Bosnia and Herzegovina Social Condition Facts

Social conditions

Bosnia is one of Europe’s poorest countries. It was relatively disadvantaged even as a sub-republic in Yugoslavia and the war in 1992-95 broke down many of the actual institutions – everything from hospitals to schools – and functioning social networks.

Roughly one in five Bosnians is estimated to live below the poverty line. Among the particularly vulnerable are children and many of them who have not been able to return to their homes after the war. Widespread unemployment impedes poverty. But also many employees have it scarce, especially as it appears that wages are not paid regularly.

  • Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.

The social security system has major shortcomings. Three-quarters of the grants paid go to war veterans, regardless of income level. Many poor people are thus left without the help of the state. Not every third Bosnian who has reached retirement age receives a pension, and the pension level has also been lowered.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Social Condition Facts

Women have been forced out of the labor market to a greater extent than men after the war and are more dependent on informal work, which makes them more exposed to poorer pensions and health insurance. Only one in three women is expected to have a salary. Abortions are free until the tenth week of pregnancy, after which the woman must apply for a permit.

Gender discrimination is formally prohibited by law and gender equality in Bosnia has gradually improved. But women of all ages are subjected to violence, especially in the home. Domestic violence was first criminalized in 2005, but still considered by many people, even within the justice system, to be a private matter. According to an election law, since 2014 party lists must be filled with at least 40 percent of each sex. After the 2018 election, 21 percent of the members of the House of Representatives are women (in the upper house the figure is lower). The division of chores within the family is still traditional, with women mostly taking care of children and households.

There is no legislation to support same-sex relationships. LGBTQ people are often exposed to serious threats and harassment.

The situation of the Romans is difficult. They are regarded as the largest of “other” ethnic groups in Bosnia, but have always lived on the outskirts of society and are confronted by prejudice and discrimination in health care and the school system. Roma also generally have lower education and have long had no political organization to pursue their interests in Bosnian society. Many Roma are unregistered and evade the rest of society, which makes their situation worse.


Infant Mortality: 5 per 1000 births (2018)

Percentage of HIV infected: 0.1 percent (2018)

Proportion of HIV infected among young women

0.1 percent (2018)

Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.1 percent (2018)

Proportion of population with access to clean water: 97.7 percent (2015)

Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 95.4 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 9.4 percent (2015)

Public expenditure on health care per person: $ 444 (2016)

Proportion of women in parliament: 21 percent (2018)



Government formation agreement

Just over a year after the October 2010 election, six parties (SDP, SNSD, SDA, SDS, HDZ BiH, HDZ 1990) announce that they have agreed to form government. After lengthy negotiations, they have agreed that the government should consist of ten ministers: four Bosniaks, three Serbs and three Croats. A Croat should lead the government. Of the Bosniaks, one should come from Republika Srpska.


Attack on US Embassy

A Serbian Islamist is arrested in an armed attack on the US embassy in Sarajevo. A police officer is injured in the attack.


The EU appoints envoys

Danish diplomat Peter Sørensen becomes the EU envoy in Bosnia, but Inzko remains the high representative of the international community.


The Socialist International shuts down SNSD

The Socialist International, the international organization for social democratic parties, shuts down the SNSD because of the party’s fierce nationalism. In September 2012, the party is completely excluded.

Failed attempts to form government

Parliament again fails to approve a prime minister and form a government. The proposal presented was supported by a majority, but not by two-thirds of the Serbian members, which is required. One problem highlighted by the proposed head of government Slavko Kukić is that, despite being a Croat, he is not a member of an “ethnic Croat” party.


The Republic of Srpska backs on a questioned referendum

Milorad Dodik is withdrawing the plans for a referendum that Parliament voted in April to abide by, on various laws that the High Representative forced on the Republika Srpska and which he believes are discriminatory against Serbs. In a report to the UN Security Council, Valentin Inzko has called the referendum the most serious breach of the Dayton Agreement since it was signed in 1995. Dodik changes after a visit to Banja Luka by EU Foreign Representative Catherine Ashton and announces that the EU will appoint a commission will investigate changes to the justice system in Bosnia.


Ratko Mladić grips

May 26

The Bosnian Serb commanders during the war, Ratko Mladić, are arrested in Serbia. He is taken from there to The Hague to be tried, among other things, for genocide in Srebrenica. The trial against him begins a year later.

High Representative warns of breach of peace agreement

Inzko writes in a report to the UN Security Council that a referendum voted by Parliament in the Republic of Srpska in April to hold constitutes the most serious breach of the Dayton Agreement since it was signed in 1995. The referendum would apply to various laws that the High Representative forced on the entity and as the ruling party SNSD considers discriminatory against Serbs.


Bosnia is suspended from football

The International Football Federation (Fifa) excludes Bosnia from international football tournaments, as the country’s football federation continued with three leaders – a Bosniak, a Croat and a Serb – despite the international demand for a single federation chairman. The Bosnian Serbs have opposed the idea of ​​a single leader. The suspension will be lifted after two months and Bosnia can then continue to play qualifying matches ahead of the 2012 World Cup.


The High Representative intervenes in the Federation

After lengthy negotiations, the Federation’s parliament appoints a new federation president, but the outgoing president refuses to leave his post, after which the Election Commission rejects parliamentary elections. The High Representative Inzko then intervenes and rejects the Election Commission’s decision.