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This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

As its democratic institutions have matured, Croatia has become a candidate for high membership in the European Union. Because Croatia is a middle-income nation with a stable market economy, the support of Croatian donors and business partners has been vital to achieving results for the nation’s 990,000 children.

Issues facing children in Croatia

  • Many children are placed in institutions, where they grow up deprived of the nurturing, support and guidance that a family setting could provide.

  • Unemployment rates are exceptionally high for young people under age 24. 

  • The issues of physical violence and verbal abuse at school have received

Activities and results for children

  • The Croatian Government has created a network of community-based Family Centres to provide education and counselling for parents.

  • Recent media coverage has focused national attention on the need for a strong response to child abuse, neglect and abandonment. 

  • A six-year National Plan of Action for Children has been drafted, with input and support from UNICEF. 

  • Participation in UNICEF’s ‘Violence-Free Schools’ project has expanded to 216 schools, where teachers, counsellors, students and the local community are trained to implement a UNICEF model that significantly decreases bullying and abuse. To date, 110 schools have been certified as ‘violence free.’

  • Zagreb’s major school of social work is now training professionals to practice effective early interventions with dysfunctional families.

  • A recent, hugely successful advocacy campaign called ‘Every Child Needs a Family’ employed billboards, TV talk shows, radio commercials, concerts and celebrity appearances to stimulate discussion about the damaging effects of institutional care on children. Tremendous public support was generated for creating a new foster-care system. Hundreds of potential new foster families offered to care for young children in need.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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