The republic includes Croatia proper, Slavonia, Dalmatia, and most of Istria. Western Croatia lies in the Dinaric Alps; the eastern part, drained by the Sava and Drava rivers, is mostly low lying and agricultural. The Pannonian plain is the chief farming region.
The Croats, who make up about 90% of the population, are mainly Roman Catholic. The Serbs, who belong largely to the Orthodox Church, are the largest minority, but evictions and evacuations during the early to mid-1990s reduced their numbers. Both Croats and Serbs speak dialects of Serbo-Croatian that are mutually intelligible but also recognizably Croatian and Serbian.