Bulgaria Population: 7,144,653


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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.

Strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia
Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates: 43 00 N, 25 00 E
Area: total: 110,879 sq km
land: 108,489 sq km
water: 2,390 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than Tennessee
Land Boundaries: total: 1,806 km border countries (5): Greece 472 km, Macedonia 162 km, Romania 605 km, Serbia 344 km, Turkey 223 km
Coastline: 354 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers
Terrain: mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
Land use: agricultural land: 46.9% arable land 29.9%; permanent crops 1.5%; permanent pasture 15.5% forest: 36.7%
other: 16.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,020 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: earthquakes; landslides
Current Environment 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
International Environment Agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Bulgarian(s)
adjective: Bulgarian
Ethnic groups: Bulgarian 76.9%, Turkish 8%, Roma 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Russian, Armenian, and Vlach), other (unknown) 10% (2011 est.)
Languages: Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 est.)
Religions: 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.)
Population: 7,144,653 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14.54% (male 535,131/female 503,540)
15-24 years: 9.73% (male 362,805/female 332,358)
25-54 years: 43.33% (male 1,589,183/female 1,506,285)
55-64 years: 13.38% (male 447,865/female 507,805)
65 years and over: 19.03% (male 552,217/female 807,464) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 51.9%
youth dependency ratio: 21.5%
elderly dependency ratio: 30.4%
potential support ratio: 3.3% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 42.4 years
male: 40.6 years
female: 44.5 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.6% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 8.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 14.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 73.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.31% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: SOFIA (capital) 1.226 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 26.5 (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 11 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 8.5 deaths/1,000 live births male: 9.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.5 years male: 71.2 years
female: 78 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.46 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 69.2% note: percent of women age 20-49 (2007)
Health expenditures: 8.4% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 3.87 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
Hospital bed density: 6.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99.6% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99.4% of population

urban: 0.4% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 86.8% of population
rural: 83.7% of population
total: 86% of population

urban: 13.2% of population
rural: 16.3% of population
total: 14% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 25.6% (2014)
Education expenditures: 4.1% of GDP (2013)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.7%
female: 98.1% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 15 years male: 15 years
female: 15 years (2014)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 23.8% male: 23.8%
female: 23.7% (2014 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
conventional short form: Bulgaria
local long form: Republika Bulgaria
local short form: Bulgaria
etymology: named after the Bulgar tribes who settled the lower Balkan region in the 7th century A.D.
Government type: parliamentary republic
Capital: name: Sofia
geographic coordinates: 42 41 N, 23 19 E
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
Administrative divisions: 28 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast); Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Haskovo, Kardzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofia, Sofia-Grad (Sofia City), Stara Zagora, Targovishte, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol
Independence: 3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)
National holiday: Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)
Constitution: history: several previous; latest drafted between late 1990 and early 1991, adopted 13 July 1991 amendments: proposed by the National Assembly or by the president of the republic; passage requires three-fourths majority vote of National Assembly members in three ballots; signed by the National Assembly chairperson; note - under special circumstances, a "Grand National Assembly" is elected with the authority to write a new constitution and amend certain articles of the constitution, including those affecting basic civil rights and national sovereignty; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote in each of several readings; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal system: civil law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Rosen PLEVNELIEV (since 22 January 2012); Vice President Margarita POPOVA (since 22 January 2012)

head of government: Prime Minister Boyko BORISOV (since 7 November 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers Tomislav DONCHEV (since 7 November 2014), Rumyana BACHVAROVA (since 7 November 2014), Meglena KUNEVA (since 7 November 2014); note - this is BORISOV's second term as prime minister, he first served between 27 July 2009 and 13 March 2013

cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, elected by the National Assembly elections/appointments: president and vice president elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 6 and 13 November 2016 (next to be held fall 2021); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister, elected by the National Assembly

election results: Rumen RADEV elected president in runoff election; percent of vote - Rumen RADEV (independent) 59.4%, Tsetska TSACHEVA (GERB) 36.2%, 4.5% neither; note - Rumen RADEV will assume office on 22 January 2017
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 5 October 2014 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: percent of vote by party - GERB 32.7%, CfB 15.4%, DPS 14.8%, RB 8.9%, PF 7.3%, BBTs 5.7%, Ataka 4.5%, ABV 4.2%, other 6.5%; seats by party - GERB 84, CfB 39, DPS 38, RB 23, PF 19, BBTs 15, Ataka 11, ABV 11
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cassation (consists of a chairman and approximately 72 judges organized into penal, civil, and commercial colleges); Supreme Administrative Court (organized in 2 colleges with various panels of 5 judges each); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 justices); note - Constitutional Court resides outside the judiciary judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Cassation and Supreme Administrative judges elected by the Supreme Judicial Council or SJC (consists of 25 members with extensive legal experience) and appointed by the president; judges can serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Constitutional Court justices elected by the National Assembly and appointed by the president and the SJC; justices appointed for 9-year terms with renewal of 4 justices every 3 years

subordinate courts: appeals courts; regional and district courts; administrative courts; courts martial
Political parties and leaders: Alternative for Bulgarian Revival or ABV [Georgi PARVANOV] Attack (Ataka) [Volen Nikolov SIDEROV] Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Mihail MIKOV] Bulgaria of the Citizens or DBG [Meglena KUNEVA] Bulgaria Without Censorship or BBTs [Nikolay BAREKOV] Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria or GERB [Boyko BORISOV] Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB [Mikhail MIKOV] (coalition dominated by BSP) Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Radan KANEV] IMRO - Bulgarian National Movement or IMRO-BNM [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV] Movement for Rights and Freedoms or DPS [Lyutvi MESTAN] National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria or NFSB [Valeri SIMEONOV] National Movement for Stability and Progress or NDSV [Hristina HRISTOVA] (formerly National Movement Simeon II or NMS2) United Patriots Front (alliance of IMRO-BNM, NFSB, and Attack) Union of Democratic Forces or SDS [Bozhidar LUKARSKI] Reformist Bloc or RB (a five-party alliance including the DSB, DBG, and SDS)
Political pressure groups and leaders: Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB Podkrepa Labor Confederation other: numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas
International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National symbol(s): lion; national colors: white, green, red
National anthem: name: "Mila Rodino" (Dear Homeland)
lyrics/music: Tsvetan Tsvetkov RADOSLAVOV

note: adopted 1964; composed in 1885 by a student en route to fight in the Serbo-Bulgarian War
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Tihomir Anguelov STOYTCHEV (since 27 June 2016)
chancery: 1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-0174
FAX: [1] (202) 234-7973
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Eric RUBIN (since February 2016)
embassy: 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1407
mailing address: American Embassy Sofia, US Department of State, 5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC 20521-5740
telephone: [359] (2) 937-5100
FAX: [359] (2) 937-5320
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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 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $143.1 billion (2016 est.) $138.9 billion (2015 est.) $134.9 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $50.45 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2016 est.) 3% (2015 est.) 1.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $20,100 (2016 est.) $19,400 (2015 est.) $18,700 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 22.8% of GDP (2016 est.) 22.7% of GDP (2015 est.) 22.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 60.8%
government consumption: 15.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.4%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 69.1%
imports of goods and services: -66.3% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 60.8%
government consumption: 15.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.4%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 69.1%
imports of goods and services: -66.3% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: vegetables, fruits, tobacco, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets; livestock
Industries: electricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel
Industrial production growth rate: 2.8% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 2.525 million note: number of employed persons (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 7%
industry: 30.1%
services: 62.9% (2014)
Unemployment rate: 8.9% (2016 est.) 10.1% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line: 21.8% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 35.2% (2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 35.4 (2013) 31.2 (2005)
Budget: revenues: $18.44 billion
expenditures: $19.18 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 36.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 26.7% of GDP (2016 est.) 26.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

note:: defined by the EU's Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities: currency and deposits, securities other than shares excluding f
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.7% (2016 est.) -0.1% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: $400 million (2016 est.) $676 million (2015 est.)
Exports: $26.1 billion (2016 est.) $24.62 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels
Exports - partners: Germany 12.5%, Italy 9.2%, Turkey 8.5%, Romania 8.2%, Greece 6.5%, France 4.2% (2015)
Imports: $28.47 billion (2016 est.) $26.74 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials
Imports - partners: Germany 12.9%, Russia 12%, Italy 7.6%, Romania 6.8%, Turkey 5.7%, Greece 4.8%, Spain 4.8% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $25.12 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $22.09 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $42.42 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $42.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $46.39 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $44.29 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $4.79 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $4.49 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $4.797 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $5.45 billion (31 December 2014 est.) $6.666 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Exchange rates: leva (BGN) per US dollar - 1.802 (2016 est.) 1.7644 (2015 est.) 1.7644 (2014 est.) 1.4742 (2013 est.) 1.52 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 44 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 31 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 14.7 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports: 4.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 11.84 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 41.7% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 16.9% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 8.5% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 32.9% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Crude oil - production: 1,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 129,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 15 million bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 139,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 84,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 92,350 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 41,320 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 180 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 2.86 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 2.725 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 43.61 million Mt (2014 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 9.195 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 128 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: inherited an extensive but antiquated telecommunications network from the Soviet era; quality has improved with a modern digital trunk line now connecting switching centers in most of the regions; remaining areas are connected by digital microwave radio r

domestic: the Bulgaria Telecommunications Company's fixed-line monopoly terminated in 2005 in an effort to upgrade fixed-line services; mobile-cellular teledensity, fostered by multiple service providers, is over 125 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 359; submarine cable provides connectivity to Ukraine and Russia; a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system provides connectivity to Italy, Albania, and Macedonia; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intersputnik in the Atlantic (2015)
Broadcast media: 4 national terrestrial TV stations with 1 state-owned and 3 privately owned; a vast array of TV stations are available from cable and satellite TV providers; state-owned national radio broadcasts over 3 networks; large number of private radio stations bro (2010)
Internet country code: .bg
Internet users: total: 4.072 million percent of population: 56.7% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 68 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 57
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 17
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
under 914 m: 26 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 11

914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 9 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 2,887 km; oil 346 km; refined products 378 km (2013)
Railways: total 5,114 km
standard gauge: 4,989 km 1.435-m gauge (2,880 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 125 km 0.760-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 19,512 km
paved: 19,235 km (includes 458 km of expressways)
unpaved: 277 km

note: does not include Category IV local roads (2011)
Waterways: 470 km (2009)
Merchant marine: total 22

by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 8, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 2

foreign-owned: 14 (Germany 12, Russia 2)

registered in other countries: 30 (Belize 1, Comoros 4, Georgia 1, Malta 8, Moldova 1, Panama 6, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Burgas, Varna (Black Sea)
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Military branches: Bulgarian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air Forces (Bulgarski Voennovazdyshni Sily, BVVS) (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in January 2008; service obligation 6-9 months (2012)
Military expenditures: 1.2% of GDP (2015) 1.6% of GDP (2013) 1.46% of GDP (2012) 1.55% of GDP (2011) 1.46% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: none
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 13,819 (Syria) (2015)
stateless persons: 67 (2015) note: 46,457 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (2015 - November 2016)
Illicit drugs: major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market; limited producer of precursor chemicals; vulnerable to money laundering because of corruption, organized crime; some money laundering of drug-related proceeds through financial institutions (2008)
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