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29 Sep 10

Bulgaria

The Latest Facts and Figures on Bulgaria

Flag of the Republic of BulgariaBackground:
The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks.

Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946.

Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

Geography:

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

Geographic coordinates:
43 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references:
Europe

Area:
total: 110,879 sq km
country comparison to the world: 104

land: 108,489 sq km

water: 2,390 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Tennessee

Land boundaries:
total: 1,808 km

border countries: Greece 494 km, Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia 318 km, Turkey 240 km

Coastline:
354 km

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

Climate:
Current Weather
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: 29.94%
permanent crops: 1.9%
other: 68.16% (2005)

Irrigated land:
5,880 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
19.4 cu km (2005)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 6.92 cu km/yr (3%/78%/19%)
per capita: 895 cu m/yr (2003)

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-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

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

People:

Population:
7,148,785 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98

Age structure:
0-14 years: 13.8% (male 507,505/female 482,229)
15-64 years: 68.3% (male 2,399,182/female 2,480,941)
65 years and over: 17.9% (male 518,350/female 760,578) (2010 est.)

Median age:
total: 41.6 years
male: 39.4 years
female: 43.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.768% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 229

Birth rate:
9.43 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202

Death rate:
14.31 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 18

Net migration rate:
-2.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143

Urbanization:
urban population: 71% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: -0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 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: 0.68 male(s)/female

total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 17.26 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 110
male: 20.59 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.35 years
country comparison to the world: 114
male: 69.74 years
female: 77.17 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.41 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 196

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
346 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
100 (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149

Nationality:
noun: Bulgarian(s)
adjective: Bulgarian

Ethnic groups:
Bulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian) (2001 census)

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

Languages:
Bulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.2%
male: 98.7%
female: 97.7% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 14 years (2006)

Education expenditures:
4.5% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 86

Government:

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
conventional short form: Bulgaria
local long form: Republika Balgariya
local short form: Balgariya

Government type:
parliamentary democracy

Capital:
name: Sofia
geographic coordinates: 42 41 N, 23 19 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

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 (Sofia City), Stara Zagora, Turgovishte, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol

Independence:
3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday:
Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)

Constitution:
adopted on 12 July 1991

Legal system:
civil and criminal law based on Roman law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Georgi PARVANOV (since 22 January 2002); Vice President Angel MARIN (since 22 January 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Boyko BORISSOV (since 27 July 2009); Deputy Prime Ministers Simeon DJANKOV and Tsvetan TSVETANOV (since 27 July 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 22 and 29 October 2006 (next to be held in 2011); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly

election results: Georgi PARVANOV reelected president; percent of vote - Georgi PARVANOV 77.3%, Volen SIDEROV 22.7%; Boyko BORISSOV elected prime minister; result of legislative vote - 162 to 77 with 1 abstention

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 5 July 2009 (next to be held in mid-2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - GERB 39.7%, BSP 17.7%, MRF 14.4%, ATAKA 9.4%, Blue Coalition 6.8%, RZS 4.1%, other 7.9%; seats by party - GERB 117, BSP 40, MRF 37, ATAKA 21, Blue Coalition 15, RZS 8, independents 2

Judicial branch:
independent judiciary comprised of judges, prosecutors and investigating magistrates who are appointed, promoted, demoted, and dismissed by a 25-member Supreme Judicial Council (consists of the chairmen of the two Supreme Courts, the Chief Prosecutor, and 22 members, half of whom are elected by the National Assembly and the other half by the bodies of the judiciary for a 5-year term in office); three levels of case review; 182 courts of which two Supreme Courts act as the last instance on civil and criminal cases (the Supreme Court of Cassation) and appeals of government decisions (the Supreme Administrative Court)

Political parties and leaders:
Agrarian National Union or ANU [Stefan LICHEV]; ATAKA (Attack party) [Volen SIDEROV]; Blue Coalition [Ivan KOSTOV and Martin DIMITROV] (a coalition of center-right parties dominated by UDF and DSB); Bulgarian New Democracy [Borislav RALCHEV]; Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Sergei STANISHEV]; Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria or GERB [Boyko BORISSOV]; Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB [Sergei STANISHEV] (coalition of parties dominated by BSP); Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Ivan KOSTOV]; Gergyovden [Petar STOYANOVICH]; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or IMRO [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV]; Liberal Initiative for Democratic European Development or LIDER [Khristo KOVACHKI]; Movement for Rights and Freedoms or MRF [Ahmed DOGAN]; National Movement for Stability and Progress or NDSV [Hristina HRISTOVA] (formerly National Movement Simeon II or NMS2); New Time [Emil KOSHLUKOV]; Order, Law, Justice or RZS [Yane YANEV]; Union of Democratic Forces or UDF [Martin DIMITROV]; Union of Free Democrats or UFD [Stefan SOFIYANSKI]; United Agrarians [Anastasia MOZER]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB; Podkrepa Labor Confederation

other: numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas

International organization participation:
ACCT, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; the pan-Slavic white-blue-red colors were modified by substituting a green band (representing freedom) for the blue
note: the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed

Economy:

Economy - overview:
Bulgaria, a former Communist country that entered the EU on 1 January 2007, averaged more than 6% growth from 2004 to 2008, driven by significant amounts of foreign direct investment. Successive governments have demonstrated a commitment to economic reforms and responsible fiscal planning, but the global downturn is reducing exports, capital inflows, and industrial production. GDP in 2009 contracted by approximately 5%. Corruption in the public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime remain significant challenges.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$90.51 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72
$95.17 billion (2008 est.)
$89.7 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$45.3 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
-4.9% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
6.1% (2008 est.)
6.2% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$12,600 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89
$13,100 (2008 est.)
$12,200 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 7.5%
industry: 27.6%
services: 64.9% (2009 est.)

Labor force:
3.2 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 7.5%
industry: 36.4%
services: 56.1% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
9.1% (2009)
country comparison to the world: 106
6.3% (2008)

Population below poverty line:
14% (2008)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 24.1% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
29.8 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 114
26.4 (2001)

Investment (gross fixed):
24.8% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45

Budget:
revenues: $17.82 billion
expenditures: $18.2 billion (2009 est.)

Public debt:
14.8% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 116
14.1% of GDP (2008)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.6% (2009)
country comparison to the world: 60
7.2% (2008)

Central bank discount rate:
0.55% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 77
5.77% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
10.86% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 91
10% (31 December 2007)

Stock of money:
$12.63 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 50
$13.84 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of quasi money:
$20.61 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 52
$19.67 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of domestic credit:
$33.19 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 58
$31.04 billion (31 December 2008)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$7.33 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 70
$8.858 billion (31 December 2008)
$21.79 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:
vegetables, fruits, tobacco, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets; livestock

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

Industrial production growth rate:
-14% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155

Electricity - production:
44.83 billion kWh (2008)
country comparison to the world: 51

Electricity - consumption:
29.9 billion kWh (2008)
country comparison to the world: 59

Electricity - exports:
5.407 billion kWh (2008)

Electricity - imports:
3.097 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:
3,357 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101

Oil - consumption:
124,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72

Oil - exports:
76,570 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71

Oil - imports:
189,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50

Oil - proved reserves:
15 million bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83

Natural gas - production:
218 million cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 74

Natural gas - consumption:
3.35 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 71

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 200

Natural gas - imports:
3.48 billion cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 38

Natural gas - proved reserves:
5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88

Current account balance:
-$4.06 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166
-$12.64 billion (2008 est.)

Exports:
$16.43 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
$22.71 billion (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:
clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels

Exports - partners:
Greece 9.8%, Germany 9.1%, Turkey 8.9%, Italy 8.5%, Romania 7.2%, Belgium 5.8%, France 4% (2008)

Imports:
$22.1 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
$35.64 billion (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials

Imports - partners:
Russia 14.6%, Germany 11.8%, Italy 7.9%, Ukraine 7.3%, Romania 5.6%, Turkey 5.5%, Greece 5.4%, Austria 4.1% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$18.53 billion (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 55
$17.93 billion (31 December 2008)

Debt - external:
$49.28 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51
$51.46 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$47.39 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
$42.91 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.155 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
$1.292 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
leva (BGN) per US dollar - 1.4352 (2009), 1.3171 (2008), 1.4366 (2007), 1.5576 (2006), 1.5741 (2005)

Communications:

Telephones - main lines in use:
2.258 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 54

Telephones - mobile cellular:
10.633 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 59

Telephone system:
general assessment: inherited an extensive but antiquated telecommunications network from the Soviet era; quality has improved with a modern digital trunk line now connecting switching centers in most of the regions; remaining areas are connected by digital microwave radio relay
domestic: the Bulgaria Telecommunications Company's fixed-line monopoly terminated in 2005 in an effort to upgrade fixed-line services; mobile-cellular teledensity, fostered by multiple service providers, approached 150 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 359; submarine cable provides connectivity to Ukraine and Russia; a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system provides connectivity to Italy, Albania, and Macedonia; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intersputnik in the Atlantic Ocean region, 2 Intelsat in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (2008)

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 31, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2001)

Television broadcast stations:
39 (plus 1,242 repeaters) (2001)

Internet country code:
.bg

Internet hosts:
706,648 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 45

Internet users:
2.647 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 63

Transportation:

Airports:
212 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 29

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 132
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
under 914 m: 97 (2009)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 80
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 73 (2009)

Heliports:
3 (2009)

Pipelines:
gas 2,926 km; oil 339 km; refined products 156 km (2009)

Railways:
total: 4,294 km
country comparison to the world: 38
standard gauge: 4,049 km 1.435-m gauge (2,880 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 245 km 0.760-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:
total: 40,231 km
country comparison to the world: 89
paved: 39,587 km (includes 331 km of expressways)
unpaved: 644 km (2005)

Waterways:
470 km (2008)
country comparison to the world: 83

Merchant marine:
total: 74
country comparison to the world: 59
by type: bulk carrier 37, cargo 14, chemical tanker 5, container 6, liquefied gas 2, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 65 (Germany 63, Ireland 1, Russia 1)
registered in other countries: 31 (Comoros 2, Malta 5, Panama 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 15, Slovakia 6) (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Burgas, Varna

Military:

Military branches:
Bulgarian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air Forces (Bulgarski Voennovazdyshni Sily, BVVS) (2010)

Military service age and obligation:
18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; as of May 2006, 67% of the Bulgarian Army comprised of professional soldiers; conscription ended in January 2008; Air Forces and Naval Forces became fully professional at the end of 2006 (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,660,930
females age 16-49: 1,646,170 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,337,201
females age 16-49: 1,360,039 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 35,604
female: 34,199 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
2.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58

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; vulnerable to money laundering because of corruption, organized crime; some money laundering of drug-related proceeds through financial institutions (2008)

Source: Central Intelligence Agency`s World Factbook

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