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The country is home to three main ethnic groups or, officially, constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution.

Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age, during and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations.

Culturally, politically, and socially, the country has a rich history, having been first settled by the Slavic peoples that populate the area today from the 6th through to the 9th centuries.

), sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, and west; Serbia to the east; Montenegro to the southeast; and the Adriatic Sea to the south, with a coastline about 20 kilometres (12 miles) long surrounding the town of Neum.

According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could derive from Illyrian *"Bass-an-as"), which would derive from the Proto-Indo-European root "bos" or "bogh"—meaning "the running water".

Following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the republic proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995.

Today, the country maintains high literacy, life expectancy and education levels and is one of the most frequently visited countries in the region, Bosnia and Herzegovina is known for its natural environment and cultural heritage inherited from six historical civilizations, its cuisine, winter sports, its eclectic and unique music, architecture and its festivals, some of which are the largest and most prominent of their kind in Southeastern Europe.

Slavs overwhelmed the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries.

Illyrian cultural traits were adopted by the South Slavs, as evidenced in certain customs and traditions, placenames, etc."It is now generally agreed that the people who lived in the Balkans after the Slavic "invasions" were probably for the most part the same as those who had lived there earlier, although the creation of new political groups and arrival of small numbers of immigrants caused people to look at themselves as distinct from their neighbours, including the Byzantines".

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