CROATIAN AMERICANS or CROAT AMERICANS (Croatian : Američki Hrvati
or Hrvati u Americi) are
Americans who have full or partial Croatian
ancestry. In 2012, there were 414,714 American citizens of
Croatian descent living in the United States as per revised 2010
United States Census . The figure includes all people affiliated with
United States who claim Croatian ancestry, both those born in the
country and naturalized citizens, as well as those with dual
citizenship who affiliate themselves with both countries or cultures.
Americans are closely related to other European American
ethnic groups, especially
Slavic Americans and are predominantly of
Roman Catholic faith. Regions with significant Croatian American
population include metropolitan areas of
Cleveland , New
York City , Southern
California and especially
Pittsburgh , the seat
Croatian Fraternal Union , fraternal benefit society of the
Croatian diaspora .
Croatia 's State Office for the
estimated that there are up to 1.2 million
Croats and their
descendants living in the United States.
* 1 Demographics
* 1.1 Numbers
* 1.2 History
* 2 History
* 3 Settlements
* 4 Culture
* 4.1 Social association
* 4.2 Religion
* 4.3 Organizations
* 5 Notable people
* 5.1 Art
* 5.2 Film
* 5.3 Music
* 5.4 Science
* 5.5 Politics
* 5.6 Entrepreneurs
* 5.7 Sports
* 5.8 Other
* 6 See also
* 7 Notes and references
* 8 Further reading
* 9 External links
According to the 2007 US Community Survey, there were 420,763
Americans of full or partial Croatian descent. According to the 1990
United States Census , there were over 544,270 Croatian
identified themselves as being of Croatian descent or being born in
Croatia. As of 2012, there were 414,714 American citizens. It is
estimated by the
Croatia 's State Office for the
Croats Abroad that
there are around 1,200,000
Croats and their descendants living in the
United States today.
In the 2006–2010
American Community Survey
American Community Survey , the states with the
Croatian American populations are:
* New York (26,607)
* Washington (13,268)
New Jersey (13,154)
* 1880 estimate: 20,000
* 1980 census: 252,970
* 1990 census: 544,270
* 2000 census: 374,241
* 2005 community survey: 401,208
The first major immigration of
Croats was recorded in 1715. At the
time, approximately twelve hundred Croatian Protestants, whose
ancestors had left the
Austrian Empire after unsuccessful peasant
revolts in 1573 and anti-Reformation edict of 1598, arrived in the
American colony of Georgia . They settled in the valley of Savannah
River . Those settlers introduced silk-worm cultivation in Georgia.
The community prospered for 150 years, until it was demolished during
the Civil War .
In 1683, a
Croat Jesuit, named Ivan Ratkaj (Juan Ratkay) established
a mission in northwest
New Spain . In 1746, another Jesuit, Ferdinand
Konšak (Consago Gonzales), drew the first dependable map of Baja
California . Beginning in 1783, Joseph Kundek, a
helped to develop several midwestern towns, including Ferdinand and
Jasper , both in Dubois County,
Indiana . In the 1830s, various groups
Austrian Empire sent financial aid to America to support
Croat immigrants settled in
New Orleans , and were
employed as traders, artisans and fishermen. By the 1860s, there were
around six hundred
Croat families in New Orleans. Several families
settled permanently in
Alabama . During the Civil War , some three
Croats resided in the South, mostly in
Louisiana , Alabama
Mississippi . Hundreds of them volunteered for the Confederate
Army and Navy . After the defeat of the Confederacy in 1865, many
Croats who had served in the Confederate military moved to the West.
Significant emigration from what is now
Croatia dates from the late
1890s and early 1900s, peaking around 1910, when many Croatians, the
majority of them Roman Catholics , began emigrating to the United
States. Many were economic immigrants, while others considered
themselves political refugees .
Like other immigrants of that period, they migrated to find
employment . Many of them, mostly single young men but, often, married
women with or without their families, settled in small towns in
Pennsylvania and New York as coal miners or steelworkers. Many also
settled in factory towns and farming areas in Midwestern states such
Illinois , and
Iowa . For most of
the single men, the stay was only temporary. Once they had saved
enough money, many Croatian men returned to Croatia. However, those
who did choose to stay found permanent residence.
Within a comparatively short period of time, Croatians could be found
all over the United States from New York to California, from New
Orleans to Minneapolis-St. Paul . As it went through its most rapid
expansion during the time of the 1890-1914 Great Migration and shortly
thereafter from the onset of the
First World War
First World War to the general
clampdown on immigration in 1924,
Croats and other South and West
Slavs and members of other groups peaking in influx at the time were
prominent in the history of the mining industry in the
Iron Range of
Minnesota; much the same is the case with the forestry-related
industries there, elsewhere in
Minnesota and in much of Wisconsin. A
notable Croatian-American from the
Iron Range was
Rudy Perpich , the
34th and 36th Governor of the state representing the
Democrat/Farmer-Labor Party; he served terms in office from 29
December 1976 to 4 January 1979, and from 3 January 1983 to 7 January
1991, spans of time which add up to make him the longest-serving
governor in the state's history. In private life, Perpich was a
dentist and after leaving office in 1991 assisted the post-communist
government of Croatia. He was born in Carson Lake,
Minnesota (now part
of Hibbing) on 27 June 1928 and died of cancer in
Minnesota on 21 September 1995.
A new wave of Croatian immigrants began to arrive after World War II.
These were mostly political refugees, including orphans whose parents
had been killed during the war, individuals and families fleeing
Yugoslavia 's communist authorities. Most of these Croatians settled
in established Croatian colonies , often among relatives and friends.
It was assumed that this would be the end of Croatian immigration.
Beginning in 1965, America saw a new influx of Croatians, some of them
political refugees, most of them younger families seeking economic
security. Those arriving in the 1960s and the decades that followed
settled mostly in larger cities. These immigrants were better educated
and more liberal than their forebears in America, but they were also
influenced by the new European standard of life and opposed to the
communist ideology forcefully imposed upon them in the totalitarian
state of Yugoslavia. Gradually, this new wave of immigrants joined
Croatian Catholic parishes and organizations, and soon became the
contemporary bearers of Croatian culture and tradition in the United
States. Currently, only a small number of Croatians continue to
emigrate, mostly those who have relatives already well established in
Group of Croatian men in the club of town Joliet in Illinois
The first recorded Croatian immigrants to the United States arrived
in 1850, often via the resettlement from nations that are presently
Spain , and
Portugal , and
France . During this period many Croats, who were employed in
manufacturing the maritime sector of the
Mediterranean states, began
emigrating to the
Americas . This first wave arrived in regions of the
United States where employment opportunities were similar to where
they had arrived from. By the middle of the 20th Century, the
metropolitan areas of
Pittsburgh and New York
City and the region of Southern
California had the largest populations
of people with Croatian ancestry. Croatian Place district in San
Pedro, Los Angeles,
Croatian immigrants first settled in the
Western United States
Western United States in the
second half of the 19th century, mainly in what were then growing
urban centers of
Los Angeles , San Pedro ,
San Francisco , Phoenix and
Santa Ana . It is estimated that more than 35,000
Croats live in Los
Angeles metropolitan area today, making it the biggest Croatian
community on the Pacific coast.
San Francisco became the center of
Croatian social life in California, where they established the first
Croatian emigration society,
Croatian American Cultural Center of San
Francisco, in 1857.
Tadich Grill in
San Francisco is an example from
the era, the oldest continuously running restaurant in the city. The
Los Angeles metropolitan area was a major destination for the
post-1980s Yugoslavian immigration, including
Croats and Bosnian
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina who escaped the Bosnian civil war
in the 1990s. They formed several communities in Orange County , San
San Fernando Valley
San Fernando Valley .
An unspecified number of
Croats also settled in
Washington state and
Oregon , particularly metropolitan areas of
Seattle and Portland
Some of the first groups of immigrants settled in
well. As a major industrial center of the state,
a lot of immigrants from Croatia, many of them were working in the
heavy industry . At the beginning of the century there were an
Croats in Pittsburgh. It was estimated that there
were more than 200,000 Croatians and their descendants living in
Pennsylvania in the early 1990s.
The first Croatian settlers in
Michigan appeared in the late 19th
Illinois , the Croatians started concentrating mostly
around Chicago. Although it was created a bit later, the Croatian
Chicago became one of the most important ones in the
United States. The settlement especially started developing after
World War I and
Chicago became the center of all Croatian cultural and
political activities. It is calculated that there were roughly 50,000
Chicago in the 1990s, while there were altogether 100,000
Croats living in 54 additional Croatian settlements in Illinois.
Croats form a large community in
Indiana since the
1910s, as well in Gary , Fort Wayne and South Bend .
While at first
New York City
New York City served merely as a station on arriving
settlers' way elsewhere into the United States, mainly the
East Coast saw an influx of Croatian and other European settlers in
early 19th, before and following
First World War
First World War ; mainly the cities
of Hoboken and New York, latter of which is the site of SS. Cyril,
Methodius, and Raphael\'s Church , a
Roman Catholic parish, part of
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York .
Klondike Gold Rush
Klondike Gold Rush , a group of 3,000 Croatian immigrants
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Americans maintain a close relationship with their homeland
. The diaspora is considered to have played a pivotal role in
securing Croatia's victory in
Croatian War of Independence
Croatian War of Independence by
providing substantial financial aid and advocating for American
involvement in the conflict.
Chain migration contributed to the
creation of settlements of
Croats coming from the same regions of
Croatia. They were connected because of their similar occupations
that they had, equal social status and
Roman Catholic religion. The
most popular informal meeting points of Croatians were the saloons .
They were usually engaged in various charity organizations, and were
among the first Croatian immigrants who learned to speak English.
Beside these informal gatherings, Croatian
several thousand organizations of different importance. In his work,
Immigration to America After 1945", Prpic states that
there were around 3,000 organizations founded between 1880 and 1940 in
the United States. Croatians first started founding charitable,
cultural, educational, religious, business, political, sporting or
athletic organizations. All these organizations were firmly rooted in
the settlement where they were initiated. Croatians were a minority
group both in relation to
Americans and other nationalities.
Croats came with the latest groups of immigrants,
which led to a further feeling of insecurity. Most of early settlers
did not speak English and held low-paid jobs, which created an
inferiority complex. They found security within an organization of
their own ethnic group .
Croatian diaspora is predominantly Roman Catholic. Croatian
missionaries founded parishes , churches and benevolent societies
throughout the country wherever Croatian
Americans settled. Often,
the priests were the only educated members of the Croatian colonies,
and thus they had to assume leadership roles; moreover, they were
among the first to learn English well and often served as translators
and interpreters. Their primary responsibility, however, was the
organization of Croatian Catholic parishes in the urban centers with
substantial Croatian populations. Thus, at the beginning of this
century there were Croatian churches in
Pittsburgh and Steelton ,
Pennsylvania , New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Saint Louis and other
cities. The oldest parish is St. Nicholas Church in Pittsburgh,
founded in 1894; several others were erected in the early 1900s, such
Church of the Nativity
Church of the Nativity in San Francisco. Even before being
officially established in 1926, the Croatian Franciscan friars
traveled throughout the United States, establishing and assisting in
Croatian parishes and keeping alive the religious and national
sentiments of their people. Today, there are over 30 Croatian
North America .
Croatian American organization
Croatian Fraternal Union is a
society with long roots in the country. It was founded in 1897.
During World War II, the organization provided financial aid for
Croatia. The CFU contributes to Croatian
Americans by scholarships
and cultural learning.
* The National Federation of Croatian
Americans Cultural Foundation
was founded in 1993 as a non-profit organization dedicated to
promoting the interest of the Croatian people - embodying heritage of
culture and language, integrity in human rights and equality in
self-determination, advancing economic development, and freedom from
Croatian American Association is a group which lobbies the
United States Congress
United States Congress on issues related to Croatia.
* In 2007, the annual Croatian Film Festival in New York was founded
by The Doors Art Foundation.
For a more comprehensive list, see List of Croatian
Notable Croatian Americans, past and present, include:
Mirko Ilić , graphic designer and comics artist
Ivan Meštrović , sculptor and Professor at Syracuse and Notre
Vinko Nikolić , writer, poet and journalist
Maksimilijan Vanka , painter
Matthew Yuricich , Academy Award nominated special effects artist
Anna Chlumsky , actress
Thomas Horn , child actor
Jenna Elfman , actress
Judah Friedlander , actor and comedian
Gloria Grey , actress
Anne Jackson , actress
Stana Katic , film and television actress
Lou Lumenick , film critic
Branko Lustig , film producer, Academy Award winner
John Malkovich , actor
Ivana Miličević , actress
John Miljan , actor
Goran Višnjić , actor
Joe Manganiello , actor
Daniella Monet , actress
Frank Pavich , director
Izabela Vidovic , actress
Diane Wiest , actress
Zlatko Baloković , violinist
Tony Butala , lead singer of vocal group,
Johnny Mercer , four time Academy Award winner
Zinka Milanov , operatic spinto soprano
Tomo Miličević , musician and lead guitarist of the alternative
Thirty Seconds to Mars
Guy Mitchell , pop singer
Krist Novoselić , bassist of Nirvana
Mia Slavenska , prima ballerina
Louis Svećenski , violinist and rector of the Boston Academy of
Paul Salamunovich , renowned choral conductor of the Los Angeles
Marty Paich , pianist, composer, arranger, record producer, music
director, and conductor.
David Paich , keyboardist for the rock band Toto, composer,
Milislav Demerec , geneticist
Terry Jonathan Hart
Terry Jonathan Hart , former astronaut
Jacob Matijevic , NASA engineer
Mario Puratić , inventor of
Puretic power block
Puretic power block
Bogdan Raditsa , historian
George M. Skurla , aeronautical engineer for the Apollo Program
Henry Suzzallo , president of the
University of Washington
University of Washington
Dinko Tomašić , sociologist
Paul L. Modrich
Paul L. Modrich , biochemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2015)
Mark Begich , Democratic Senator from
Nick Begich , Democratic Representative from
Michael Anthony Bilandic , Democratic Mayor of
Frank Ivancie , Democratic Mayor of Portland,
Dennis Kucinich , Democratic Representative from
John Kasich , Republican Governor of
Rose Mofford , Democratic Governor of
Rudy Perpich , Democratic Governor of
George Radanovich , Republican Representative from
Michael Stepovich , Republican Governor of
Anthony Francis Lucas , oil industry pioneer
Mike Grgich , winemaker
* Frank Vlasic , founder and namesake of
Anthony Maglica , entrepreneur and inventor of
Bill Belichick , professional football coach
Pete Carroll , professional football coach
Jason Chorak , college football player
David Diehl , professional football player, Croatian on mother's
Elvis Grbac , professional football player
Toni Kukoč , professional basketball player
John Jurkovic , professional football player
Mickey Lolich , professional baseball player
Roger Maris , professional baseball player
John Mayasich , hockey player
* Kevin McHale and
John Havlicek , NBA hall of fame members, both
share Croatian ancestry on their mothers' sides (Starcevic and Turkalj
being their mothers' respective maiden names)
Pat Miletich , UFC Hall of Famer
Stipe Miocic , UFC World Heavyweight Champion
George Mikan , professional basketball player
Mark Pavelich , professional hockey player
Johnny Pesky , professional baseball player and announcer
Christian Pulisic , professional soccer player
Gene Rayburn , game show host
Lou Saban , football coach
Nick Saban , professional football coach
Rudy Tomjanovich , professional basketball player and coach
Danny Vranes (Vranješ), professional basketball player (NBA)
Christian Yelich , professional baseball player
Fritzie Zivic , boxer, held the world welterweight championship
Mike Cernovich , author
Norman Cota ,
United States Army
United States Army general
Louis Cukela , United States Marine , two-time Medal of Honor
Jakša Cvitanić , mathematician
John Owen Dominis
John Owen Dominis , Prince Consort of
William Feller , mathematician
Gary Gabelich , race car driver.
Ron Kovic , anti-war activist
Brian Krzanich , CEO of
Peter Miscovich (born Pero Mišković, 1885-1950), founder of the
world's longest-operating family-owned gold mine still in operation.
Bill Rancic , entrepreneur , reality TV star, winner of the first
season of The Apprentice
John J. Tominac ,
Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor recipient
Peter Tomich ,
Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor recipient,
United States Navy
United States Navy sailor
* List of
Croatia–United States relations
NOTES AND REFERENCES
* ^ "
Croat Americans" is seldom used in the United States, with
"Croatian Americans" being far more common. In Croatian itself,
"American Croats" (Američki Hrvati) is most commonly used, with
Croats in America" (Hrvati u Americi) being a close alternative.
* ^ A B C "Table B04003 - Total ancestry categories tallied for
people with one or more ancestry categories reported - 2012 American
Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Retrieved
January 23, 2016.
* ^ A B C "Croatian
Diaspora in the United States of America".
Croatia State Office for
Croats Abroad. 2013. Retrieved
January 23, 2016.
* ^ A B C D "History of the
Croatian Fraternal Union of America".
CFU. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013. Retrieved May 28,
* ^ A B "Croatia: Small Country Has Big Impact on Pittsburgh".
popularpittsburgh.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-18.
Retrieved 2 October 2014.
* ^ "S0201 - Selected Population Profile in the United States -
Population Group: Croatian (109-110), Data Set: 2007 American
Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Survey: American Community Survey".
US Census Bureau.
* ^ Elliott Robert Barkan (2013). Immigrants in American History:
Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration. ABC-CLIO. p. 1294. ISBN
978-1-59884-220-3 . Retrieved January 23, 2016.
* ^ "Table B01003: 2006-2010
American Community Survey
American Community Survey Selected
United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau . Retrieved January
* ^ "Croatian
Americans - History, Modern era, The first croatians
in america, Missionaries". Retrieved 17 March 2015.
* ^ Angela Brittingham; G. Patricia de la Cruz. "Persons Who
Reported at Least One Specific Ancestry Group for United States: 1980"
(PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
* ^ A B "Ancestry:2000 - Census 2000 Brief C2KBR-35". US Census
Bureau. June 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 4,
2004. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
* ^ "Population Group: Croatian (109-110) - Data Set: 2005 American
Community Survey". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on
January 23, 2009.
* ^ A B C D Preveden, Francis (1962). A History of the Croatian
People. New York: Philosophic.
* ^ A B C Thompson Dele Olasiji, Migrants, Immigrants, and Slaves:
Racial and Ethnic Groups in America, pp. 119-123
* ^ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O Anica Čuka (April 14, 2009).
"Hrvati u SAD-u" (in Croatian). geografija.hr. Retrieved January 23,
* ^ A B C D "Veza s Hrvatima izvan Republike Hrvatske" (in
Croatian). hia.com.hr. 2006. Archived from the original on March 4,
2007. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
* ^ A B C D Gorvorchin, Gerald G. (1961). A History of the Croatian
People. Gainesville: University of Florida.
* ^ George J. Prpic (July 15, 1997). "Croatians". The Encyclopedia
Cleveland History. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
* ^ A B C D E Francis H. Eterovich; Christopher Spalatin, eds.
(1964). Croatia: Land, People, and Culture. Toronto: University of
* ^ "
Croatian American Cultural Center of San Francisco".
sanfrancisco.com. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
* ^ Amanda Berne (September 28, 2005). "A grand old Grill / After
155 years, San Francisco\'s iconic restaurant still packs them in".
SFGate . Retrieved January 23, 2016.
* ^ A B C Shapiro, Ellen (1989). The Croatian Americans. New York:
* ^ "History". Retrieved January 4, 2015.
* ^ Vladimir Benković (1999). Dokumenti iz iseljeništva - Uloga
hrvatskih intelektualaca u borbi za slobodnu Hrvatsku . AMCA Toronto.
* ^ A B C Prpic, George (1971). The Croatian Immigrants in America.
New York: Philosophic.
* ^ "Parishes in North America". Croatian Catholic Youth. Archived
from the original on January 11, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
* ^ "National Federation of Croatian
Foundation". National Federation of Croatian
Foundation. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
* ^ "
Croatian American Association". caausa.org. Archived from the
original on January 24, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
* ^ "Croatian Film Festival Opens in New York". javno.com.
Retrieved March 17, 2015.
* ^ Shelly Gledhill (March 3, 2005). "Colby Vranes, awaiting his
mission in life". eagle.ceu.edu. Archived from the original on July
* ^ Charles C. Hawley; John Miscovich; Andrew Miscovich (2006).
Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation. Retrieved
September 28, 2010.
* Barkan, Elliott Robert (2013). Immigrants in American History:
Arrival, Adaptation, and Integration. Santa Barbara, California:
ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-59884-219-7 .
* Dele Olasiji, Thompson (1995). Migrants, Immigrants, and Slaves:
Racial and Ethnic Groups in America. University Press of America. ISBN
* Eterovich, Francis H.; Spalatin, Christopher, eds. (1964).
Croatia: Land, People, and Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto
* Gorvorchin, Gerald G. (1961). A History of the Croatian People.
Gainesville: University of Florida.
* Preveden, Francis (1962). A History of the Croatian People. New
* Prpic, George (1971). The Croatian Immigrants in America. New
* Shapiro, Ellen (1989). The Croatian Americans. New York: Chelsea
* Adamic, Luj (1945). A Nation of Nations. New York.
* Antic, Ljubomir (1992). Hrvati i Amerika. Zagreb: Hrvatska
sveucilisna naklada. (in Croatian)
* Bonutti, Karl (1974). Selected Ethnic Communities of Cleveland: A
Socio-Economic Study. Cleveland:
Cleveland State University.
* Cordasco (1971). Dictionary of American Immigrants in America. New
York: Philosophical Library.
* Habenstein, R. W.; Wright, R. Jr. (1998). Ethnic families in
America: Patterns and variations (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs NJ:
Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-444-01319-9 .
* Momeni, Jamshid A. (1986). Race, Ethnicity, and Minority Housing
in the United States. New York: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-24848-6 .
* Thernstrom, Stephen (1980). Harvard Encyclopedia of American
Ethnic Groups. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-37512-2