A survey conducted recently by the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies with Serbian nationals in Croatia has shown that they fear for the future of their identity, although author of the study Filip Škiljan warns that the methodology of this research does not allow for far-reaching conclusions.
Those surveyed were generally pessimistic when it came to the future of Serbs in Croatia, fearing extinction and assimilation, and the loss of real identity.
“After the breakup of Yugoslavia, Serbian identity in Croatia is going through an ambivalent development. On the one hand, there is a revival of tradition and “identity return” after they were ignored when it was still Yugoslavia. On the other hand, because of the war in the 1990’s, the Serbian community in Croatia was significantly reduced, and there have been fears about the growing trend of assimilation. Many Serbs left Croatia and will not go back. It is therefore possible that this ethnic group is in danger of disappearing,” concludes the author.
Serbs currently constitute the largest national minority in Croatia.Their number was reduced by more than two thirds in the aftermath of the 1990’s War in Croatia as the 1991 pre-war census had reported 581,663 Serbs living in Croatia, 12.2% of the total population. In the latest 2011 census that number had dropped to 186,633, or 4.36% of the total population.