Fast Facts

Sarajevo; 579,000
51,129 square kilometers (19,741 square miles)
Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian
Muslim, Orthodox, Roman Catholic
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $1,900
Literacy Percent:
Flag: Bosnia Herzegovina
Map: Bosnia and Herzegovina

In mountainous southeastern Europe, Bosnia's Muslims, or Bosniacs, trace their ancestry to Christian Slavs who converted to Islam under the Ottomans for tax and landholding advantages. Yugoslavia recognized Bosniacs as a separate people in 1969. Muslim Slavs and Roman Catholic Croats voted in early 1992 for independence from Yugoslavia; most Eastern Orthodox Serbs were fiercely opposed. In the ensuing 1992-95 civil war, some 250,000 people died. The Dayton Peace Accord ended the war and partitioned the country into a Muslim-Croat region and a Serbian region (Serbian Republic). High unemployment and ethnic tensions continue to hamper the country.


  • Industry: Steel, coal, iron ore, lead, zinc, manganese, bauxite, vehicle assembly
  • Agriculture: Wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables; livestock
  • Exports: Metals, clothing, wood products

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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