Croats in United States

Today, about half a million of Croatian descendants live in the US, and the United States is the second place by the number of Croats after Chile.

Our overseas diaspora was of great importance in creating Croatia’s statehood and renewing our democracy. Great financial assistance, the supply of weapons in the Homeland War, and participation in the war for a new free country are just some of the reasons for good relationship and support.

Foreign experiences and a successful economy have contributed to the reconstruction and organization of the new Croatian democracy.

Some documents show that the firstCroats (sailors) settled in the US at least two hundred years ago. The Indians of the „Croatan“ tribe who lived on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina were also mentioned.

The highlight of immigration took place around 1910. Most of them were Roman Catholic and predominantly from southern Croatia and the Adriatic islands. They moved to the US because of the difficult economic situation in their homeland. They worked as miners, settled in factory districts and farms (Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa). Some would return to Croatia when they would raise enough money, and some built homes and found work for their family.

In a relatively short time, Croats through the 20th century could be found throughout the United States, from New York to California and from New Orleans to Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The second reason for emigration was the end of the Homeland War. It was considered that this was the end of Croatian emigration but from 1965.to 1975. Croats after Tito’s strike against the ‘Croatian Spring’ re-emerge in the United States. Some were political refugees, and there were also young families looking for better quality of life. Croats who immigrated in the 1960s have settled mostly in larger cities.

New Croatian immigrants were more educated. They were looking for a good job, good education for children, freedom of speech about politics in democratic America, and the freedom to express the religion that was deeply rooted in them while in Yugoslavia was persecuted. They have become carriers of Croatian culture in the United States.

Today, young, educated people go to the United States seeking better life opportunities.

Most Croats in the United States are located in the cities of Chicago, New York, Pittsburg, Cleveland and Los Angeles, and a smaller number in St. Louisiana and the Gulf of San Francisco, Sacramento, Detroit, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Harrisburg, etc.

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