Form of Government: Republic
Area: 111 002 sq km
Population: 7 000 039 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 63.06 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 44° - 41° N; long. 22° - 28° E
Capital: Sofia (capital) 1 241 675 inhab. (2018);
Currency: new lev (100 stotinki)
Human development index: 0.813 (rank: 51)
President: Rumen Radev (independent), elected 13 November 2016, in office since 22 January 2017
Prime Minister: Boyko Borisov (GERB), since 4 May 2017
National Assembly: seats based on the elections of 26 March 2017: Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (GERB, centre-right), 95; Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP, centre-left), 79; United Patriots (nationalist), 27; Movement for Rights and Freedom (DPS, centre, Turkish minority), 25; Volya (populist, pro-Russian), 12; independents, 2
Internet: www.nsi.bg (National Statistical Institute)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, EU, NATO, OAS observer, OSCE, UN, WTO

Bulgaria

Balgaria, Republika Balgaria
Useful information

International license plate code BG
International dialling code 00359
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .bg

GMT  +2
DST  +3
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October

Annual average temperature (°C) Sofia 10.5; Varna 13.3
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Sofia -1/21.5; Varna 2.5/24.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Sofia 9/1; Varna 9/2
Annual average precipitation (mm) Sofia 665; Varna 475
Days of rainfall (annual average) Sofia 83; Varna 48

Politics and current affairs

The country was shocked by the brutal assassination of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova in October 2018. The murder did not seem to be politically-motivated, but the reporter was investigating some cases of the illicit use of European funds, and her death threw further light on corruption and freedom of press in Bulgaria. Despite the scandals involving some ministers, the governing party GERB won the European elections on 26 May 2019 with 30.4% of the vote, while the socialists came out at around 18.9%. The country continues to take a hard line on immigration: in December 2018, the government decided not to sign the Global Compact for Migration.

Geography.
Bulgaria is bordered by Romania to the north, by Turkey and Greece to the south, and by the Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia to the west. The Black Sea lies off its east coast and it has 354 km of coastline. The north of the country, between the right bank of the River Danube and the Balkan Mountains (Mount Botev, 2376 m), consists of a vast plateau which is intensively cultivated and crossed by many tributaries of the Danube. Further south, between the southern slopes of the Balkans and the Rhodope Mountains (Mount Musala, 2925 m), is a broad plain through which the River Maritsa flows from west to east. It has a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers, especially near the Danube.

Government


Bulgaria gained its independence on 5 October 1908, after 500 years of Ottoman rule. During the Second World War it joined the Axis powers and was invaded by Soviet troops in 1944. A referendum held on 8 September 1946 abolished the monarchy and transformed the state into a People’s Republic under the influence of the USSR. The process of becoming a democracy began in 1989 and continued thereafter.
According to the Constitution issued on 12 July 1991, the President is elected directly for a five-year mandate and can only be re-elected once. The National Assembly has 240 members who are directly elected for four years.


Defence.
Military service is voluntary. In 2019, the purchase of new F-16 aircraft opened a dispute between the pro-Russian President Rumen Radev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.


Justice.
The legal system is based on Continental Civil Law.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force21.4%2015
Army52.1%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes1 655.6per 100 000 pop.2012
Homicides1.1per 100 000 pop.2016
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Sofia1 241 675inhab.2018
Plovdiv346 893inhab.2018
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

The Bulgarian population has been decreasing for some time due to the fall in the birth-rate.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate8.92018
Death rate15.42018
Foreigners
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Foreigners, total85 895units2018
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Bulgarian84.8%2011
Turk8.8%2011


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Orthodox76%2011
other12.1%2011


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Armenian
Bulgarian (official)
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years14.6%2018
15-29 years15.6%2018


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Economy


Economic situation.
After growing 3.2% in 2018, Bulgaria’s economy should increase slightly in the years to come (+3.3% in 2019, +3.4% in 2020) thanks to internal demand and the use of EU funds. Unemployment continues to decline, hovering at 5.2% in 2018.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)114.35index2016
Balance of trade-4 750.3M US$2018
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population3 326 000units2018
Active population, Females46.3%2018
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate5.2%2018
Unemployment rate, Females41.6%2018
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses24 473.8M LCU2018
Revenues26 373.3M LCU2018
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture6.6%2018
industry30.1%2018
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture4.2%2018
industry27.4%2018
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation17.325BN LCU2018
International reserves28 711M US$2018
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture and forests.
The main crops are cereals, cultivated principally in the Danube plains (wheat and maize) and in Thrace (wheat and rice). Large amounts of sunflowers and tobacco are grown for export. Typical crops are roses (in the Tundzha Valley) and strawberries (in the area of Plovdiv). The cultivation of vines produces high-quality wines. Much of the land is covered in forest, especially in the Rila, Rhodope and Pirin Massifs.
Livestock and fishing.
The large expanses of meadows and pastureland are ideal for livestock farming, however affected by African swine flu in 2019; poultry farming is also common. The main fishing ports are Burgas and Varna on the Black Sea.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land33.56%2015
forests35.21%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley595.2371000 t2017
cereals, total9 475.8461000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes227.8151000 t2017
roots and tubers, total227.8151000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asparagus11.0091000 t2017
cabbages41.8171000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry2.5021000 t2017
beans, green1.2441000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes201.5291000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts0.7511000 t2017
rapeseed478.9871000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mustard seed1.121000 t2017
pepper54.821000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops0.1411000 t2017
tobacco13.041000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton4.3831000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow0.0441000 t2017
linseed0.1571000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples44.9271000 t2017
apricots22.5421000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds0.7131000 t2017
hazelnuts0.3131000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms1.151000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley128.3651000 ha2017
maize398.1521000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes12.8061000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages1.6921000 ha2017
carrots and turnips1.1791000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry2.7491000 ha2017
beans, green0.2161000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape34.1111000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts0.4431000 ha2017
rapeseed160.651000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mustard seed4.421000 ha2017
pepper3.351000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops0.0781000 ha2017
tobacco7.7211000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton4.8051000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow0.021000 ha2017
linseed0.1211000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples3.9731000 ha2017
apricots2.8981000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds0.9441000 ha2017
hazelnuts0.591000 ha2017
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber6 198 0412017
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle557.8661000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes570.1391000 heads2017
Livestock - Buffaloes
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
buffaloes12.2731000 heads2017
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs616.4261000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep1 360.0871000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats237.5431000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses18.51000 heads2017
asses and mules201000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds13 6251000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey9.2681000 t2014
Livestock - Silk farming
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silk, raw0.0051000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter1.0011000 t2014
cheese83.8531000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs7 791.725t2017
freshwater fishes8 872.073t2017
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
Bulgaria has modest reserves of oil, especially on the Black Sea, and natural gas. Coal and lignite mining is still underway. There are also manganese, lead, zinc, copper, salt, gold and silver mines.
Energy and industry.
The two active reactors at the Kozloduy nuclear power plant generate more than one-third of the electric energy produced in the country. The search for potential investors in another power plant in Belene is still ongoing, although the existing one could be expanded.
The country remains highly dependent on gas supplied from Russia. In 2018, a connection with the TurkStream pipeline from Russia was approved. In 2016, a bidirectional pipeline running between Romania and Bulgaria was inaugurated, allowing Sofia to import gas from the EU.
The most highly developed industrial segments are iron and steel, and metal-working. Industrial plants are mainly concentrated in the south, especially in the Sofia area, at Burgas and Plovdiv. The chemicals sector is very important and dynamic; pharmaceuticals factories are located at Sofia and Troyan. There are refineries at Ruse and Burgas.
There is a longstanding textile tradition. Other relatively important industries include rubber, leather, cement and tobacco processing. Engineering is based in Sofia (vehicle assembly plants) and Varna (shipyards). There are several breweries and sugar refineries.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal, total30 480.51000 t2018
lignite30 480.51000 t2018
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
copper70.61000 t2016
lead19.71000 t2016
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite501000 t2016
bentonite4111000 t2014
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
kaolin321.71000 t2014
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold7 920kg2016
silver52 526kg2016
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal20 430.9M kWh2016
- nuclear15 083.45M kWh2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal3 8221000 kW2016
- hydro2 2061000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation42 289.35M kWh2016
total installed capacity10 7451000 kW2016
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
aluminium9.41000 t2016
bismuth0.051000 t2018
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bikes770 161no.2017
ships15 000G.T.2002
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
air conditioners12 707no.2017
computers5 293no.2016
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen231000 t2016
petrol2 052.41000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia3131000 t2016
nitrogen fertilizers360.61000 t2016
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets8431000 m²2015
cotton fabrics7.4M m²2017
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear9 194 896pairs2017
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley4891000 t2014
cottonseed oil0.11000 t2014
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes21 006.6M units2016
cigars and cigarettes21 006.6M units2016
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp134.91000 t2017
chemi-mechanical pulp134.91000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement1 9941000 t2016
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production474.2M US$2016
food, beverages and tobacco production1 381.8M US$2016
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Trade


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) electrical and electronic equipment 2 995, refined copper 2 757, machinery and home appliances 2 429, petroleum products 1 678, apparel and accessories 1 647, iron and steel 1 569, cereals 1 048, pharmaceuticals 952, vehicles and parts thereof 872, plastics 848, chemicals 822, furniture and accessories 697, oil seeds 684, metal ores 558, electric energy 550, glass 428, aluminium 421, technical and electro-medical appliances 387, timber 364, vegetable oils 344, timber 344, rubber articles 343, cosmetics 325, toys and sports equipment 296, cigarettes and tobacco 293, footwear 263

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures58.061% of goods exports2018
food products14.647% of goods exports2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany4 921M US$2018
Italy2 870M US$2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany4 695M US$2018
Russia3 693M US$2018
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201833 151M US$ -
201731 437M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
201837 901M US$ -
201734 184M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures2 047M US$2017
Number of arrivals8 883 000units2017
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown10 700 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried1 110.91000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers249.102per 1000 pop.2017
Computers110per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare


Education and research.

Education is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 16 years. Bulgaria’s most renowned university is in Sofia.

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling14.8years2016
Gradautes, percentage21%2001
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level14 876units2016
Teachers, secondary level38 546units2016
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending36.3% of total expenses2016
Social protection spending17.5% of GDP2016
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds7.3per 1000 pop.2016
Physicians1.1per 1000 pop.2016
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV-0.1% of adults2017
HIV, total0.01%2001
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums174units2018
Museums, visitors5 084 387units2018
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.75% of GDP2017
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking88.65%2016
Access to electricity100%2017
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear3.2%2017
education1.1%2017
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