Europe :: Bosnia and Herzegovina
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Location of Bosnia and Herzegovina
 
Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Introduction ::Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina's declaration of sovereignty in October 1991 was followed by a declaration of independence from the former Yugoslavia on 3 March 1992 after a referendum boycotted by ethnic Serbs. The Bosnian Serbs - supported by neighboring Serbia and Montenegro - 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, Bosniaks and Croats reduced the number of warring factions from three to two by signing an agreement creating a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On 21 November 1995, in Dayton, Ohio, the warring parties initialed a peace agreement that brought to a halt three years of interethnic civil strife (the final agreement was signed in Paris on 14 December 1995). The Dayton Peace Accords retained Bosnia and Herzegovina's international boundaries and created a joint multi-ethnic and democratic government charged with conducting foreign, diplomatic, and fiscal policy. Also recognized was a second tier of government comprised of two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska (RS). The Federation and RS governments were charged with overseeing most government functions. The Office of the High Representative (OHR) was established to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspects of the agreement. 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 was to deter renewed hostilities. European Union peacekeeping troops (EUFOR) replaced SFOR in December 2004; their mission is to maintain peace and stability throughout the country. EUFOR's mission changed from peacekeeping to civil policing in October 2007, with its presence reduced from nearly 7,000 to less than 2,500 troops.
Geography ::Bosnia and Herzegovina
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia
44 00 N, 18 00 E
total: 51,197 sq km
country comparison to the world: 128
land: 51,187 sq km
water: 10 sq km
slightly smaller than West Virginia
total: 1,538 km
border countries: Croatia 932 km, Montenegro 249 km, Serbia 357 km
20 km
no data available
hot summers and cold winters; areas of high elevation have short, cool summers and long, severe winters; mild, rainy winters along coast
mountains and valleys
lowest point: Adriatic Sea 0 m
highest point: Maglic 2,386 m
coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, cobalt, manganese, nickel, clay, gypsum, salt, sand, forests, hydropower
arable land: 19.61%
permanent crops: 1.89%
other: 78.5% (2005)
30 sq km (2003)
37.5 cu km (2003)
destructive earthquakes
air pollution from metallurgical plants; sites for disposing of urban waste are limited; water shortages and destruction of infrastructure because of the 1992-95 civil strife; deforestation
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
within Bosnia and Herzegovina's recognized borders, the country is divided into a joint Bosniak/Croat Federation (about 51% of the territory) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska or RS (about 49% of the territory); the region called Herzegovina is contiguous to Croatia and Montenegro, and traditionally has been settled by an ethnic Croat majority in the west and an ethnic Serb majority in the east
People ::Bosnia and Herzegovina
4,613,414 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
0-14 years: 14.5% (male 344,760/female 323,303)
15-64 years: 70.7% (male 1,645,274/female 1,617,136)
65 years and over: 14.8% (male 279,781/female 403,160) (2009 est.)
total: 39.8 years
male: 38.7 years
female: 41 years (2009 est.)
0.339% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
8.85 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214
8.63 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
3.17 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28
urban population: 47% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 1.4% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
total: 9.1 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 155
male: 10.44 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
total population: 78.5 years
country comparison to the world: 43
male: 74.92 years
female: 82.34 years (2009 est.)
1.25 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212
less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
900 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
100 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
noun: Bosnian(s), Herzegovinian(s)
adjective: Bosnian, Herzegovinian
Bosniak 48%, Serb 37.1%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6% (2000)
note: Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an ethnic term in part to avoid confusion with the religious term Muslim - an adherent of Islam
Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, other 14%
Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.7%
male: 99%
female: 94.4% (2000 est.)
NA
Government ::Bosnia and Herzegovina
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Bosnia and Herzegovina
local long form: none
local short form: Bosna i Hercegovina
former: People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
emerging federal democratic republic
name: Sarajevo
geographic coordinates: 43 52 N, 18 25 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
2 first-order administrative divisions and 1 internationally supervised district* - Brcko district (Brcko Distrikt)*, the Bosniak/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina) and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska; note - Brcko district is in northeastern Bosnia and is an administrative unit under the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the district remains under international supervision
1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia; referendum for independence completed 1 March 1992; independence declared 3 March 1992)
National Day, 25 November (1943)
the Dayton Peace Accords, signed 14 December 1995 in Paris, included a new constitution now in force; note - each of the entities also has its own constitution
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age, 16 if employed; universal
chief of state: Chairman of the Presidency Zeljko KOMSIC (chairman since 6 July 2009; presidency member since 1 October 2006 - Croat); other members of the three-member presidency rotating (every eight months): Haris SILAJDZIC (presidency member since 1 October 2006 - Bosniak); and Nebojsa RADMANOVIC (presidency member since 1 October 2006 - Serb)
head of government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers Nikola SPIRIC (since 11 January 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the council chairman; approved by the National House of Representatives
elections: the three members of the presidency (one Bosniak, one Croat, one Serb) are elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term, but then ineligible for four years); the chairmanship rotates every eight months and resumes where it left off following each national election; election last held 1 October 2006 (next to be held in 2010); the chairman of the Council of Ministers is appointed by the presidency and confirmed by the National House of Representatives
election results: percent of vote - Nebojsa RADMANOVIC with 53.3% of the votes for the Serb seat; Zeljko KOMSIC with 39.6% of the votes for the Croat seat; Haris SILAJDZIC with 62.8% of the votes for the Bosniak seat
note: President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Borjana KRISTO (since 21 February 2007); Vice Presidents Spomenka MICIC (since NA 2007) and Mirsad KEBO (since NA 2007); President of the Republika Srpska: Rajko KUSMANOVIC (since 28 December 2007)
bicameral Parliamentary Assembly or Skupstina consists of the House of Peoples or Dom Naroda (15 seats, 5 Bosniak, 5 Croat, 5 Serb; members elected by the Bosniak/Croat Federation's House of Representatives and the Republika Srpska's National Assembly to serve four-year terms); and the national House of Representatives or Predstavnicki Dom (42 seats, 28 seats allocated for the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 14 seats for the Republika Srpska; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation, to serve four-year terms); note - Bosnia's election law specifies four-year terms for the state and first-order administrative division entity legislatures
elections: House of Peoples - last constituted in January 2003 (next to be constituted in 2007); national House of Representatives - elections last held 1 October 2006 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: House of Peoples - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - NA; national House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - SDA 9, SBiH 8, SNSD 7, SDP 5, SDS 3, HDZ-BH 3, HDZ1990 2, other 5
note: the Bosniak/Croat Federation has a bicameral legislature that consists of a House of Peoples (58 seats - 17 Bosniak, 17 Croat, 17 Serb, 7 other); last constituted December 2002; and a House of Representatives (98 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections last held 1 October 2006 (next to be held in October 2010); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party/coalition - SDA 28, SBiH 24, SDP 17, HDZ-BH 8, HDZ1990 7, other 14; the Republika Srpska has a National Assembly (83 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections last held 1 October 2006 (next to be held in the fall of 2010); percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party/coalition - SNSD 41, SDS 17, PDP 8, DNS 4, SBiH 4, SPRS 3, SDA 3, other 3; as a result of the 2002 constitutional reform process, a 28-member Republika Srpska Council of Peoples (COP) was established in the Republika Srpska National Assembly including eight Croats, eight Bosniaks, eight Serbs, and four members of the smaller communities
BH 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); BH State Court (consists of nine judges and three divisions - Administrative, Appellate and Criminal - having jurisdiction over cases related to state-level law and appellate jurisdiction over cases initiated in the entities); a War Crimes Chamber opened in March 2005
note: the entities each have a Supreme Court; each entity also has a number of lower courts; there are 10 cantonal courts in the Federation, plus a number of municipal courts; the Republika Srpska has five municipal courts
Alliance of Independent Social Democrats or SNSD [Milorad DODIK]; Bosnian Party or BOSS [Mirnes AJANOVIC]; Bosnian Patriotic Party of BPS [Sefer HALILOVIC]; Civic Democratic Party or GDS [Ibrahim SPAHIC]; Croat Christian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina or HKDU [Marin TOPIC]; Croat Party of Rights or HSP [Zvonko JURISIC]; Croat Peasants Party or HSS [Marko TADIC]; Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina or HDZ-BH [Dragan COVIC]; Croatian Democratic Union 1990 or HDZ1990 [Bozo LJUBIC]; Croatian Peoples Union [Milenko BRKIC]; Democratic National Union or DNZ [Rifet DOLIC]; Democratic Party of DP [Dragan CAVIC]; Democratic Peoples Alliance or DNS [Marko PAVIC]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDS [Rasim KADIC]; Nasa Stranka or NS [Bojan BAJIC]; New Croat Initiative or NHI [Kresimir ZUBAK]; Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina or SBiH [Haris SILAJDZIC]; Party for Democratic Action or SDA [Sulejman TIHIC]; Party for Work and Progress or RzB [Mladen IVANKOVIC-LIJANOVIC]; Party of Democratic Progress or PDP [Mladen IVANIC]; Serb Democratic Party or SDS [Mladen BOSIC]; Serb Radical Party of the Republika Srpska or SRS-RS [Milanko MIHAJLICA]; Serb Radical Party-Dr. Vojislav Seselj or SRS-VS [Radislav KANJERIC]; Social Democratic Party of BIH or SDP [Zlatko LAGUMDZIJA]; Social Democratic Union or SDU [Sejfudin TOKIC]; Socialist Party of Republika Srpska or SPRS [Petar DJOKIC]
other: displaced persons associations; student councils; war veterans
BIS, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUC, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
chief of mission: Ambassador Mitar KUJUNDZIC
chancery: 2109 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 337-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 337-1502
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Charles L. ENGLISH
embassy: Alipasina 43, 71000 Sarajevo
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [387] (33) 445-700
FAX: [387] (33) 659-722
branch office(s): Banja Luka, Mostar
a wide medium blue vertical band on the fly side with a yellow isosceles triangle abutting the band and the top of the flag; the remainder of the flag is medium blue with seven full five-pointed white stars and two half stars top and bottom along the hypotenuse of the triangle
Economy ::Bosnia and Herzegovina
The interethnic warfare in Bosnia and Herzegovina caused production to plummet by 80% from 1992 to 1995 and unemployment to soar. With an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-99 at high percentage rates from a low base; but output growth slowed in 2000-02. Part of the lag in output was made up in 2003-08 when GDP growth exceeded 5% per year. Banking reform accelerated in 2001 as all the Communist-era payments bureaus were shut down; foreign banks, primarily from Western Europe, now control most of the banking sector. The konvertibilna marka (convertible mark or BAM)- the national currency introduced in 1998 - is pegged to the euro, and confidence in the currency and the banking sector has increased. Bosnia's private sector is growing and foreign investment is slowly increasing, but government spending, at nearly 40% of adjusted GDP, remains high because of redundant government offices at the state, entity and municipal level. Implementing privatization, however, has been slow, particularly in the Federation where political division between ethnically-based political parties makes agreement on economic policy more difficult. A sizeable current account deficit and high unemployment rate remain the two most serious macroeconomic problems. Successful implementation of a value-added tax in 2006 provided a predictable source of revenue for the government and helped rein in gray market activity. National-level statistics have also improved over time but a large share of economic activity remains unofficial and unrecorded. Bosnia and Herzegovina became a full member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement in September 2007. Bosnia's economy has been largely sheltered from the global financial downtown although key economic indicators have worsened. Key exporters in the metal, automobile and wood processing industries have reported a worsening performance and have announced layoffs and output reductions.
$29.7 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
$28.15 billion (2007 est.)
$26.56 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
Bosnia has a large informal sector that may be as much as 50% of official GDP
$18.47 billion (2008 est.)
5.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
6% (2007 est.)
6.9% (2006 est.)
$6,500 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 127
$6,200 (2007 est.)
$5,900 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
agriculture: 10.2%
industry: 23.9%
services: 66% (2006 est.)
1.863 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 122
agriculture: 19.8%
industry: 32.6%
services: 47.6% (2007)
29% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
45.5% (31 December 2004 est.)
note: official rate; gray economy may reduce actual unemployment to 25-30%
25% (2004 est.)
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 27.4% (2004)
56.2 (2007)
country comparison to the world: 11
revenues: $8.516 billion
expenditures: $8.867 billion (2008 est.)
40% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56
34% of GDP (2007 est.)
7.3% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118
1.6% (2007 est.)
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 120
7.17% (31 December 2007)
$4.49 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 66
$5.13 billion (31 December 2007)
$5.614 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 76
$5.597 billion (31 December 2007)
$10.26 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 87
$8.895 billion (31 December 2007)
$NA
wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables; livestock
steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining
11.6% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
11.32 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
8.488 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
4.344 billion kWh (2007 est.)
3.743 billion kWh (2007 est.)
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
29,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112
191.8 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
25,990 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 203
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
310 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 50
310 million cu m
country comparison to the world: 63
0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
$-2.763 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147
$-1.931 billion (2007 est.)
$5.177 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
$4.243 billion (2007 est.)
metals, clothing, wood products
Croatia 20.9%, Slovenia 16.8%, Italy 16.8%, Germany 13.1%, Austria 10.4%, Hungary 4.8% (2008)
$12.27 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88
$9.947 billion (2007 est.)
machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs
Croatia 24.8%, Slovenia 12.8%, Germany 12.4%, Italy 10.6%, Hungary 6.6%, Turkey 6.5%, Austria 6.4% (2008)
$3.516 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
$4.525 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
$7.672 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
$6.734 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
konvertibilna markas (BAM) per US dollar - 1.3083 (2008 est.), 1.4419 (2007), 1.5576 (2006), 1.5727 (2005), 1.5752 (2004)
note: the convertible mark is pegged to the euro
Communications ::Bosnia and Herzegovina
1.031 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 80
3.179 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 106
general assessment: post-war reconstruction of the telecommunications network, aided by a internationally sponsored program under ERBD, resulted in sharp increases in the number of main telephone lines available; mobile cellular subscribership has been increasing rapidly
domestic: fixed-line teledensity roughly 22 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density has reached 70 per 100 persons
international: country code - 387; no satellite earth stations (2008)
AM 8, FM 16, shortwave 1 (1998)
33 (plus 277 repeaters) (September 1995)
.ba
69,370 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 79
1.308 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 81
Transportation ::Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 132
total: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2009)
total: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 10 (2009)
5 (2009)
total: 1,000 km
country comparison to the world: 88
standard gauge: 1,000 km 1.435-m gauge (590 km electrified) (2008)
total: 21,846 km
country comparison to the world: 107
paved: 11,425 km (4,714 km of interurban roads)
unpaved: 10,421 km (2006)
Sava River (northern border) open to shipping but use limited (2008)
Bosanska Gradiska, Bosanski Brod, Bosanski Samac, and Brcko (all inland waterway ports on the Sava River), Orasje
Military ::Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina Armed Forces (OSBiH): Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Air and Air Defense Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Zrakoplovstvo i Protuzracna Obrana, ZPO) (2009)
18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished January 2006; 4-month service obligation (2009)
males age 16-49: 1,212,007
females age 16-49: 1,170,645 (2008 est.)
males age 16-49: 991,953
females age 16-49: 959,226 (2009 est.)
male: 27,368
female: 25,644 (2009 est.)
4.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
Transnational Issues ::Bosnia and Herzegovina
sections along the Drina River remain in dispute between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia; discussions continue with Croatia on several small disputed sections of the boundary related to maritime access that hinder final ratification of the 1999 border agreement
refugees (country of origin): 7,269 (Croatia)
IDPs: 131,600 (Bosnian Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks displaced in 1992-95 war) (2007)
increasingly a transit point for heroin being trafficked to Western Europe; minor transit point for marijuana; remains highly vulnerable to money-laundering activity given a primarily cash-based and unregulated economy, weak law enforcement, and instances of corruption