maximum of two terms. In addition to being the commander in chief of the armed forces, the president has the procedural duty of appointing the Prime minister with the consent of the Parliament, and has some influence on foreign policy. His official residence is Predsjednički dvori. Apart from that he has summer residences on the islands of Vanga (Brijuni islands) and the island of Hvar.

The Croatian Parliament (Sabor) is a unicameral legislative body (a second chamber, the "House of Counties", which was set up by the Constitution of 1990, was abolished in 2001[3]). The number of the Sabor's members can vary from 100 to 160; they are all elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. The plenary sessions of the Sabor take place from January 15 to July 15, and from September 15 to December 15.

The Croatian Government (Vlada) is headed by the Prime minister who has two deputy prime ministers and fourteen ministers in charge of particular sectors of activity. The executive branch is responsible for proposing legislation and a budget, executing the laws, and guiding the foreign and internal policies of the republic. Government's official residence is at Banski dvori.

Croatia has a three-tiered judicial system, consisting of the Supreme Court, county courts, and municipal courts. The Constitutional Court rules on matters regarding the Constitutution.

People Population: 4,493,312 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 16% (male 368,639/female 349,703)
15-64 years: 67.1% (male 1,499,354/female 1,515,932)
65 years and over: 16.9% (male 292,526/female 467,158) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 40.6 years
male: 38.6 years
female: 42.3 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.035% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 9.63 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 11.57 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.58 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.054 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.989 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.626 male(s)/female
total population: 0.926 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 6.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.9 years
male: 71.26 years
female: 78.75 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.41 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 200 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 10 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
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 (2008)
Nationality: 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)
Religions: Roman Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 1.3%, other and unspecified 0.9%, none 5.2% (2001 census)
Languages: Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German) (2001 census)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.1%
male: 99.3%
female: 97.1% (2001 census)
Government 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
Capital: 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 Zupanija, Brodsko-Posavska Zupanija, Dubrovacko-Neretvanska Zupanija, Istarska Zupanija, Karlovacka Zupanija, Koprivnicko-Krizevacka Zupanija, Krapinsko-Zagorska Zupanija, Licko-Senjska Zupanija, Medimurska Zupanija, Osjecko-Baranjska Zupanija, Pozesko-Slavonska Zupanija, Primorsko-Goranska Zupanija, Sibensko-Kninska Zupanija, Sisacko-Moslavacka Zupanija, Splitsko-Dalmatinska Zupanija, Varazdinska Zupanija, Viroviticko-Podravska Zupanija, Vukovarsko-Srijemska Zupanija, Zadarska Zupanija, Zagreb*, Zagrebacka Zupanija
Independence: 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
Constitution: 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
Suffrage: 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 Ivo SANADER (since 9 December 2003); Deputy Prime Ministers Jadranka KOSOR (since 23 December 2003) and 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
election results: Stjepan MESIC reelected president; percent of vote - Stjepan MESIC 66%, Jadranka KOSOR 34% in the second round
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 56, HNS 7, HSS 6, HDSSB 3, IDS 3, SDSS 3, other 9
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Constitutional Court; judges for both courts 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 [Vladimir JORDAN]; Croatian People's Party or HNS [Vesna PUSIC]; 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: NA
International organization participation: ACCT (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SECI, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Marijan GUBIC
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)

Croatian culture is the result of a thirteen century-long history which has seen the development of many cities and monuments. The country includes six World Heritage sites and eight national parks. Croatia is also the birthplace of a number of historical figures included among the notable people are three Nobel prize winners, and numerous inventors.

Some of the world's first fountain pens came from Croatia. Croatia also has a place in the history of clothing as the origin of the necktie (cravat). The country has a long artistic, literary and musical tradition. Also of interest is the diverse nature of Croatian cuisine.

Economy 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. Since 2000, however, Croatia's economic fortunes have begun 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $69.44 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $50.96 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.6% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $15,500 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 7.2%
industry: 32%
services: 60.7% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 1.714 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 32.8%
services: 64.5% (2004)
Unemployment rate: 11.8% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: 11% (2003)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 24.5% (2003 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 29 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.2% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 30.8% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $22.46 billion
expenditures: $23.85 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 45.6% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, sugar beets, sunflower seed, barley, alfalfa, clover, olives, citrus, grapes, soybeans, potatoes; livestock, dairy products
Industries: 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: 6.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 11.99 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 33.6%
hydro: 66%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.4% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 14.97 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 3.634 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports: 8.746 billion kWh (2005)
Oil - production: 27,190 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 99,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports: 40,930 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports: 109,800 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves: 69.14 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 1.477 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 2.58 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1.103 billion cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 27.16 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$3.836 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $12.11 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: transport equipment, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels
Exports - partners: Italy 23.1%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 12.7%, Germany 10.4%, Slovenia 8.3%, Austria 6.1% (2006)
Imports: $25.78 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery, transport and electrical equipment; chemicals, fuels and lubricants; foodstuffs
Imports - partners: Italy 16.7%, Germany 14.5%, Russia 9.7%, Slovenia 6.8%, Austria 5.4%, China 5.3% (2006)
Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $125.4 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $13.13 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $41.56 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $18.33 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $2.878 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $29.01 billion (2006)
Currency (code): kuna (HRK)
Currency code: HRK
Exchange rates: kuna per US dollar - 5.3735 (2007), 5.8625 (2006), 5.9473 (2005), 6.0358 (2004), 6.7035 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 1.832 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 4.47 million (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: the telecommunications network has improved steadily since the mid-1990s; the number of fixed telephone lines has increased to about 40 per 100 persons; virtually 100 mobile cellular telephones per 100 persons
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 (2007)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 16, FM 98, shortwave 5 (1999)
Radios: 1.51 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 36 (plus 321 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 1.22 million (1997)
Internet country code: .hr
Internet hosts: 261,954 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 9 (2000)
Internet users: 1.576 million (2006)
Transportation Airports: 68 (2007)
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 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 45
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 37 (2007)
Heliports: 2 (2007)
Pipelines: gas 1,556 km; oil 583 km (2007)
Railways: total: 2,726 km
standard gauge: 2,726 km 1.435-m gauge (1,199 km electrified) (2006)
Roadways: total: 28,436 km
paved: 28,436 km (includes 792 km of expressways) (2006)
Waterways: 785 km (2007)
Merchant marine: total: 75 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,165,409 GRT/1,867,160 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 21, cargo 12, chemical tanker 3, passenger/cargo 28, petroleum tanker 7, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 3
foreign-owned: 2 (Bermuda 2)
registered in other countries: 36 (Bahamas 1, Belize 1, Liberia 5, Malta 12, Marshall Islands 4, Panama 6, St Vincent and The Grenadines 7) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Omisalj, Ploce, Rijeka, Sibenik, Vukovar (on Danube)
Military 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), Air Force, Joint Education and Training Command, Logistics Command; Military Police Force supports each of the three Croatian military forces (2007)
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 professional military service by 2010 (2006)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 1,005,058
females age 18-49: 1,008,511 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 725,914
females age 18-49: 823,611 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 29,020
females age 18-49: 27,897 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.39% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: dispute remains with Bosnia and Herzegovina over several small disputed 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 un-ratified and in dispute; Slovenia also protests Croatia's 2003 claim to an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic; as a European Union peripheral state, neighboring Slovenia must conform to the strict Schengen border rules to curb illegal migration and commerce through southeastern Europe while encouraging close cross-border ties with Croatia
Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 4,200-7,000 (Croats and Serbs displaced in 1992-95 war) (2006)
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