Most Croats reside in the city of Skopje and Bitola, but there are also small groups of Croats living in other towns in central and eastern Macedonia. According to the census of 1994, there were 2,248 Croats living in the Republic of Macedonia, making up 0.1% of the total population. In 2003, according to the National Bureau for Statistics of the Republic of Macedonia, during the 2002 census, 2,686 citizens declared themselves to be ethnic Croats.
The status of Croats living in the Republic of Macedonia, as well the status of Macedonians in Croatia has not hampered good bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries. The Program for cultural cooperation was signed between the Croatian Ministry of Culture and the Republic of Macedonia, covering the period 2009-2011. On October 13, 2007, in Split, the Agreement was signed between the Croatian Government and the Government of the Republic of Macedonia regarding the Protection of the Croatian minority in the Republic of Macedonia and the Macedonian minority in Croatia respectively. The Agreement was signed, by Ms. Grabar - Kitarovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia and Mr. Antonio Milošoski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, on the sidelines of the "Adriatic-Baltic-Atlantic " conference.
The implementation of this Agreement provides the Croats in Macedonia with better position in exercising their guaranteed rights. On the basis of the signed and ratified Agreement, the Intergovernmental Mixed Committee was established whose task is the monitoring of the implementation of the Agreement and the implementation of specific measures by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the Croatian Government regarding the overall improvement of the status of both national minorities. The first Intergovernmental Mixed Committee meeting was held on January 27, 2009 in Skopje.
Associations, publishing and media
The Croatian community in Macedonia (www.zhrm.org.mk), based in Skopje, was established in 1996. Its branch offices are in Bitola, Ohrid, Struga and Stip. The Macedonian-Croatian association, based in Bitola, was founded in 1993 and carries the name "Marko Marulić." The Croatian community in the Republic of Macedonia also publishes the journal "Hrvatska riječ."