According to the 2002 census, there were 35,642 Croats in Slovenia. Croats speak Croatian and are mainly Roman Catholic.
Similarly to other not ethnic Slovenes from former Yugoslavia, Croats face discrimination and exclusion from all spheres of life.
Croats and Slovenes have traditionally had an affinity to each other; this is likely because both groups are predominately Roman Catholic and heavily influenced by Austro-Hungarian Empire. Some Croats always lived in Slovenia as they share a border, and some came after WWII for work.
Croats are not recognised as a minority by the authorities of Slovenia, and face problems with exercising their rights, including as regards language use, education of mother tongue and culture (although there are some classes offered in Croatian), participation in public affairs. They also face economic and social exclusion, partly because of widespread prejudice and hidden discrimination, and partly because some remain without residence papers, and as such have no access to basic services such as health care and pensions.
Updated June 2015