Pag is the only Croatian island that is administratively divided between two counties and for centuries has been stretched partly within the region of Dalmatia and partly within the Croatian Littoral (Hrvatsko primorje) region.
This has meant some islanders declared themselves as Dalmatians, whilst others saw themselves as Littorals (primorci).
Croatian Littoral is a historical name for the region of Croatia comprising mostly the coastal areas between traditional Dalmatia to the south, Mountainous Croatia to the north, Istria and the Kvarner Gulf of the Adriatic Sea to the west.
However, by the end of the 1980s, almost all islanders considered themselves Littorals. At that time, the island of Pag was part of the Community of Rijeka Municipalities and was administratively and economically strongly connected with Rijeka.
But over time, that has changed. Before the 2011 census, prof. Branimir Vukosav and prof. Lena Mirošević from the Department of Geography at the University of Zadar conducted a research on the island of Pag with the aim of determining the sense of regional affiliation of the inhabitants of the island of Pag.
In the survey they conducted, the islanders had the option to declare themselves as Dalmatians, Littorals or something else, according to their own wishes and feelings. Most of the inhabitants of the town of Pag, one of the two main towns of the island together with Novalja, declared themselves as Dalmatians, reported Radio Pag.
Also, in Novalja, the majority of residents declared themselves as Dalmatians. According to the research, 68% of the inhabitants of the towns of Pag and Novalja declared themselves as Dalmatians, and 32% as Littorals or something else. This indicates that there is still an issue with regional identity on the island of Pag.
According to the Croatian encyclopedia, the island of Pag belongs entirely to Dalmatia. Namely, according to this source, the northern border of Dalmatia with the Croatian Littoral includes a part of the sub-Velebit coast south of Tribnje and the island of Pag, and the border of the Croatian Littoral in the south is near the settlement Tribanj-Krušćica, hamlet Mandalina.
This is where the Croatian Littoral ends and Dalmatia begins. Therefore, the whole island of Pag is Dalmatia. But not all islanders are obviously considered Dalmatians.
Whether anything has changed in the attitude of the islanders towards their own regional affiliation, will be known after the announced research that should be conducted after the census which is currently being conducted throughout Croatia.