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  Introduction Back To Top

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 Back To Top

Total renewable water resources:
37.5 cu km (2003)

Land boundaries:
total: 1,538 km
border countries: Croatia 932 km, Montenegro 249 km, Serbia 357 km

Environment - international agreements:
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

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

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
44 00 N, 18 00 E

Natural resources:
coal, iron ore, bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, chromite, cobalt, manganese, nickel, clay, gypsum, salt, sand, forests, hydropower

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

mountains and valleys

Geography - note:
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

total: 51,209.2 sq km
land: 51,197 sq km
water: 12.2 sq km

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia

20 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than West Virginia

Irrigated land:
30 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:
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

Maritime claims:
no data available

Natural hazards:
destructive earthquakes

Land use:
arable land: 19.61%
permanent crops: 1.89%
other: 78.5% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
1.24 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
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: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
900 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.33 years
male: 74.74 years
female: 82.19 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.7%
male: 99%
female: 94.4% (2000 est.)

Net migration rate:
6.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
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

Median age:
total: 39.4 years
male: 38.2 years
female: 40.5 years (2008 est.)

4,590,310 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:

Population growth rate:
0.666% (2008 est.)

Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian

Death rate:
8.54 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 9.34 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 10.71 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
100 (2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.7% (male 347,679/female 326,091)
15-64 years: 70.6% (male 1,634,053/female 1,606,341)
65 years and over: 14.7% (male 277,504/female 398,642) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
8.82 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, other 14%

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

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
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

National holiday:
National Day, 25 November (1943)

18 years of age, 16 if employed; universal

Government type:
emerging federal democratic republic

Political pressure groups and leaders:
other: displaced persons associations; student councils; war veterans

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Svetozar MILETIC
chancery: 2109 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 337-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 337-1502
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliamentary Assembly or Skupstina consists of 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); and 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); note - Bosnia's election law specifies four-year terms for the state and first-order administrative division entity legislatures
elections: national House of Representatives - elections last held 1 October 2006 (next to be held in 2010); House of Peoples - last constituted in January 2003 (next to be constituted in 2007)
election results: national House of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - SDA 9, SBH 8, SNSD 7, SDP 5, SDS 3, HDZ-BH 3, HDZ1990 2, other 5; 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 (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, SBH 24, SDP 17, HDZ-BH 8, HDZ1990 7, other 14; and a House of Peoples (58 seats - 17 Bosniak, 17 Croat, 17 Serb, 7 other); last constituted December 2002; 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, SBH 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

Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Flag description:
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

1 March 1992 (from Yugoslavia; referendum for independence completed 1 March 1992; independence declared 3 March 1992)

Country name (Goverment):
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

Political parties and leaders:
Alliance of Independent Social Democrats or SNSD [Milorad DODIK]; Bosnian Party or BOSS [Mirnes AJANOVIC]; 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 Peoples Alliance or DNS [Marko PAVIC]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDS [Rasim KADIC]; New Croat Initiative or NHI [Kresimir ZUBAK]; Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina or SBH [Haris SILAJDZIC]; Party for Democratic Action or SDA [Sulejman TIHIC]; 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]

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

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

Executive branch:
chief of state: Chairman of the Presidency Nebojsa RADMANOVIC (chairman since 6 November 2008; presidency member since 1 October 2006 - Serb); other members of the three-member presidency rotating (every eight months): Haris SILAJDZIC (presidency member since 1 October 2006 - Bosniak); and Zeljko KOMSIC (presidency member since 1 October 2006 - Croat)
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 received 39.6% of the votes for the Croat seat; Haris SILAJDZIC received 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)

Administrative divisions:
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

Judicial branch:
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

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Croatia 21%, Slovenia 16.5%, Italy 16.1%, Germany 13.3%, Austria 9.6%, Hungary 5.7% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
8.501 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
3.015 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Current account balance:
-$2.85 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$8.353 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
29% official rate; grey economy may reduce actual unemployment to 25-30% (2007 est.)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$6,600 (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$8.895 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$30.49 billion
note: Bosnia has a large informal sector that could also be as much as 50% of official GDP (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$19.36 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
56.2 (2007)

Exchange rates:
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

GDP - real growth rate:
5.5% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$5.13 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
1.196 million (2007)

Imports - partners:
Croatia 24.7%, Slovenia 13.3%, Germany 13.1%, Italy 10.4%, Austria 7%, Turkey 6.5%, Hungary 5.4% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 10.2%
industry: 23.9%
services: 66% (2006 est.)

Oil - imports:
27,370 bbl/day (2005)

$5.092 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
400 million cu m (2006 est.)

Currency (code):
konvertibilna marka (convertible mark) (BAM)

Economy - overview:
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 benks, 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 bring 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.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs

steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining

Electricity - exports:
5.123 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line:
25% (2004 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
7.17% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$5.597 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
12.84 billion kWh (2006 est.)

$11.94 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$5.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
27,590 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Public debt:
40% of GDP (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.9%
highest 10%: 21.4% (2001)

Exports - commodities:
metals, clothing, wood products

Economic aid - recipient:
$546.1 million (2005 est.)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 53.5%
hydro: 46.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $8.607 billion
expenditures: $8.962 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
1.055 million (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
1.065 million (2007)


Internet country code:

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

940,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
2.45 million (2007)

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

Telephone system:
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 25 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone density exceeds 50 per 100 persons
international: country code - 387; no satellite earth stations (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
3 (2000)

Internet hosts:
56,032 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Sava River (northern border) open to shipping but use limited (2008)

total: 608 km
standard gauge: 608 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)

Ports and terminals:
Bosanska Gradiska, Bosanski Brod, Bosanski Samac, and Brcko (all inland waterway ports on the Sava), Orasje

5 (2007)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2007)

total: 21,846 km
paved: 11,425 km (4,714 km of interurban roads)
unpaved: 10,421 km (2006)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 12 (2007)

28 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
17 years of age for voluntary military service in the Federation and in the Republika Srpska; conscription abolished January 2006; 4-month service obligation (2006)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,212,007
females age 16-49: 1,170,645 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 996,225
females age 16-49: 962,927 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
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) (2007)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 30,246
female: 28,189 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
4.5% of GDP (2005 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
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 and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 7,269 (Croatia)
IDPs: 131,600 (Bosnian Croats, Serbs, and Muslims displaced in 1992-95 war) (2007)

Illicit drugs:
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

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