Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian/Croatian (Latin script): Bosna i Hercegovina, Serbian (Cyrillic script): Босна и Херцеговина) is a country on the Balkan peninsula of Southern Europe with an area of 51,129 square kilometres (19,741 sq mi). The last official census in 1991 recorded 4.4 million people, which was prior to the 1992-1995 war, while an unofficial census in 1996 by UNHCR recorded a post-war population of 3.9 million. Its 2007 residential population is estimated at approximately 4 million.
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. Bosnia and Herzegovina can be described as a federal democratic republic that is transforming its economy into a market-oriented system, and it is a potential candidate for membership in the European Union and NATO.
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, the distinction between a Bosnian and a Herzegovinian is maintained as a regional, rather than an ethnic distinction. The country is politically decentralized and comprises two governing entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with District Brčko as a de facto third entity.
Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the south, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost 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. Sarajevo was the host site 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 highly abundant.