In the 1991 census, the country had a population of 4.37 million, which was believed to have fallen to 3.9 million during an unofficial UNHCR census in 1996. The population has dropped even further to 3.79 million.
While the war in Bosnia ended 18 years ago, its scars are still visible in the area, and mass graves are still being discovered. Ethnic tensions were also aggravated leading up to the recent census. Bosnia's population is expected to continue a slow decline in the coming years.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Population Growth
Bosnia and Herzegovina's population growth rate has improved since it lost nearly one-third of its population in the 1990s genocide, but the growth rate continues to be negative. Not only has the population been shrinking, but for the first time, there were more old people than young in 2015. Improving the fertility rate and the desire of its citizens to have children would certainly help the situation, but it is believed that it would still take at least 2 generations to make up for the losses they have suffered since the 1990s. Experts believe that the best way to increase the population would be to revive the cities and their opportunities, find a better balance between immigration and emigration, manage shrinking settlements to make sure they are still habitable and rethink service delivery mechanisms so that people in rural areas can have access to things like medicine and education. As of 2019, the annual growth rate in Bosnia Herzegovina was -0.05%.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Population Projections
Unless the aforementioned measures are quickly implemented, it is not expected that the population growth rate in Bosnia Herzegovina will become positive in the near future. Current projections believe that emigration will continually increase the annual growth rate will decline towards -0.63% by 2050, with the population dipping below 3 million by around 2055. These same predictions say that the population will be roughly 3,498,210 in 2020, 3,404,781 in 2030, 3,251,170 by 2040 and 3,058,143 by 2050.