In 1990 Croatia was, with Slovenia and the Czech Republic, among the most developed Central European transition countries. However, its economic development was burdened by significant war damage, estimated at $37.1 billion, which made its transition to a market economy more difficult. The level of pre-war GDP (1990) was only reached again in 2004, and today’s GDP per capita amounts to 61% of the EU average (2012). The kuna, the national currency, was introduced in 1994.

Ivan Meštrović, Fountain of Life, a sculpture in front of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. Life expectancy in Croatia is 80 years for women and 73 years for men.

The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts is the oldest in Southeast Europe (1866) and has up to 160 full members (academicians) in its 9 departments. It also encompasses several scientific-research and art institutes, as well as numerous scientific boards and councils.

The Croats put the Glagolitic script into print in the very earliest period of European printing, in the 15th century, and five incunabula were printed in Glagolitic. The incunabulum, Glagolitic Missal, was published on 22 February 1483, in Croatian Church Slavonic, only 28 years after Gutenberg’s Bible. It is the first ever missal in Europe to have been printed in a non-Latin script, and the perfection of the letters and the beauty of the typesetting and printing make it an absolute masterpiece of the printer’s art.

Rožanski and Hajdučki Kukovi Strict Reserve, part of the North Velebit National Park. The Velebit massif, spanning 145 km, is the longest mountain in Croatia and the fourth highest, culminating at 1,757 m, after Dinara (1831 m), Kamešnica (1809 m) and Biokovo (1762 m).

Emergence of Croatia

The first Slavic tribes arrived in the area which is modern-day Croatia in the 6th and 7th centuries, during the Migration Period. Among them were the Croats, who are mentioned in sources in connection with a wider area, but were ethnically most ...

Development of the state

The names Croat and Croatia in the country as it is today have gradually superseded the ethnically wider concept of the Slavs and their first territorial groupings, Sklavonija, Slovinje (Sclaviniae), and the individual ...

Demographic picture

With a population density of 76 per km², Croatia is one of the more sparsely populated European countries, along with Norway, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland and Bulgaria. In the last 150 years, several factors have influenced population ...

Science

Scientific activities in Croatia are carried out in universities and their component departments, by the scientific institutes, as well as by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2010, over 11,000 scientists and researchers were employed in 234 scientific ...

Regions

The region of modern Croatia covers a large number of historical and geographical regions of different origins and size. These reflect the political fragmentation of the Croatian lands in the past, and partly also the position of Croatia at the meeting-point ...

Tourism

Although in terms of the number of tourist arrivals, Croatia cannot compare with major tourism powers such as France, Spain, Italy or Greece, with 11.8 million tourist arrivals in 2012 and a trend of increasing numbers for many years Croatia has certainly ...

Economic transition

The Croatian economy is one of the strongest in Southeast Europe, and in terms of its GDP is even stronger that the economies of some members of the European Union. After the collapse of the socialist system, it underwent transition to an open market ...

Croatia in brief

Croatia has been present on the contemporary international political stage since its independence from the Yugoslav Federation, i.e. for a little over two decades, but in terms of history and culture, is one of the oldest European countries ...