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Bosnian Census Shows Country Lost Fifth Of Population

The first census since the end of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina shows the country’s population shrank by one-fifth over the past 25 years.

According to the 2013 census published on June 30, 3.5 million people live in the country, compared with the nearly 4.4 million counted in 1991.

Half of the population -- or 50.11 percent -- are Muslim Bosniaks, 30.78 per cent are Orthodox Christian Serbs, and 15.43 percent are Roman Catholic Croats.

The results were published a day after the legal deadline because Bosnian Serbs disagreed with the EU-recommended counting methodology that was applied.

The 2013 census is seen as a vital tool for economic and social planning, but Bosnian Serbs fear the count could have ramifications for the delicate system of power-sharing set in place by a U.S.-brokered peace deal in 1995.

The European Union has been urging Bosnia to start publishing population data by July 1 if it wants Brussels to consider the membership application it submitted in February.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters