Republic of Bulgaria
Sǎedinenieto pravi silata
|Government||Unitary parliamentary republic|
Current state form
|15 November 1990|
|29 March 2004|
• Joined the European Union
|1 January 2007|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2022 estimate|
|$86 billion (68th)|
• Per capita
|Gini (2021)|| 39.7|
|HDI (2021)|| 0.796|
high · 68th
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
• Summer (DST)
|ISO 3166 code||BG|
Bulgaria (/bʌlˈɡɛəriə, bʊl-/ (listen); Bulgarian: България, romanized: Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria,[a] is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. Bulgaria covers a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), and is the sixteenth-largest country in Europe. Sofia is the nation's capital and largest city; other major cities are Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas.
One of the earliest societies in the lands of modern-day Bulgaria was the
Bulgaria is a
The name Bulgaria is derived from the
Prehistory and Antiquity
By the end of the 1st century AD, Roman governance was established over the entire Balkan Peninsula and
First Bulgarian Empire
Not long after the Slavic incursion,
Succeeding rulers strengthened the Bulgarian state throughout the 8th and 9th centuries.
After Simeon's death, Bulgaria was weakened by wars with
Second Bulgarian Empire
Byzantine domestic policies changed after Basil's death and a series of unsuccessful rebellions broke out,
The Asen dynasty became extinct in 1257. Internal conflicts and incessant Byzantine and Hungarian attacks followed, enabling the
The Ottomans were employed as mercenaries by the Byzantines in the 1340s but later became invaders in their own right.
Bulgarians were subjected to heavy taxes (including
As Ottoman power began to wane,
The Western European
Third Bulgarian state
The Bulgarian principality won
The resulting political unrest led to the establishment of a royal
The Communist Party was forced to give up its political monopoly on 10 November 1989 under the influence of the
Bulgaria is a middle-sized country situated in Southeastern Europe, in the east of the Balkans. Its territory covers an area of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), while land borders with its five neighbouring countries run a total length of 1,808 kilometres (1,123 mi), and its coastline is 354 kilometres (220 mi) long.
The Balkan mountains run laterally through the middle of the country from west to east. The mountainous southwest has two distinct
Bulgaria has a varied and changeable climate, which results from being positioned at the meeting point of the
Considering its relatively small area, Bulgaria has variable and complex climate. The country occupies the southernmost part of the continental climatic zone, with small areas in the south falling within the Mediterranean climatic zone. The continental zone is predominant, because continental air masses flow easily into the unobstructed Danubian Plain. The continental influence, stronger during the winter, produces abundant snowfall; the Mediterranean influence increases during the second half of summer and produces hot and dry weather. Bulgaria is subdivided into five climatic zones: continental zone (Danubian Plain, Pre-Balkan and the higher valleys of the Transitional geomorphological region); transitional zone (Upper Thracian Plain, most of the Struma and Mesta valleys, the lower Sub-Balkan valleys); continental-Mediterranean zone (the southernmost areas of the Struma and Mesta valleys, the eastern Rhodope Mountains, Sakar and Strandzha); Black Sea zone along the coastline with an average length of 30–40 km inland; and alpine zone in the mountains above 1000 m altitude (central Balkan Mountains, Rila, Pirin, Vitosha, western Rhodope Mountains, etc.).
|Climate data for Bulgaria (records from all meteo stations)|
|Record high °C (°F)||24.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−38.3
February record high : http://eea.government.bg/bg/soer/2016/climate/climate0 November record high : https://m.dir.bg/weather/novini/s-32-4-c-veliko-tarnovo-schupi-95-godishen-natsionalen-rekord
Biodiversity and conservation
The interaction of climatic, hydrological, geological and topographical conditions has produced a relatively wide variety of plant and animal species. Bulgaria's
In 1998, the Bulgarian government adopted the National Biological Diversity Conservation Strategy, a comprehensive programme seeking the preservation of local ecosystems, protection of endangered species and conservation of genetic resources.
Bulgaria ranks 30th in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, but scores low on air quality. Particulate levels are the highest in Europe, especially in urban areas affected by automobile traffic and coal-based power stations. One of these, the lignite-fired Maritsa Iztok-2 station, is causing the highest damage to health and the environment in the European Union. Pesticide use in agriculture and antiquated industrial sewage systems produce extensive soil and water pollution. Water quality began to improve in 1998 and has maintained a trend of moderate improvement. Over 75% of surface rivers meet European standards for good quality.
This section needs to be updated.(November 2022)
Bulgaria is a
Unlike the prime minister, presidential domestic power is more limited. The directly elected
Overall, Bulgaria displays a pattern of unstable governments. Boyko Borisov, the leader of the centre-right, pro-EU party GERB, served three terms as prime minister between 2009 and 2021. It won
Borisov's last cabinet saw a dramatic decrease in freedom of the press, and a number of corruption revelations that triggered yet another wave of mass protests in 2020. GERB came out first in the regular April 2021 election, but with its weakest result so far. All other parties refused to form a government, and after a brief deadlock, another election was called for July 2021. It too failed to break the stalemate, as no political party was able to form a coalition government.
Bulgaria has a civil law legal system. The judiciary is overseen by the Ministry of Justice. The Supreme Administrative Court and the Supreme Court of Cassation are the highest courts of appeal and oversee the application of laws in subordinate courts. The Supreme Judicial Council manages the system and appoints judges. The legal system is regarded by both domestic and international observers as one of Europe's most inefficient due to pervasive lack of transparency and corruption.[excessive citations] Law enforcement is carried out by organisations mainly subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior. The General Directorate of National Police (GDNP) combats general crime and maintains public order. GDNP fields 26,578 police officers in its local and national sections. The bulk of criminal cases are transport-related, followed by theft and drug-related crime; homicide rates are low. The Ministry of the Interior also heads the Border Police Service and the National Gendarmerie—a specialised branch for anti-terrorist activity, crisis management and riot control. Counterintelligence and national security are the responsibility of the State Agency for National Security.
Bulgaria is a unitary state. Since the 1880s, the number of territorial management units has varied from seven to 26. Between 1987 and 1999, the administrative structure consisted of nine provinces (oblasti, singular oblast). A new administrative structure was adopted in parallel with the decentralisation of the economic system. It includes 27 provinces and a metropolitan capital province (Sofia-Grad). All areas take their names from their respective capital cities. The provinces are subdivided into 265 municipalities. Municipalities are run by mayors, who are elected to four-year terms, and by directly elected municipal councils. Bulgaria is a highly centralised state where the Council of Ministers directly appoints regional governors and all provinces and municipalities are heavily dependent on it for funding.
Bulgaria became a member of the United Nations in 1955 and since 1966 has been a non-permanent member of the Security Council three times, most recently from 2002 to 2003. It was also among the founding nations of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 1975. Euro-Atlantic integration has been a priority since the fall of communism, although the communist leadership also had aspirations of leaving the Warsaw Pact and joining the European Communities by 1987. Bulgaria signed the European Union Treaty of Accession on 25 April 2005, and became a full member of the European Union on 1 January 2007. In addition, it has a tripartite economic and diplomatic collaboration with Romania and Greece, good ties with China and Vietnam and a historical relationship with Russia.
Bulgaria deployed significant numbers of both civilian and military advisors in Soviet-allied countries like
Bulgaria has an open,
After several consecutive years of high growth, repercussions of the
Siphoning of public funds to the families and relatives of politicians from incumbent parties has resulted in fiscal and welfare losses to society.
Structure and sectors
The labour force is 3.36 million people,
Although cereal and vegetable output dropped by 40% between 1990 and 2008,
Science and technology
Despite the lack of funding, research in chemistry,
Bulgaria has made numerous contributions to
Telephone services are widely available, and a central digital trunk line connects most regions.
Bulgaria's strategic geographic location and well-developed energy sector make it a key European energy centre despite its lack of significant fossil fuel deposits. Thermal power plants generate 48.9% of electricity, followed by nuclear power from the Kozloduy reactors (34.8%) and renewable sources (16.3%). Equipment for a second nuclear power station at Belene has been acquired, but the fate of the project remains uncertain. Installed capacity amounts to 12,668 MW, allowing Bulgaria to exceed domestic demand and export energy.
The national road network has a total length of 19,512 kilometres (12,124 mi), of which 19,235 kilometres (11,952 mi) are paved. Railroads are a major mode of freight transportation, although highways carry a progressively larger share of freight. Bulgaria has 6,238 kilometres (3,876 mi) of railway track,  with rail links available to Romania, Turkey, Greece, and Serbia, and express trains serving direct routes to Kyiv, Minsk, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Sofia is the country's air travel hub, while Varna and Burgas are the principal maritime trade ports.
The population of Bulgaria is 6,447,710 people according to the government's official 2022 estimate.
In 2018, the average total fertility rate (TFR) in Bulgaria was 1.56 children per woman, below the replacement rate of 2.1 and considerably below the historical high of 5.83 children per woman in 1905. Bulgaria thus has one of the oldest populations in the world, with an average age of 43 years.
Bulgaria is in a state of demographic crisis.
Bulgaria scores high in gender equality, ranking 18th in the 2018 Global Gender Gap Report. Although women's suffrage was enabled relatively late, in 1937, women today have equal political rights, high workforce participation and legally mandated equal pay. In 2021, market research agency Reboot Online ranked Bulgaria as the best European country for women to work. Bulgaria has the highest ratio of female ICT researchers in the EU, as well as the second-highest ratio of females in the technology sector at 44.6% of the workforce. High levels of female participation are a legacy of the Socialist era.
Largest cities or towns in Bulgaria
|4||Burgas||Burgas||198,035||14||Veliko Tarnovo||Veliko Tarnovo||65,793|
|6||Stara Zagora||Stara Zagora||124,599||16||Yambol||Yambol||63,656|
High death rates result from a combination of an ageing population, high numbers of people at risk of poverty, and a weak
Public expenditures for education are far below the European Union average as well. Educational standards were once high, but have declined significantly since the early 2000s. Bulgarian students were among the highest-scoring in the world in terms of reading in 2001, performing better than their Canadian and German counterparts; by 2006, scores in reading, math and science had dropped. By 2018, Programme for International Student Assessment studies found 47% of pupils in the 9th grade to be functionally illiterate in reading and natural sciences. Average basic literacy stands high at 98.4% with no significant difference between sexes. The Ministry of Education and Science partially funds public schools, colleges and universities, sets criteria for textbooks and oversees the publishing process. Education in primary and secondary public schools is free and compulsory. The process spans 12 grades, in which grades one through eight are primary and nine through twelve are secondary level. Higher education consists of a 4-year bachelor degree and a 1-year master's degree. Bulgaria's highest-ranked higher education institution is Sofia University.
Bulgaria is a
Less than 3% of the population are affiliated with other religions and 11.8% are irreligious or do not self-identify with a religion.
Contemporary Bulgarian culture blends the formal culture that helped forge a national consciousness towards the end of Ottoman rule with millennia-old folk traditions.
The establishment of the