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Countries > Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Flag

Languages   2 languages are spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have 37 products available for those languages.

Capital: Sarajevo
Population: 3,459,000
Description: The language spoken here is Serbo-Croatian.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Map


Current issues: On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the former Yugoslavia's three warring parties signed a peace agreement that brought to a halt over three years of interethnic civil strife in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995). The Dayton Agreement, signed by Bosnian President IZETBEGOVIC, Croatian President TUDJMAN, and Serbian President MILOSEVIC, divides Bosnia and Herzegovina roughly equally between the Muslim/Croat Federation and the Bosnian Serbs while maintaining Bosnia's currently recognized borders. In 1995-96, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops served in Bosnia to implement and monitor the military aspects of the agreement. IFOR was succeeded by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) whose mission is to deter renewed hostilities. SFOR will remain in place until June 1998. A High Representative appointed by the UN Security Council is responsible for civilian implementation of the accord, including monitoring implementation, facilitating any difficulties arising in connection with civilian implementation, and coordinating activities of the civilian organizations and agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bosnian conflict began in the spring of 1992 when the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina held a referendum on independence and the Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia - responded with armed resistance aimed at partitioning the republic along ethnic lines and joining Serb-held areas to form a "greater Serbia." In March 1994, Bosnia's Muslims and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement in Washington creating their joint Muslim/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Federation, formed by the Muslims and Croats in March 1994, is one of two entities (the other being the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska) that comprise Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia

Geographic coordinates: 44 00 N, 18 00 E

Map references: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe

total: 51,233 sq km
land: 51,233 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than West Virginia

Land boundaries:
total: 1,459 km
border countries: Croatia 932 km, Serbia and Montenegro 527 km (312 km with Serbia, 215 km with Montenegro)

Coastline: 20 km

Maritime claims: NA

Climate: hot summers and cold winters; areas of high elevation have short, cool summers and long, severe winters; mild, rainy winters along coast

Terrain: mountains and valleys

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maglic 2,386 m

Natural resources: coal, iron, bauxite, manganese, forests, copper, chromium, lead, zinc

Land use:
arable land: 14%
permanent crops : 5%
permanent pastures: 20%
forests and woodland: 39%
other: 22% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: frequent and destructive earthquakes

Environment - current issues: air pollution from metallurgical plants; sites for disposing of urban waste are limited; widespread casualties, water shortages, and destruction of infrastructure because of the 1992-95 civil strife

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note: within Bosnia and Herzegovina's recognized borders, the country is divided into a joint Muslim-Croat Federation (about 51% of the territory) and a Serb Republic, The Republika Srpska [RS] (about 49% of the territory); the region called Herzegovina is contiguous to Croatia and traditionally has been settled by an ethnic Croat majority


note: all data dealing with population are subject to considerable error because of the dislocations caused by military action and ethnic cleansing (July 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.13% (male 405,713; female 383,850)
15-64 years: 70.78% (male 1,422,796; female 1,353,410)
65 years and over: 9.09% (male 150,802; female 205,634) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.38% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 12.86 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 7.99 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 8.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth : 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years:1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 24.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.75 years
male : 69.04 years
female: 74.65 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.71 children born/woman (2001 est.)

noun: Bosnian(s), Herzegovinian(s)
adjective: Bosnian, Herzegovinian

Ethnic groups: Serb 31%, Bosniak 44%, Croat 17%, Yugoslav 5.5%, other 2.5% (1991)
note: Bosniak has replaced muslim as an ethnic term in part to avoid confusion with the religious term Muslim - an adherent of Islam

Religions: Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Catholic 15%, Protestant 4%, other 10%

Languages: Serbo-Croatian (often called Bosnian) 99%

Literacy: NA


Country name:
conventional long form : none
conventional short form: Bosnia and Herzegovina
local long form : none
local short form: Bosna i Hercegovina

Data code: BK

Government type: emerging democracy

National capital: Sarajevo

Administrative divisions: there are no first-order administrative divisions approved by the US Government, but it has been reported that the Muslim/Croat Federation is comprised of 10 cantons called by either number or name - Goradzde (5), Livno (10), Middle Bosnia (6), Neretva (7), Posavina (2), Sarajevo (9), Tuzla Podrinje (3), Una Sana (1), West Herzegovina (8), Zenica Doboj (4)

Independence: NA April 1992 (from Yugoslavia)

National holiday: Republika Srpska - "Republic Day", 9 January; Independence Day, 1 March; Bosnia - "Republic Day", 25 November

Constitution: the Dayton Agreement, signed 14 December 1995, included a new constitution now in force

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 16 years of age, if employed; 18 years of age, universal

Executive branch:
chief of state :Chairman of the Presidency Jozo KRIZANOVI (chairman since 14 June 2001, presidency member since NA March 2001 - Croat); other members of the three-member rotating (every 8 months) presidency: Zivko RADISIC (since 13 October 1998 - Serb) and Beriz BELKIC (since NA March 2001 - Bosniak); note - Ante JELAVIC was dismissed from his post by the UN High Representative in March 2001
head of government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers Zlatko LAGUMDZIJA (since 18 July 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the council chairman; approved by the National House of Representatives
elections: the three presidency members (one each Muslim, Croat, Serb) are elected by direct election (first election for a two-year term, thereafter for a four-year term); the president with the most votes becomes the chairman; election last held 14 September 1996 (next to be held September 1998); the cochairmen are nominated by the presidency
election results: percent of vote - Zivko RADISIC with 52% of the Serb vote was elected chairman of the collective presidency for the first 8 months; Ante JELAVIC with 52% of the Croat vote followed RADISIC in the rotation; Alija IZETBEGOVIC with 87% of the Bosniak vote won the highest number of votes in the election but was ineligible to serve a second term until RADISIC and JELAVIC had each served a first term as Chairman of the Presidency; IZETBEGOVIC retired from the presidency 14 October 2000 and was temporarily replaced by Halid GENJAC; Ante JELAVIC was replaced by Jozo KRIZANOVIC in March 2001
note: President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Karlo FILIPOVIC (since 27 February 2001); Vice President Safet HALILOVIC (since 27 February 2001); note - president and vice president rotate every year; President of the Republika Srpska: Mirko SAROVIC (since 11 November 2000)

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliamentary Assembly or Skupstina consists of the National House of Representatives or Vijece Opcina (42 seats - 14 Serb, 14 Croat, and 14 Muslim; members serve NA-year terms) and the House of Peoples or Vijece Gradanstvo (15 seats - 5 Muslim, 5 Croat, 5 Serb; members serve NA-year terms)
elections: National House of Representatives - elections last held 11 November 2000 (next to be held in the fall of 2002); House of Peoples - last constituted after the 11 November 2000 elections (next to be constituted in the fall of 2002)
election results:National House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA%; seats by party/coalition - SDP 9, SDA 8, SDS 6, HDZ-BiH 5, SBH 5, PDP 2, NHI 1, BPS 1, DPS 1, SNS 1, SNSD-DSP 1, DNZ 1, SPRS 1; House of Peoples - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA%; seats by party/coalition - NA
note: the Bosniak/Croat Federation has a bicameral legislature that consists of a House of Representatives (140 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections last held 11 November 2000 (next to be held NA 2002); percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party/coalition - SDA 38, SDP 37, HDZ-BiH 25, SBH 21, DNZ 3, NHI 2, BPS 2, DPS 2, BOSS 2, GDS 1, RP 1, HSS 1, LDS 1, Pensioners' Party of FBiH 1, SNSD-DSP 1, HKDU 1, HSP 1; and a House of Peoples (74 seats - 30 Bosniak, 30 Croat, and 14 others); last constituted November 2000; the Republika Srpska has a National Assembly (83 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections last held 11 November 2000 (next to be held NA 2002); percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party/coalition - SDS 31, PDP 11, SNSD 11, SDA 6, DSP 4, SDP 4, SPRS 4, SBH 4, DNS 3, SNS 2, NHI 1, DSRS 1, Pensioners' Party 1; as of 1 January 2001, Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have a permanent election law; a draft law specifies four-year terms for the state and first-order administrative division entity legislatures; officials elected in 2000 were elected to two-year terms on the presumption that a permanent law would be in place before 2002

Judicial branch:BiH Constitutional Court (consists of nine members: four members are selected by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Representatives, two members by the Republika Srpska's National Assembly, and three non-Bosnian members by the president of the European Court of Human Rights)
note: a new state court, established in November 1999, has jurisdiction over cases related to state-level law and appellate jurisdiction over cases initiated in the entities; the entities each have a Supreme Court; each entity also has a number of lower courts; there are ten cantonal courts in the Federation, plus a number of municipal courts; the Republika Srpska has five municipal courts

Political parties and leaders: Bosnian Party or BOSS [Mirnes AJANOVIC]; Bosnian Patriotic Party or BPS [Sefer HALILOVIC]; Civic Democratic Party of BiH or GDS [Ibrahim SPAHIC]; Croat Christian Democratic Union or HKDU BiH [Ante PASALIC]; Croatian Democratic Union of BiH or HDZ-BiH [leader vacant]; Croatian Party of Rights or HSP [Zdravko HRSTIC]; Croatian Peasants Party of BiH or HSS-BiH [Ilija SIMIC]; Democratic Action Party or SDA [Alija IZETBEGOVIC]; Democratic National Alliance or DNS [Dragan KOSTIC]; Democratic Party of Pensioners or DPS [Alojz KNEZOVIC]; Democratic Party of RS or DSRS [Dragomir DUMIC]; Democratic Peoples Union or DNZ [Fikret ABDIC]; Democratic Socialist Party or DSP [Nebojsa RADMANOVIC]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDS [Rasim KADIC]; New Croatian Initiative or NHI [Kresimir ZUBAK]; Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina or SBH [Haris SILAJDZIC]; Party of Democratic Progress or PDP [Mladen IVANIC]; Party of Independent Social Democrats or SNSD [Milorad DODIK]; Pensioners' Party of FBiH [Husein VOJNIKOVIC]; Pensioners' Party of SR [Stojan BOGOSAVAC]; Republican Party of BiH or RP [Stjepan KLJUIC]; Serb Democratic Party or Serb Lands or SDS [Dragan KALINIC]; Serb National Alliance (Serb People's Alliance) or SNS [Biljana PLAVSIC]; Social Democratic Party BIH or SDP-BiH [Zlatko LAGUMDZIJA]; Socialist Party of Republika Srpska or SPRS [Zivko RADISIC]

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: CE (guest), CEI, ECE, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), OIC (observer), OSCE, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Igor DAVIDOVIC
chancery: Suite 760, 1707 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 833-3612, 3613, 3615
FAX: [1] (202) 833-2061
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Igor DAVIDOVIC
embassy: Alipasina 43, 71000 Sarajevo
mailing address: American Embassy Sarajevo, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7130
telephone: [387] (71) 445-700
FAX: [387] (71) 659-722

Flag description: white with a large blue shield; the shield contains white fleurs-de-lis with a white diagonal band running from the upper hoist corner to the lower outer side.

Government - note: Until declaring independence in spring 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina existed as a republic in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Bosnia was partitioned by fighting during 1992-95 and governed by competing ethnic factions. Bosnia's current governing structures were created by the Dayton Accords, the 1995 peace agreement which was officially signed in Paris on 14 December 1995 by Bosnian President IZETBEGOVIC, Croatian President TUDJMAN, and Serbian President MILOSEVIC. This agreement retained Bosnia's exterior border and created a joint multi-ethnic and democratic government. This national government - based on proportional representation similar to that which existed in the former socialist regime - is charged with conducting foreign, economic, and fiscal policy. The Dayton Accords also recognized a second tier of government, comprised of two entities - a joint Muslim-Croat Federation and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska (RS) - each presiding over roughly one-half the territory. These Federation and RS governments are charged with overseeing internal functions. As mandated by the Dayton Accords, the Bosnians on 14 September 1996 participated in the first post-war elections of national, entity, and cantonal leaders. The Bosnians have been slow to form and install new joint institutions. A new Federation cabinet was sworn in 18 December 1996 and the new Bosnian central government cabinet was confirmed on 3 January 1997.


Economy - overview: Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked next to The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as the poorest republic in the old Yugoslav federation. Although agriculture has been almost all in private hands, farms have been small and inefficient, and the republic traditionally has been a net importer of food. Industry has been greatly overstaffed, one reflection of the rigidities of communist central planning and management. TITO had pushed the development of military industries in the republic with the result that Bosnia hosted a large share of Yugoslavia's defense plants. The bitter interethnic warfare in Bosnia caused production to plummet by perhaps 90% since 1990, unemployment to soar, and human misery to multiply. No reliable economic statistics for 1992-96 are available, although output almost certainly is well below $1,000 per head. In the Federation, unemployment remains in the 40%-50% range and inflation is low. By contrast, growth in the Republika Srpska in 1996 was flat and inflation surpassed 30%. The country receives substantial amounts of humanitarian aid from the international community. Wide regional differences in war damage and access to the outside world have resulted in substantial variations in living conditions among local areas.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $6.5 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 8% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,700 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 19%
industry: 23%
services:58% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 8% (2000 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1,026,254
by occupation: NA%

Unemployment rate: 35%-40% (1999 est.) est.)

revenues: $1.9 billion
expenditures: $2.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)

Industries: steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining; much of capacity damaged or shut down (1995)

Industrial production growth rate:10% (2000 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 3.991 million kW (1991)

Electricity - production: 2.585 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 2.684 billion kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables; livestock

total value: $950 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: NA
partners: Croatia, Switzerland, Italy, Germany

total value : $2.45 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: NA
partners: Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Italy

Debt - external:$3.4 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $1 billion (1999 est.)

Currency: 1 dinar = 100 para; Croatian kuna used in Croat-held area; old and new Serbian dinars used in Serb-held area; the deutsche mark (DM) has supplanted local currencies throughout Bosnia

Exchange rates: marka per US dollar - 2.086 (January 2001), 2.124 (2000), 1.837 (1999), 1.760 (1998), 1.734 (1997), 0.015 (1996)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones:303,000 (1997)

Telephone system: telephone and telegraph network is in need of modernization and expansion; many urban areas are below average when compared with services in other former Yugoslav republics.
domestic: NA
international : no satellite earth stations

Radio broadcast stations: AM 8, FM 16, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios: 940,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations:33 (plus 277 repeaters) (September 1995)

Televisions: 1,012,094


total: 1,021 km (electrified 795 km; operating as diesel or steam until grids are repaired)
standard gauge: 1,021 km 1.435-m gauge (1995); note - some segments need repair and/or reconstruction (2000)

total : 21,846 km
paved: 14,020 km
unpaved: 7,826 km
note: roads need maintenance and repair (2001)

Waterways: NA km; Sava blocked by downed bridges

Pipelines: crude oil 174 km; natural gas 90 km (1992); note - pipelines now disrupted

Ports and harbors: Bosanski Brod (access to Ploce, Croatia)

Merchant marine: none

Airports:28 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m : 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 11 (2000 est.)


Military branches: Army

Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,127,146 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 895,780 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males : 29,757 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: disputes with Serbia over Serbian populated areas

Illicit drugs: transit point for minor regional marijuana trafficking routes