The modern country of Croatia (Hrvatska in Croatian) was created in 1991 with the dissolution of Yugoslavia, making it one of the youngest countries in the world. Croatia has existed as a distinct political entity since the 7th century, soon after the Slavs moved into the region, when the former Roman province of Dalmatia became a duchy, which would in turn come under the vassalage of the Franks and the Byzantines. A dynasic union joined Croatia with Hungary in 1102. In 1526 the dual kingdom was absorbed into the Habsburg Empire, and Croatia would remain an integral part of the Habsburg domain for nearly 400 years, until the end of the First World War.
Croatia joined the European Union in 2013. According to Eurostat, half of the Croatian population can speak English reasonably fluently, the highest percentage in the former communist bloc after Estonia and neighbouring Slovenia, and also the highest percentage in Mediterranean Europe apart from countries like Malta and Cyprus where English is an official language. With 90% of the population owning their home, Croatia enjoys one of the highest home ownerships in the world.
In 2017, 14 million foreign tourists visited Croatia, about as many as in India. It is the 21st most visited country in the world. Croatia has 8 sites listed by the UNESCO as Cultural World Heritage and two as Natural World Heritage. Another 15 sites are on the tentative list. The Dalmatian coast boasts one of the highest densities of World Heritage sites in the world. The country is also rich with intangible culture and holds fifteen of UNESCO's World's intangible culture masterpieces, the fourth highest in the world.
The population of Croatia is only 4 million, with 1.2 million living in and around the capital, Zabreb. Most of the population is concentrated along the northern border with Slovenia and Hungary and in a few cities along the Mediterranean coast, leaving most of the inner country very sparsely populated. This is a boon for nature lovers as Croatia boasts some of Europe's best national parks, which are particularly renowned for their beautiful mountains, lakes and waterfalls.