About Bulgaria (The Country)

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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.


Bulgaria is located in southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey.

Geographic coordinates

43 00 N, 25 00 E


Total area: 110,879 sq km Country comparison to the world: 105 Land: 108,489 sq km Water: 2,390 sq km Total area is slightly larger than Tennessee.


Bulgaria's climate is temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers.


Mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast.

Lowest point: Black Sea 0 m Highest point: Musala 2,925 m

Natural Resources

Bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land.

Natural Hazards

Earthquakes; landslides

Environment - Current Issues

Air pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes. Bulgaria occupies a strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia.




6,924,716 (July 2014 est.) Country comparison to the world: 103

Age Structure

0-14 years: 14.2% (male 505,025/female 479,899) 15-24 years: 10.1% (male 359,730/female 340,203) 25-54 years: 42.4% (male 1,459,753/female 1,475,240) 55-64 years: 14% (male 446,784/female 519,513) 65 years and over: 19.3% (male 538,720/female 799,849) (2014 est.)

Median Age

Total: 42.6 years Male: 40.3 years Female: 44.8 years (2014 est.)

Population Growth

-0.83% (2014 est.) Country comparison to the world: 229 Birth rate: 8.92 births/1,000 population (2014 est.) Country comparison to the world: 210 Death rate: 14.3 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.) Country comparison to the world: 6 Net migration rate: -2.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.) Country comparison to the world: 177


Urban population: 73.1% of total population (2011) Rate of urbanization: 0.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex Ratio

At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female 0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female 55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female Total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate

Total: 15.08 deaths/1,000 live births Country comparison to the world: 106 Male: 18.07 deaths/1,000 live births Female: 11.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth

Total population: 74.33 years Country comparison to the world: 112 Male: 70.74 years Female: 78.13 years (2014 est.)

Total Fertility Rate

1.44 children born/woman (2014 est.) Country comparison to the world: 200


0.1% (2009 est.) Country comparison to the world: 129


Conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria Conventional short form: Bulgaria Local long form: Republika Balgariya Local short form: Balgariya Ethinic Groups: Bulgarian 76.9%, Turkish 8%, Roma 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Russian, Armenian, and Vlach), other (unknown) 10% (2011 est.).


Eastern Orthodox 59.4%, Muslim 7.8%, other (including Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, and Jewish) 1.7%, none 3.7%, unspecified 27.4% (2011 est.).


Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 est.).


Definition: age 15 and over can read and write Total population: 98.4% Male: 98.7% Female: 98% (2011 est.).


Country name

Conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria


Name: Sofia Geographic coordinates: 42 41 N, 23 19 E

Time Difference

Time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time) Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October .

Legal system

Civil Law


Bulgaria, a former Communist country that entered the EU on 1 January 2007, averaged more than 6% annual growth from 2004 to 2008, driven by significant amounts of bank lending, consumption, and foreign direct investment. Successive governments have demonstrated a commitment to economic reforms and responsible fiscal planning, but the global downturn sharply reduced domestic demand, exports, capital inflows, and industrial production. GDP contracted by 5.5% in 2009, and has been slow to recover in the years since. Despite having a favorable investment regime, including low, flat corporate income taxes, significant challenges remain. Corruption in public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime continue to hamper the country's investment climate and economic prospects.


Source: CIA World Factbook - Bulgaria