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Europe :: Bulgaria
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Bulgaria
  • Introduction :: BULGARIA

  • 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.
  • Geography :: BULGARIA

  • Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
    43 00 N, 25 00 E
    Europe
    total: 110,879 sq km
    land: 108,489 sq km
    water: 2,390 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 105
    slightly larger than Tennessee
    total: 1,806 km
    border countries (5): Greece 472 km, Macedonia 162 km, Romania 605 km, Serbia 344 km, Turkey 223 km
    354 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    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
    bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
    arable land: 30.55%
    permanent crops: 1.46%
    other: 67.98% (2012 est.)
    1,046 sq km (2007)
    21.3 cu km (2011)
    total: 6.12 cu km/yr (16%/68%/16%)
    per capita: 821.8 cu m/yr (2009)
    earthquakes; landslides
    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
    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
    strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia
  • People and Society :: BULGARIA

  • noun: Bulgarian(s)
    adjective: Bulgarian
    Bulgarian 76.9%, Turkish 8%, Roma 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Russian, Armenian, and Vlach), other (unknown) 10% (2011 est.)
    Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (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.)
    6,924,716 (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    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.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 50.3%
    youth dependency ratio: 20.8%
    elderly dependency ratio: 29.5%
    potential support ratio: 3.4% (2014 est.)
    total: 42.6 years
    male: 40.3 years
    female: 44.8 years (2014 est.)
    -0.83% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 229
    8.92 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    14.3 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    -2.89 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    urban population: 73.6% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: -0.31% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    SOFIA (capital) 1.222 million (2014)
    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.)
    26.3 (2011 est.)
    5 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    total: 15.08 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 18.07 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 11.91 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    total population: 74.33 years
    male: 70.74 years
    female: 78.13 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    1.44 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    69.2%
    note: percent of women age 20-49 (2007)
    7.6% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    3.87 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
    6.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 99.6% of population
    rural: 99% of population
    total: 99.5% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.4% of population
    rural: 1% of population
    total: 0.5% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2012 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    25.6% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    3.8% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 98.4%
    male: 98.7%
    female: 98.1% (2015 est.)
    total: 14 years
    male: 14 years
    female: 15 years (2012)
    total: 28.1%
    male: 29.5%
    female: 26% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
  • Government :: BULGARIA

  • conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
    conventional short form: Bulgaria
    local long form: Republika Balgariya
    local short form: Balgariya
    parliamentary democracy
    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
    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
    3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)
    Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)
    several previous; latest drafted between late 1990 and early 1991, adopted 12 July 1991; amended several times, last in 2007 (2007)
    civil law
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    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), and Ivaylo KALFIN (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 and elected by the National Assembly
    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%
    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%, BSP 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, BSP 39, DPS 38, RB 23, PF 19, BBTs 15, Ataka 11, ABV 11
    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; judge tenure NA; 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 four justices every 3 years
    subordinate courts: appeals courts; regional and district courts; administrative courts; courts martial
    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 [Sergei STANISHEV] (coalition of parties 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)
    Order, Law, and Justice or RZS [Yane YANEV]
    Patriotic Front or PF (alliance of IMRO-BNM and NFSB)
    Union of Democratic Forces or SDS [Bozhidar LUKARSKI]
    Reformist Bloc or RB (a five-party alliance including the DSB, DBG, and SDS)
    Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB
    Podkrepa Labor Confederation
    other: numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas
    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
    chief of mission: Ambassador Elena POPTODOROVA (since 4 August 2010)
    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
    chief of mission: Ambassador Marcie B. RIES (since 5 September 2012)
    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
    three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; the pan-Slavic white-blue-red colors were modified by substituting a green band (representing freedom) for the blue
    note: the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed
    lion; national colors: white, green, red
    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
  • Economy :: BULGARIA

  • 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.
    $123.3 billion (2014 est.)
    $121.6 billion (2013 est.)
    $120.5 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 78
    $55.08 billion (2014 est.)
    1.4% (2014 est.)
    0.9% (2013 est.)
    0.6% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    $17,100 (2014 est.)
    $16,800 (2013 est.)
    $16,600 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 93
    23.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    22.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
    20.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    household consumption: 63.7%
    government consumption: 17.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 21.2%
    investment in inventories: -0.9%
    exports of goods and services: 71.4%
    imports of goods and services: -72.5%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 4.9%
    industry: 31.2%
    services: 63.9% (2014 est.)
    vegetables, fruits, tobacco, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets; livestock
    electricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel
    3.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    2.513 million
    note: number of employed persons (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    agriculture: 7.1%
    industry: 35.2%
    services: 57.7% (2009)
    11% (2014 est.)
    11.3% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    21.8% (2008)
    lowest 10%: 2%
    highest 10%: 35.2% (2007)
    45.3 (2007)
    26 (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    revenues: $19.62 billion
    expenditures: $21.25 billion (2014 est.)
    35.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    -3% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    22.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    18.6% of GDP (2013 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
    country comparison to the world: 135
    calendar year
    -0.6% (2014 est.)
    0.9% (2013 est.)
    0.03% (31 December 2012)
    0.22% (31 December 2011)
    note: Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) has had no independent monetary policy since the introduction of the Currency Board regime in 1997; this is BNB's base interest rate
    country comparison to the world: 153
    8.4% (31 December 2014 est.)
    9.05% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    $20.85 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $19.05 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    $46.42 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $47.33 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    $38.58 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $40.21 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    $6.666 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $8.253 billion (31 December 2011)
    $7.276 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    -$309.3 million (2014 est.)
    $1.139 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    $29.25 billion (2014 est.)
    $29.58 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels
    Germany 12.6%, Italy 8.8%, Turkey 8.6%, Romania 7.9%, Greece 7.1%, France 4.4% (2013)
    $33.56 billion (2014 est.)
    $32.81 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials
    Russia 18.6%, Germany 10.9%, Italy 7.5%, Romania 6.7%, Turkey 5.7%, Greece 5.6%, Spain 5.2% (2013)
    $20.27 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $19.78 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    $54.04 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $52 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    $52.75 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $50.75 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    $2.599 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $2.199 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    leva (BGN) per US dollar -
    1.465 (2014 est.)
    1.4736 (2013 est.)
    1.52 (2012 est.)
    1.4053 (2011 est.)
    1.4774 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: BULGARIA

  • 46.65 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    31.6 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    9.532 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    3.351 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    10.29 million kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    48.1% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    20.2% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    23.8% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    7.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    1,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    15 million bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    128,500 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    94,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    73,740 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    50,130 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    80 million cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    3.07 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    2.99 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    48.85 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: BULGARIA

  • 2.253 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    10.78 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    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)
    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)
    AM 31, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2001)
    39 (plus 1,242 repeaters) (2001)
    .bg
    976,277 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    3.395 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 61
  • Transportation :: BULGARIA

  • 68 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    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)
    total: 11
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m:
    9 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    gas 2,887 km; oil 346 km; refined products 378 km (2013)
    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)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    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)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    470 km (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    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)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    major seaport(s): Burgas, Varna (Black Sea)
  • Military :: BULGARIA

  • Bulgarian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air Forces (Bulgarski Voennovazdyshni Sily, BVVS) (2011)
    18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in January 2008; service obligation 6-9 months (2012)
    males age 16-49: 1,637,470
    females age 16-49: 1,621,352 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 1,320,955
    females age 16-49: 1,337,616 (2010 est.)
    male: 33,444
    female: 32,075 (2010 est.)
    1.6% of GDP (2013)
    1.46% of GDP (2012)
    1.55% of GDP (2011)
    1.46% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 66
  • Transnational Issues :: BULGARIA

  • none
    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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