Croatian emigrants in European countries and overseas and their descendants
Based on the estimates of Croatian diplomatic Missions and consular offices, Croatian Catholic Missions, as well as the census taken in the countries where Croatian emigrants and their descendants live, and also based on the estimates of Croatian communities in some of those countries, it is considered that approximately 3,200,000 Croatian emigrants and their descendants are residing outside the Republic of Croatia and worldwide.
Based on the estimates made by individual countries around the world, the number of Croats and their descendants is as follows:
Argentina: around 250,000
Australia: around 250,000
Austria: around 90,000
Belgium: around 7,000
Brazil: around 70,000
Bolivia: around 5,000
Chile: around 200,000
Denmark: around 2,500
Ecuador: around 4,000
France: around 40,000
Ireland: around 20,000
Italy: around 60,000
South Africa: around 8,000
Canada: around 250,000
Luxembourg: around 3,000
Holland: around 10,000
Norway: around 2,000
New Zealand: around 100,000
Germany: around 500,000
Paraguay: around 5,000
Peru: around 6,000
United States of America: around 1,200,000
Sweden: around 40,000
Switzerland: around 80,000
Uruguay: around 5,000
Great Britain: around 5,000
Venezuela: around 5,000
Traditionally, Croatia is the country of emigration. Several periods need to be singled out when migration waves occurred:
From 1880-until World War 1: United States of America, Latin America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand
From 1918 – until World War 2: Germany, France, Belgium
At the end and immediately after World War 2: Argentina and other countries in Latin America and North America
After 1965: Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Canada
After 1990s: Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand
Croats kept emigrating both for economic and political reasons. The older generations of Croatian people abroad, primarily “economic emigrants”, still show an interest in the events in the homeland, while the younger generations have already been assimilated, but are still interested in their Croatian roots.
A particular group of Croatian emigrants consists of "economic emigrants" which emigrated in the 1960s and mostly live in Western European countries. Some of them are well integrated into their country of domicile (especially the younger Croats). Others still consider themselves to be temporary emigrants and want to return to Croatia.
The largest number of political emigrants moved to South and North America after the Second World War.
Croatian emigrants during the 1990s were mostly refugees from the war-torn areas as a consequence of Greater Serbian aggression against the Republic of Croatia. Most emigrants in this period moved to Western European countries and overseas – to the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Some of them have returned to Croatia since then.
The wish to maintain links with their homeland is common to all Croatian emigrants, both to those who live overseas and those who live in the vicinity of their homeland. Our main goal is to preserve the identity of Croatian emigrants, irrespective of the time and reason of their emigration, their level of education and the general profile of Croatian emigrants.