Area: 56,542 sq. km. land area (slightly smaller than West Virginia), 31,067 sq. km. coastal sea area.
Major cities (2011): Capital–Zagreb (792,875). Others–Split (178,192), Rijeka (128,735), Osijek (107,784).
Terrain: Croatia is situated between Central and Eastern Europe. Its terrain is diverse, containing rocky coastlines, densely wooded mountains, plains, lakes, and rolling hills.
Climate: Croatia has a mixture of climates. In the north it is continental, Mediterranean along the coast, and a semi-highland and highland climate in the central region.
Croatia serves as a gateway to Eastern Europe. It lies along the east coast of the Adriatic Sea and shares a border with Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, and Slovenia. The country has a distinct boomerang shape, arching from the Pannonian Plains of Slavonia between the Sava, Drava, and Danube Rivers, across hilly, central Croatia to the Istrian Peninsula, then south through Dalmatia along the rugged Adriatic coast. Croatia is made up of 20 counties plus the city of Zagreb and controls 1,185 islands in the Adriatic Sea, 67 of which are inhabited.
Population (2011 census, partial results): 4,290,612.
Population growth rate (2009 est.): -0.12%.
Ethnic groups (2001 census): Croat 89.6%, Serb 4.5%, other 5.9% (including Bosniak, Hungarian, Slovene, Czech, and Roma).
Religions: Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, Slavic Muslim 1.28%, others 6.52%.
Language: Croatian (South Slavic language, using the Roman script).
Health (2009 est.): Life expectancy–male 72.3 years; female 79.2 years. Infant mortality rate–5.58 deaths/1,000 live births.
Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Constitution: Adopted December 22, 1990; last amended June 16, 2010.
Independence (from Yugoslavia): June 25, 1991.
Branches: Executive–president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet of ministers. Legislative–unicameral Parliament or Sabor. Judicial–three-tiered system.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Political parties (per number of representatives in Parliament): Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP), Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Croatian People’s Party-Liberal Democrats (HNS), Croatian Laborites (HL), Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja (HDSSB), Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), Croatian Party of Citizens (HGS), Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), Croatian Party of Rights “Ante Starcevic” (HSP-AS).
Economy: (Croatian National Bank, December 2011)
GDP (2010): $60.8 billion.
GDP per capita: $13,700.
Real GDP growth (2011): 0.7%.
Inflation rate (2011): 2.1%.
Unemployment rate (average for 2011): 17.9%.
Natural resources: Oil, bauxite, low-grade iron ore, calcium, natural asphalt, mica, clays, salt, and hydropower.
Important telephone numbers:
International dialling prefix for Croatia: +385
GMT plus one hour in winter and GMT plus two in summer. (April – October)