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By Nenad N. Bach | Published  05/22/2003 | Companies | Unrated
(E) CROATIAmonthly


A Window To The Republic of Croatia


From as far back as the 1830’s the first wave of mass emigrations to the countries of the New World occurred, which mainly saw the Croatian population fit into the context of European migration flows of the time. There were many reasons why Croatians emigrated to foreign countries: economic underdevelopment, political reasons and for reasons of adventure and exploration. But for the majority of people who left their homes at the time the main reason was the economic situation. The most striking example of this was the so-called “Wine Clause,” stipulated in an 1891 trade agreement between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Italy, which was particularly unfavorable to Dalmatian viticulture. The Wine Clause allowed the import of cheap Italian wines under very favorable conditions. The Dalmatian wine industry was heavily affected by this resolution by the Viennese authorities, which reduced its market in Croatia itself. The agreement lasted decades and was not revised for some time.
Political conditions as the main motive of emigration was the result of the First World War and became much more significant immediately after World War II, when hundreds of thousands emigrated for fear of retaliation and the suppression of democracy by the Yugoslav authorities. The emigrants were mostly men from rural areas, young and without professional qualifications. In general it is safe to say that they performed the hardest and the most dangerous physicallabor in the countries they moved to. So-called chain emigration results in compact groups of emigrants, often related by family connections, place of emigration, region, etc. Thus, many emigrants from Dubrovnik have large communities in California, Peru, emigrants from the island of Hvar in Argentina, emigrants from Korcula in Brazil, emigrants from the Lika region in the American Midwest, emigrants from Makarska in New Zealand and Dalmatians in Australia.
The most recent research conducted can’t conclusively reveal how many Croatians have left their country and how many currently live abroad. It is estimated, from a combination of sources, that there are over 1.5 million Croatians who have emigrated and taken up permanent residence in one of the destination countries. Together with descendents, the number of Croatians that live in overseas countries can be estimated at 2.5 million. 
It should be noted that after the Homeland War of the last decade, large migrations from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina have changed the ethnic aspect of that country. Today within Bosnia and Herzegovina there are an estimated 450,000 Croatians who are registered in BiH out of a totalpopulation of 2.5 million.

Croatians in Africa
With the exception of the Republic of South Africa there are no Croatian communities on the African continent. Over 13,000 Croatians live in South Africa today. The largest wave of emigrants which found its way to this region was the result of the Second World War.

Croatians in Australia
The Croatian community in Australia is very vivid and is supported through the multicultural attachment of the country. Australia has very large Italian and Greek populations and, according to some studies, the third largest group of descendents residing in Australia are from Croatia. It is estimated that 350,000 Croatian immigrants and descendants live in this country.

Croatians in Argentina
The new generation of Croatians in Argentina is constantly decreasing, and the wave of emigrants post second world war generation is estimated at 130,000.

Croatians in Austria
The Croatian minority in Austria (Gradisce-Burgenland) has an estimated 60,000 inhabitants, where over 15,000 live in Vienna. They have a highly developed ethnic consciousness, especially in the cultural aspect, and they strongly resist a loss of ethnic identity.

Croatians in Belgium
An estimated 12,000 Croatians live in Belgium. In addition to the older generation of emigrants (and today their descendents) who arrived in Belgium before and between the two world wars, the new, post-war emigrants make up most of the Croatian minority.

Croatians in Bolivia
About 1,200 Croatians live in this country which is today unfavorable to potential immigration due to poor standards. The majority of Croatians in Bolivia come from the Dalmatian region of Croatia.

Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina
782,068 Croatians used to live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, making up 17.4% of the total population. The decrease in this number is very distinctive and can be classified in the category of ethnic cleansing of the territory. Today the majority of Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina live in Western Herzegovina, Posavina and Central Bosnia. Last year official estimates revealed that 450,000 Croatians are registered inBiH.

Croatians in Brazil
It is estimated that 80,000 Croatians live in Brazil. Unlike other Southern American countries in which the number of Croatians has stagnated or dropped after the war, Brazil is one of the few countries where the number of Croatian immigrants is constantly on the rise.

Croatians in Canada
There are about 400,000 Croatians in Canada today. The largest number of Croatians live in the province of Ontario. There are three waves of Croatianemigrants in this country; the first wave started arriving from the late 1800’s. The second group came after the Second World War and the most recent emigration wave was the direct result of the Homeland War.

Croatians in Chile
Due to the global economic crisis and a shortage of profitable reserves of saltpeter, Chile has had difficulties in keeping up with the economic trends of the developed western world. This has caused a decrease of Croatians living in Chile and it has had a direct effect of the dynamics of their immigration. There are 25,000 Croatians living in Chile today.

Croatians in the Czech Republic and Slovakia
The Croatian communities in these countries are scattered among seven villages in Bohemia (Moravia) and seven villages in Slovakia (around Bratislava). Most of them live in Slovakia(Devinsko Selo, Hrvatski Grob, etc.). The number of indigenous Croatians in these countries is constantly decreasing. It is estimated that 6,000 Croatians reside in these countries today.

Croatians in Denmark
Until the conclusion of World War II, it was recorded that no Croatians lived in this country. Today, over 2,000 Croatians live in Denmark, half of whom reside in Copenhagen.

Croatians in France
About 40,000 Croatians live in France today. Most came to France after the 1960’s, when the Communist regime opened the borders.

Croatians in Germany
Germany is home to the largest Croatian community in western Europe. There are 193,000 permanent emigrants and another 230,000 working status Croatian emigrants.

Croatians in Holland
About 40,000 Croatians live in the Netherlands today. Most arrived after the 1960’s, when the Communist regime opened the borders.

Croatians in Hungary
Hungary and Croatia have a rich tradition and this can be seen mostly in the communities around Pecs and in Budapest. Over 73,000 Croatians live in Hungary today.

Croatians in Italy
At least, 33,000 Croatians live in Italy. The Croatian community in Abruzzi (Molise Croatians), in the village Acquaviva (the living water) and its surroundings maintains Croatian traditions, and the older residents even preserve their local dialect.

Croatians in Latin America
There are about 30,000 Croatians who found there way to this part of the world. Most were economic and political post-war emigrants.

Croatians in Luxembourg
There are currently 1,200 Croatian emigrants registered in Luxembourg.

Croatians in Macedonia
Estimates reveal a Croatian population of 3,400 currently living in Macedonia.

Croatians in New Zealand
About 19,000 Croatians live in New Zealand. In addition to a limited number of post-war immigrants, the number primarily refers to thedescendants of previous immigrants from the Makarska littoral area and the Zagora region that gravitates towards it(Vrgovac), together with natives of Korcula and Peljesac who began to immigrate to this country in the second half of the 19th century.

Croatians in Romania
A portion of the Croatians who emigrated to the Banat long ago found themselves within the borders of Romania after World War I. In the Caras-Severin district around Rasice(Resita), there are about a dozen Croatian villages where the majority of Croatians live. It is estimated that 12,000 Croatians live in Romania.

Croatians in Slovenia
About 55,000 inhabitants of Croatian nationality live in the Republic of Slovenia, making up about 3% of the total Slovenian population.

Croatians in Serbia
Croatians in Vojvodina are a part of the indigenous population that has lived there for 300 or more years. There are 83,000 Croatians inVojvodina, making up 3.8%, 22,000 Bunjevci Croatians making up 1.1% and another 1,865 Sokci Croatians, making up 0.9% of the totalpopulation inVojvodina. Some estimates indicate that there are 110,000 Croatians in Vojvodina, but this still means that their number is in continuous decline. Another 8,178 Croatians lived inKosovo, but their number has drastically decreased over the last decade.

Croatians in Sweden
Besides Germany, this is one of the traditional destinations of Croatian labor migration. Today, most people belong to the category of permanent emigrants. A significant number of Croatians live inMalmo, Goteborg and Stockholm. It is estimated that 35,000 Croatians live in Sweden.

Croatians in Switzerland
The majority of Croatians live in the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland. It is estimated that over 41,000 Croatians live in Switzerland.

Croatians in the United States of America
The United States is the leading immigration destination for Croatian immigrants. It is estimated that over 600,000 Croatians moved to this country and an additional 250,000 Croatians moved to this country after the Homeland War. The USA is home to more than 1.5 million Croatian descendents.

A Window To The Republic of Croatia! CROATIAmonthly

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