Croats of Serbia

Croats of Serbia
Croats of Serbia
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Vojvodina 56,546



Roman Catholicism

Related ethnic groups

Bunjevci, Šokci

Croats of Serbia or Serbian Croats (Croatian: Hrvati u Srbiji) are the recognized Croatian national minority in Serbia. They were recognized as national minority only in 2005. Due to various reasons only a fraction of Serbian Croats actually still live in their native homeland of Serbia. According to the 2002 census, there were 70,602 Croats in Serbia or 0.94% of the population. 56,546 of them live in Vojvodina and 14,056 in Central Serbia (of which most in Belgrade).



The number of Croats in Serbia was larger in the 1991 census, when they numbered 97,344 (around 1.24% of the total population of Serbia). However, the real number of Croats may have been smaller because the authorities counted those citizens who declared themselves Bunjevci or Šokci as "Croats". Today, most members of the Šokci community consider themselves Croats, while a smaller part of the Bunjevac population see themselves as members of the distinct Bunjevac nationality, while the majority sees themselves as Croats. Some individuals who had previously declared Croatian ethnicity declared themselves as Yugoslavs in the census; it is questionable whether they could be counted as Croats since Yugoslavs are recognized as a separate nationality.

The largest recorded number of Croats in a census was in 1961 when there were 196,409 Croats (including Bunjevci and Šokci) in the Socialist Republic of Serbia (around 2.57% of the total at the time).

Decrease in numbers

The decrease in the number of Croats in Serbia was caused by the Yugoslav wars, more specifically the 1991-1995 War in Croatia[1], when they were under pressure from the Serbian Radical Party[2][3] and Serb refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to move to Croatia. In that period, a transfer of population occurred between Croats from Serbia and Serbs from Croatia.[4][5] Based on an investigation by the Humanitarian Law Fund from Belgrade in the course of June, July, and August 1992, more than 10,000 Vojvodina Croats exchanged their property for the property of Serbs from Croatia, and that altogether about 20,000 of Croats left Vojvodina.[6] According to Petar Kuntić of Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina during the Yugoslav wars 50,000 Croats moved out from Serbia.[7][8] Another reason for the decrease of Croatian population are low birth rates among members of this ethnicity.[citation needed]

Census results

Number of Croats in Serbia according to various censuses:

  • 1948: 169,864 (2.60%)
  • 1953: 173,246 (2.48%)
  • 1961: 196,409 (2.57%)
  • 1971: 184,913 (2.19%)
  • 1981: 149,368 (1.60%)
  • 1991: 105,406 (1.08%) or (excluding the territory of Kosovo) 97,344 (1.24%)
  • 2002: (excluding the territory of Kosovo) 70,602 (0.94%)

Note: In the 1991 and 2002 census, Bunjevci were listed as separate a ethnicity, while Šokci were listed in the category "Others". Before that, they have declared themselves Croats. The number of people in Serbia who had declared themselves as members of the Bunjevac nationality was 20,012 in the 2002 census, while the number of declared Šokci was not given separately, but it is estimated between 1,000 and 2,000 people. From 1948 to 1991, the census results are given for the entire territory of Serbia, while the 2002 census results are given for the territory of Serbia that exclude Kosovo.

See also



External links

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