Largest Ethnic Groups Of Bosnia And Herzegovina

A Serbian dance troupe in performance: Serbs constitute 30.8% of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Editorial credit: Ioan Florin Cnejevici /
A Serbian dance troupe in performance: Serbs constitute 30.8% of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Editorial credit: Ioan Florin Cnejevici /

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in Southeastern Europe in the Balkan Peninsula and borders Montenegro, Serbia, and Croatia. Bosnia And Herzegovina trace human settlement to Neolithic age after which it was settled by Celtics and Illyrians. The country has rich cultural, political, and social history due to the influence of the Slavic people who continues to live in the country to this day. Bosnia And Herzegovina has a population of 3.7 million people in 1.6 million households. The massive migration of individuals during the Yugoslav war in the 1990s led to the demographic shifts in the country. 2013 census recorded fewer people compared to the 1991 census. Bosnia And Herzegovina are home to three major ethnic groups including Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats. There are other smaller groups like Montenegrins, Roma, and Jews.


Bosniaks are South Slavic nation and ethnic group dominating Bosnia and Herzegovina population, and they constitute 50.1% of the total population in the country. There are over 2 million Bosniaks living in the country with another million living around the world especially in Germany, Austria, and Australia. The majority of the Bosniaks are mainly Muslims. A good number especially the intellectuals and leaders are purely secular. Christian missionaries from Rome are slowly making converts of the Balkan region including Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other religions gaining popularity in the country include Catholic and Orthodox. Bosniak Islamic identity is more related to the cultural roots than to the religious beliefs though their view of Islam and foundation are the same. Bosniaks take pride in sevdalinka, a melancholic folk song and a wide range of traditional wisdom that have been passed down one generation to another.


Serbs belong to the South Slavic ethnic group who are Balkan natives, and they are the second largest ethnic group in the country forming 30.8% of the total population in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The majority of the Serbs are found in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. About 2 million Serbs are also found in the diaspora especially in the Western Europe. 1.1 million Serbs are living in Bosnia and Herzegovina mostly in the Republika Srpska. Serbs speak Serbian which is part of Slavic language. Serbian is an official language in both Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Art especially literature, painting, dance, medieval architecture and music form an important part of the Serb's culture. The modern Serbs also compose and play classical music as part their culture. Serbs are predominantly Orthodox Christians. Islam and other minority religions are also common with the Serb community.


Croats often referred to as Bosnia Croats are the third largest ethnic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina making up 15.4% of the total population. Croats are mainly popular in Mostar, Livno, Siroki Brijen, and Odzark municipalities. Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina speak Croatian, a Serbo-Croatian language. Bosnia Croats are primarily known for their Hrvoje Missal, a significant art that dates back to 15th and 16th century. Croats also pride in literature consisting of material written in The Croatian language. Traditional music is related to ganga, tamburica, and klapa. Croats are predominantly Catholics with the majority of Catholics in Bosnia and Herzegovina being Croats.


Other ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina include Albanians, Montenegrins, Roma, and Jewish among other smaller ethnic groups who in total constitute 3.6% of the whole population. These smaller groups are dominated by the three major language groups. All the language groups have a unique culture, religion, and way of life.

Largest Ethnic Groups Of Bosnia And Herzegovina

RankEthnic GroupShare of National Population
4Albanians, Montenegrins, Roma, and Others3.6%

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