Contemporary Southeastern Europe
The 2013 Bosnia and Herzegovina Census: Waiting for Results and Counting the Questions
Bosnia and Herzegovina held its first post-war census in autumn 2013, over two decades after the final 1991 Yugoslav census, following a war that displaced nearly half of the population, and killed approximately 100,000 people. The long delay was related to several reasons including the post-war reconstruction, the efforts to either support or obstruct the return of persons to their pre-war homes as guaranteed in the Dayton peace agreement, and pervasive ethno-political agendas. Such agendas were often based on the practical reality of who, from what constituent group, lives where. As of August 2015, the results have not been released. This article therefore reviews BiH’s experience in the recent census, and poses a number of policy relevant questions about how the data could be used.