Canada's wealth and stability allow it to welcome people from other countries who come here to make a new home. Newcomers from Croatia bring many talents and skills to Canada, as well as the hope of contributing to their new country. You may be reading this profile because you are a volunteer in an organized HOST Program, in which you have the opportunity to meet new immigrants from Croatia and introduce them to life in Canada. You may have Croatian colleagues at your workplace or Croatian students at your school. Whatever your source of interest, this profile will help you learn something about Croatia and the people who live there.

Due to the difficult conditions imposed on Croatia by various oppressive and invading powers, some four million Croatians have left their homeland over the years. Many emigrated to Canada, particularly after the two World Wars. An estimated 250,000 Canadians of Croatian descent now live here, mainly in Canada's large cities. Among the best known Croatian-Canadians are the Mahovlich brothers of hockey fame, figure-skaters Sandra and Val Besic, and George Chuvalo, the one-time Canadian heavyweight boxing champion.

Croatians arriving in Canada will have many of the same questions you would have if you moved to a new city or country. They will wonder how to find housing and employment, where their children will go to school, how to get around the city and where to shop. You can help your new friends settle by answering their questions. You will also find that you can learn a great deal from them.

Although this cultural profile provides insights into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Croatia.

  Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name Republic of Croatia
Capital Zagreb
Type of Government Democracy
Population 4.3 million
Area 56,542 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups Croat, Serb, Bosnian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Czech, Albanian Montenegrin and others
LanguageS Croatian, Serbian, German, Italian; other European languages
Religion Christianity
Unit of Currency Kuna
National Flag Three horizontal stripes of red, white and dark blue. Set in the centre is the Croatian coat of arms, a shield below a blue crown.
Date of Independence June 25, 2021

  Did you know?
Two Croatian sailors, Ivan Malogrudic from Senj and Marino Masalarda from Dubrovnik, came to Canada with the expedition of Jacques Cartier in 1534.