Political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last updated

Political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Administrativna podjela Bosne i Hercegovine
Административна подјела Босне и Херцеговине
Administrative divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Republika Srpska entity (1), Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity (2), Brcko District condominium (3) Bosnia and Herzegovina, administrative divisions - Nmbrs (entities).svg
Administrative divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Republika Srpska entity (1), Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity (2), Brčko District condominium (3)
Category Federated state
LocationFlag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina
Number2 entities and 1 condominium
Populations83,560 (Brčko District) – 2,219,220 (Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Areas493 km² (Brčko District) – 26,110.5 km² (Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina)

The political divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina were created by the Dayton Agreement. The Agreement divides the country into two federal entities:


The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) is composed of mostly Bosniaks and Croats, while the Republika Srpska (RS) is composed of mostly Serbs.

Each entity governs roughly one half of the state's territory. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina itself has a federal structure and consists of 10 autonomous cantons.


The Federation and the Republika Srpska governments are charged with overseeing internal functions. Each has its own government, flag and coat of arms, president, legislature, police force, customs, and postal system. The police sectors are overseen by the state-level ministry of safety affairs. Since 2005, Bosnia and Herzegovina has one set of Armed forces.

The Inter-Entity Boundary Line is not determined by natural geographical features of the country. It rather follows the military front-lines as they were at the end of the Bosnian War. On the ground, there is no active border between RS and FBiH, and one would generally not know the difference when crossing from one entity into another.

The city of Brčko in northeastern Bosnia is a seat of the Brčko District, a self-governing administrative unit; it is part of both the Federation and Republika Srpska. The district remains under international supervision.

The Federation is further divided into ten cantons, which are then subdivided into municipalities. The Republika Srpska is divided directly into municipalities.


NameAreaPopulationEthnic groups Munic. StatusMap
Federation of BiH
Federacija BiH
Федерација БиХ
26,110.5 km22,219,220Bosniaks (70.40%)
Croats (22.44%)
Serbs (2.55%)
79 (including
16 cities
Entity Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg
Republika Srpska
Република Српска
Republika Srpska
24,532.8 km21,218,107Serbs (82.95%)
Bosniaks (12.69%)
Croats (2.27%)
64 (including
8 cities
Entity Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg
Brčko District
Brčko Distrikt
Брчко Дистрикт
493 km283,516Bosniaks (42.36%)
Serbs (34.58%)
Croats (20.66%)
N/ASelf-governing district Brcko District in Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg

Related Research Articles

Demographics of Bosnia and Herzegovina

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

The Politics of Bosnia and Herzegovina takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democracy, whereby executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Legislative power is vested in both the Council of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Members of the Parliamentary Assembly are chosen according to a proportional representation system.

Dayton Agreement 1995 treaty ending the Bosnian War

The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, also known as the Dayton Agreement or the Dayton Accords, is the peace agreement reached at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, United States, on 21 November 1995, and formally signed in Paris, on 14 December 1995. These accords put an end to the three-and-a-half-year-long Bosnian War, one of the Yugoslav Wars.

Republika Srpska Political entity of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Republika Srpska is one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located in the north and east of the country. Its largest city and administrative centre is Banja Luka, lying on the Vrbas river.

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Political entity of the sovereign country of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the two entities within the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the other being Republika Srpska. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of 10 autonomous cantons with their own governments and legislatures.

Ethnic groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina

More than 96% of population of Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs to one of its three autochthonous constituent peoples: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. The term constituent refers to the fact that these three ethnic groups are explicitly mentioned in the constitution, and that none of them can be considered a minority or immigrant. The most easily recognizable feature that distinguishes the three ethnic groups is their religion, with Bosniaks predominantly Muslim, Serbs predominantly Orthodox Christians, and Croats Catholic.

LGBT rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity are legal in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, households headed by same-sex couples are not eligible for the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.

High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Supreme political position in Bosnia and Herzegovina, appointed by the Peace Implementation Council

The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, were created in 1995 immediately after the signing of the Dayton Agreement which ended the 1992–1995 Bosnian War. The purpose of the High Representative and the OHR is to oversee the civilian implementation of the Dayton agreement. They also serve to represent the countries involved in the implementation of the Dayton Agreement through the Peace Implementation Council (PIC).

Brčko City in Brčko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brčko is a city and the administrative seat of Brčko District, in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies on the banks of Sava river across from Croatia. As of 2013, it has a population 39,893 inhabitants.

Brčko District Self-governing administrative unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brčko District officially the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the self-governing administrative unit in north-eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Municipalities of Republika Srpska Administrative divisions in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Under the "Law on Territorial Organization and Local Self-Government" adopted in 1994, Republika Srpska was divided into 80 municipalities. After the conclusion of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the law was amended in 1996 to reflect the changes to the entity's borders and now provides for the division of Republika Srpska into 64 municipalities.

Inter-Entity Boundary Line Inter-entity line of demarcation

The Inter-Entity Boundary Line, commonly abbreviated IEBL, is the administrative line that subdivides Bosnia and Herzegovina into two entities, Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The total length of the Inter-Entity Boundary Line is 1,080 km.

The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina was amended once, in 2009, to include the outcome of the Brčko District final award. Several constitutional reforms were attempted between 2006 and 2014, to ensure it compliance with the case law of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Sejdić and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina and following cases regarding ethnic- and residence-based discrimination in passive electoral rights for the Presidency and House of Peoples. None of these attempts have been successful so far, notwithstanding EU involvement and conditionality.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, like many countries is made of geographical and historical and political regions. The current geopolitical regions were finalised with the signing of the Dayton Agreement.

Bosnian police

The Bosnian Police consists of thirteen sub-state territorial police forces and two specialist state-level police forces. The two main police bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina are governed by the Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Romani people in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Romani people in Bosnia and Herzegovina are the largest of the 17 national minorities in the country, although—due to the stigma attached to the label—this is often not reflected in statistics and censuses.

Several referendums have been held in Republika Srpska during its existence, whilst others have been proposed but not happened.

Proposed secession of Republika Srpska

The Dayton Agreement ended the Bosnian War and created the federal republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which consists of the Bosniak and Croat-inhabited Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and the Serb-inhabited Republika Srpska (RS). Although the Bosnian Serbs were viewed as "anti-Dayton" during the first years after the war, since 2000 they have been staunch supporters of the Dayton Agreement and the preservation of RS. Bosniaks generally view RS as illegitimate, and an independence referendum from BiH has been proposed in RS. The 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum and Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence have raised the possibility of a referendum and unification with Serbia. In 2015, after a judicial and police crisis, the governing Alliance of Independent Social Democrats said that it would hold an independence referendum in 2018 if RS's autonomy was not preserved.

Proposed Croat federal unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croat federal unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Croat entity, also informally known as the "Third entity", is a proposed administrative unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina based on territorial federalism and ethnic self-determination. The proposal has been invoked by several political scientists, politicians and political parties, including the Croat National Assembly. So far it has not been discussed beyond the concept level. Since the country is divided into two entities, the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska and the Bosniak-majority Federation, Croats, as one of the three equal constitutive nations, have proposed creating a symmetrical Croat-majority territorial unit. Political advocates for such proposal argue it would ensure Croat equality and prevent electoral gerrymandering, simplify the political gridlock while dismantle overburdening administration. Opponents argue it would further divide the country on ethnic grounds thus breaching the constitutional principles, put non-Croats in a subordinate position, and lead to separatism.

2018 Bosnian general election General election held in Bosnia and Herzegovina

General elections were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 7 October 2018. They decided the makeup of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency as well as national, entity, and cantonal governments. Voter turnout was 53.36%.


    Further reading