Authorities say Bosnia's population shrank by nearly a quarter over the past 25 years, which were marked by the devastating 1992-95 war that took 100,000 lives and turned almost half of the population into refugees either within the country or abroad.

According to the 2013 census published on Thursday, 3.5 million people live in the country, compared with the nearly 4.4 million counted in 1991.

Half of the population, or 50.11 percent, are Muslim Bosniaks, 15.43 percent are Roman Catholic Croats and 30.78 per cent are Christian Orthodox Serbs, the report said.

The results were published a day after the legal deadline because Bosnian Serbs disagreed with the EU-recommended counting methodology that was applied.

The war divided the once ethnically mixed territory along new ethnic lines.