Form of Government: Republic
Area: 111 002 sq km
Population: 6 916 548 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 62.31 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 44° - 41° N; long. 22° - 28° E
Capital: Sofia (capital) 1 221 785 inhab. (2020);
Currency: new lev (100 stotinki)
Human development index: 0.816 (rank: 56)
President: Rumen Radev (independent), elected 13 November 2016, in office since 22 January 2017
Interim Prime Minister: Stefan Yanev (independent), since 12 May 2021
National Assembly: seats based on the elections of 11 July 2021: There Is Such a People (ITN, populist, centre-right), 65; Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (GERB-SDS, centre-right), 63; Coalition for Bulgaria (BSPzB, centre-left), 36; Democratic Bulgaria (DB, centre-right), 34; Movement for Rights and Freedom (DPS, centre, Turkish minority), 29; Stand Up.BG! We are coming! (IBG-NI, centre), 13
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 parliamentary elections held on 4 April 2021 failed to produce a clear majority and electors were called back to the ballot on 11 July 2021. Former TV host Slavi Trifonov’s new anticorruption party, ITN, won the summer elections. Former prime minister Bojko Borisov’s GERB continued to lose popularity and seats; he was replaced by the independent Stefan Yanev on 12 May 2021. The July ballot did not allow a majority to be formed and on 31 August 2021, the country was still at a political deadlock. The vaccination campaign has proven to be a failure with only 15% of the population vaccinated as of 31 August 2021.

Geography.
Bulgaria is bordered by Romania to the north, by Turkey and Greece to the south, and by 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 and Rila 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
Homicides1.3per 100 000 pop.2018
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Sofia1 221 785inhab.2020
Plovdiv342 048inhab.2020
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2020)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

The Bulgarian population has been decreasing for some time due to emigration and the fall in the birth-rate: it is estimated that the country will lose 23% of its population by 2050.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate8.52020
Death rate18$2020
Foreigners
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Foreigners, total106 514units2020
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 years14.5%2020
15-29 years14.9%2020


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Economy


Economic situation.
The economic growth estimated in 2021 (+4.4%) will bring the GDP back to pre-Covid levels after the 3.8% decline in 2020. After having reached record lows (4.2% in 2019), the pandemic brought the unemployment rate to above 5%. The tourism sector is suffering in particular.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)114.35index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)106.45index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population3 290 300units2020
Active population, Females46.1%2020
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate5.1%2020
Unemployment rate, Females42.6%2020
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses36 518.1M LCU2020
Revenues31 967.5M LCU2020
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture6.586%2020
industry30.32%2020
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture3.944%2020
industry26.541%2020
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation21.241BN LCU2020
International reserves37 860.001M US$2020
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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; poultry farming is also common. The main fishing ports are Burgas and Varna on the Black Sea.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land33.447%2018
forests35.621%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley563.151000 t2019
cereals, total11 130.991000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes197.411000 t2019
roots and tubers, total197.411000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes0.181000 t2019
asparagus6.7121000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry2.2461000 t2018
beans, green1.171000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes178.531000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts0.6841000 t2018
rapeseed432.491000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mustard seed1.0551000 t2018
pepper51.9581000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops0.1391000 t2018
tobacco6.481000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton2.3851000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow0.0931000 t2018
linseed0.081000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste1.481000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples43.621000 t2019
apricots20.241000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds0.721000 t2019
hazelnuts0.431000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms1.121000 t2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley112.031000 ha2019
maize560.911000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes9.291000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
artichokes0.281000 ha2019
cabbages1.771000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry1.8091000 ha2018
beans, green0.231000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape30.051000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts0.6051000 ha2018
rapeseed151.171000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mustard seed4.0571000 ha2018
pepper2.8541000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops0.0711000 ha2018
tobacco3.541000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton3.1571000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow0.0391000 ha2018
linseed0.11000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste1.011000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples4.141000 ha2019
apricots2.911000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Nuts
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
almonds1.011000 ha2019
hazelnuts1.271000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.021000 ha2018
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber6 163 6992019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle527.191000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes543.921000 heads2019
Livestock - Buffaloes
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
buffaloes16.731000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs491.811000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep1 280.981000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats228.491000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses19$1000 heads2018
asses and mules20.4111000 heads2018
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds22 2521000 heads2018
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey11.5181000 t2019
Livestock - Silk farming
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
silk, raw0.0051000 t2018
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter1.1131000 t2018
cheese92.3211000 t2018
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs7 695.861t2019
freshwater fishes8 913.915t2019
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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 supplies from Russia: with a Russia-Bulgaria connection to the TurkStream pipeline having been approved, delays and tensions between the two countries have been confirmed.
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, with industrial plants concentrated 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. The country has a longstanding textile tradition. Other relatively important sectors include engineering (vehicle assembly plants, shipyards) rubber, leather, cement and tobacco processing. There are several breweries and sugar refineries.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal, total12 294.11000 t2020
lignite12 294.11000 t2020
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
copper69.81000 t2018
lead26.51000 t2018
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite70$1000 t2019
bentonite44$1000 t2019
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
kaolin2201000 t2019
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold9 544kg2018
silver41 315kg2018
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal18 542.44M kWh2019
- nuclear15 869M kWh2019
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal4 2201000 kW2018
- hydro2 3661000 kW2019
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation41 875.61M kWh2019
total installed capacity11 484.411000 kW2018
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
aluminium7.11000 t2018
bismuth0.041000 t2020
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bikes671 875no.2019
ships15 000G.T.2002
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
air conditioners10 909no.2019
computers5 293no.2016
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen84$1000 t2018
petrol2 052.41000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia2301000 t2019
nitrogen fertilizers264.41000 t2019
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets422.41000 m²2019
cotton fabrics6.4M m²2019
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear7 174 546pairs2019
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley5271000 t2018
coffee25.21000 t2019
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes21 006.6M units2016
cigars and cigarettes21 006.6M units2016
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp232.0881000 t2019
chemi-mechanical pulp242.8841000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement2 3311000 t2018
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
manufactures57.838% of goods exports2019
food products15.661% of goods exports2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany5 121M US$2020
Romania2 903M US$2020
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany4 241M US$2020
Romania2 568M US$2020
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202031 826M US$ -
201933 340M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
202034 829M US$ -
201937 663M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures2 196M US$2019
Number of arrivals9 312 000units2019
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown10 700 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried832.81000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers287.82per 1000 pop.2019
Computers110per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare


Education, culture & 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 schooling14.196years2018
Gradautes, percentage21$%2001
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level262 735units2018
Students, secondary level489 665units2018
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending31.78% of total expenses2019
Social protection spending16.9% of GDP2018
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds7.57per 1000 pop.2018
Physicians4.22per 1000 pop.2018
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV-0.1% of adults2019
HIV, total0.01%2001
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums182units2020
Museums, visitors2 236 000units2020
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.84% of GDP2019
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking88.65%2016
Access to electricity100%2019
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear3.4%2019
education1.1%2019
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