About Bosnia

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  • Population: 4.6 million
  • Languages: Bosnian (official), Croatian (official), Serbian
  • Main religions: Muslim (40%), Orthodox (31%), Roman Catholic (15%)

About Bosnian-Americans

  • Local population: About 4,500 refugees have come to the area since the 1970s
  • Why they came here: The majority of Bosnian immigrants moved to the U.S. during or shortly after the Bosnian War. During the war, Serbian forces kept the capital city of Sarajevo under siege for nearly four years -- from April 1992 to February 1996. More than 11,000 people were killed during the siege alone, and more than 100,000 died in the war overall.
  • When they came: 1990s

More resources:

  • "Shot Through the Heart," 1998, directed by David Attwood
  • "Not My Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia," by Savo Heleta
  • "In the Land of Blood and Honey," 2011, directed by Angelina Jolie

Ifeta Bektic says goodbye to her 73-year-old aunt Aisa Skorupan after a visit to her home in Prnjavor, Bosnia, in 2003. Ifeta had not seen Aisa in nineteen years. Credit: Elizabeth Mundschenk/Observer-Dispatch
Fikreta Andelija (at left) gathers with other Bosnian members of the mosque on Court Street in Utica to celebrate the end of Ramadan on Sept. 1, 2011. Credit:Jason Rossi/Observer-Dispatch

Read a local resident's story of fleeing the siege of Sarajevo 'under a shooting sky'

Sources: CIA World Factbook, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, The U.N. Refugee Agency, 2006-2010 American Community Survey, O-D archives