The Republic of Croatia is a Central European nation with a population of around 4 million people. Due to the slow population growth rates, Croatia has been open to immigrants from all over the world in an attempt to boost its population numbers. Immigrants in Croatia make up 10% of the total population. Some of the minority communities in Croatia include Slovaks, Serbs, Bosnians, Hungarians, Czechs, and Italians. The rights of most of these minority groups are recognized and protected by the Constitution of Croatia. Some of the minority languages spoken in Croatia include Serbian, Czech, Hungarian, Italian, Slovak, and Romani. The use of minority languages is allowed in an official capacity in the municipalities, as per the Constitution.

The official language of Croatia is Croatian, which is also the most popular language in the country. 95% of the population are Croatian native speakers. Latin was the official language of Croatia before the adoption of Croatian as the country’s official language in the 19th century. A blend of Serbian and Croatian named the Serbo-Croatian language, was used in Croatia from 1945 until 1991.

There are three main dialects of the Croatian language: Shtokavian, Kajkavian, and Chakavian. The language utilizes the Latin alphabet in its written form.

Aside from Croatian, there are also a number of minority languages spoken in Croatia, such as Serbian, Italian, and Czech. Serbian is mainly used by Serbs in Croatia. The two languages are closely related and very similar in nature. Serbian is taught in a few schools in Croatia, especially in the Osijek-Baranja County and the Vukovar-Srijem Country. Due to the violent past relations between the countries, Croatians have firmly rejected the use of Serbian as the official language through violent protests in 2013. However, in areas where Serbs form a third of the population, the right to use their native language for official purposes has been granted to Serbs living in these regions.

Italian is recognized as a minority language in the Croatian Constitution, with native speakers making up only 0.43% of all Croatian citizens. Istria County is home to the largest group of native Italian speakers, where they comprise around 6% of the total population. In Istria, Italian and Croatian are both used as the official languages, with Italian being taught in some schools. There is also an Italian newspaper called “La Voce del Popolo” which is published daily.

The population of Czechs in Croatia is a little over 6,000. They are predominantly found in the Bjelovar-Bilogora County. Czech use their language for official purposes alongside Croatian.

Minority languages in Croatia are protected by law, which brings diversity, unity and harmony among different ethnic groups within the country.


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