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Capital: Sofia
Population: 8,351,000
Description: Bulgarian is spoken by about 90 percent of the population. The Turkish-speaking minority numbers about 750,000.
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Bulgaria Map


Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey

Geographic coordinates: 43 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references: Europe

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, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia and Montenegro 318 km (all with Serbia), Turkey 240 km

Coastline: 354 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea : 12 nm

Climate: temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers

Terrain: 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: 37%
permanent crops: 2%
permanent pastures: 16%
forests and woodland: 35%
other: 10% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 12,370 sq km (1993 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-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified : Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol

Geography - note: strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia


Population: 7,707,495 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 15.11% (male 597,765; female 567,030)
15-64 years: 68.17% (male 2,588,805; female 2,665,736)
65 years and over: 16.72% (male 543,665; female 744,494) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate:-1.14% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 8.06 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 14.53 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -4.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 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:0.73 male(s)/female
total population:0.94 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 14.65 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.2 years
male: 67.72 years
female: 74.89 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.13 children born/woman (2001 est.)

noun: Bulgarian(s)
adjective: Bulgarian

Ethnic groups: Bulgarian 83%, Turk 8.5%, Roma 2.6%, Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Gagauz, Circassian, others (1998)

Religions: Bulgarian Orthodox 83.5%, Muslim 13%, Roman Catholic 1.5%, Uniate Catholic 0.2%, Jewish 0.8%, Protestant, Gregorian-Armenian, and other 1% (1998)

Languages: Bulgarian, secondary languages closely correspond to ethnic breakdown

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 98% (1999)


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
conventional short form: Bulgaria

Data code: BU

Government type: emerging democracy

National capital: Sofia

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

Independence: 22 September 1908 (from Ottoman Empire)

National holiday: Independence Day, 3 March (1878)

Constitution: adopted 12 July 1991

Legal system: based on civil law system with Soviet law influence; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Petar STOYANOV (since 22 January 1997); Vice President Todor KAVALDZHIEV (since 22 January 1997)
head of government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) Simeon SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA (since 24 July 2001); Deputy Prime Ministers Nikolay VASILEV (since NA), Kostadin PASKALEV (since NA), and Lidiya SHULEVA (since NA)
cabinet: Council of Ministers 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 27 October and 3 November 1996 (next to be held NA 2001); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) nominated by the president; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister
election results: Petar STOYANOV elected president; percent of vote - Petar STOYANOV 59.73%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sobranie (240 seats; members are popularly elected to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 17 June 2001 (next to be held NA June 2005)
election results : percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - National Movement for Simeon II 120, UDF 51, BSP 48, DPS 21

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, chairman appointed for a seven-year term by the president; Constitutional Court, 12 justices appointed or elected for a nine-year term

Political parties and leaders:Alliance for National Salvation or ANS (coalition led mainly by Movement for Rights and Freedoms or MRF) [Ahmed DOGAN]; Bulgarian Business Bloc or BBB [Georgi GANCHEV]; Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Georgi PURVANOV, chairman]; Democratic Left or DL (bloc led by BSP, includes Ecoglasnost Political Club and Bulgarian Agrarian National Union) [leader NA]; Euro-left [Aleksandur TOMOV]; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or UMRO [Aleksander KARAKACHNOV]; Kingdom of Bulgaria Federation [leader NA]; Movement for Rights and Freedom or DPS [Ahmed DOGAN]; National Movement for Simeon II [Simeon SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA]; New Civic Party for Bulgaria [Bogomil BONEV]; People's Union or PU (includes Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union and Democratic Party) [Anastasiya MOZER]; St. George's Day [Lyuben DILOV]; Union of Democratic Forces or UDF (an alliance of pro-democratic parties) [Ivan KOSTOV]

Political pressure groups and leaders: agrarian movement; Bulgarian Democratic Center; Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB; Democratic Alliance for the Republic or DAR; New Union for Democracy or NUD; Podkrepa Labor Confederation; numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas

International organization participation: ACCT, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NACC, NAM (guest), NSG, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNMOT, UPU, WEU (associate partner), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Philip DIMITROV
chancery: 1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone : [1] (202) 387-7969
FAX: [1] (202) 234-7973
consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard M. MILES
embassy : 1 Saborna Street, Sofia
mailing address: Embassy Sofia, Department of State, Washington, DC 50521-5740
telephone: [359] (2) 980-52-41 through 48
FAX: [359] (2) 981-89-77

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; the national emblem formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe has been removed - it contained a rampant lion within a wreath of wheat ears below a red five-pointed star and above a ribbon bearing the dates 681 (first Bulgarian state established) and 1944 (liberation from Nazi control)


Economy - overview: One of the poorest countries of central Europe, Bulgaria has slowly continued the process of moving from its old command economy towards a market-oriented economy. Slow advancement on economic reforms pitched the economy into crisis in 1996, marked by a banking system in turmoil, a depreciating currency, inflation of 311% and contracting production and foreign trade. Foreign exchange reserves dwindled to extremely low levels ($518 million), while dramatically liked interest rates added to the domestic debt burden and stifled growth. GDP fell by 10% in 1996, after experiencing 2.6% growth in 1995. Privatization of state-owned industries stagnated, although the first auction of a mass privatization program was undertaken in late 1996. Lagging progress on structural reforms led to postponement of IMF disbursements under a $580 million standby loan agreed to in July. In November 1996, the IMF proposed a currency board as Bulgaria's best chance to restore confidence in the lev, eliminate discretionary spending, and avoid hyperinflation. The government has pledged to sell some of the country's most attractive state assets to the highest foreign bidders in 1997. The Bulgarian economy is projected to have another year of negative growth (minus 5%), and inflation near 700% in 1997, assuming introduction of a currency board in July of 1997.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $48 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate - 5% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,200 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 15%
industry: 29%
services: 56% (2000 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index:10.4% (2000 est.)

Labor force:
total: 3.83 million (2000 est.)
by occupation : agriculture 26%, industry 31%, services 43% (1998 est.)

Unemployment rate: 17.7% (2000 est.)

revenues: $4.85 billion
expenditures : $4.92 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries: electricity, gas and water; food, beverages and tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel

Industrial production growth rate: 10.8% (2000 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 12.09 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 36.217 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 33.182 billion kWh (1999)

Agriculture - products: grain, oilseed, vegetables, fruits, tobacco; livestock

total value: $4.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities : machinery and equipment 12.8%; agriculture and food 21.9%; textiles and apparel 14%; metals and ores 19.7%; chemicals 16.9%; minerals and fuels 9.3% (1995)
partners: Italy 14%, Turkey 10%, Germany 9%, Greece 8%, Yugoslavia 8%, Belgium 6%, France 5%, US 4% (2000)

total value: $5.9 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: fuels, minerals, and raw materials 30.1%; machinery and equipment 23.6%; textiles and apparel 11.6%; agricultural products 10.8%; metals and ores 6.8%; chemicals 12.3%; other 4.8% (1995)
partners : Russia 24%, Germany 14%, Italy 8%, Greece 5%, France 5%, Romania 4%, Turkey 3%, US 3% (2000)

Debt - external: $10.4 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid: $1 billion (1999 est.)

Currency: 1 lev (Lv) = 100 stotinki

Exchange rates: leva (Lv) per US$1 - 483.4 (1996), 70.7 (1995), 54.2 (1994), 27.1 (1993), 23.3 (1992)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones: 3.255 million (2000)

Telephone system: 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 : direct dialing to 58 countries; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); 2 Intelsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 24, FM 93, shortwave 2 (1998)

Radios: NA

Television broadcast stations: 29 (Russian repeater in Sofia 1)

Televisions: 2.1 million (May 1990 est.)


total : 4,292 km
standard gauge: 4,047 km 1.435-m gauge (2,650 km electrified; 917 double track)
other gauge: 245 km 0.760-m gauge (1995)

total: 36,777 km
paved: 33,798 km (including 314 km of expressways)
unpaved : 2,979 km (1995 est.)

Waterways: 470 km (1987)

Pipelines: crude oil 193 km; petroleum products 525 km; natural gas 1,400 km (1992)

Ports and harbors: Burgas, Lom, Nesebur, Ruse, Varna, Vidin

Merchant marine:
total: 99 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,063,367 GRT/1,596,438 DWT
ships by type: bulk 45, cargo 25, chemical tanker 4, container 2, oil tanker 12, passenger-cargo 1, railcar carrier 2, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 6, short-sea passenger 1
note : Bulgaria owns an additional 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 151,855 DWT operating under the registries of Liberia and Malta (1996 est.)

Airports: 355 (1994 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 116
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m : 17
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
under 914 m: 88 (1994 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 239
2,438 to 3,047 m : 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 10
under 914 m: 226 (1994 est.)


Military branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces, Border Troops, Internal Troops

Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 2,052,731 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 1,711,729 (1997 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 62,908 (1997 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $418.6 million (1996)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.0% to 2.5% (1996)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

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; significant producer of amphetamines, much of which are consumed in the Middle East