Croatia country profile27 August 2006
by eub2 -- last modified 15 August 2012
Croatia became an independent state in 1991 as part of the break-up of former Yugoslavia. Croatia is a candidate to become a member state of the European Union.
Croatia became an independent state in 1991 as part of the break-up of former Yugoslavia. The Zagorje region, north of the capital Zagreb, is a land of rolling hills, while the fertile agricultural region of the Pannonian Plain is bordered by the Drava, Danube, and Sava rivers in the east. Over one third of Croatia is forested.The Croatian Parliament (the Sabor) is a single-chamber legislative body made up of 160 members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. Croatia has an economy based mainly on light industry and services. Tourism is a notable source of income. The best known feature of Croatia is the Dalmatian coast with its hundreds of islands and the historic cities of Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar.
Six World Heritage sites and eight national parks bear witness to Croatia’s immense cultural wealth. The richness of Croatia’s culture reflects in its sometimes turbulent history first as part of the Roman empire and then as a frontier region on the border between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.
Croatian cooking features dishes like grilled meat, Dalmatian smoked ham, salted pilchards, sheep's cheese and paprika-flavoured salami. Croatia is also known for its wines, which are the result of an ancient wine-growing tradition.
Official name: Republic of Croatia
Area (km2): 56 542
Population: 4.48 million (estimate for July 2012)
National holiday: 25 June
Head of state: President Ivo Josipovic, since February 2010
Head of government:Prime Minister Zoran MIlanovic, since December 2011
GDP (millions €): 47 364.8 (2008); 47 195.0 (forecast for 2009)
GDP per capita in PPS: 15 800 (2008); 15 200 (forecast for 2009)
Real growth rate of GDP: 0% (2011); -1.2% (forecast for 2010)
Unemployment rate: 17.7% (2011 est.)
National debt as % of GDP: 43.9% (2011 est.)
Inflation: 2.1% (2011 est.)
Public deficit/surplus as % of GDP: 6% (2011 est.)
Main export markets: Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany
Main exports: Textiles, machinery, electronics, iron and steel
Main source of imports: Italy, Germany
Main imports: Automobiles, machinery, textiles, chemical products
Major economic sectors: Manufacturing industry (esp. pharmaceuticals), energy, financial services, property, trade, logistics and transport services, construction, agriculture and tourism, environmental technologies
Source: European Commission, Spanish EU Presidency