Map Bulgaria
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Bulgaria


Background: The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.
Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Area land: 108,489 sq km
Area water: 2,390 sq km
Coastline: 354 km
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
Country name conventional short form: Bulgaria
Country name former: Republic of Bulgaria
Population: 7,093,635 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.9% (male 506,403/female 480,935); 15-64 years: 67.9% (male 2,367,680/female 2,446,799); 65 years and over: 18.2% (male 522,343/female 769,475) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: -0.781% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 9.32 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 14.32 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female; total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 16.68 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 19.93 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 13.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.59 years; male: 69.99 years; female: 77.41 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.42 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 3,800 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 200 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Bulgarian(s); adjective: Bulgarian;
Ethnic groups: Bulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian) (2001 census);
Religions: Bulgarian Orthodox 82.6%, Muslim 12.2%, other Christian 1.2%, other 4% (2001 census);
Languages: Bulgarian (official) 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 98.2%; male: 98.7%; female: 97.7% (2001 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $92.21 billion (2010 est.); $91.93 billion (2009 est.); $96.67 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $44.84 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 0.3% (2010 est.); -4.9% (2009 est.); 6.2% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $12,800 (2010 est.); $12,700 (2009 est.); $13,300 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 6%; industry: 30.3%; services: 63.7% (2009);
Population below poverty line: 21.8% (2008);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.9%; highest 10%: 23% (2009);
Labor force: 3.4 million (2009 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 7.1%; industry: 35.2%; services: 57.7% (2009);
Unemployment rate: 9.2% (2010); 9.1% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $15.71 billion; expenditures: $17.52 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: electricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel;
Industrial production growth rate: 0.4% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 4.309 billion kWh (2009);
Electricity - consumption: 28.3 billion kWh (2009);
Electricity - exports: 7.073 billion kWh (2009);
Electricity - imports: 2.66 billion kWh (2009);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.


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News, The

(Independent, online), Sofia


(independent, online), Sofia


(Independent, left-leaning), Sofia

Standart News

(Independent, liberal), Sofia

Bulgaria in the News

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Displaying 1 to 4 of 22 items.

South-Eastern Europe's Natural Gas Pipeline Competition

With top energy producers in South-Eastern Europe vying for shares of the market, current pipeline competition will shape energy and political landscapes for the near future.

"New Europe" is on the Economic Edge

Grumblings of discontent simmering beneath the surface for years have turned nasty, in places such as Greece last year. In 2009, these feelings persist and are intensifying by the day.

Bulgaria and Romania to Join the European Union

On Sept. 26, The European Commission released a report giving the go-ahead to the two countries, while placing strict conditions on the terms of their membership.

The Young and the Old: Radical Islam Takes Root in the Balkans

Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam prevalent in Saudi Arabia, has been actively promoted within the region's Islamic communities over the past 15 years.