Croatia is a country located mostly in the Balkan peninsula along the Adriatic Sea. With around 4.5 million people, it is populated by Croats and a large Serbian minority. The people of Croatia are predominantly Christian and Muslim, and have been plagued by war and conquests for much of their history. The country was settled by Croats in the seventh century, was a part of Yugoslavia for most of the 1900s, and declared its independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, after the fall of the Communist Soviet Union.
Bordered by Hungary and Serbia to the north, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Croatia features a full border with the Adriatic Sea on its west. With an area of 21,851 square miles (56,594 sq km), the country is traversed by the Dinaric Alps, and is comprised of three regions: Croatia-Slavonia, Dalmatia, and Istria. The country features many important seaports on its Western coast, two prominent rivers, the Sava and the Drava, and allows easy access to the Mediterranean Sea and the Italian coast.
Ninety percent of the population of Croatia is Roman Catholic, with an official language of Croatian and a parliamentary republic government. The country is ran by a president, a prime minister, and a president of parliament. For its economy, Croatia relies on the service industry, most notably shipbuilding, food processing, and the chemicals. The agriculture of the country features wheat, grains, seeds, and fruits, and lumber is also prominent as much of the country is blanketed in forests.
Croatia was founded by its native Croats in the early part of the seventh century, and became a medieval duchy in the year 852, before being recognized by the Roman Catholic Pope in 879. The country was elevated to a kingdom in 925 and united with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, after the Battle of Mohacs, Croatia was joined with the Habsburg Empire of Hungary in a common defense union, where they remained until gaining independence from Austria-Hungary after World War I in 1918.
After 1918, Croatia became a part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1991, though, the country held its first democratic elections and in doing so freed themselves of the rule of the former Yugoslav states, and officially became the Republic of Croatia. For the next four years, the Croatian War of Independence ravaged the country as Croats fought Serbs living in the country, killing many of their population and forcing many others to flee the country. Since, Croatia has been recognized by both the United Nations and the European Union.