According to a survey, Bosnians and Serbians are the most likely to say that the Yugoslavia breakup was more bad than good. 77% of people living in Bosnia and as many as 88% living in Serbia said the demise of the socialist federation resulted in more harm than good, according to Gallup. In contrast, Croatians were much more likely to perceive the collapse of Yugoslavia as beneficial, 55%. Kosovans saw the historic development in the most positive light, with a strong majority, 75%, seeing a benefit.
Bosnians’ negative views may be linked to frustration with persistently poor government performance. More than the citizens of any other former Yugoslav republic, Bosnians said the country was headed in the wrong direction, 82%, and the economy was getting worse, 60%.
When in a dominant ethnic group, former Yugoslavs are less likely to say the breakup harmed their country. Croats living outside Croatia were much more likely to think the breakup harmed their country than Croats living in Croatia. The same is true for Albanians in Kosovo, where they are the dominant ethnic group, compared with Albanians in Macedonia, where they are a minority. Serbs are a partial exception: they most often believe their country was harmed by the breakup regardless of where they live.
Adults older than 55 are more likely than those between 15 and 35 to say the collapse of the federation harmed their countries. Given the differences in opinions by age, it seems many people who can remember Yugoslavia view the past in a more favorable light compared with the present political and economic realities.