The Catholic Encycopedia claims that at the end of the 19th century 98% of population of Bosnia and Herzegovina were Serbs: According to the census of 22 April 1895, Bosnia has 1,361,868 inhabitants and Herzegovina 229,168, giving a total population of 1,591,036. [...] Excluding some 30,000 Albanians living in the south-east, the Jews who emigrated in earlier times from Spain, a few Osmanli Turks, the merchants, officials. and Austrian troops, the rest of the population (about 98 per cent) belong to the southern Slavonic people, the Serbs. Although one in race, the people form in religious beliefs three sharply separated divisions: the Mohammedans, about 550,000 persons (35 per cent), Greek Schismatics, about 674,000 persons (43 per cent), and Catholics, about 334,000 persons (21.3 per cent). The last mentioned are chiefly peasants. -- Klaar, Karl. "Bosnia and Herzegovina." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907.
Bosnia's constitution does not specify any official languages. However, academics Hilary Footitt and Michael Kelly note that the Dayton Agreement states that it is "done in Bosnian, Croatian, English and Serbian", and they describe this as the "de facto recognition of three official languages" at the state level. The equal status of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian was verified by the Constitutional Court in 2000. It ruled that the provisions of the Federation and Republika Srpska constitutions on language were incompatible with the state constitution, since they only recognised "Bosniak" and Croatian (in the case of the Federation) and Serbian (in the case of Republika Srpska) as official languages at the entity level. As a result, the wording of the entity constitutions was changed and all three languages were made official in both entities. The three languages are mutually intelligible and were previously known collectively as Serbo-Croatian. Use of one of the three languages has become a marker of ethnic identity. Michael Kelly and Catherine Baker argue: "The three official languages of today's Bosnian state...represent the symbolic assertion of national identity over the pragmatism of mutual intelligibility". All speak the Ijekavian accent of the Shtokavian dialect. Bosnian and Serbian are written in both Latin and Cyrillic, whereas Croatian is written only in a Latin alphabet. There are also minor speakers of Italian, German, Turkish and Ladino. Yugoslav Sign Language is used with Croatian and Serbian variants.