Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country on the Balkan peninsula of Southern Europe with an area of 51,280 square kilometres (19,741 sq mi). Around 4.3 million people lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1991, prior to its 1992–1995 war. In 2007 its population was estimated at 4 million people.
The country is home to three ethnic "constituent peoples": Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. Regardless of ethnicity, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is often identified in English as a Bosnian. In Bosnia however, the distinction between a Bosnian and a Herzegovinian is maintained as a regional, rather than an ethnic distinction. The country is decentralized and comprised of two political entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska.
Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the south, Bosnia and Herzegovina is mostly landlocked, except for 26 kilometres of the Adriatic Sea coastline,centered around the town of Neum. The interior of the country is mountainous in the center and south, hilly in the northwest, and flat in the northeast. The nation's capital and largest city is Sarajevo, seated between several high mountains and was thus the host of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.
The region of Bosnia is the largest geographic region of the modern state with moderate continental climate, marked by hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Smaller Herzegovina is the southern tip of the country, with Mediterranean climate and topography. Bosnia and Herzegovina's natural resources are abundant.
Formerly one of the six federal units constituting the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina gained its independence during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. As a result of the Dayton Accords, the civilian peace implementation is supervised by the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina selected by the Peace Implementation Council. The High Representative has many governmental and legislative powers, including the dismissal of elected and non-elected officials. More recently, several central institutions have been established (such as defense ministry, security ministry, state court, indirect taxation service etc.) in the process of transferring part of the jurisdiction from the entities to the state.
Bosnia is a potential candidate for membership in the European Union and a candidate for NATO.