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 9 to 12 of 22 items.

Caught Between America and Europe

Angered by French President Jacques Chirac, Eastern European countries are cementing their ties with the United States, Franko Egro writes in Shekulli

The Press Goes to War

World Press Review correspondents describe how the war with Iraq is being covered in their countries.

Scandals Prompt Overhaul of Bulgarian Security Services

Wiretaps. Spies. A disgraced general. Dark plots for revenge. Allegations that the minister of justice was an informer for the State Security Service under communist ruleā€¦Since an interrelated web of scandals first broke in the press late in 2002, Bulgarian newspapers have read like scripts for a classic film noir. World Press Review correspondent Plamen Petrov reports from Sofia, Bulgaria

Stoyan Bardarov's Genius

The Bulgarian newsmagazine Sega profiles pioneering immunologist Stoyan Bardarov.