Bulgaria

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Introduction - Bulgaria:
CountryBulgaria
BackgroundThe 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 Peoples 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.
Location - Bulgaria:
LocationSoutheastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates43 00 N, 25 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Areatotal: 110,910 sq km
land: 110,550 sq km
water: 360 sq km
Area comparativeslightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundariestotal: 1,808 km
border countries: Greece 494 km, Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia 318 km, Turkey 240 km
Coastline354 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climatetemperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers
Terrainmostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast
Elevation extremeslowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Musala 2,925 m
Natural resourcesbauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
Land usearable land: 29.94%
permanent crops: 1.9%
other: 68.16% (2005)
Irrigated land5,880 sq km (2003)
Natural hazardsearthquakes, landslides
Environment current issuesair 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 agreementsparty 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 notestrategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia
People - Bulgaria:
Population7,322,858 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 13.9% (male 521,117/female 496,022)
15-64 years: 68.7% (male 2,472,424/female 2,556,102)
65 years and over: 17.4% (male 523,660/female 753,533) (2007 est.)
Median agetotal: 40.9 years
male: 38.8 years
female: 43.1 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate-0.837% (2007 est.)
Birth rate9.62 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate14.28 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate-3.71 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.051 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.967 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.695 male(s)/female
total population: 0.924 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 19.16 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 22.75 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 72.57 years
male: 68.95 years
female: 76.4 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate1.39 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Hiv aids adult prevalence rateless than 0.1% (2001 est.)
Hiv aids people living with hiv aids346 (2001 est.)
Hiv aids deaths100 (2001 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Bulgarian(s)
adjective: Bulgarian
Ethnic groupsBulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian) (2001 census)
ReligionsBulgarian Orthodox 82.6%, Muslim 12.2%, other Christian 1.2%, other 4% (2001 census)
LanguagesBulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.2%
male: 98.7%
female: 97.7% (2001 census)
Government - Bulgaria:
Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria
conventional short form: Bulgaria
local long form: Republika Balgariya
local short form: Balgariya
Government typeparliamentary democracy
Capitalname: 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 divisions28 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
Independence3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)
National holidayLiberation Day, 3 March (1878)
Constitutionadopted 12 July 1991
Legal systemcivil law and criminal law based on Roman law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Georgi PARVANOV (since 22 January 2002); Vice President Angel MARIN (since 22 January 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Sergei STANISHEV (since 16 August 2005); Deputy Prime Ministers Ivaylo KALFIN, Daniel VULCHEV, and Emel ETEM (since 16 August 2005)
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 22 and 29 October 2006 (next to be held in 2011); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) nominated by the president and elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly
election results: Georgi PURVANOV reelected president; percent of vote - Georgi PURVANOV 77.3%, Volen SIDEROV 22.7%; Sergei STANISHEV elected prime minister, result of legislative vote - 168 to 67
Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sobranie (240 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 June 2005 (next to be held in June 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - CfB 31.1%, NMS2 19.9%, MRF 12.7%, ATAKA 8.2%, UDF 7.7%, DSB 6.5%, BPU 5.2%, other 8.7%; seats by party - CfB 83, NMS2 53, MRF 33, UDF 20, ATAKA 17, DSB 17, BPU 13, independents 4
Judicial branchSupreme Administrative Court; Supreme Court of Cassation; Constitutional Court (12 justices appointed or elected for nine-year terms); Supreme Judicial Council (consists of the chairmen of the two Supreme Courts, the Chief Prosecutor, and 22 other members; responsible for appointing the justices, prosecutors, and investigating magistrates in the justice system; members of the Supreme Judicial Council elected for five-year terms, 11 elected by the National Assembly and 11 by bodies of the judiciary)
Political parties and leadersATAKA (Attack Coalition) (coalition of parties headed by the Attack National Union); Attack National Union [Volen SIDEROV]; Bulgarian Agrarian National Union-Peoples Union or BANU [Anastasia MOZER]; Bulgarian Peoples Union or BPU (coalition of UFD, IMRO, and BANU); Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Sergei STANISHEV]; Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB (coalition of parties dominated by BSP) [Sergei STANISHEV]; Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Ivan KOSTOV]; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or IMRO [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV]; Movement for Rights and Freedoms or MRF [Ahmed DOGAN]; National Movement for Simeon II or NMS2 [Simeon SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA]; New Time [Emil KOSHLUKOV]; Union of Democratic Forces or UDF [Petar STOYANOV]; Union of Free Democrats or UFD [Stefan SOFIYANSKI]; United Democratic Forces or UtDF (a coalition of center-right parties dominated by UDF)
Political pressure groups and leadersConfederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB; Podkrepa Labor Confederation; numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas
International organization participationACCT, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EU (new member), FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM (guest), NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (associate affiliate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Elena B. POPTODOROVA
chancery: 1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-0174
FAX: [1] (202) 234-7973
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador John Ross BEYRLE
embassy: 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1407
mailing address: American Embassy Sofia, US Department of State, 5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC 20521-5740
telephone: [359] (2) 937-5100
FAX: [359] (2) 937-5320
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; note - the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed
Economy - Bulgaria:
Economy overviewBulgaria, a former communist country that entered the EU on 1 January 2007, has experienced macroeconomic stability and strong growth since a major economic downturn in 1996 led to the fall of the then socialist government. As a result, the government became committed to economic reform and responsible fiscal planning. Minerals, including coal, copper, and zinc, play an important role in industry. In 1997, macroeconomic stability was reinforced by the imposition of a fixed exchange rate of the lev against the German D-mark - the currency is now fixed against the euro - and the negotiation of an IMF standby agreement. Low inflation and steady progress on structural reforms improved the business environment; Bulgaria has averaged 5.1% growth since 2000 and has begun to attract significant amounts of foreign direct investment. Corruption in the public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime remain the largest challenges for Bulgaria.
Gdp purchasing power parity $78.68 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp official exchange rate $28.06 billion (2006 est.)
Gdp real growth rate6.3% (2006 est.)
Gdp per capita ppp $10,700 (2006 est.)
Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 13.6%
industry: 32.1%
services: 54.3% (2006 est.)
Labor force3.51 million (30 September 2006 est.)
Labor force by occupationagriculture: 8.5%
industry: 33.6%
services: 57.9% (2nd qtr. 2006 est.)
Unemployment rate9.6% (2006 est.)
Population below poverty line14.1% (2003 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 25.4% (2005)
Distribution of family income gini index31.6 (2005)
Inflation rate consumer prices 6.5% (2006 est.)
Investment gross fixed 23.8% of GDP (3rd qtr. 2006 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $13.28 billion
expenditures: $12.16 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt25.6% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture productsvegetables, fruits, tobacco, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets; livestock
Industrieselectricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel
Industrial production growth rate11.3% (Third Quarter, 2006 est.)
Electricity production45.7 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity consumption37.4 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity exports7.8 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity imports0 kWh (2006)
Oil production3,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil consumption131,400 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil exports51,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil imports138,800 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil proved reserves15 million bbl (1 January 2006)
Natural gas production407,000 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas consumption3.472 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas exports0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas imports3.065 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves5.947 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
Current account balance-$5.1 billion (2006 est.)
Exports$15.5 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports commoditiesclothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels
Exports partnersTurkey 10.8%, Italy 10.1%, Germany 9.9%, Greece 8.2%, Belgium 6.4% (2006)
Imports$23.8 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports commoditiesmachinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials
Imports partnersRussia 16.8%, Germany 12.4%, Italy 8.7%, Turkey 6.4%, China 5.4%, Greece 5.1% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$11.43 billion (February 2007 est.)
Debt external$24.3 billion (30 November 2006 est.)
Economic aid recipient$742 million (2005-06 est.)
Currency code lev (BGL)
Exchange ratesleva per US dollar - 1.5576 (2006), 1.5741 (2005), 1.5751 (2004), 1.7327 (2003), 2.077 (2002)
Communications - Bulgaria:
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Telephones main lines in use2.399 million (2006)
Telephones mobile cellular8.253 million (2006)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: 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: country code - 359; direct dialing to 58 countries; satellite earth stations - 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); 2 Intelsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions)
Radio broadcast stationsAM 31, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2001)
Television broadcast stations39 (plus 1,242 repeaters) (2001)
Internet country code.bg
Internet hosts184,975 (2006)
Internet users1.87 million (2006)
Transportation - Bulgaria:
Airports217 (2006)
Airports with paved runwaystotal: 132
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 96 (2006)
Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 85
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 72 (2006)
Heliports4 (2006)
Pipelinesgas 2,505 km; oil 339 km; refined products 156 km (2006)
Railwaystotal: 4,294 km
standard gauge: 4,049 km 1.435-m gauge (2,710 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 245 km 0.760-m gauge (2006)
Roadwaystotal: 44,033 km
paved: 43,593 km (includes 333 km of expressways)
unpaved: 440 km (2004)
Waterways470 km (2007)
Merchant marinetotal: 75 ships (1000 GRT or over) 872,653 GRT/1,294,877 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 40, cargo 17, chemical tanker 4, container 6, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 4
foreign-owned: 2 (Germany 1, Russia 1)
registered in other countries: 41 (Cambodia 1, Comoros 1, Malta 13, Panama 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 17, Slovakia 7, unknown 1) (2006)
Ports and terminalsBurgas, Varna
Military - Bulgaria:
Military branchesBulgarian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air Forces (Bulgarski Voennovazdyshni Sily, BVVS) (2006)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; service in the Army is mandatory for all men under the age of 27; conscript service obligation - 9 months; as of May 2006, 67% of the Bulgarian Army comprised of professional soldiers; conscription into the Army to end as of 1 January 2008; Air and Air Defense Forces and Naval Forces became fully professional at the end of 2006; Bulgarian Armed Forces encountered difficulties meeting conscript quotas in April 2007 (2007)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,661,211
females age 18-49: 1,660,982 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 1,302,037
females age 18-49: 1,365,126 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 51,023
females age 18-49: 48,651 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures percent of gdp2.6% (2005 est.)
Disputes internationalnone
This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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