Bosnia and Herzegovina Human Geography

Bosnia and Herzegovina Human Geography

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the process of recomposing the ethnic-social identity of the state developed over the course of almost five years of war, which ended with the Dayton agreements (November 21, 1995). The new administrative aggregation has its basis in the ethnic cleansing operations implemented during the conflict, which have determined a clearer territorial division between those ethnic groups that previously lived integrated, even if, obviously, in some areas the presence of the ‘one or the other. The Muslim residents of Bosnia and Herzegovina were the majority to the South of Sarajevo, in the strip of territory between Mostar and the Lim river, and also in the area of ​​Tuzla and to the West of Banja Luka; to the W of Sarajevo they lived together with the Serbs, while they shared with the Croats the area that stretched to the East of this city, become a multi-religious island. In total, Muslims of the entire population were almost half. The Croats, on the other hand, were predominant among the residents of the western part of the country (Dinaric Alps), of the lower valley of the Neretva, as well as in the north in Posavina near the border with the Croatia.

According to iamhigher, Serbs predominated in the remaining parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ie over half of the territory. On the occasion of the 1991 census, 5.5% of the residents not wanting to recognize himself in any of the three constitutive nations, he declared himself a Yugoslav; the remaining population was made up mostly of Roma, Jews (especially in Sarajevo), and then Hungarians and Romanians, concentrated in the border areas with Vojvodina and, finally, Ruthenians. The data relating to the population concerning the period after the war, the result of estimates only, since a general census has not been carried out since then, may be conditioned by the uncertainty on the number of refugee returns to their pre-war residences, but they are nevertheless useful for provide an overview. A 2000 estimate estimated the population to be approx. 3,972,000 residents and therefore considerably lower than that recorded by the 1991 census (4,377,033 residents). This decrease is attributable to the upheavals brought about by the civil war: it is estimated that, between 1992 and 1995, in addition to more or less 260,000 deaths from war causes, approx. 2,100,000 people were forced to leave their residences and take refuge in Croatia, Yugoslavia and many foreign countries. Since 1998, these refugees have begun to return home, although many have preferred to reside permanently abroad. In 1999, following the bombing of the NATO against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, there was a substantial influx of refugees (80,000 people): Albanians from Kosovo, Muslims towards the Federation, Serbs towards the Serbian Republic. The refugee problem represents one of the most serious social problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with very substantial economic and legal implications. The country is characterized by a low population density (75 residents km²), a fertility rate (1.2 in 2008) in line with the values ​​of economically advanced Europe, as well as by a strong housing dispersion, with an urban population of 48 % (2008), one of the lowest percentages in Europe.

In 1991 there were 38 cities with over 10,000 residents, while later the settlement structure changed radically. Many cities (including Sarajevo itself and Tuzla) that served as regional hubs have lost their hinterland traditional, assigned to the other constitutive entity of the state. In fact, after 1995 it was cut by internal borders on the basis of the military situation existing at the time of the signing of the agreements, and not on functional requirements. Capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as of the Federation, as well as of the Croatian-Muslim ethnic group, is the city of Sarajevo, whose population, at the 1991 census, amounted to over 400,000 residents, while subsequently it dropped to 304,065 (2007 estimate). The city, during the conflict of 1992-95, suffered very serious damage both at a structural level and due to the loss of fundamental evidence of its historical memory: an example is the destruction of the National Library. However after the war, benefiting from much more international assistance than other locations in the state, it has largely been rebuilt and renovated. Second city in the country is Banja Luka, capital of the Serbian Republic, followed by other urban centers, all smaller than 100,000 residents, among which the most important are Zenica, Tuzla and Mostar, also known for its ancient bridge bombed in the 1992-95 war and then rebuilt in 2004 thanks to international funding.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Country and People

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