Frequency in Croatian population: 11.396 (5th Most Frequent)
Forced or voluntary migrations during wars or famine have their part in formation of the Novak family name. It’s origin is from the Slavic word nov, which means new. When a person would imigrate with his family to a new place, the domestic people would call them Novaci.
Novak family name is very frequent in Croatia (5th most frequent), but there are countries where this surname is even more frequent. In Slovenia, it is number one in frequency, as well as in Poland (Nowak) and ih Czech Republic (Novák).
Croatian Northernmost region of Međimurje is where Novaks are particularly often. There can also be found variant surnames like Novaković, Novinić, Novinščak, Novosel & Novoselec. In other Croatian regions following variants are known: Novaković, Novaček, Novačić, Novacki, Novinc, Novković, Novoselec, Novosel, Novotni, Novšak.
Geography. In Croatian city of Čakovec one in every thirty residents bear the Novak surname. However, number of Novaks in Croatia hasn’t increased much in the past fifty years.
(Sources: Petar Šimunović, Hrvatska prezimena, Golden Marketing-Tehnička knjiga, Zagreb, 2006; Enciklopedija hrvatskih prezimena, Nacionalni rodoslovni centar, 2008; Anđela Frančić, Međimurska prezimena, Institut za hrvatski jezik i jezikoslovlje, Zagreb, 2002)