Croats in neighbouring countries
As well as in the Republic of Croatia, Croatian nationals live as native residents of neighbouring and other geographically close countries.
The largest number (about 500,000 – 760,000 according to the 1991 census) live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they are indigenous, and along with Bosniacs and Serbs, form one of the country’s three constituent peoples. They form the majority in parts of northern, southwestern and central Bosnia, while western Herzegovina is one of the most homogenous Croatian regions anywhere outside Croatia.
The second largest Croatian ethnic community is in the Serbian province of Vojvodina. Croats are particularly numerous in Subotica and the surrounding area, and in Sombor and Novi Sad. According to the population census of 2011, there were 58,000 Croatians living in Serbia, but since some inhabitants declared themselves to be members of a regional, subethnic group (for example Bunjevci or Šokci), the number of Croats may be as high as 100,000. In Montenegro, the Croatian ethnic community is centred in the Bay of Kotor. There are Croatian ethnic communities in the villages of Janjevo and Letnica. There are about 40,000 Croats living in Slovenia, mostly in the larger towns and along the border with Croatia.
In other countries close to Croatia, the best known Croatian community is in the Austrian Federal State of Burgenland (Gradišće, where about 50,000 Croats live). They are the descendants of 16th century Croatian émigrés. The Burgenland Croats were granted special rights by Austria in a state agreement in 1955. Croats in the neighbouring parts of Slovakia (4,000) and Hungary (50,000) belong to the same ethnic subgroup. In Hungary, Croats have settled along the Hungarian-Croatian border and in the towns of Pečuh, Mohač and Baja. In Italy there is a small Croatian enclave (3,000) in the province of Molisa, while there are 7,000 Croats inhabiting several villages in Banat. All these Croatian minorities are relics of larger communities, which have today to a great extent been assimilated, so that figures regarding the numbers of Croats and their descendants can only be approximated.