Bulgaria has had a difficult transition to market economy since the fall of communism in 1991. Despite improvement in its economy during the 2000s, Bulgaria is today the poorest of the EU member states. Major challenges related to corruption and organized crime.
Key figures and facts
- Capital: Sofia
- Ethnic groups: Bulgarians 76.9%, Turks 8%, Romani (Gypsies) 4.4%, others 10.7% (includes Russians, Armenians, etc.) (2011)
- Language: Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Romanian 3.8%, other 11.2% (2011)
- Religion: Orthodox 59.4%, Muslims 7.8%, others 29.1%, no religion 3.7% (2011)
- Population: 7 085 000 (2017)
- Control Form: Parliamentary democracy
- Area: 111 000 Km2
- Currency: Lev
- GNP per capita: 19 243 PPP $
- National Day: March 3rd
Population of Bulgaria
The population of Bulgaria is 7 057 504 (2018). Annual population growth has been negative since 1990. In 2018, the population decreased by 0.63 percent. The birth and death rates per 1,000 residents in 2018 were 8.5 and 14.5, respectively, while the birth rate per woman was 1.47. Net immigration was minus 0.3 per milliliter. This is typical of an aging population. The age group over 65 is larger than that under 14, 19.54 and 14.60 percent of the population respectively. Cities generally have a larger proportion of younger people than rural areas. The average life expectancy at birth is 78.3 years for women and 71.50 years for men (2018).
76.9 percent of the population are Bulgarians (2018). The Turkish minority makes up 8 percent and is concentrated to the northeastern parts of the country and the eastern parts of the Rodopi Mountains. Rooms make up 4.4 percent of the population. Also, there are smaller groups of Russians, Armenians, Romanians and Jews. After World War II, hundreds of thousands of Turks left the country. Also groups of Czechs, Slovaks, Russians, Armenians and Jews have emigrated.
The population density is 65.01 persons per km2, with relatively small regional variations. The most densely populated areas are the Donausletta, the Sofia and Maritsa basins and the Burgaslav land. The urban population has increased rapidly since the Second World War. The country’s largest cities are: Sofia (1,266,295 residents), Plovdiv (345,213 residents), Varna (335,854 residents) and Burgas (202,694 residents). 75 percent of the population lives in urban areas (2018).
The Bulgarians became Christian in the 8th century and joined the Orthodox Church. As early as the 9th century, the independence of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was recognized. In 1953 the church was organized as a patriarchy. The leadership of the Orthodox Church subordinated itself to the leadership of the Communist regime. After the fall of the communist regime and the new constitution of 1991, full religious freedom was introduced in the country.
59.4 percent of the population is a member of the Orthodox Church (2011). Muslims are the largest minority, accounting for 7.8 percent of the population. These are essentially ethnic Turks, but there is also a Bulgarian Muslim minority, the Pamaks. 1.7 percent of the population are other religious groups, including Catholics, Protestants and Jews.
The official language is Bulgarian, which is the mother tongue of 76.8 percent of the population (2011). Bulgarian is written with the Cyrillic alphabet. Turkish and Romani are the mother tongue of 8.2 percent and 3.8 percent of the population, respectively. Other minority languages include Armenian, Macedonian, Romanian and Russian.