Vukovar-Srijem County (Croatian: Vukovarsko-srijemska županija, lit. "Vukovar-Syrmia County") is the easternmost Croatian county. It includes the eastern parts of the region of Slavonia and the western parts of the region of Syrmia, as well as the lower Sava river basin, Posavina.
The county seat is Vukovar, on Danube river; and the biggest town is Vinkovci with 33,328 inhabitants. The whole county has 204,768 inhabitants. Other notable towns include Ilok, Otok and Županja.
In Serbian Cyrillic, the county is known as Вуковарско-сријемска жупанија, in Hungarian as Vukovár-Szerém megye, in Slovak as Vukovarsko-sriemska župa, in Bosnian as Vukovarsko-srijemski kanton, and in German Gespanschaft Wukowar-Syrmien.
The area of Vukovar has been inhabited since Neolithic times. It is an exceptionally rich archaeological site, listed among the most important sites of southern Europe. Vukovar was known for its architecture from the 18th century, with covered porticos (arcades) and later historical buildings, until the war in 1991 which resulted in the systematic destruction of the entire town.
Vukovar–Srijem County lies in the far northeastern part of Croatia, in the regions of eastern Slavonia and west Syrmia. Total area of the county is 2,454 km2. Two major rivers run through the county, the Danube and the Sava, and two smaller rivers, the Bosut and the Vuka. The Bosut is a tributary of the Sava river, while the Vuka is a tributary of the Danube. The County's highest point is Čukala, on the Fruška Gora, at 294 meters (965 ft), and its lowest point is on the Spačva River at 78 meters (256 ft). Vukovar–Srijem County has a moderate continental climate, with a yearly average of 11 °C (52 °F). The County has an average annual rainfall of 650 mm (26 in) in the east, up to 800 mm (31 in) in western parts (25.6 to 31.5 in).
Vukovar–Srijem County borders Osijek-Baranja County in the northwest, Brod-Posavina County on the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina across the river Sava in the south, and Serbia in the east. The Croatian Government has claims on the Island of Šarengrad and the Island of Vukovar on the Danube river, which are under Serbian control.
The population of Vukovar–Srijem County in the 2011 census was 179,521 inhabitants; which makes this county the 7th most populous county of Croatia. Historically, the population was highest was 1991, when it had a little over 230 thousand inhabitants, but due to the Croatian War of Independence in the 1990s, population of the county shrank by 11% in 1991 and then again by 12% in 2011.
According to the 2001 census, Croats with 160,227 people make up 78.27% of the county's population; while the ethnic Serbs are the largest ethnic minority with 31,644 (15.45%). Other ethnic groups are Hungarians 2,047 (1%), Rusyns 1,796 (0.88%), Slovaks 1,338 (0.65%), Bosniaks 1,138 (0.54%). One third of Serbs (10,412) in the county lives in Vukovar, while municipalities of Borovo, Markušica, Negoslavci and Trpinja, have a Serb majority. The largest Hungarian community is in Tordinci (18% of total population in the municipality), for Rusyns is Bogdanovci (23%), and for Bosniaks is Gunja (14%); while 78% of total Slovak population in the county lives in Ilok.
Serbs form majority of population in municipalities Negoslavci-97.19%, Markušica-90.10% (Gaboš, Karadžićevo, Ostrovo, Podrinje), Trpinja-89.75% (Bobota, Bršadin, Pačetin, Vera, Ludvinci) and Borovo-89.73%. Outside of these municipalities Serbs form majority in villages Banovci, Vinkovački Banovci, Orolik, Srijemske Laze and Mlaka Antinska. Serbian minority communities live in Vukovar, Mirkovci, Tovarnik, Stari Jankovci, Novi Jankovci, Ilok, Bogdanovci, Tompojevci and Vinkovci.
In the town of Vukovar, in the municipalities of Negoslavci, Markušica, Trpinja and Borovo, and in the villages of Banovci and Vinkovački Banovci, Serbian language (and the Serbian Cyrillic script) is in official use as a minority language.
There are 12 elementary schools with 8 additional brunch schools and 4 secondary schools in the county that offer education in Serbian language. Many Serbian minority organizations have headquarters in the county. Among them are Joint Council of Municipalities, Association for Serbian language and literature in the Republic of Croatia, Independent Democratic Serb Party, Party of Danube Serbs as well as the seat of the Consulate General of Republic of Serbia in Vukovar.
There is an elementary school in Korog (near Vinkovci) that offers education in the Hungarian language.
The oldest mosque in Croatia in continuous use is located in the village of Gunja in this county, which serves the local Muslim population.
Vukovar-Srijem County has 85 settlements, and it is divided into 5 towns and 26 municipalities.