Bosnia and Herzegovina Demographics

What is the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Population 3,835,586
Population Growth Rate -0.1%
Urban Population 48.300000
Population in Major Urban Areas SARAJEVO (capital) 389,000
Nationality Noun Bosnian(s), Herzegovinian(s)
Ethnic Groups Serb 37.1%, Bosniak 48%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6% (2000)
Language Note The official language is Bosnian, a Slavic language that used to be known as Serbo-Croatian. According to ethnic and political affiliation, Bosnians may speak Serbian, Croatian or Bosnian. At school, both Cyrillic and Latin scripts are taught, which are used in the Federation and Serb Republic.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Learning

What is school like in Bosnia and Herzegovina?


Most primary schools are approximately thirty to forty years old; there are also unintentional buildings turned into schools. The number of students depends if the school is a combination of elementary (primary) and secondary (high school) education. For strictly elementary school, the approximate number of children will be 25-30 in each class and classroom, 3-4 classes per grade. Considering the fact that primary education lasts for nine years, it would end up in approximately 800 – 1,100 pupils per school. For the school that encompasses both elementary and high school education, the number will increase by approximately 300 - 500 additional students in higher grades.

A typical classroom is equipped with wooden desks and chairs (two children occupying one desk); a plain blackboard is still in use in almost every school, be it elementary or higher, along with chalk and a plain sponge for cleaning. Several newer schools will have modern plastic boards, which allow teachers and pupils to use markers and similar writing materials. Most schools have computer equipment, out-of-date but sufficient for beginners, including a World Wide Web connection for educational purposes only. Children usually share a computer – two per one PC unit. Some schools have TV sets or CD players in each classroom, though not as a rule. Classrooms will not be equipped with any kind of toys or puzzles. Children start their first grade at the age of six (“Nine Years Obligatory Education” as opposed to the former eight years); the first grader’s classes are serious from the very beginning. Almost every classroom is shared by younger children in one shift and older in another.


Though obligatory, primary education is neither free nor cheap. Parents must buy books each year. The number of books will present problems most of the time due to heavy backpacks. The approximate weight of books for a fifth grader will be over 10 kilos, which is considered at least approximately 1/3 of an average kid’s weight at that age.

Almost every school lacks space in general. With more classrooms, younger and older children would not have to share and classrooms that are more specialized could be built with different equipment. The locker system is what all schools lack the most, since children would not have to carry their books and exercise equipment on a daily basis. Schools in the area have under-equipped and out-to-date libraries, which mostly depend on donors. Children will get a list of books (fiction, poetry) to read and analyze once per month.

Parents often search for books in public libraries, since children under 14 are not allowed to be members. Along with the locker system, the lack of free books would certainly be one of the main deficiencies, though the lack of space and fire escape is far more serious – not all schools have a fire escape.

Most schools have small cantinas offering low-price and low-quality sandwiches and soda drinks. Children will mostly carry their own food from home, such as homemade sandwiches, energy bars, and water.

Primary graders have three to four 45 minutes classes each, with five minutes breaks between. During the first five grades, children will have one teacher for all classes. The curriculum in the first five grades consists of native language, math, nature, environment, society, physical exercise, arts, and English in some schools. In sixth grade classes change to foreign language (or additional foreign language if English was introduced in the second grade), math, geography, biology, science (physics and chemistry), basic computer science, physical exercise, and arts (music, painting, designing, etc). With a variety of religions present, most schools introduce classes such as ethics, basics of democracy, and history of religions.

Regardless of the number of classes a kid has per day, there will be only one 15 minutes recess for both primary and secondary graders, allowing them to eat whatever they brought from home or whatever they buy in school.

Some schools introduce obligatory English language in second grade (two classes per week) and additional foreign language (German or French) in the fifth, though it is more common to have a second (primarily English, German and French) language in the fifth grade. English is required to be taught by persons with a University graduate equivalent degree, i.e. a professor rather than a teacher with 2 years of University education.

Secondary (high school) education is not obligatory. Almost all children move from primary to secondary education, though every third child finishes all nine years, which ends up in the lowest rate of University entrances within the entire region, with every fourth high school student entering University.

As for discipline, the matter varies from school to school. It primarily depends on the internal school’s regulations, where disciplinary measures are harsh but provides results. Children in all schools will get penalties for incessant talking during classes, and forgetting homework or books. As for severe violations, children may be expelled from school. Though the headmaster is the ruling figure in a school, the teacher and a pedagogue will deal with discipline issues first, talk to kids and parents and then transfer the problem to the headmaster. Children do not wear uniforms to school.

To School

Depending on the area, transportation to school will vary accordingly. In bigger cities and urban areas of towns, parents will drive their children to school in their own vehicles whenever possible. However, not every family possesses a car and not all parents have time to drive kids to school. In such cases, they will use public transport. Children from town suburban areas will use organized school transportation, which will be the bus. The transportation prices are set up at the beginning of each school year and paid in advance. In some cases, parents with more than one child attending the same school will have to pay only one price for two or more kids.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Population Comparison

Bosnia and Herzegovina Health Information

What are the health conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Life Expectancy at Birth 76.120000
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 9.53
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 5.970000
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 10.2%
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population 1.69
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 3.5
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 99.600000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 8
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth (age 25-49) 25.9
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 12-49 45.8%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 1.25
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 26.5%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 98.900000
Underweight - percent of children under five years 1.5%

Bosnia and Herzegovina Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Life Expectancy at Birth 76.120000
Median Age 40.400000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 45.8%
Infant Mortality Rate 5.970000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 8
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 1.25

Bosnia and Herzegovina median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 9
Median Age 40.400000
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -0.37
Population Growth Rate -0.1%
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.070000
Age Structure 13.360000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 45.8%
Infant Mortality Rate 5.970000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 8
Mother's mean age at first birth 25.9
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 1.25

Bosnia and Herzegovina Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

The lack of adequate medical facilities, especially outside Sarajevo, may cause problems for visitors. Because many medicines are not obtainable, travelers should bring their own supply of prescription drugs and preventive medicines. Private practitioners and dentists are becoming more common; however, quality of care varies and rarely meets U.S. or Western European standards. All major surgery is performed in public hospitals.

Individuals with asthma or other chronic respiratory conditions may react negatively to the air quality and allergens in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially in Sarajevo. Additionally, persons with mental health conditions may not be able to locate English-speaking mental health providers or support groups.

Health Expenditures - percent of GDP


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Bosnia and Herzegovina Education

What is school like in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Literacy - female 91.1%
Literacy - male 98.4%
Literacy - total population 96.7%
Literacy Definition NA
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 0.000000

Bosnia and Herzegovina Literacy

Can people in Bosnia and Herzegovina read?

Literacy - female 91.1%
Literacy - male 98.4%
Literacy - total population 96.7%
Literacy Definition NA

Bosnia and Herzegovina Crime

Is Bosnia and Herzegovina a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

The overall crime rate throughout the country remains moderate, although Sarajevo has a consistently high rate of property crime. The Embassy has noted a recent sharp increase in criminal activity throughout Sarajevo in the form of armed robberies, residential break-ins, thefts from motor vehicles, and pick-pocketing. In many of these incidents, members of the international community were victims. On average, four motor vehicles are stolen in Bosnia and Herzegovina each day. The persistent difficult economic situation, including an officially reported unemployment rate of over 40 percent, may be fueling an increase in criminal aggressiveness. Be alert to your surroundings at all times, but in particular, after dark and in locations visited by foreigners such as cafés and restaurants. Take normal precautions to protect your property from theft and exercise common sense personal security measures, such as traveling in groups and staying in well-lighted areas after dark. Try to avoid confrontations with local citizens resulting from traffic incidents or public disagreements. Avoid carrying large sums of money on your person and avoid keeping money in one place. Be careful of beggars or others who may be attempting to distract you or directly pick your pocket. There are also documented cases of pick-pocketing and other scams to obtain money from foreign passengers aboard public transportation (especially aboard trams). Most local citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not use backpacks. People wearing backpacks tend to attract the attention of pickpockets who quite easily gain access to backpacks without the owners’ knowledge. Keep purses and bags closed and avoid placing valuables in purses and bags. Items placed on the chair next to you, hung on the coat rack, or placed on the back of a chair are more easily stolen or pilfered.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, photographing military or secure installations including airports, equipment, bridges, government checkpoints, troops, and the U.S. Embassy, is forbidden. If in doubt, please ask permission before taking photographs. Remember that there are some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but are still illegal in the United States. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Bosnia and Herzegovina, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what is legal and what is not wherever you go.

Persons violating Bosnia and Herzegovina’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Bosnia and Herzegovina are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Arrest notifications in the host country:

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

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