Entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Update 10 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2012-12-31. It assigns a code to Brčko, which formerly lacked one.

Newsletter II-2, an update to the ISO 3166-2 standard, is dated 2010-06-30. It assigns a code to Brčko district, which hadn't had one before. The cantons are listed, with the same ISO codes as before, but now their names are given in Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian.

The second edition of ISO 3166-2 was published on 2007-12-15. It shows the same two entities as the first edition, but represents them as regional groupings. It also shows ten cantons, and represents them as the primary subdivisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. ISO codes for the cantons were withdrawn on 2015-11-27. Now Bosnia and Herzegovina has no ISO codes for secondary subdivisions.

Change Notice 8 to FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated 2002-06-28. It assigns FIPS codes to the two main entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on 1998-12-15. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For Bosnia and Herzegovina, the draft standard showed no divisions. The final standard shows two entities. They apparently represent the partition of the country determined by the Dayton accord. Their names and ISO codes are shown in the first table.

In addition, it appears that on about 2000-03-01, the city of Brčko was established as a third entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, taking parts of both of the others. Its status is that of a district. It has not yet been given a FIPS or ISO code.

Aleksandar Petrovic has written me regarding the divisions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Dayton accord establishes that the country is divided into two "entities": the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, occupying 51% of the total territory, and the Serb Republic, occupying the remaining 49%. Brčko District is an anomaly. The de facto situation is that, on 1999-12-07, Brčko District became a condominium of the Federation and the Serb Republic. In Brčko District, each person can choose whether to be a citizen of the Federation or of the Serb Republic. The official position of the government of the Serb Republic, however, is that Brčko District is partitioned between the two entities, following the border that was in place as of 1996-12-14.

Country overview: 

ISO codeBA
LanguageBosnian (bs)
Time zone+1 ~


At the beginning of the 20th century, Bosnia and Herzegovina had been occupied by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but was still de jure part of the Ottoman Empire. It was formally annexed by Austria-Hungary in 1908. In the aftermath of World War I, it was allocated to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, which soon became Yugoslavia. It remained one of the six constituent republics of Yugoslavia until the federation broke up in 1992. The situation in Bosnia has been unstable since then.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Bosnien-Hercegovina, Bosnien-herzegovina
  2. Dutch: Bosnië en Herzegovina
  3. English: Bosnia (informal)
  4. Finnish: Bosnia ja Hertsegovina
  5. French: Bosnie-Herzégovine f
  6. German: Bosnien und Herzegowina n
  7. Icelandic: Bosnía og Hersegóvína
  8. Italian: Bosnia ed Erzegovina f
  9. Norwegian: Bosnia-Hercegovina, Republikken Bosnia-Hercegovina (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Bósnia-Herzegovina (Portugal), Bósnia-Herzegóvina (Brazil)
  11. Bosnian: Republika Bosna i Hercegovina (formal)
  12. Russian: БиГ (abbr), Босния и Герцеговина
  13. Spanish: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bosnia y Herzegovina (variant)
  14. Swedish: Bosnien och Hercegovina
  15. Turkish: Bosna ve Hersek Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Bosnia from the Bosna River; Old Serbian Herzegovina: duchy, named by governor Stepan Vukčić on taking the title herzeg.

Primary subdivisions: 

Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided into two "entities" and one district.

EntityEnglish nameHASCISOFIPS
Federacija Bosna i HercegovinaFederation of Bosnia and HerzegovinaBA.BFBIHBK01
Republika SrpskaSerb RepublicBA.SRSRPBK02
Distrikt BrčkoBrčko DistrictBA.BRBRCBK03

Postal codes: 

Bosnia and Herzegovina appears still to be using postal codes from the time of a unified Yugoslavia. They are five-digit numbers beginning with '7' or '8'.

Further subdivisions:

See the Communes of Bosnia and Herzegovina page.

The kotari are subdivided into 105 opčine (communes).

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided into ten units with the status of canton (Bosnian: kanton). They have also informally been called županija.

English nameISODialCapitalAlternate names
Bosnian Podrinje05038GorazdeBosansko-podrinjski, Goraždansko-podrinjski
Central Bosnia06030TravnikCentralnobosanski, Srednjobosanski
Posavina02031OdžakBosanskoposavski, Posavski
West Bosnia10034Kupres, Livno, TomislavgradHercegbosanski, Hercegovačko-bosanski, Kanton No. 10, Livanjski Kanton
West Herzegovina08039Siroki BrijegZapadnohercegovački
Zenica-Doboj04032Doboj, ZenicaZeničko-dobojski
  • ISO: Former code from ISO 3166-2. These codes were withdrawn on
    2015-11-27. Shown for archival purposes.
  • Dial: Dialing code (source [5])
  • Capital, Alternate names: Source [6]

Territorial extent: 

A tiny area of Bosnia, containing the village of Sastavci, is surrounded by Serbia. It is located west of Priboj.

The UN LOCODE page  for Bosnia and Herzegovina lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Banja Luka: probably Serbian banja: governor's, luka: prairie
  2. Mostar: Serbian for bridgekeeper, or guardian of the bridge. Unfortunately, the old bridge was destroyed by civil war, but it has been restored.
  3. Sarajevo: From Turkish saray: palace

Change history: 

As part of Yugoslavia, Bosnia was subdivided into twelve kotari (counties), as listed here.

Banja LukaBA.BL338,1964,7201,822
12 counties3,277,93551,12919,741
  1. 1999: Name of Tuzla-Podrinje canton changed to Tuzla.
  2. ~1999: Name of Goraždansko-podrinjski canton changed to Bosansko-podrinjski (Bosnian Podrinje).

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Федерация Боснии и Герцеговины (Russian)
  2. Serb Republic: Республика Сербская (Russian)


  1. [1] Mardešić, Petar, and Zvonimir Dugački. Geografski Atlas Jugoslavije. Zagreb: Znanje, 1961.
  2. [2] Mardešić, Petar, and Oto Oppitz. Jugoslavenski Leksikografski Zavod. Zagreb, 1969.
  3. [3] Territory and Administration in Europe. Robert Bennett, ed. Pinter Publishers, London and New York, 1989.
  4. [4] Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States 1992. Europa Publications Ltd., London, 1992.
  5. [5] Retrieved on 2002-07-21 from http://www.zenica.ba/poz_broj.htm (dead link). Now the same data can be found at Pozivni Brojevi u BIH  (retrieved 2010-07-21).
  6. [6] Flags of the World  Bosnia page (retrieved 2002-07-21).
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