Bulgaria Population: 6,981,642


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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: 1,808 km
border countries: Greece 494 km, Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia 318 km, Turkey 240 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: lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Musala 2,925 m
Natural resources: bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
Land use: arable land: 29.28%
permanent crops: 1.44%
other: 69.28% (2011)
Irrigated land: 1,046 sq km (2007)
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%, Turk 8%, Roma 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian), other (unknown) 10% (2011 census)
Languages: Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, other 0.7%, other (unknown) 10.5% (2011 census)
Religions: Eastern Orthodox 59.4%, Muslim (Sunni) 7.4%, Muslim (Shia) 0.4%, other (including Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, and Judaism) 1.7%, other (unknown) 27.4%, none 3.7% (2011 census)
Population: 6,981,642 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14.2% (male 506,968/female 481,962)
15-24 years: 10.5% (male 377,834/female 357,546)
25-54 years: 42.3% (male 1,467,339/female 1,486,062)
55-64 years: 14.1% (male 454,728/female 528,650)
65 years and over: 18.9% (male 532,084/female 788,469) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 49.2 %
youth dependency ratio: 20.4 %
elderly dependency ratio: 28.8 %
potential support ratio: 3.5 (2013)
Median age: total: 42.3 years
male: 40 years
female: 44.4 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.81% (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 9.07 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 14.31 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -2.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 73.1% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 0.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: SOFIA (capital) 1.174 million (2011)
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: 0.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 26.2 (2010 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 11 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 15.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 18.67 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.34 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 74.08 years
male: 70.49 years
female: 77.89 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.43 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 69.2% note: percent of women age 20-49 (2007)
Health expenditures: 6.9% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 3.64 physicians/1,000 population (2008)
Hospital bed density: 6.6 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 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.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 23.7% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 1.6% (2004)
Education expenditures: 4.6% of GDP (2009)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 98.7%
female: 98% (2011 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2010)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 26.6%
male: 27.6%
female: 25.2% (2011)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
conventional short form: Bulgaria
local long form: Republika Balgariya
local short form: Balgariya
Government type: parliamentary democracy
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, Khaskovo, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofiya (Sofia), Sofiya-Grad (Sofia City), Stara Zagora, Turgovishte, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, 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: adopted 12 July 1991
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 Plamen ORESHARSKI (since 29 May 2013) Deputy Prime Minister Zinaida ZLATANOVA (since 29 May 2013)

cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 and 30 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly

election results: Rosen PLEVNELIEV elected president in a runoff election; percent of vote - Rosen PLEVNELIEV 52.6%, Ivailo KALFIN 47.4%; Plamen ORESHARSKI elected prime minister; result of legislative vote - 120 to 97
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: last held on 12 May 2013 (next to be held spring 2017)

election results: percent of vote by party - GERB 30.5%, BSP 26.6%, MRF 11.3%, Ataka 7.3%; seats by party - GERB 98, BSP 86, MRF 33, Ataka 23
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cassation (consists of a chairman and approximately 72 judges organized in criminal, civil, and commercial colleges); Supreme Administrative Court (organized in 2 colleges with various panels of 5 judges each); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 members); 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 (consists of 12 members elected by the National Assembly) and appointed by the president; member tenure NA; Constitutional Court members selected by the president, the National Assembly, and the Supreme Courts; judges appointed for 9-year terms

subordinate courts: appeals courts; regional and district courts; administrative courts; courts martial
Political parties and leaders: Attack (Ataka) [Volen Nikolov SIDEROV] Blue Coalition [Ivan KOSTOV and Martin DIMITROV] (a parliamentary coalition of center-right parties dominated by UDF and DSB) Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Sergei STANISHEV] Bulgaria of the Citizens [Meglena KUNEVA] Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria or GERB [Boyko BORISOV] Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB [Sergei STANISHEV] (coalition of parties dominated by BSP) Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Ivan KOSTOV] Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or IMRO [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV] Movement for Rights and Freedoms or MRF [Lyutvi MESTAN] National Movement for Stability and Progress or NDSV [Hristina HRISTOVA] (formerly National Movement Simeon II or NMS2) Order, Law, and Justice or RZS [Yane YANEV] Union of Democratic Forces or UDF [Emil KABAIVANOV] United People's Party or ENP [Maria CAPONE]
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, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, 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 anthem: name: "Mila Rodino" (Dear Homeland)
lyrics/music: Tsvetan Tsvetkov RADOSLAVOV

note: adopted 1964; the anthem was composed in 1885 by a student en route to fight in the Serbo-Bulgarian War
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Elena POPTODOROVA
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 Marcie B. RIES
embassy: 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1408
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, stagnated in 2010, despite a significant recovery in exports, grew 1.7% in 2011, and 1% in 2012. 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $105.5 billion (2012 est.) $104.7 billion (2011 est.) $102.8 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $51.02 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0.8% (2012 est.) 1.8% (2011 est.) 0.4% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $14,500 (2012 est.) $14,300 (2011 est.) $13,700 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 22.6% of GDP (2012 est.) 22.9% of GDP (2011 est.) 21.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 72.1%
government consumption: 7.8%
investment in fixed capital: 21.4%
investment in inventories: 2.4%
exports of goods and services: 66.6%
imports of goods and services: -70.3% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 72.1%
government consumption: 7.8%
investment in fixed capital: 21.4%
investment in inventories: 2.4%
exports of goods and services: 66.6%
imports of goods and services: -70.3% (2012 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: 1.2% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 2.585 million (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 7.1%
industry: 35.2%
services: 57.7% (2009)
Unemployment rate: 11.1% (2012 est.) 9.6% (2011 est.)
Population below poverty line: 21.8% (2008)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 35.2% (2007)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 45.3 (2007) 26 (2001)
Budget: revenues: $17.71 billion
expenditures: $17.97 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 34.7% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 16.2% of GDP (2012 est.) 16.3% of GDP (2011 est.) 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 financial derivatives, and loans; general government sector comprises the subsectors: central government, state government, local government, and social security funds
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (2012 est.) 4.2% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: $542.8 million (2012 est.) $502.2 million (2011 est.)
Exports: $26.82 billion (2012 est.) $28.12 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels
Exports - partners: Germany 10.4%, Turkey 9.1%, Italy 8.7%, Romania 8.2%, Greece 7.3%, France 4% (2012)
Imports: $31.5 billion (2012 est.) $30.86 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials
Imports - partners: Russia 20.9%, Germany 11.3%, Italy 6.7%, Romania 6.6%, Greece 6.1%, Turkey 4.6%, Spain 4.5% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $20.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $17.27 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $50.54 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $47.32 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $52.99 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $51.19 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $1.923 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $1.823 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $8.253 billion (31 December 2011) $7.276 billion (31 December 2010) $7.103 billion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates: leva (BGN) per US dollar - 1.5221 (2012 est.) 1.4065 (2011 est.) 1.4774 (2010 est.) 1.404 (2009) 1.3171 (2008)
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Electricity - production: 41.9 billion kWh (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 55
Electricity - consumption: 28.1 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - exports: 12 billion kWh (2011 est.)
Electricity - imports: 1.166 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 12 million kW (2010 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 46.4% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 20.3% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 22.2% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1.9% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 1,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 123,400 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 15 million bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 120,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 112,700 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 78,180 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 29,940 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 68,000 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 2.17 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 2.48 billion cu m (2010)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 42.17 million Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 2.356 million (2011)
country comparison to the world: 54
Cellular Phones in use: 10.475 million (2011)
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 relay

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, has reached 150 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 Ocean region, 2 Intelsat in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (2011)
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 broadcasting, especially in urban areas (2010)
Internet country code: .bg
Internet hosts: 976,277 (2012)
Internet users: 3.395 million (2009)
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Airports: 68 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 74
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 4,152 km
standard gauge: 4,072 km 1.435-m gauge (2,863 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 80 km 0.760-m gauge (2011)
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)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 1,637,470
females age 16-49: 1,621,352 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 1,320,955
females age 16-49: 1,337,616 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 33,444
female: 32,075 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
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 Transnational Issues
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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