Perched in the highlands of southeast Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the focus of the bitter ethnic conflict which accompanied the early 1990’s dissolution of the Yugoslav state.
Geography: Hills and mountains, with narrow river valleys. Lowlands in the north. Mainly deciduous forest covers about half of the total area.
Climate: Continental. Hot summers and cold, often snowy winters.
People and Society: Despite sharing the same origin and spoken language, Bosnians have been divided by history between Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Muslim Bosniaks. Ethnic cleansing was practiced by all sides in the civil war, displacing about 60% of the population. Hopes for EU integration will require further ethnic reconciliation.
The Economy: Potential to recover status as a thriving market economy with a strong manufacturing base, but still struggles with resettling refugees and the legacy of war. Little investment.
Insight: The murder of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo in 1914 triggered the First World War
Official Name: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Date of Formation: 1992
Population: 3.77 million
Total Area: 19,741 sq. miles (51,129 sq. km)
Density: 191 people per sq. mile
Languages: Bosnian*, Serbian*, Croatian*
Religions: Muslim 40%, Orthodox Christian 31%, Catholic 15%, other 14%
Ethnic Mix: Bosniak 44%, Serb 31%, Croat 17%, other 8%
Government: Parliamentary system
Currency: Marka = 100 pfeninga