macrohistory & world report

Republic of Bulgaria

Map of Bulgaria

Bulgaria (its capital Sofia) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of November 2014: "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... 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."

Economic growth rate
2011: 2.2%

Unemployment rate
2011: 8.8%
2010: 9.5%

Public debt
2011: 17.5% of GDP

Export commodities
clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels

Export partners
2010: Germany 10.9%, Italy 9.9%, Romania 9.5%, Greece 8.1%, Turkey 7.9%, France 4.1%

201: exports 91.9% of imports in cash value

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 42nd among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.

Health expenditures
2009: 7.4% of GDP


Living in an urban area
71% (2010)

World Factbook (2011) estimates that people are moving out of urban areas at a rate of 0.3% per year.

Net migration rate
2012: A net loss of 2.84 persons per 1,000 population per year.

Ethnic groups
2001 census: Bulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian). Turkic people from Central Asia mixed with local Slavic people in the late 600s.

2001 census: Bulgarian Orthodox 82.6%, Muslim 12.2%, other Christian 1.2%, other 4%


Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey.


Bulgaria is a parliamentary democracy. President and vice-president are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a five-year term. Parliament is unicameral – the National Assembly. Members are elected by popular vote to four-year terms.

Capital: Sofia

Recent History

In the late 1300s the Bulgarians were overrun by the Ottoman Empire, from which they acquired their independence in 1908. They were on the losing side in both world wars and were occupied by the Soviet army at the end of World War II. They were within the Soviet sphere of influence until the collapse of communism in Europe around 1990. In 2004 they joined NATO. They joined the European Union on January 1, 2007.

The World Factbook

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