Croatia is one of the countries located in the Balkans that is hopeful of becoming a member of the European Union. The population of Croatia is 4.4 million, of which over 700,000 live in the capital, Zagreb. The population is expected to fall to 4.2 million by 2030, with the proportion of people over 65 expected to increase from 17% to 23% over the same period. The official language is Croatian and the dominant religion is Catholic. The Kuna is the official currency, worth approximately €0.13. The standard rate of VAT is 23%.

 Croatia                               Capital: Zagreb



4.4 million à 4.2 million (2030)

Proportion of people over 65 is 17% à 23% (2030)




Mostly Catholic

GDP / head (2010)

€ 10,400   (EU average: € 24,400)


Kuna (€0.13)



GDP growth (volume)



0.8% in 2012 (f)

1.2% in 2013 (f)

Unemployment rate

(Feb 2012)

14.2%   (EU average: 10.2%)

Inflation rate

2.2%   (EU average: 3.1%)


Figures relate to 2011, except where indicated.                                      Source: Eurostat, Searce (2012)


Croatia has a GDP per capita of €14,800, compared to the EU average of €24,400 in 2010. According to the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, the Croatian economy grew by 0.3% in 2011, and is expected to grow by 1% in 2012 (compared to the Eurozone average of 1.6%, and 0.2% respectively). The inflation rate was 2.3% in 2011, compared to 3% in the EU. The unemployment rate was 18.7%, compared to 9.8% in the EU as a whole in 2011.

Family, religion and national pride are unifying factors in Croatia, along with a great sense of humour. People tend to be very personable and are interested in the lives of the people they meet in business situations. They also tend to be direct and plain speaking, although meetings can be lengthy and do not always follow a set agenda.