Bosnia and Herzegovina - Poverty and wealth

Before 1991, Bosnians, like most Yugoslavs, enjoyed a modestly prosperous life under the socialist governments, and Sarajevo citizens were proud hosts of the 1984 Winter Olympics. However, the war and the collapse of the economy ruined living standards. While average incomes sharply declined, prices of goods soared, particularly on the black market. Health, education, and welfare slipped into disaster. Physical survival was the only agenda for many Bosnians during the atrocities. While poverty grew, warlords, corrupt politicians, and officials

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Bosnia & Herzegovina N/A 1,690 1,720 1,770 1,700
United States 28,600 30,200 31,500 33,900 36,200
Yugoslavia N/A 2,280 2,300 1,800 2,300
Croatia 4,300 4,500 5,100 5,100 5,800
Note: Data are estimates.
SOURCE: Handbook of the Nations , 17th,18th, 19th and 20theditions for 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 data; CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online] for 2000 data.

made fortunes off looting and smuggling, and this caused an attitude of widespread resignation. After the war, the power of the party oligarchies remained almost unchallenged and was perpetuated by the country's highly complex ethnic-based political structure. Ethnic party elites still control much of the economy and oppose privatization in the most lucrative sectors such as energy.

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