Prior to the siege, in 1991 Novo Sarajevo had some 95,089 residents, of which 33,902 were Bosniaks (35.7%), 32,899 were Serbs (34.6%), 8,798 were Croats (9.3%), 15,580 were Yugoslavs (16.4%), and 4,391 were classified as others (4.6%).
Like Novi Grad, Novo Sarajevo is a product of the city's massive growth and development in the 1960s and 1970s. It is located in the middle of the Sarajevo field, predominantly on the northern bank of the Miljacka, between Novi Grad and Centar.
Prior to the siege, Novo Sarajevo had some 47.6 km² (41.6% Forest, 17.5% Meadows, 13.5% Commercial/Building Land, 10.4% Grass-land, 8.4% Ploghland, 13.5% Gardens). Following the Siege of Sarajevo, 75% of the lesser populated urban area was transferred to the Republika Srpska (established as Istočno Novo Sarajevo), leaving Novo Sarajevo municipality with 11.43 km². As a result, Novo Sarajevo has the highest number of people per km², some 7524.