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Ethnic Changes in the Population Structure of Counties in Slavonia between Two Censuses (1991–2001)
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Str. 49 - 70
In the period between two censuses (1991–2000), the population structure of Slavonia experienced significant socio-demographic changes, and structural disruption especially affected the ethnic/national segment. This area of Croatia had been quite heterogeneous ethnically, with a significant proportion of both Croats and Serbs in the total population. Hence, in the 1991 census, in five Slavonian counties the total population was 977,399, of which Croats accounted for 703,959 or 72.0% and Serbs for 167,094 or 17.0%. These two groups were followed by ethnic minorities, the greatest numbers and proportions of which in the Slavonian population were made up by Hungarians, Bosniaks, Slovaks, Ruthenians, Czechs and Ukrainians. Ethno-political mobilisation and the activation of prejudices and stereotypes in regard to others / different people in the pre-war period, and especially war conflicts deriving from Serb expansionist nationalism, brought about the disintegration of networks of primary social relations in local communities. Mass departures of the civilian population followed, first Croats left, then Serbs. After defeat of the Serb insurrection and after the peaceful reintegration of East Slavonia into the political framework of Croatia, war migrants began to return to their homes and settlements. The great majority of Croats returned, whereas the return of Serbs was significantly less extensive. Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina and from Vojvodina settled in areas that had been formerly effected by the war. The ethnic structure of Slavonian cities and towns experienced drastic changes. Thus the proportion of Croats in the total population increased to 85.6%, and the proportion of Serbs fell to 8.7%.
Slavonia; war conflicts; ethnic/national structure; counties
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