Bulgaria Country Overview
Where is Bulgaria located? Bulgaria is a republic located in Southeastern Europe. The capital of Bulgaria is Sofia. The time zone map of the world divides countries into world time zones along lines of longitude. These time zones then provide information about the size of the time difference between the respective country and the official world time (also called UTC). Bulgaria is located within the Eastern European time zone, which means that the time there is always 2 hours ahead of world clocks.
Bordering Countries of Bulgaria
According to abbreviationfinder, Bulgaria is a Balkan country located in Southeast Europe, 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’s total land border length is approximately 1,808 kilometers. Bulgaria shares an extended border with Romania of 605 kilometers running along the Danube River which separates the two countries. Romania is also a major trading partner of Bulgaria due to their shared borders and common cultural heritage.
To the west of Bulgaria is North Macedonia and Serbia with whom it shares a long boundary of 677 kilometers along the Stara Planina mountain range. This boundary divides not only two countries but also two cultures as both sides have their own unique customs and traditions. The border between Bulgaria and Greece runs for 477 kilometers along some of Europe’s most spectacular landscapes including Mount Olympus National Park and Rhodope Mountains National Park. Turkey lies to Bulgaria’s south where they are separated by a 211 kilometer border that runs through some of Europe’s most diverse ecosystems including Strandzha Nature Park which straddles both sides of their shared boundary. Finally, Bulgaria has a coastline along the Black Sea where it shares an extensive maritime boundary with Ukraine and Russia in addition to its land borders with other neighboring countries.
As of 2023, the latest population of Bulgaria is 6,966,899, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||-0.65%|
|Birth rate||8.70 births per 1,000 people|
|65 years and above||19.54%|
|Median age||42.10 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||0.92|
|Population density||62.83 residents per km²|
|85% Bulgarians, 9% Turks, 5% Roma; Others (Russians, Armenians, Aromanians, Greeks) – proportion of foreigners 2015: 0.9%|
|Bulgarian Orthodox 83.5%, Muslim 13%, Catholics 1.5%, Uniate Catholic 0.2%, Jews 0.8%, Protestants, Gregorian-Armenian, and Other 1% (1998)|
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.816|
|HDI ranking||52nd out of 194|
People in Bulgaria
Around 7.2 million people live in Bulgaria. The majority of them, namely 74 percent, live in a city. Most of the cities are in the lowlands. After Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Russe and Stara Sagora are the largest cities in the country. On average, every woman has 1.6 children. Many Bulgarians left their homeland in the 1990s to look for work elsewhere, especially in Spain, Italy and Germany. 76 percent of the residents of Bulgaria belong to the Orthodox Church. 1.1 percent are Protestants and 0.8 percent are Catholics. 10 percent are Muslim.
Bulgarians, Turks and Roma
85 percent of the population belong to the Bulgarian people. The Bulgarians are a South Slavic people and thus related to Serbs, Croats or Macedonians. About a quarter to a third of the Bulgarians come from the southern regions of Thrace and Macedonia, from where they fled in the early 20th century until after the First World War.
Almost 9 percent of Bulgaria’s residents are Turks. They are also called Balkan Turks. They settled in the Balkans from the 14th century, when this region belonged to the Ottoman Empire. Many Turks then stayed there, even when the Ottoman (Turkish) rule was pushed back from the 19th century.
4.9 percent of the population are Roma. This ethnic group also lives in Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. Everywhere they are a minority without a state of their own. What they have in common is their language, Romani. The Roma were previously persecuted and displaced. Even today they are mostly outsiders to society. They have a poorer education and find work more difficult than others. They are abused and people look down on them.
There are still small minorities living in Bulgaria. These are Russians, Armenians, Romanians and Pomaks. Pomaks are Muslims who live in the southwest of Bulgaria.
Languages in Bulgaria
Bulgarian is the official language in Bulgaria. It is also spoken by all residents, but only by 85 percent as their mother tongue. Bulgarians of Turkish descent speak Turkish as their mother tongue. Their Turkish, however, differs from the Turkish spoken in Turkey. It was influenced by Bulgarian. The members of the Roma also speak their own language, Romani.
Bulgarian is a Slavic language and belongs to the South Slavic branch. It is one of the oldest Slavic languages. It is unusual that there are no grammatical cases and no infinitives (basic form of the Tu word / verb).
Bulgarian is written in Cyrillic letters. The appearance of the lower case letters differs very much from the normal upright letters.
By the way, there are some words in Bulgarian that originally come from German. If you’re ever in Bulgaria, you might get on with a sunroof (шибидах), baking powder (бакпулвер) or landscape (ландшафт)!