Croatia and Slovenia declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, followed by Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina's independence in 1992. The remaining republics of Serbia and Montenegro formed the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" (FRY) until a 2006 referendum on independence, after which Montenegro severed its ties with Serbia and the two became independent nations ending the Yugoslav state.
Ethnic Albanians live in the Serbian province of Kosovo and in the province of Vojvodina there is a significant Hungarian ethnic minority. (See HUNGARIANS and SERBS.) Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
Historically, Yugoslavia's 3 major religions, Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Muslim, were practised and a majority of the population speaks Serbian.
Before the breakup, Yugoslavia consisted of 6 republics. The largest republic of Serbia contained 2 autonomous regions of ethnic minorities; the Serbs, with 42% of Yugoslavia's total population, represented the largest of its component nations. Other ethnic groups include CROATIANS, MUSLIMS, SLOVENES, ALBANIANS, MACEDONIANS, Yugoslavs of mixed parentage and Montenegrins, a historical offshoot of the original Serbian ethnic group. With such an unusually complex ethnocultural makeup, Yugoslavia was truly one of the most heterogeneous multicultural states of Europe.
Pressured for centuries by internal and external upheavals, economic problems and a desire to seek better opportunities elsewhere, the Southern Slavs and their compatriots began to migrate overseas as early as the first half of the 19th century. Most Yugoslav pioneers in Canada were migratory labourers, moving from one job opportunity to another. They participated in the Yukon gold rush euphoria as well as in British Columbia's early fishing and forestry industries. Some entrepreneurial immigrants ran rooming (or "transition") houses in Victoria.
Migration and Settlement
WWI greatly stimulated Canada's industrial development, and the offer of more stable employment opportunities led to the eventual settlement of former migrants. In WWII, Canadian war industries provided unprecedented job opportunities, particularly in the large urban centres of Ontario. The Yugoslav immigrants began to accumulate modest amounts of basic capital, some of which later grew into considerable fortunes.
Social and Cultural Life
In the 2006 census 65 305 persons declared themselves as Yugoslavs (not otherwise stated, single- and multiple-response). In addition to the people who identified themselves as Yugoslavs, the census recorded people from the major groups that historically comprised Yugoslavia: Croats (110 880), Serbians (72 690), Slovenians (35 935), Montenegrins (2370), Kosovars (1530), Bosnians (21 045), and Macedonians (37 055).
Author VLADISLAV A. TOMOVIÇ, Revised: EDIT PETROVIC
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Multiculturalism Day
Canadian Heritage's guide to celebrating Canadian Multiculturalism Day.
Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples
The website for the "Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples." Click on the links for feature articles about Canada's many multicultural communities, access to their extensive digital archives collection, learning modules, and much more. From "Multicultural Canada."
Ethnocultural Portrait of Canada
This website offers Canadian population data (2006) by ethnic origin. Also, find information for individual provinces and territories by clicking the "Select a view" window above the chart. For more information, click on the "Ethnocultural Portrait of Canada" link at the top of the page. From the website for Statistics Canada.