The dominant population group is Croats. Part of the
Serbian people's group, which was previously the second
largest, was forced to leave the country following Croatia's
recapture of Slavonia and Krajina.
Countryaah data, the population density in Croatia is 72 residents per km
2, and the largest population concentration is in
a band from the Zagreb area and north. The most important
cities are Zagreb (694,000 residents, 2012), Split (175,700)
and Rijeka (144,300).
In Croatia, kaykavian, čakavian and štokavian dialects
are spoken by the South Slavic language, formerly called
Serbo-Croatian or Croatian Serbian and today sometimes
Central South Slavic. Serbo Croatian has four main dialects:
kaykavian, čakavian, štokavian and torlakic.
The official language is Croatian, which, like the
Serbian, Montenegrin and Bosnian standard languages, is
based on štokavian dialects. Languages recognized as
regional or minority languages according to the Council of
Europe's language statute are Italian, Hungarian, Ukrainian,
Russian (Rutinian), Czech, Slovak and Serbian. Croatian is
also recognized as a regional or minority language in
Serbia, Hungary and Romania, is one of the three official
languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and may be used
officially in Montenegro.
The Roman Catholics have historically been in the clear
majority. On their side, however, there have been minorities
of Orthodox, especially in the province of Slavonia, and
elements of Protestants.
In the 11th century, the church in Croatia was tied to
the papacy, following impulses from both Rome and
Constantinople during the 8th century. The celibacy of the
priests was carried out and the previously used Slavic
liturgy was suppressed in favor of Latin worship. During the
19th century, Bishop JJ Strossmayer (1815-1905) played a
crucial role in the Croatian Catholic identity. He
participated in the First Vatican Council in 1870 as a
leading opponent against the idea of papal infallibility.
Some Roman Catholic leaders supported the fascist regime
in Croatia during World War II, which contributed to the
tension with the later Yugoslav government and its
anti-religious policies under Tito. The Roman Catholic
Church is led by an archbishop in Zagreb.