By:
Mabel Fatokun

Where Exactly Is Croatia – Russia or Europe?

Croatia

  • 3,993,212
  • 56,594 km²
Croatia

Croatia is situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Italy. Its capital, Zagreb, is one of its primary subdivisions, with twenty counties and major urban centres like Split, Rijeka, and Osijek.

The country spans 56,594 square kilometres and has a population of nearly 3.9 million.

Croatia is ranked 40th on the Human Development Index, making it a developed nation with a high-income economy. The industrial, agricultural, and service sectors dominate the economy.

Every year, around 20 million people travel for tourism. Croatia has made significant investments in infrastructure throughout the 2000s, especially in facilities and transport connections along Pan-European corridors. Through its floating natural gas import terminal, the nation has also emerged as a pioneer in the region’s energy sector, helping to diversify Europe’s energy supply. In addition to providing free public education, universal healthcare, and social security, Croatia also invests in public institutions and cultural initiatives.

Croatia declared independence on 25 June 1991. However, the full implementation of the declaration only came into effect after a three-month moratorium on the decision on 8 October 1991.

Climate

According to the Köppen climate classification, the majority of Croatia has a continental climate that is both moderately warm and rainy. January’s mean monthly temperature is −3 °C (27 °F), while July’s mean temperature is 18 °C (64 °F). Lika and Gorski Kotar, which have a snowy, wooded climate at elevations exceeding 1,200 metres (3,900 feet), are the coldest regions of the nation. Because the sea moderates temperature highs, the warmest places are along the Adriatic coast, particularly in its immediate hinterland, which has a Mediterranean climate. As a result, in continental regions, temperature peaks are more noticeable.

Croatia, with 37,000 known species, is home to 50,000-100,000 endemic species, with 1,131 protected by legislation. However, habitat loss, degradation, and invasive alien species pose significant threats, ranking Croatia 113th out of 172 countries.

Government

The Republic of Croatia is a constitutional state with a parliamentary system, legislative, executive, and judiciary powers. The president is the head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces and influences foreign policy. The prime minister heads the government, with 16 ministers responsible for specific sectors.

Foreign Relations

Croatia maintains diplomatic ties with 194 nations, with the support of 30 consulates, 57 embassies, and 8 permanent missions. International organisations such as the EBRD, IOM, OSCE, WHO, ICTY, UNDP, UNHCR, and UNICEF also have offices there.

Economy

Croatia’s economy is classified as high-income. According to IMF projections, Croatia’s nominal GDP was expected to reach $67,84 billion, or $17.398 per person, in 2021, while its purchasing power parity GDP was estimated to be $132,88 billion, or $32.942 per person. According to Eurostat, Croatia’s GDP per person in PPS was 65% of the EU average in 2019.

In 2022, real GDP growth was 6.2%. In October 2019, the average monthly gross compensation for a worker in Croatia was 8,813 HRK (about 1,185 EUR), while the average monthly net salary was 6,496 HRK (about 873 EUR). The unemployment rate decreased from 9.6% in December 2018 to 7.2% in July 2019. There were 106.703 unemployed people.

From 1996 to 2018, the unemployment rate averaged 17.38%; it peaked in January 2002 at 23.60% and fell to a record low of 8.40% in September 2018.[211] The service sector accounted for 70.1% of GDP in 2017, followed by the industrial sector with 26.2% and agriculture with 3.7% of GDP.[212]

1.9% of workers were employed in agriculture in 2017, the industry used 27.3%, and services accounted for 70.8% of all employment.[212] The shipbuilding, food processing, pharmaceutical, information technology, biochemical, and lumber industries dominate the industrial sector. Croatian imports totalled 176 billion kunas (€23.82 billion) in 2018, while exports were valued at 108 billion kunas (€14.61 billion). The remainder of the European Union, led by Germany, Italy, and Slovenia, was Croatia’s biggest commercial partner.

Tourism

The World Tourism Organisation listed Croatia as the 23rd most popular travel destination worldwide 2019. Of these tourists—more than a million come here annually—roughly 15% engage in naturism, a sport for which Croatia is renowned. It was the pioneer nation in Europe in establishing for-profit naturist resorts.

Croatia ranked highest globally for solo travel in 2023 according to luggage storage business Bounce (7.58), and it was listed among the most popular honeymoon destinations in 2023. Research on wedding trends was published in collaboration with Pinterest and Zola.

Languages

  • The Republic of Croatia’s official language is Croatian.
  • In local government units where national minorities make up more than one-third of the population or if local enabling legislation is in effect, minority languages are officially used. Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Serbian, and Slovak are those languages.
  • Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, German, Hebrew, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Polish, Romanian, Istro-Romanian, Romani, Russian, Rusyn, Slovene, Turkish, and Ukrainian are among the other minority languages that are acknowledged.

Religion

There is no official religion in Croatia. A fundamental constitutional right, freedom of religion guarantees each religious community’s legal equality and autonomy from the state.

The Šibenik Cathedral has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 2000. Croatian Constitution, Article 41 Nineteen per cent of Croatians identify as Christians, according to the 2011 census; of them, Catholics make up the largest group, making up 86.28% of the population; Eastern Orthodoxy is next, at 4.44%, followed by Protestantism (0.34%), and other Christians (0.30%). Islam (1.47%) is the most popular religion after Christianity. 4.57% of people say they don’t practise any religion.

Healthcare

The foundations of Croatia’s universal health care system may be found in the Hungarian-Croatian Parliament Act of 1891, which mandated insurance for all artisans and factory workers. Mandatory insurance and an optional basic health plan are available to the populace. Annual spending on healthcare came to 22.2 billion kuna (about €3.0 billion) 2017. Just 0.6% of public and private health insurance revenues go towards healthcare costs. Approximately 6.6% of Croatia’s GDP was allocated to healthcare in 2017. With a life expectancy of 76.0 years for males and 82.0 years for women in 2020, Croatia was ranked 41st in the world. The infant mortality rate was also quite low, at 3.4 per 1,000 live births.

Croatia has hundreds of healthcare facilities, including 13 clinics with 23,049 beds and 75 hospitals. Over 700,000 patients are treated annually at the hospitals and clinics, employing 6,642 doctors, including 4,773 specialists.

Culture

Croatia is a fusion of four distinct cultural domains due to its physical location. Since the division of the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, as well as from Central Europe and Mediterranean culture, it has been at a crossroads of influences from the East and the West.
The 19th century saw extraordinary breakthroughs in all aspects of art and culture, giving rise to numerous historical characters and proving vital to the emancipation of Croatians; hence, the Illyrian movement was the most significant period of national cultural history.

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