Ivan Meštrović, Fountain of Life, a sculpture in front of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. Life expectancy in Croatia is 80 years for women and 73 years for men.

The most popular sports in Croatia are football, basketball, handball and water polo. According to the FIFA rankings in June 2013, the Croatian football team ranks 4th in the world, behind Spain, Germany and Argentina.

Ivo Pogorelić (1958) has become prominent due to his expressly personal style of interpretation of the pianist’s standard repertoire. Pogorelić is the first artist named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador (1988).

Kornati National Park (1980), south of Šibenik and Zadar, encompasses an archipelago of about one hundred islands and islets. Enchanted by the beauty of its landscape, the Nobel laureate George Bernard Shaw wrote: 'On the last day of the Creation, God desired to crown His work and thus created Kornati Islands out of tears, stars and breath'.

The Baška Tablet, one of the earliest preserved written monuments in Croatian, dated about 1100. This white limestone tablet, which measures 199 x 99.5 x 9 cm, contains the first mention of the word Croatia in Croatian – in the title given to Zvonimir, 'king of the Croats'.

Demographic picture

With a population density of 76 per km², Croatia is one of the more sparsely populated European countries, along with Norway, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland and Bulgaria. In the last 150 years, several factors have influenced population ...

Economic transition

The Croatian economy is one of the strongest in Southeast Europe, and in terms of its GDP is even stronger that the economies of some members of the European Union. After the collapse of the socialist system, it underwent transition to an open market ...

Counties

The basic units of regional self-government are the counties (županija in Croatian). The present administrative territorial division of the country was introduced in 1997, when the 1992 division was changed. Smaller administrative territorial units within counties ...

Branches of the economy

Croatia does not have large quantities of mineral resources. Coal and other mines (bauxite) were closed in the 1970s and 1980s. There are significant sources of non-metal minerals, which are used as raw materials ...

Ancient times and the early Christian period

Thanks to trade routes and communications, the ancient peoples of the Bronze and Iron Ages living in the land which is present-day Croatia were in touch with the artistic output of the Greek and Etruscans ...

The Prehistoric period

The earliest traces of human presence on Croatian soil date back to the Palaeolithic Age. In Šandalja Cave near Pula, and in Punikve near Ivanec, flints made by pre-Neanderthal people have been found, while the remains of Neanderthal prehistoric ...

Science

Scientific activities in Croatia are carried out in universities and their component departments, by the scientific institutes, as well as by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 2010, over 11,000 scientists and researchers were employed in 234 scientific ...

Croatia in brief

Croatia has been present on the contemporary international political stage since its independence from the Yugoslav Federation, i.e. for a little over two decades, but in terms of history and culture, is one of the oldest European countries ...