Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republika Bosnia i Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is in southeastern Europe. It is bound on the north and west by Croatia, the southwest by Croatia and the Adriatic Sea, and on the east by Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). The country has an area of 51,129 square kilometers (19,741 square miles), which is slightly smaller than West Virginia, and has a tiny coastline of 20 kilometers (13 miles). The capital, Sarajevo, is in the east-central part of the country, and other prominent cities include Zenica, Banja Luka, Mostar, and Tuzla.
The population of Bosnia and Herzegovina was estimated at 3,922,205 in July 2001; however, this estimation may include significant errors because of the dislocations and ethnic cleansing from the Bosnian civil war (1992-95). In contrast, the country had a population of 4,364,574, according to the 1991 census. The civil war caused hundreds of thousands of casualties and forced many others to flee. By 1998, the population had decreased by an estimated 1 million people.
With an estimated birth rate of 12.86 and death rate of 7.99 per 1,000 inhabitants, Bosnia (the shortened name for the whole country) has an estimated population growth rate of 1.38 percent. The population is young, with 20 percent below the age of 14 and just 9 percent over 65. Bosnia's population density in 1998 was estimated at 66 people per square kilometer (170 per square mile). In 1997, 42 percent of the population lived in urban areas.
Bosnia's major ethnic groups are Muslims (Bosniaks), Serbs, and Croats. The Serbs are traditionally Orthodox Christians, and the Croats are Roman Catholics. Muslims are descendants of former Christian Slavs who converted to Islam during the 15th and 16th centuries (under Ottoman rule). In 1991, the population consisted of 44 percent Muslims, 31 percent Serbs, and 17 percent Croats. In 1995, the population consisted of 40 percent Muslims, 38 percent Serbs, and 22 percent Croats. Events leading to this population change include the immigration of approximately 200,000 ethnic Serbs from Croatia and the deaths of about 7.4 percent of the pre-war Muslim population and 7.1 percent of the pre-war Serb population during the savage civil war. Bosnia and Herzegovina's populations of Serbs, Croats, and Muslims will likely embroil the country in struggles with its more powerful neighboring republics. Bosnian Serbs, for example, may continue to push for annexation to a "Greater Serbia."
Bosnia and Herzegovina has no territories or colonies.
Donia, Robert J. Bosnia and Hercegovina: A Tradition Betrayed. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.
Economist Intelligence Unit. Bosnia and Herzegovina. <http://www.eiu.com> . Accessed December 2000.
Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Profile: Bosnia and Herzegovina. London: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2000.
Malcolm, Noel. Bosnia: A Short History. New York: New YorkUniversity Press, 1996.
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2001. <http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html> . Accessed October 2001.
U.S. Department of State. FY 2000 Country Commercial Guide: Bosnia and Herzegovina. <http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/business/com_guides/index.html> . Accessed December 2000.
Marka (KM). One convertible marka equals 100 convertible pfenniga.
Manufactured goods, metals (aluminum, lead, zinc, steel), wood products, electricity, fruit and tobacco.
Fuel, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured products, chemicals, and food.
US$6.5 billion (purchasing power parity, 2000 est.).
Exports: US$950 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.). Imports: US$2.45 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.).