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Country of Croatia Flag

Capital: Zagreb

Population: 4,130,304

Brief History of Croatia:

The people of Croatia are called Croats. The first Croats settled in the area that is today called Croatia around 500 AD. They ruled themselves for many years, but decided to become part of the Hungarian Empire in 1091 through an agreement called the Pacta Conventa. When the Ottoman Empire began to expand in the 15th century, they became concerned they would be taken over by the Ottomans. So they asked Archduke Ferdinand if they could join the Austrian Habsburg Empire.

In 1868 Croatia again went under the rule of Hungary. This lasted until WWI when they became part of Yugoslavia. WWII brought terrible hardships on the country under German and Italian rule. When the war was over, Marshal Tito led the communist party to control over the country of Yugoslavia.

In the early 1990s, communism collapsed throughout eastern Europe. Yugoslavia became a place of much turmoil as different ethnic groups began to fight for power and independence. Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia and civil war erupted. War raged for many years between the Croatians and the Serbians. In December 1995, the Dayton peace agreement was signed bringing some peace to the area at last.

Country of Croatia Map

The Geography of Croatia

Total Size: 56,542 square km

Size Comparison: slightly smaller than West Virginia

Geographical Coordinates: 45 10 N, 15 30 E

World Region or Continent: Europe

General Terrain: geographically diverse; flat plains along Hungarian border, low mountains and highlands near Adriatic coastline and islands

Geographical Low Point: Adriatic Sea 0 m

Geographical High Point: Dinara 1,830 m

Climate: Mediterranean and continental; continental climate predominant with hot summers and cold winters; mild winters, dry summers along coast

Major cities: ZAGREB (capital) 685,000 (2009), Split, Rijeka

The People of Croatia

Type of Government: presidential/parliamentary democracy

Languages Spoken: Croatian 96.1%, Serbian 1%, other and undesignated 2.9% (including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German) (2001 census)

Independence: 25 June 1991 (from Yugoslavia)

National Holiday: Independence Day, 8 October (1991); note - 25 June 1991 is 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

Nationality: Croat(s), Croatian(s)

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)

National Symbol: red-white checkerboard

National Anthem or Song: Lijepa nasa domovino (Our Beautiful Homeland)

Economy of Croatia

Major 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

Agricultural Products: wheat, corn, sugar beets, sunflower seed, barley, alfalfa, clover, olives, citrus, grapes, soybeans, potatoes; livestock, dairy products

Natural Resources: oil, some coal, bauxite, low-grade iron ore, calcium, gypsum, natural asphalt, silica, mica, clays, salt, hydropower

Major Exports: transport equipment, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels

Major Imports: machinery, transport and electrical equipment; chemicals, fuels and lubricants; foodstuffs

Currency: kuna (HRK)

National GDP: $79,300,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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