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Facts about Croatia for Kids


Croatia is a sovereign state at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Its capital city is Zagreb, which forms one of the country’s primary subdivisions, along with its twenty counties. Croatia covers 21,851 square miles and has diverse, mostly continental and Mediterranean climates.

  • The country’s population is 4.28 million, most of whom are Croats, with the most common religious denomination being Roman Catholicism.
  • The Croats arrived in the area of present-day Croatia during the early part of the 7th century AD.
  • Tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom.
  • The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Peter Krešimir IV and Dmitar Zvonimir.
  • In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne.
  • In 1918, after World War I, Croatia was included in the unrecognised State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs which seceded from Austria-Hungary and merged into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
  • The Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully during the four years following the declaration.
  • Croatia is a member of the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean.
  • Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors.
  • Much later, the region was settled by Liburnians and Illyrians, while the first Greek colonies were established on the islands of Korčula, Hvar and Vis.
  • In response the Royal Navy started the blockade of the Adriatic Sea leading to the Battle of Vis in 1811.
  • The 1921 constitution defining the country as a unitary state and abolition of historical administrative divisions effectively ended Croatian autonomy.
  • Croatia is located in Central and Southeast Europe, bordering Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the southeast, Montenegro to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest and Slovenia to the northwest.
  • The territory covers 21,851 square miles, consisting of 21,782 square miles of land and 49 square miles of water.
  • The strict and special reserves, as well as the national and nature parks, are managed and protected by the central government, while other protected areas are managed by counties.
  • As of 2005 military spending was an estimated 2.39% of the country’s GDP, which placed Croatia 64th in a ranking of all countries.
  • Croatian athletes won 13 gold medals at world championships, including two in athletics at the World Championships in Athletics held in 2007 and 2009, one in handball at the 2003 World Men’s Handball Championship, one in water polo at the 2007 World Aquatics Championships, one in rowing at the 2010 World Rowing Championships, six in alpine skiing at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships held in 2003 and 2005 and two at the World Taekwondo Championships in 2011 and 2007.