Hungarians of Croatia

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Hungarians of Croatia
Hrvatski Mađari (Croatian)
Horvátországi magyarok (Hungarian)
Prosvjetno-kulturni centar Mađara u Hrvatskoj jugoistokB2.JPG
Hungarian Cultural and Educational Center in Osijek
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Croatian, Hungarian
Roman Catholicism and Calvinism
Related ethnic groups
Hungarians, Hungarians in Vojvodina, Szekelys of Bukovina

Hungarians of Croatia are a recognized ethnic minority. According to the 2011 census there are 14,048 people of Hungarian ethnicity living in Croatia (or 0.33% of total population).[1] Around two thirds of them (8,249) live in Osijek-Baranja County in eastern Croatia, especially in the Croatian part of the Baranya region which borders Hungary to the north.[2] There are also small Hungarian communities in other parts of the country, including areas in Bjelovar-Bilogora County in central Croatia where 881 people identify themselves as Hungarian.[2]


Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Hungary and Croatia (1915)

Hungary and Croatia have a long history dating back to the dynastic crises that followed the death of king Dmitar Zvonimir in 1089. His widow Helen II supported her brother Ladislaus I of Hungary in his claim for the kingdom of Croatia amidst the political turmoil. Two years later, Ladislaus managed to seize power and proclaim his sovereignty over the Croatian kingdom,[3] however, he and his armies were still unable to gain full control by the time of his death in 1095. It was his nephew Coloman I who finally defeated the last native Croatian king Peter II of Croatia at the Battle of Gvozd Mountain, and was then crowned as King of Croatia in capital city of Biograd on the Adriatic Sea in 1102.[4]

After the Hungarian victory, Croatia and Hungary entered into a personal union in which certain terms were agreed on. The most significant were that two would remain under Hungarian rule while some separate Croatian institutions were maintained such as the Sabor (Croatian parliament), the ban (viceroy), and retention of Croatian lands and titles.[5] The union lasted until 1918; in that time, many Hungarian military personnel settled in Croatia during the Ottoman invasion, and the borderlands of Hungary and Croatia proper blurred with the ethnic mix.


1890 census of Magyars in the kingdom
Hungarians in eastern Croatia (2011 census)

Municipalities with significant Hungarian minority (10 percent or more) include:[6]

The largest town with a significant Hungarian population is Beli Manastir, with 801 Hungarians (7.96%).

In addition, 10,231 people identified Hungarian language as their mother tongue.[7]

As of 2009, Hungarian is officially used in two municipalities and four other settlements in Croatia, according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.[8]


The two main Hungarian associations in Croatia are the Democratic Union of Hungarians of Croatia (Hungarian: Horvátországi Magyarok Demokratikus Közössége or HMDK) and the Union of Hungarian Associations (Hungarian: Magyar Egyesületek Szövetsége or MESZ).

Hungarians are officially recognized as an autochthonous national minority, and as such, they elect a special representative to the Croatian Parliament.[9]

In the Croatian parliamentary election, 2007, MESZ member Deneš Šoja was elected as their representative.[10]


Since 1999, the Hungarian Cultural Society Népkör have organized the "Hungarian Days" festival in Osijek. In 2000 various Hungarian cultural groups have organised Hungarian music and singing festivals.

The Educational and Cultural Center of Hungarians in Croatia is located in Osijek. In Beli Manastir, the town's public library hosts the Central Library of Hungarians in Croatia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Stanovništvo prema narodnosti, popisi 1971. - 2011" (in Croatian). Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Population by ethnicity, by towns and municipalities". Census 2011. Croatian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Ladislas I. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved June 21, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "Croatia (History)". Britannica. 
  6. ^ Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011
  7. ^ "Population by mother tongue, by towns and municipalities". Croatian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Europska povelja o regionalnim ili manjinskim jezicima" (in Croatian). Ministry of Justice (Croatia). 2011-04-12. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  9. ^ "Pravo pripadnika nacionalnih manjina u Republici Hrvatskoj na zastupljenost u Hrvatskom saboru". Zakon o izborima zastupnika u Hrvatski sabor (in Croatian). Croatian Parliament. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  10. ^ "Deneš Šoja" (in Croatian). Croatian Parliament. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 

External links[edit]