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Bosnia Begins First Census Since 1991

Bosnia's first census since 1991 starts today.
Bosnia's first census since 1991 starts today.
SARAJEVO -- Bosnia this week begins its first official census since 1991.

The population count is a highly sensitive issue since it will reveal the country's ethnic makeup following the 1992-95 war. It could have ramifications for the delicate power-sharing arrangement under the Dayton peace accords that established Bosnia's three "constituent" peoples: Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats.

Under the 1991 census, Bosniaks, then categorized as Muslims, made up 43.5 percent, Serbs 31.2 percent, and Croats 17.4 percent. For months, political and religious leaders of the three groups have been urging their respective communities to declare their ethnicity in the current census.

The current census was originally planned for 2012 but was postponed amid disagreements among Bosnia's ethnically based political parties. It could take a year or more for final results to be issued.

With reporting by Reuters

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