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Welcome To Bulgaria

Here you will find the latest information, sourced from the CIA World Factbook and other public domain references around the Internet.

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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 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. Today, reforms and democratization keep Bulgaria on a path toward eventual integration into the EU. The country joined NATO in 2004.
Geography Bulgaria
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates:
43 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references:
total: 110,910 sq km
land: 110,550 sq km
water: 360 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundaries:
total: 1,808 km
border countries: Greece 494 km, Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia and Montenegro 318 km, Turkey 240 km
354 km
Maritime claims:
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
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: 40.02%
permanent crops: 1.92%
other: 58.06% (2001)
Irrigated land:
8,000 sq km (1998 est.)
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
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, 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, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulfur 94
Geography - note:
strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia
People Bulgaria
7,450,349 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.1% (male 539,005/female 512,762)
15-64 years: 68.7% (male 2,516,368/female 2,599,524)
65 years and over: 17.2% (male 531,008/female 751,682) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 40.66 years
male: 38.59 years
female: 42.66 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.89% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
9.66 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
14.26 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
-4.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 20.55 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 24.31 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.03 years
male: 68.41 years
female: 75.87 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.38 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% - note - no country specific models provided (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
346 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
100 (2001 est.)
noun: Bulgarian(s)
adjective: Bulgarian
Ethnic groups:
Bulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian) (2001 census)
Bulgarian Orthodox 82.6%, Muslim 12.2%, other Christian 1.2%, other 4% (2001 census)
Bulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.6%
male: 99.1%
female: 98.2% (2003 est.)
Government Bulgaria
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
conventional short form: Bulgaria
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
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, Sofiya-Grad, 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)
National holiday:
Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)
adopted 12 July 1991
Legal system:
civil law and criminal law based on Roman law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Georgi PURVANOV (since 22 January 2002); Vice President Angel MARIN (since 22 January 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Sergei STANISHEV (since 16 August 2005); Deputy Prime Minister Ivaylo KALFIN (since 16 August 2005)
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 five-year terms; election last held 11 and 18 November 2001 (next to be held NA 2006); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) nominated by the president and elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly
election results: Georgi PURVANOV elected president; percent of vote - Georgi PURVANOV 54.13%, Petar STOYANOV 45.87%; Sergei STANISHEV elected prime minister, result of legislative vote - 168 to 67
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sobranie (240 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 June 2005 (next to be held June 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - CfB 31.1%, NMS2 19.9%, MRF 12.7%, ATAKA 8.2%, UDF 7.7%, DSB 6.5%, BPU 5.2%; seats by party - CfB 83, NMS2 53, MRF 33, ATAKA 21, UDF 20, DSB 17, BPU 13
Judicial branch:
Supreme Administrative Court; Supreme Court of Cassation; Constitutional Court (12 justices appointed or elected for nine-year terms); Supreme Judicial Council (consists of the chairmen of the two Supreme Courts, the Chief Prosecutor, and 22 other members; responsible for appointing the justices, prosecutors, and investigating magistrates in the justice system; members of the Supreme Judicial Council elected for five-year terms, 11 elected by the National Assembly and 11 by bodies of the judiciary)
Political parties and leaders:
Attack National Union [Volen Siderov]; ATAKA (Attack Coalition) (coalition of parties headed by the Attack National Union); Bulgarian Agrarian National Union-People's Union or BANU [Anastasia MOZER]; Bulgarian People's Union or BPU (coalition of UFD, IMRO, and BANU); Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Sergei STANISHEV]; Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB (coalition of parties dominated by BSP) [Sergei STANISHEV]; Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Ivan KOSTOV]; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or IMRO [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV]; Movement for Rights and Freedoms or MRF [Ahmed DOGAN]; National Movement for Simeon II or NMS2 [Simeon SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA]; New Time [Emil KOSHLUKOV]; Union of Democratic Forces or UDF [Nadezhda MIKHAYLOVA]; Union of Free Democrats or UFD [Stefan SOFIYANSKI]; United Democratic Forces or UtDF (a coalition of center-right parties dominated by UDF)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB; Podkrepa Labor Confederation; numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas
International organization participation:
ACCT, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EU (applicant), FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMIL, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (associate affiliate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Elena B. POPTODOROVA
chancery: 1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-0174
FAX: [1] (202) 234-7973
consulate(s) general: Chicago and New York
consulate(s): Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James William PARDEW
embassy: 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1407
mailing address: American Embassy Sofia, Department of State, 5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC 20521-5740
telephone: [359] (2) 937-5100
FAX: [359] (2) 937-5230
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; note - the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed
Economy Bulgaria
Economy - overview:
Bulgaria, a former communist country striving to enter the European Union, has experienced macroeconomic stability and strong growth since a major economic downturn in 1996 led to the fall of the then socialist government. As a result, the government became committed to economic reform and responsible fiscal planning. Minerals, including coal, copper, and zinc play an important role in industry. In 1997, macroeconomic stability was reinforced by the imposition of a fixed exchange rate of the lev against the German D-mark and the negotiation of an IMF standby agreement. Low inflation and steady progress on structural reforms improved the business environment; Bulgaria has averaged 4% growth since 2000 and has begun to attract significant amounts of foreign direct investment. Corruption in the public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime remain the largest challenges for Bulgaria.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$61.63 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.3% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $8,200 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 11.5%
industry: 30.1%
services: 58.4% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
3.398 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 11%, industry 32.7%, services 56.3% (3rd quarter 2004 est.)
Unemployment rate:
12.7% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
13.4% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4.5%
highest 10%: 22.8% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
26.4 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.1% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
18.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
revenues: $9.67 billion
expenditures: $9.619 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Public debt:
41.9% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
vegetables, fruits, tobacco, livestock, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets
electricity, gas and water; food, beverages and tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel
Industrial production growth rate:
5.2% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
43.07 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 47.8%
hydro: 8.1%
nuclear: 44.1%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
32.71 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
8.3 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
960 million kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
603 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
94,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Oil - imports:
Oil - proved reserves:
8.1 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
4 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
5.804 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
5.8 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
3.724 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
$682.9 million (2004 est.)
$9.134 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels
Exports - partners:
Italy 13.1%, Germany 11.6%, Turkey 9.3%, Belgium 6.1%, Greece 5.6%, US 5.3%, France 4.9% (2004)
$12.23 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials
Imports - partners:
Germany 15.1%, Italy 10.2%, Russia 7.9%, Greece 7.5%, Turkey 6.9%, France 4.4% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$7.526 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$16.1 billion (November 2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$300 million (2000 est.)
Currency (code):
lev (BGL)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
leva per US dollar - 1.5751 (2004), 1.7327 (2003), 2.077 (2002), 2.1847 (2001), 2.1233 (2000)
note: on 5 July 1999, the lev was redenominated; the post-5 July 1999 lev is equal to 1,000 of the pre-5 July 1999 lev
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Bulgaria
Telephones - main lines in use:
2,868,200 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
2,597,500 (2002)
Telephone system:
general assessment: extensive but antiquated
domestic: more than two-thirds of the lines are residential; telephone service is available in most villages; a fairly modern digital cable trunk line now connects switching centers in most of the regions, the others are connected by digital microwave radio relay
international: country code - 359; direct dialing to 58 countries; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); 2 Intelsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 31, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2001)
4.51 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
39 (plus 1,242 repeaters) (2001)
3.31 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
53,421 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
200 (2001)
Internet users:
630,000 (2002)
Transportation Bulgaria
total: 4,294 km
standard gauge: 4,049 km 1.435-m gauge (2,710 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 245 km 0.760-m gauge (2004)
total: 37,077 km
paved: 34,111 km (including 328 km of expressways)
unpaved: 2,966 km (2002)
470 km (2004)
gas 2,425 km; oil 339 km; refined products 156 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Burgas, Varna
Merchant marine:
total: 64 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 757,972 GRT/1,115,238 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 34, cargo 13, chemical tanker 4, container 6, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 3
registered in other countries: 45 (2005)
213 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 128
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 92 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 85
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 72 (2004 est.)
1 (2004 est.)
Military Bulgaria
Military branches:
Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 9 months (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,661,211 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,302,037 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 51,023 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$356 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
2.6% (2003)
Transnational Issues Bulgaria
Disputes - international:
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; some money laundering of drug-related proceeds through financial institutions



Sources: The CIA World Fact Book and other public domain Internet sites

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