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Croatia - Population and Languages


The population of Croatia in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 4,428,000, which placed it as number 115 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 13% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 20% of the population under 15 years of age.


There were 93 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is -0.19%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 4,275,000. The population density in 2002 was 76 per sq km (198 per sq mi).

It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 58% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001.

The capital city, Zagreb, had a population of 1,047,000 in that year. It is by far the largest city in the country.

Other cities include Split, 189,388; Rijeka, 167,964; and Osijek, 104,761. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was0.6%.

Serbo-Croatian is the native language and is used by 96% of the populace. Since 1991, Croats have insisted that their tongue (now called Croat) is distinctive.

The spoken language is basically the same, but Serbs use the Cyrillic alphabet and Croats the Roman alphabet.

The Croatian alphabet has the special consonants c, c ´ , š, z, dj, dz, and nj, representing sounds provided by the Cyrillic alphabet. The remaining 4% of the population speak various other languages, including Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German.