Croatia (GPS: 45 10 N, 15 30 E) located in Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea, between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. The country’s area measurements are total: 56,594 sq km; land: 55,974 sq km, water: 620 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than West Virginia. The total irrigated land is 240 sq km (2012).
One of Croatia’s essential features: Controls most land routes from Western Europe to the Aegean Sea and Turkish Straits. Most Adriatic Sea islands lie off Croatia’s coast – some 1,200 islands, islets, ridges, and rocks.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Zagreb’s GPS coordinates are 45 48 N 16 00 E. Zagreb’s local time is 6 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+1, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
Today’s lands 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 consisting of six socialist republics under the strong hand of Marshal Josip Broz, aka TITO.
Although Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it took four years of sporadic, but often bitter, fighting before occupying Yugoslav forces, dominated by Serb officers, were mostly cleared from Croatian lands, along with a majority of Croatia’s ethnic Serb population. Under UN supervision, the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998. The country joined NATO in April 2009 and the EU in July 2013.
Croatia’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Croatia, traditional short form: Croatia, local long form: Republika Hrvatska, local short state: Hrvatska, former: The people’s Republic of Croatia, Socialist Republic of Croatia, etymology: name derives from the Croats, a Slavic tribe who migrated to the Balkans in the 7th century A.D. Name derives from the Croats, a Slavic tribe who migrated to the Balkans in the 7th century A.D.
Croatia’s terrain is typically geographically diverse; flat plains along the Hungarian border, low mountains, and highlands near Adriatic coastline and islands. The country’s mean elevation: 331 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the Adriatic Sea 0 m, highest point: Dinara 1,831 m.
The country’s general climate; Mediterranean and continental: continental climate predominant with hot summers and cold winters: mild winters, dry summers along coast.
The total number of border countries is 5, Bosnia and Herzegovina 956 km, Hungary 348 km, Montenegro 19 km, Serbia 314 km, Slovenia 600 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Croatia’s coastline is 5,835 km (mainland 1,777 km, islands 4,058 km), while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation. Waterways: 785 km (2009). Land use: agricultural land: 23.7%; arable land 16%; permanent crops 1.5%; permanent pasture 6.2%; forest: 34.4%; other: 41.9% (2011 estimate).
The population in Croatia 4,270,480 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 59% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: ZAGREB (capital) 687,000 (2015), while Croatia has more of the community lives in the northern half of the country, with approximately a quarter of the populace residing in and around the capital of Zagreb; many of the islands are sparsely populated. Their spoken languages are Croatian (official language) 95.6%, Serbian 1.2%, other 3% (including Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and Albanian), unspecified 0.2% (2011 estimate).
Main religions in Croatia are Roman Catholic 86.3%, Orthodox 4.4%, Muslim 1.5%, other 1.5%, unspecified 2.5%, not religious or atheist 3.8% (2011 estimate). The nation uses civil law system influenced by the legal heritage; note – Croatian law was fully harmonized with the European Community acquis as of the June 2010 completion of EU accession negotiations. It is a(n) parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 8 October (1991), and Statehood Day, 25 June (1991) Community to solve the Yugoslav crisis peacefully; parliament adopted a decision on 8 October 1991 to sever constitutional relations with Yugoslavia.
Economic overview for the country: Though still one of the wealthiest of the former Yugoslav republics, Croatia’s economy suffered badly during the 1991-95 war. During that time, the country’s output collapsed, and Croatia missed the early waves of investment in Central and Eastern Europe that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall. However, between 2000 and 2007, Croatia’s economic fortunes began to improve 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 remained tame and the currency, the kuna, stable. Croatia experienced an abrupt slowdown in the economy in 2008; Economic growth was stagnant or negative in each year between 2009 and 2014 but has picked up since the third quarter of 2014, ending 2017 with an average of 2.8% growth.
Challenges remain, including uneven regional development, a challenging investment climate, an inefficient judiciary, and loss of educated young professionals seeking higher salaries elsewhere in the EU. In 2016, Croatia revised its tax code to stimulate growth from domestic consumption and foreign investment. Income tax reduction began in 2017, and in 2018 various business costs were removed from income tax calculations. At the start of 2018, the government announced its economic reform plan, slated for implementation in 2019. Tourism is one of the main pillars of the Croatian economy, comprising 19.6% of Croatia’s GDP.
Croatia is working to become a regional energy hub. It is undertaking plans to open a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal by the end of 2019 or early in 2020 to import LNG for re-distribution in southeast Europe. Croatia joined the EU on July 1, 2013, following a decade-long accession process. Croatia has developed a plan for Eurozone accession, and the government projects Croatia will adopt the Euro by 2024. In 2017, the Croatian government decreased public debt to 78% of GDP, from an all-time high of 84% in 2014, and realized a 0.8% budget surplus – the first surplus since independence in 1991. The government has also sought to accelerate the privatization of non-strategic assets with mixed success. Croatia’s economic recovery is still somewhat fragile; Croatia’s largest private company narrowly avoided collapse in 2017, thanks to a capital infusion from an American investor. Restructuring is ongoing and projected to finish by mid-July 2018.
Natural resources of Croatia: oil, some coal, bauxite, low-grade iron ore, calcium, gypsum, natural asphalt, silica, mica, clays, salt, hydropower.
Main export partners for Croatia, Europe are Italy 13.4%, Slovenia 12.5%, Germany 11.4%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 9.9%, Austria 6.6%, Serbia 4.9% (2015) for transport equipment, machinery, textiles, chemicals, foodstuffs, fuels, while the main import partners for the country are: Germany 15.5%, Italy 13.1%, Slovenia 10.7%, Austria 9.2%, Hungary 7.8% (2015) for machinery, transport, and electrical equipment; chemicals, fuels, and lubricants; foodstuffs.
When you visit this country in Europe, consider that Croatia’s natural hazards are Destructive earthquakes, while infectious diseases are a degree of risk: intermediate vector-borne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2016). Also, note that Croatia faces the following environmental issues: Air pollution improving but still a concern in urban settings and emissions arriving from neighboring countries, Surface water pollution in the Danube River Basin.