Bosnia and Herzegovina Flag Icon

Bosnia and Herzegovina Country Guide

Explore Bosnia and Herzegovina in Europe

Bosnia and Herzegovina with the capital city Sarajevo is located in Europe (Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Croatia). It covers some 51,130 square kilometres (slightly smaller than West Virginia) with 4,590,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The landscape offers mountains and valleys. The average density of population is approximately 90 per km². The notable climate conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be described as hot summers and cold winters with areas of high elevation have short, cool summers and long, severe winters, mild, rainy winters along coast. Potential threats by nature are destructive earthquakes.

To reach someone in Bosnia and Herzegovina dial +387 prior to a number. There are 998,600 installed telephones. And there are 3,257,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".ba". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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; the triangle approximates the shape of the country and its three points stand for the constituent peoples - Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs; the stars represent Europe and are meant to be continuous (thus the half stars at top and bottom); the colors (white, blue, and yellow) are often associated with neutrality and peace, and traditionally are linked with Bosnia.

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 multi-ethnic and democratic government charged with conducting foreign, diplomatic, and fiscal policy. Also recognized was a second tier of government composed of two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosniak/Bosnian Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska (RS). The Federation and RS governments are responsible for overseeing most government functions. Additionally, the Dayton Accords established the Office of the High Representative (OHR) to oversee the implementation of the civilian aspects of the agreement. The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) at its conference in Bonn in 1997 also gave the High Representative the authority to impose legislation and remove officials, the so-called "Bonn Powers." An original NATO-led international peacekeeping force (IFOR) of 60,000 troops assembled in 1995 was succeeded over time by a smaller, NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR). In 2004, European Union peacekeeping troops (EUFOR) replaced SFOR. Currently EUFOR deploys around 600 troops in theater in a policing capacity.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Europe
Neighbours: Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia
Capital: Sarajevo
Size 51,129 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 19,741 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than West Virginia
Population 4,590,000
Currency Name: Marka, Currency Code: BAM
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .ba
Telephone Country Prefix +387
Mobile Phone Connections 3,257,000
Landline Phone Connections 998,600

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 51,197 (sq km) 129

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 3,875,723 128
Population growth rate -0.10 (%) 204
Birth rate 8.92 (births/1,000 population) 210
Death rate 9.53 (deaths/1,000 population) 56
Net migration rate -0.37 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 130
Maternal mortality rate 8.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 156
Infant mortality rate 5.97 (deaths/1,000 live births) 172
Life expectancy at birth 76.12 (years) 86
Total fertility rate 1.25 (children born/woman) 218
Health expenditures 11.10 (% of GDP) 19
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.10 (%) 117
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 900 146
HIV/AIDS - deaths 100 124
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 26.50 (%) 47
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 1.60 (%) 124
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 57.5 (%) 3


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 32,430,000,000 111
GDP - real growth rate -0.70 (%) 193
GDP - per capita (PPP) 8,400 130
Labor force 2,600,000 110
Unemployment rate 43.30 (%) 190
Distribution of family income - Gini index 36 85
Taxes and other revenues 45.5 (% of GDP) 24
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -3.70 (% of GDP) 126
Public debt 43.80 (% of GDP) 81
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.20 (%) 39
Commercial bank prime lending rate 7.14 (%) 127
Stock of narrow money 4,088,000,000 107
Stock of broad money 9,577,000,000 108
Stock of domestic credit 10,340,000,000 97
Industrial production growth rate 3.10 (%) 88
Current account balance -1,362,000,000 121
Exports 5,427,000,000 110
Imports 10,180,000,000 97
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 3,900,000,000 99
Debt - external 9,051,000,000 101


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 15,040,000,000 (kWh) 81
Electricity - consumption 10,170,000,000 (kWh) 89
Electricity - exports 5,877,000,000 (kWh) 27
Electricity - imports 2,887,000,000 (kWh) 45
Electricity - installed generating capacity 4341000 (kW) 77
Electricity - from fossil fuels 44.5 (% of total installed capacity) 166
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 55.5 (% of total installed capacity) 37
Crude oil - imports 4,274 (bbl/day) 82
Refined petroleum products - production 3,304 (bbl/day) 112
Refined petroleum products - consumption 27,540 (bbl/day) 120
Refined petroleum products - imports 23,950 (bbl/day) 99
Natural gas - consumption 210,000,000 (cu m) 101
Natural gas - imports 390,000,000 (cu m) 69
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 20,140,000 (Mt) 83


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 955,900 81
Telephones - mobile cellular 3,171,000 124
Internet hosts 155,252 77
Internet users 1,422,000 85


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 25 127
Railways 601 (km) 107
Roadways 22,926 (km) 102


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.40 (% of GDP) 105

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad
The Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge of Višegrad across the Drina River in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovina was built at the end of the 16th century by the court architect Mimar Koca Sinan on the orders of Grand Vizier Mehmed Paša Sokolović. Chara ...
Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar
The historic town of Mostar, spanning a deep valley of the Neretva River, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries as an Ottoman frontier town and during the Austro-Hungarian period in the 19th and 20th centuries. Mostar has long been known for its o ...