Bosnian Culture

Bosnians in Australia

There have been three major influxes of Bosnians to Australia. The first period occurred in the aftermath of World War II, and the second occurred in the late 1960s/early 1970s following an economic depression and open border policy in the former Yugoslavia.


The most recent wave of migration was during the 1990s when many Bosnians sought refuge from the war. This migration was assisted under the refugee scheme of the Red Cross in Australia. It generally brought Bosnians from all socioeconomic backgrounds, but mainly families with mixed backgrounds. Consider that some Bosnians who arrived during the mid-1990s may have witnessed atrocities and experienced other war-related traumas.


There are some Bosnians that have arrived in Australia in more recent years. These are often double dislocated persons who migrated from Bosnia in the 1990s and spent a substantial amount of time in another Western country (e.g. Germany or Scandinavian nations). They may have not succeeded in gaining citizenship or resident status and have chosen to migrate to Australia instead. While born in Bosnia, these migrants may not have a very strong affiliation with their Bosnian identity or the cultural behaviours of the country.

According to the 2016 Australian census, 23.2% of Bosnians living in Australia identified as Muslims, 21.5% identified as Catholics and a further 19.4% identified with Eastern . The rate of no religious affiliation was higher among Bosnians living in Australia than those in their home country, with 21.8% not identifying with any religion. A further 7.9% identified with some other faith (including other variations of Christianity) and 5.5% did not respond.

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