Since the 19th century, Croatia has had comprehensive experience under different constitutional constructions and territorial demarcations with migration, asylum and displacement. To be emphasized are the overseas migration in the 19th century, the increasing migration in the direction of the northern and western European states in the early 20th century, the subsequent inclusion in the system of the European recruitment migration in the second half of the 20th century as well as the various migration and refugee flows connected to the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s. Croatia can be equally described as a land of emigration, immigration, transit, and remigration as well as a country of both origin and destination for asylum seekers and displaced persons.
Official language: Croatian in Latin script
Area: 56,594 km²
Population (mid 2011): 4,403,000
Population density: 77.8 inhabitants/km²
Natural population growth rate (2011): -2.2%
Foreign population: 0.59%
Working population (2011): 1,724,000, of which 1,492,000 are employed and 232,000 are unemployed
Unemployment rate (November 2012): 17.3%
Religions (2011): Catholic 86.3%, Orthodox 4.4%, Muslim 1.5%, Atheist 3.8%, other 1.5%, not specified 2.7%*
* All data is from publications by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics. Differences between various publications by the office are possible. I thank Vera Hanewinkel and Jochen Oltmer for corrections and inquiries which hopefully have led to clarification and Karolina Novinšćak and the staff at UNHCR in Zagreb for their quick and profound information.
In comparison with the past, at times, turbulent migrations, current migration activities represent themselves in absolute and relative numbers as rather insignificant. To understand the development until today and the current migration phenomena as well as to perhaps predict future developments, three different migratory phenomena must be differentiated between: First to be mentioned are those migration movements that stand in connection with the former Yugoslavia and the then recruitment of labor migrants to the western and northern European states