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   Bulgaria Country Guide

Flag of Bulgaria 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.

Map of Bulgaria Full Name: Republic of Bulgaria
Area: 110,910 sq km (water: 360 sq km, land: 110,550 sq km)
Population: 7,144,653 (July 2016 est.)
Capital City: Sofia

People: Bulgarian 76.9%, Turkish 8%, Roma 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Russian, Armenian, and Vlach), other (unknown) 10% (2011 est.)
Language: Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 est.)
Religion: Eastern Orthodox 59.4%, Muslim 7.8%, other (including Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, and Jewish) 1.7%, none 3.7%, unspecified 27.4% (2011 est.)

Government Type: Parliamentary Republic
Chief of State President Rosen PLEVNELIEV (since 22 January 2012); Vice President Margarita POPOVA (since 22 January 2012)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Boyko BORISOV (since 7 November 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers Tomislav DONCHEV (since 7 November 2014), Rumyana BACHVAROVA (since 7 November 2014), Meglena KUNEVA (since 7 November 2014); note - this is BORISOV's second term as prime minister, he first served between 27 July 2009 and 13 March 2013

GDP: $US 143.1 billion (2016 est.)
GDP per Capita: $US 20,100 (2016 est.)
Inflation: -0.7% (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 8.9% (2016 est.)
Industries: Electricity, gas and water; food, beverages and tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel
Currency: lev (BGL)

Member of EU: Yes

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Info provided by the CIA World Factbook
Updated 2/2017
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