This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Census Results in Bosnia Create Controversy

Thanks to Debbie Fugate for linking me to a story about the release of data from the 2013 census of Bosnia. A big issue raised is that the final count of 3.53 million is about 200,000 fewer people than were initially said to have been counted. Such differences always raise suspicion, but the concern in Bosnia is the ethnic divide--a long-time problem in the Balkans and the underlying cause of Yugoslavia's breakup 25 years ago.
The results are extremely sensitive in a country whose institutional framework, as a result of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, rests on the principle of the balance and equality of the three “constitutive peoples” - Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.
According to the results, Bosniaks now make up 50.11 per cent of the population, Serbs 30.78 per cent and Croats 15.43 per cent of the population. 
The census also confirmed that the two entities have a clear ethnic structure, with 92.11 per cent of all Bosnian Serbs living in the RS, and 91.39 per cent of Bosnian Croats and 88.23 percent of Bosniaks living in the Federation. 
The average woman in Bosnia is giving birth to only 1.2 children, so the population is clearly on the decline. The UN Population Division projects the population to be down to only 3 million by the middle of this century, but that projection assumed that the population size in the the 2013 census was higher than these revised numbers suggest. So, we can guess that by 2050 there will be fewer than 3 million Bosnians. Will the ethnic mix become less of a problem, or more of a problem, as the population declines? I think that social theory would predict that a declining population will lead to the need for greater cooperation to keep the country functioning, so this should be a positive, rather than a negative development. Let's hope I'm right on that.

No comments:

Post a Comment