In the early 7th century the Croats arrived in area of present-day Croatia. They organised the state into two dukedoms by the 9th century. Tomislav became the first king by 925 AD, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. The Kingdom of Croatia retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries, reaching its peak during the rule of Kings Peter Krešimir IV and Dmitar Zvonimir. Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of the House of Habsburg to the Croatian throne. In 1918, after World War I, Croatia was included in the short-lived State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs that declared independence from Austria � Hungary and co-founded the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. A Croatian state briefly existed during World War II as a fascist puppet state. After the war, Croatia became a founding member and a federal constituent of the Second Yugoslavia. In June 1991, Croatia declared independence, which came into effect on 8 October of the same year. The Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully during the four years following the declaration.
Since the fall of communism and the end of the war of independence, Croatia has achieved high human development and income equality, and ranks high amongst Central European nations in terms of education, health, quality of life and economic dynamism. The International Monetary Fund classified Croatia as an emerging and developing economy, and the World Bank identified it as a high income economy. Croatia is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, CEFTA and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. Croatia is an acceding state of the European Union, with full membership expected in July 2013. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008 � 2009 term.
The service sector dominates Croatia's economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. Tourism is a notable source of income during the summers, with Croatia ranked the 18th most popular tourist destination in the world. The state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is the most important Croatian trading partner. Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Internal sources produce a significant portion of energy in Croatia; the rest is imported. Croatia provides a universal health care system and free primary and secondary education, while supporting culture through numerous public institutions and through corporate investments in media and publishing. The nation prides itself in its cultural, artistic and scientific contributions to the world, as well as in its cuisine, wines and sporting achievements.