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{{about|the country}}{{pp-sock|small=yes}}{{featured article}}{{short description|country in Southeast Europe}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2019}}

{{small>Republika BÇŽlgariya}}| common_name = Bulgaria| image_flag = Flag of Bulgaria.svg| image_coat = Coat of arms of Bulgaria.svg| image_map = EU-Bulgaria.svglocation_color=dark greenregion_color=dark greyEuropean Union>subregion_color=green|legend=EU-Bulgaria.svg}}{{nowrapbgitalics=off}}}}2}}{{smalltransliteration)}}>{{small|"Unity makes strength"}}}}bgnolink=yes}}Mila Rodino{{nbsp(transliteration)}}{{smallDear Motherland}}{{center>(File:Mila Rodino instrumental.ogg)}}Bulgarian language>Bulgarian| languages_type = Official script| languages_sub = noCyrillic script>Cyrillic| capital = Sofia42N19type:city|display=inline,title}}| largest_city = capitalUnitary state>Unitary parliamentaryrepublicPresident of Bulgaria>President| leader_name1 = Rumen RadevPrime Minister of Bulgaria>Prime Minister| leader_name2 = Boyko BorisovNational Assembly (Bulgaria)>National Assembly| ethnic_groups ={{unbulleted list
| 84.8% Bulgarians
| 8.8% Turks
| 4.9% Roma
| 0.7% others

}}{{refn|group=note|name=one|The official number of Romani citizens may be lower than the actual number. See Demographics.}}| demonym = Bulgarian| ethnic_groups_year = 2011
History of Bulgaria>Establishment historyFirst Bulgarian Empire>1st Bulgarian Empire| established_date1 = 681–10182nd Bulgarian Empire}}| established_date2 = 1185–1396| established_date4 = 3 March 1878Principality of Bulgaria}}| established_date5 = 5 October 1908Bulgarian Declaration of Independence>Declaration of Independence| area_rank = 103rd | area_km2 = 110,993.6| area_sq_mi = 42,811 WEBSITE=THE WORLD FACTBOOK CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY>ACCESSDATE=9 OCTOBER 2018, NSI Census data|2018}}| population_estimate_year = 31 December 2018| population_estimate_rank = 104th| population_density_km2 = 63| population_density_sq_mi = 166 | population_density_rank = 118th| GDP_PPP_year = 2019PUBLISHER=INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, 6 July 2019, | GDP_PPP_rank = 75th| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $24,485| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 60th| GDP_nominal = $67.044 billion| GDP_nominal_rank = 74th| GDP_nominal_year = 2019| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $9,619| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 69th| Gini_year = 2018| Gini_change = decrease | Gini = 39.6PUBLISHER=EUROSTAT ACCESS-DATE=8 MAY 2019, | HDI_year = 2017| HDI_change = increase| HDI = 0.813 PUBLISHER=HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME>ACCESSDATE=14 SEPTEMBER 2018, | HDI_rank = 51stBulgarian lev>Lev| currency_code = BGNEastern European Time>EET| utc_offset = +2Eastern European Summer Time>EEST| utc_offset_DST = +3| drives_on = rightTelephone numbers in Bulgaria>+359| cctld =}}Bulgaria ({{IPAc-en|audio=En-us-Bulgaria.ogg|b|ÊŒ|l|ˈ|É¡|ɛər|i|É™|,_|b|ÊŠ|l|-}}; ), officially the Republic of Bulgaria (, {{IPA-bg|rɛˈpublikɐ bɐɫˈɡarijɐ|IPA}}), is a country in Southeast Europe. It 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. The capital and largest city is Sofia; other major cities are Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas. With a territory of {{convert|110994|km2}}, Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country.One of the earliest societies in the lands of modern-day Bulgaria was the Neolithic Karanovo culture, which dates back to 6,500 BC. In the 6th to 3rd century BC the region was a battleground for Thracians, Persians, Celts and ancient Macedonians; stability came when the Roman Empire conquered the region in AD 45. The Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire lost some of these territories to an invading Bulgar horde in the late 7th century. The Bulgars founded the First Bulgarian Empire in AD 681, which dominated most of the Balkans and significantly influenced Slavic cultures by developing the Cyrillic script. This state lasted until the early 11th century, when Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered and dismantled it. A successful Bulgarian revolt in 1185 established a Second Bulgarian Empire, which reached its apex under Ivan Asen II (1218–1241). After numerous exhausting wars and feudal strife, the Second Bulgarian Empire disintegrated in 1396 and its territories fell under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries.The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 resulted in the formation of the current Third Bulgarian State. Many ethnic Bulgarian populations were left outside its borders, which led to several conflicts with its neighbours and an alliance with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 Bulgaria became a one-party socialist state and part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc. The ruling Communist Party gave up its monopoly on power after the revolutions of 1989 and allowed multi-party elections. Bulgaria then transitioned into a democracy and a market-based economy.Since adopting a democratic constitution in 1991, the sovereign state has been a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative, and economic centralisation. The population of seven million lives mainly in Sofia and the capital cities of the 27 provinces. The population has declined since the late 1980s.Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO, and the Council of Europe; it is a founding state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and has taken a seat on the UN Security Council three times. Its market economy is part of the European Single Market and mostly relies on services, followed by industry—especially machine building and mining—and agriculture. Widespread corruption is a major socioeconomic issue; it ranked as the most corrupt country in the European Union for 2018.WEB,weblink Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 Executive Summary p. 12, Transparency International,, 10 February 2019,


The name Bulgaria is derived from the Bulgars, a tribe of Turkic origin that founded the country. Their name is not completely understood and is difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD,{{sfn|Golden|1992|pages=103–104}} but it is possibly derived from the Proto-Turkic word bulģha ("to mix", "shake", "stir") and its derivative bulgak ("revolt", "disorder").BOOK, Bowersock, Glen W., Late Antiquity: a Guide to the Postclassical World, Harvard University Press, 354, 1999, 978-0674511736, {{Google books, c788wWR_bLwC, 354, yes, }} The meaning may be further extended to "rebel", "incite" or "produce a state of disorder", and so, in the derivative, the "disturbers".{{sfn|Chen|2012|page=97}}BOOK, Petersen, Leif Inge Ree, Siege Warfare and Military Organization in the Successor States (400–800 AD): Byzantium, the West and Islam, Brill, 2013, 369, 978-9004254466, {{Google books, BRGaAAAAQBAJ, 369, yes, }}{{sfn|Golden|1992|page=104}} Ethnic groups in Inner Asia with phonologically similar names were frequently described in similar terms: during the 4th century, the Buluoji, a component of the "Five Barbarian" groups in Ancient China, were portrayed as both a "mixed race" and "troublemakers".{{sfn|Chen|2012|pages=92–95, 97}}


Prehistory and antiquity

{{Further|Neolithic Europe|Odrysian kingdom|Thracians|Greek colonisation|Slavs}}File:Sofia - Odrysian Wreath from Golyamata Mogila.jpg|thumb|left|upright|alt=Thracian golden wreath exhibited in the National Historical Museum|Odrysian golden wreath in the National History Museum ]]Neanderthal remains dating to around 150,000 years ago, or the Middle Paleolithic, are some of the earliest traces of human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria.JOURNAL, Tillier, Anne-Marie, Sirakov, Nikolay, Guadelli, Aleta, Fernandez, Philippe, Sirakova, Svoboda, Evidence of Neanderthals in the Balkans: The infant radius from Kozarnika Cave (Bulgaria), Journal of Human Evolution, 111, October 2017, 111, 54–62, 10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.06.002, 28874274, The Karanovo culture arose circa 6,500 BC and was one of several Neolithic societies in the region that thrived on agriculture.BOOK, Gimbutas, Marija A., The Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe: 7000 to 3500 BC Myths, Legends and Cult Images, University of California Press, 29–32, 1974, 978-0520019959, {{Google books, SLACTsmH4aYC, 29, yes, }} The Copper Age Varna culture (fifth millennium BC) is credited with inventing gold metallurgy.JOURNAL,weblink Development of metallurgy in Eurasia, Antiquity, 83, 322, Roberts, Benjamin W., Thornton, Christopher P., 2009, Department of Prehistory and Europe, British Museum, 1015, 28 July 2018, In contrast, the earliest exploitation and working of gold occurs in the Balkans during the mid-fifth millennium BC, several centuries after the earliest known copper smelting. This is demonstrated most spectacularly in the various objects adorning the burials at Varna, Bulgaria (Renfrew 1986; Highamet al. 2007). In contrast, the earliest gold objects found in Southwest Asia date only to the beginning of the fourth millennium BC as at Nahal Qanah in Israel (Golden 2009), suggesting that gold exploitation may have been a Southeast European invention, albeit a short-lived one., 10.1017/S0003598X00099312, BOOK, de Laet, Sigfried J., History of Humanity: From the Third Millennium to the Seventh Century BC, UNESCO / Routledge, 99, 1996, 978-92-3-102811-3, {{Google books, BnY0KYbJC6wC, 99, yes, |quote=The first major gold-working centre was situated at the mouth of the Danube, on the shores of the Black Sea in Bulgaria}} The associated Varna Necropolis treasure contains the oldest golden jewellery in the world with an approximate age of over 6,000 years.BOOK, Grande, Lance, Gems and Gemstones: Timeless Natural Beauty of the Mineral World, University of Chicago Press, 292, 2009, 978-0-226-30511-0, {{Google books, RnE9Fa4pbn0C, 292, yes, |quote=The oldest known gold jewelry in the world is from an archaeological site in Varna Necropolis, Bulgaria, and is over 6,000 years old (radiocarbon dated between 4,600 BC and 4,200 BC).}}BOOK, Anthony, David W., Chi, Jennifer, The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000–3500 BC, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 39, 201, 2010, 978-0-691-14388-0, {{Google books, gFEARIQ6zYoC, 39, yes, |quote=grave 43 at the Varna cemetery, the richest single grave from Old Europe, dated about 4600–4500 BC.}} The treasure has been valuable for understanding social hierarchy and stratification in the earliest European societies.WEB,weblink The Gumelnita Culture, Government of France, 4 December 2011, The Necropolis at Varna is an important site in understanding this culture.,weblink" title="">weblink 13 October 2012, dead, BOOK, Schoenberger, Erica, Nature, Choice and Social Power, Routledge, 81, 2015, 978-0-415-83386-8, {{Google books, TO5TBAAAQBAJ, 81, yes, |quote=The graves at Varna range from poor to richly endowed, suggesting a rather high degree of social differentiation. Their discovery has led to a re-evaluation of the form of social organization characteristic of the Varna culture and of the onset of social stratification in Neolithic cultures.}}The Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern Bulgarians, appeared on the Balkan Peninsula some time before the 12th century BC.{{Sfn|Crampton|1987|page=1}}ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgar, Encyclopædia Britannica, 28 July 2018, BOOK, Boardman, John, Edwards, I.E.S., Sollberger, E., The Cambridge Ancient History – part 1: The Prehistory of the Balkans, the Middle East and the Aegean World, Tenth to Eighth Centuries BC, 3, Cambridge University Press, 53, 1982, 978-0521224963, {{Google books, vXljf8JqmkoC, 53, yes, |quote=Yet we cannot identify the Thracians at that remote period, because we do not know for certain whether the Thracian and Illyrian tribes had separated by then. It is safer to speak of Proto-Thracians from whom there developed in the Iron Age}} The Thracians excelled in metallurgy and gave the Greeks the Orphean and Dionysian cults, but remained tribal and stateless.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Balkans, Encyclopædia Britannica, John B., Allcock, 16 August 2018, The Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered most of present-day Bulgaria in the 6th century BC and retained control over the region until 479 BC.BOOK, Kidner, Frank, Making Europe: The Story of the West, Cengage Learning, 57, 2013, 978-1111841317, {{Google books, 1_E_CQAAQBAJ, 57, yes, }}{{sfn|Roisman|2011|pages=135–138, 343–345}} The invasion became a catalyst for Thracian unity, and the bulk of their tribes united under king Teres to form the Odrysian kingdom in the 470s BC.{{sfn|Roisman|2011|pages=135–138, 343–345}}BOOK, Nagle, D. Brendan, Readings in Greek History: Sources and Interpretations, Oxford University Press, 230, 2006, 978-0199978458, However, one of the Thracian tribes, the Odrysians, succeeded in unifying the Thracians and creating a powerful state, It was weakened and vassalized by Philip II of Macedon in 341 BC,BOOK, Ashley, James R., The Macedonian Empire: The Era of Warfare Under Philip II and Alexander the Great, 359–323 B.C, McFarland & Company, Inc., 139–140, 1998, 978-0786419180, {{Google books, nTmXOFX-wioC, 139, yes, }} attacked by Celts in the 3rd century,BOOK, O Hogain, Daithi, The Celts: A History, 2002, The Boydell Press, 69–71, 978-0851159232, {{Google books, -yd1huHoXJwC, 69, yes, }} and finally became a province of the Roman Empire in AD 45.BOOK, Gagarin, Michael, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome, 1, Oxford University Press, 55, 2010, 978-0-19-517072-6, {{Google books, lNV6-HsUppsC, 55, yes, }}By the end of the 1st century AD, Roman governance was established over the entire Balkan Peninsula and Christianity began spreading in the region around the 4th century. The Gothic Bible—the first Germanic language book—was created by Gothic bishop Ulfilas in what is today northern Bulgaria around 381.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Ulfilas, Encyclopædia Britannica, 18 August 2018, The region came under Byzantine control after the fall of Rome in 476. The Byzantines were engaged in prolonged warfare against Persia and could not defend their Balkan territories from barbarian incursions.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink The Beginnings of Modern Bulgaria, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 9 October 2018, This enabled the Slavs to enter the Balkan Peninsula as marauders, primarily through an area between the Danube River and the Balkan Mountains known as Moesia.BOOK, Singleton, Fred, Fred, Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples, Cambridge University Press, 13–14, 1985, 9780521274852, {{Google books, qTLSZ3ucaZMC, 13, yes, }} Gradually, the interior of the peninsula became a country of the South Slavs, who lived under a democracy.BOOK, Fouracre, Paul, McKitterick, Rosamond, Reuter, Timothy, Abulafia, David, Luscombe, David Edward, Allmand, C.T., Riley-Smith, Jonathan, Jones, Michael, The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 1, c. 500 – c. 700, Cambridge University Press, 524, 1995, 9780521362917, {{Google books, JcmwuoTsKO0C, 524, yes, }}BOOK, Curta, Florin, The Making of the Slavs: History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region, c. 500–700, 2001, Cambridge University Press, 9781139428880, 311–334,weblink 20 August 2018,weblink" title="">weblink 26 March 2016, dead, The Slavs assimilated the partially Hellenized, Romanized, and Gothicized Thracians in the rural areas.{{Sfn|MacDermott|1998|page=19}}BOOK, Detrez, Raymond, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, Rowman & Littlefield, 5, 2014, 978-1442241794, BOOK, Parry, Ken, The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity, Wiley-Blackwell, 48, 2010, 978-1444333619, The conquest of the Balkans and the rise of the Bulgarian Empire was not a disaster for the indigenous population and its material and spiritual culture. The settlers and the local Romanized or semi-Romanized Thraco-Illyrian Christians influenced each other's way of life and socio-economic organization, as well as each other's cultures, language and religious outlook., BOOK, Wolfram, Herwig, History of the Goths, University of California Press, 8, 1990, 978-0520069831, {{Google books, xsQxcJvaLjAC, 8, yes, }}

First Bulgarian Empire

File:Krum1.jpg|thumb|alt=Krum feasting with his nobles after the battle of Pliska, detail from the Manasses chronicle|Khan Krum feasts with his nobles after the battle of Pliska. His servant (far right) brings the wine-filled skull cup of Nicephorus INicephorus INot long after the Slavic incursion, Moesia was once again invaded, this time by the Bulgars under Khan Asparukh.BOOK, Zlatarski, Vasil, История на Първото българско Царство. I. Епоха на хуно–българското надмощие (679–852), History of the First Bulgarian Empire. Period of Hunnic-Bulgarian domination (679–852), Marin Drinov Publishing House, Bulgarian, 188, 1938, 978-9544302986,weblink 23 May 2012, Their horde was a remnant of Old Great Bulgaria, an extinct tribal confederacy situated north of the Black Sea in what is now Ukraine. Asparukh attacked Byzantine territories in Moesia and conquered the Slavic tribes there in 680. A peace treaty with the Byzantine Empire was signed in 681, marking the foundation of the First Bulgarian Empire. The minority Bulgars formed a close-knit ruling caste.BOOK, Fine, John V.A., Fine, John Van Antwerp, The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century, University of Michigan Press, 68–70, 1991, 978-0472081493,weblink Succeeding rulers strengthened the Bulgarian state throughout the 8th and 9th centuries. Krum introduced a written code of lawBOOK, Vlasto, Alexis P., The Entry of the Slavs Into Christendom: An Introduction to the Medieval History of the Slavs, Cambridge University Press, 157, 1970, 978-0521074599, {{Google books, fpVOAAAAIAAJ, 157, yes, }} and checked a major Byzantine incursion at the Battle of Pliska, in which Byzantine emperor Nicephorus I was killed.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Krum, Encyclopædia Britannica, 28 July 2018, Boris I abolished paganism in favour of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in 864. The conversion was followed by a Byzantine recognition of the Bulgarian churchENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink The Spread of Christianity, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 28 July 2018, and the adoption of the Cyrillic alphabet, developed in the capital, Preslav.{{Sfn|Crampton|2007|pages=12–13}} The common language, religion and script strengthened central authority and gradually fused the Slavs and Bulgars into a unified people speaking a single Slavic language.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Reign of Simeon I, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 28 July 2018, Bulgaria's conversion had a political dimension, for it contributed both to the growth of central authority and to the merging of Bulgars and Slavs into a unified Bulgarian people., {{Sfn|Crampton|2007|pages=12–13}} A golden age began during the 34-year rule of Simeon the Great, who oversaw the largest territorial expansion of the state.{{Sfn|The First Golden Age}}After Simeon's death, Bulgaria was weakened by wars with Magyars and Pechenegs and the spread of the Bogomil heresy.BOOK, Browning, Robert, Byzantium and Bulgaria, 1975, Temple Smith, 194–195, 978-0520026704, Preslav was seized by the Byzantine army in 971 after consecutive Rus' and Byzantine invasions. The empire briefly recovered from the attacks under Samuil,ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Samuel, Encyclopædia Britannica, 20 January 2012, but this ended when Byzantine emperor Basil II defeated the Bulgarian army at Klyuch in 1014. Samuil died shortly after the battle,BOOK, Scylitzae, Ioannis, Synopsis Historiarum, Corpus Fontium Byzantiae Historiae, De Gruyter, 457, 1973, 978-3-11-002285-8, and by 1018 the Byzantines had conquered the First Bulgarian Empire.{{Sfn|Crampton|1987|page=4}} After the conquest, Basil II prevented revolts by retaining the rule of local nobility, integrating them in Byzantine bureaucracy and aristocracy, and relieving their lands of the obligation to pay taxes in gold, allowing tax in kind instead.BOOK, Ostrogorsky, Georgije, History of the Byzantine State, Rutgers University Press, 311, 1969, 978-0813511986, The Bulgarian Patriarchate was reduced to an archbishopric, but retained its autocephalous status and its dioceses.BOOK, Cameron, Averil, The Byzantines, Blackwell Publishing, 170, 2006, 978-1-4051-9833-2,

Second Bulgarian Empire

Byzantine domestic policies changed after Basil's death and a series of unsuccessful rebellions broke out, the largest being led by Peter Delyan. The empire's authority declined after a catastrophic military defeat at Manzikert against Seljuk invaders, and was further disturbed by the Crusades. This prevented Byzantine attempts at Hellenisation and created fertile ground for further revolt. In 1185 Asen dynasty nobles Ivan Asen I and Peter IV organized a major uprising and succeeded in re-establishing the Bulgarian state. Ivan Asen and Peter laid the foundations of the Second Bulgarian Empire with its capital at Tarnovo.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria – Second Bulgarian Empire, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 27 July 2018, File:20140621 Veliko Tarnovo 002.jpg|thumb|right|alt=A view of the walls of Tsarevets fortress in Tarnovo|The walls of Tsarevets fortress in Veliko TarnovoVeliko TarnovoKaloyan, the third of the Asen monarchs, extended his dominion to Belgrade and Ohrid. He acknowledged the spiritual supremacy of the pope and received a royal crown from a papal legate.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink History of Bulgaria, Encyclopædia Britannica, James, Bourchier, James David Bourchier, 1911, 9 December 2011, The empire reached its zenith under Ivan Asen II (1218–1241), when its borders expanded as far as the coast of Albania, Serbia and Epirus, while commerce and culture flourished. Ivan Asen's rule was also marked by a shift away from Rome in religious matters.{{Sfn|Crampton|1987|page=6}}The Asen dynasty became extinct in 1257. Internal conflicts and incessant Byzantine and Hungarian attacks followed, enabling the Mongols to establish suzerainty over the weakened Bulgarian state.{{Sfn|Crampton|1987|page=6}} In 1277, swineherd Ivaylo led a great peasant revolt that expelled the Mongols from Bulgaria and briefly made him emperor.BOOK, Martin, Michael, City of the Sun: Development and Popular Resistance in the Pre-Modern West, Algora Publishing, 344, 2017, 978-1628942798, {{Google books, gN8lDwAAQBAJ, 344, yes, }} He was overthrown in 1280 by the feudal landlords, whose factional conflicts caused the Second Bulgarian Empire to disintegrate into small feudal dominions by the 14th century. These fragmented rump states—two tsardoms at Vidin and Tarnovo and the Despotate of Dobrudzha—became easy prey for a new threat arriving from the Southeast: the Ottoman Turks.

Ottoman rule

(File:Bulgaria Ivan Alexander (1331-1371).svg|thumb|left|alt=Map of the 14th century Bulgarian rump states|Fragmentation of the Second Bulgarian Empire in the 14th century)The Ottomans were employed as mercenaries by the Byzantines in the 1340s but later became invaders in their own right. Sultan Murad I took Adrianople from the Byzantines in 1362; Sofia fell in 1382, followed by Shumen in 1388. The Ottomans completed their conquest of Bulgarian lands in 1393 when Tarnovo was sacked after a three-month siege and the Battle of Nicopolis which brought about the fall of the Vidin Tsardom in 1396. Sozopol was the last Bulgarian settlement to fall, in 1453.WEB,weblink Maria, Guineva, Old Town Sozopol – Bulgaria's ‘Rescued’ Miracle and Its Modern Day Saviors, Novinite, 10 October 2011, 16 November 2018, The Bulgarian nobility was subsequently eliminated and the peasantry was enserfed to Ottoman masters,ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria – Ottoman rule, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 21 December 2011, The Bulgarian nobility was destroyed—its members either perished, fled, or accepted Islam and Turkicization—and the peasantry was enserfed to Turkish masters., while much of the educated clergy fled to other countries.BOOK, Jireček, K.J., Konstantin Josef Jireček, Geschichte der Bulgaren, History of the Bulgarians, Nachdr. d. Ausg. Prag, 88, 1876, German, {{Google books, VBhThVLpc4MC, 88, yes, |isbn=978-3487064086}}Christians were considered an inferior class of people under the Ottoman system. Bulgarians were subjected to heavy taxes (including devshirme, or blood tax), their culture was suppressed, and they experienced partial Islamisation.BOOK, Minkov, Anton, Conversion to Islam in the Balkans: Kisve Bahası – Petitions and Ottoman Social Life, 1670–1730, Brill, 193, 2004, 978-9004135765, {{Google books, zQsB_AghBKkC, 193, yes, }} Ottoman authorities established a religious administrative community called the Rum Millet, which governed all Orthodox Christians regardless of their ethnicity.BOOK, Detrez, Raymond, Europe and the Historical Legacies in the Balkans, Peter Lang Publishers, 36, 2008, 978-9052013749, {{Google books, htMUx8qlWCMC, 36, yes, }} Most of the local population then gradually lost its distinct national consciousness, identifying only by its faith.BOOK, Fishman, Joshua A., Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity: Disciplinary and Regional Perspectives, Oxford University Press, 276, 2010, 978-0195374926, {{Google books, 7oAUeUVtc58C, 276, yes, |quote=There were almost no remnants of a Bulgarian ethnic identity; the population defined itself as Christians, according to the Ottoman system of millets, that is, communities of religious beliefs. The first attempts to define a Bulgarian ethnicity started at the beginning of the 19th century.|accessdate=30 September 2018}}BOOK, Roudometof, Victor, Robertson, Roland, Nationalism, Globalization, and Orthodoxy: The Social Origins of Ethnic Conflict in the Balkans, Greenwood Publishing Group, 68–71, 2001, 978-0313319495, {{Google books, I9p_m7oXQ00C, 68, yes, }} The clergy remaining in some isolated monasteries kept their ethnic identity alive, enabling its survival in remote rural areas,{{Sfn|Crampton|1987|page=8}} and in the militant Catholic community in the northwest of the country.BOOK, Carvalho, Joaquim, Religion and Power in Europe: Conflict and Convergence, Edizioni Plus, 261, 2007, 978-8884924643, {{Google books, jR98-Ata0CkC, 261, yes, }}As Ottoman power began to wane, Habsburg Austria and Russia saw Bulgarian Christians as potential allies. The Austrians first backed an uprising in Tarnovo in 1598, then a second one in 1686, the Chiprovtsi Uprising in 1688 and finally Karposh's Rebellion in 1689.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria – Ottoman administration, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 20 October 2012, The Russian Empire also asserted itself as a protector of Christians in Ottoman lands with the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca in 1774.(File:The defeat of Shipka Peak, Bulgarian War of Independence.JPG|thumb|alt=The Defence of the Eagle's Nest, painting by Alexey Popov from 1893, depicting the Defence of Shipka Pass|The Russo-Bulgarian defence of Shipka Pass)The Western European Enlightenment in the 18th century influenced the initiation of a national awakening of Bulgaria. It restored national consciousness and provided an ideological basis for the liberation struggle, resulting in the 1876 April Uprising. Up to 30,000 Bulgarians were killed as Ottoman authorities put down the rebellion. The massacres prompted the Great Powers to take action.{{Sfn|The Final Move to Independence}} They convened the Constantinople Conference in 1876, but their decisions were rejected by the Ottomans. This allowed the Russian Empire to seek a military solution without risking confrontation with other Great Powers, as had happened in the Crimean War.{{Sfn|The Final Move to Independence}} In 1877 Russia declared war on the Ottomans and defeated them with the help of Bulgarian rebels, particularly during the crucial Battle of Shipka Pass which secured Russian control over the main road to Constantinople.WEB,weblink Reminiscence from Days of Liberation*, Novinite, 3 March 2011, 20 December 2011, ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Shipka Pass, Encyclopædia Britannica, 18 August 2018,

Third Bulgarian state

The Treaty of San Stefano was signed on 3 March 1878 by Russia and the Ottoman Empire. It was to set up an autonomous Bulgarian principality spanning Moesia, Macedonia and Thrace, roughly on the territories of the Second Bulgarian Empire,{{Sfn|San Stefano, Berlin and Independence}}BOOK, Blamires, Cyprian, World Fascism: A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 107, 2006, 978-1576079409, {{Google books, jR98-nvD2rZSVau4C, 107, yes, |quote=The "Greater Bulgaria" re-established in March 1878 on the lines of the medieval Bulgarian empire after liberation from Turkish rule did not last long.}} and this day is now a public holiday called National Liberation Day.WEB,weblink On March 3 Bulgaria celebrates National Liberation Day, 3 March 2017, Radio Bulgaria, 24 February 2019, The other Great Powers immediately rejected the treaty out of fear that such a large country in the Balkans might threaten their interests. It was superseded by the Treaty of Berlin, signed on 13 July, which provided for a much smaller state only comprising Moesia and the region of Sofia, leaving large populations of ethnic Bulgarians outside the new country.{{Sfn|San Stefano, Berlin and Independence}}NEWS,weblink Timeline: Bulgaria – A chronology of key events, BBC News, 6 May 2010, 20 December 2011, This significantly contributed to Bulgaria's militaristic foreign affairs approach during the first half of the 20th century.{{Sfn|Historical Setting}}The Bulgarian principality won a war against Serbia and incorporated the semi-autonomous Ottoman territory of Eastern Rumelia in 1885, proclaiming itself an independent state on 5 October 1908.{{Sfn|Crampton|2007|page=174}} In the years following independence, Bulgaria increasingly militarized and was often referred to as "the Balkan Prussia".BOOK, Pinon, Rene, L'Europe et la Jeune Turquie: Les Aspects Nouveaux de la Question d'Orient, Europe and Young Turkey: The new aspects of the Eastern Question, Perrin et cie, 411, 1913, 978-1-144-41381-9, {{Google books, xL9DAAAAYAAJ, 411, yes, |quote=On a dit souvent de la Bulgarie qu'elle est la Prusse des Balkans|language=French}} It became involved in three consecutive conflicts between 1912 and 1918—two Balkan Wars and World War I. After a disastrous defeat in the Second Balkan War, Bulgaria again found itself fighting on the losing side as a result of its alliance with the Central Powers in World War I. Despite fielding more than a quarter of its population in a 1,200,000-strong armyBOOK, Tucker, Spencer C, Wood, Laura, The European Powers in the First World War: An Encyclopedia, Taylor & Francis, 173, 1996, 978-0815303992, {{Google books, EHI3PCjDtsUC, 173, yes, }}WEB,weblink Aggregate and Per Capita GDP in Europe, 1870–2000: Continental, Regional and National Data with Changing Boundaries, Broadberry, Stephen, Klein, Alexander, 8 February 2008, Centre for Economic Policy Research, 18, 24 May 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 June 2012, and achieving several decisive victories at Doiran and Monastir, the country capitulated in 1918. The war resulted in significant territorial losses and a total of 87,500 soldiers killed.WEB,weblink WWI Casualty and Death Tables, PBS, dead,weblink 3 October 2016, 28 July 2018, More than 253,000 refugees from the lost territories immigrated to Bulgaria from 1912 to 1929,JOURNAL, Mintchev, Veselin, External Migration in Bulgaria, South-East Europe Review, October 1999, 3/99, 124,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 17 January 2013, 6 August 2018, placing additional strain on the already ruined national economy.BOOK, Chenoweth, Erica, Rethinking Violence: States and Non-State Actors in Conflict, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 129, 2010, 978-0-262-01420-5, {{Google books, JyD_AmGnu34C, 129, yes, }}(File:BASA-3K-7-342-28-Boris III of Bulgaria.jpeg|thumb|left|upright|alt=A portrait of Tsar Boris III|Tsar Boris III)The resulting political unrest led to the establishment of a royal authoritarian dictatorship by Tsar Boris III (1918–1943). Bulgaria entered World War II in 1941 as a member of the Axis but declined to participate in Operation Barbarossa and saved its Jewish population from deportation to concentration camps.{{Sfn|Bulgaria in World War II: The Passive Alliance}} The sudden death of Boris III in mid-1943 pushed the country into political turmoil as the war turned against Germany, and the communist guerrilla movement gained momentum. The government of Bogdan Filov subsequently failed to achieve peace with the Allies. Bulgaria did not comply with Soviet demands to expel German forces from its territory, resulting in a declaration of war and an invasion by the USSR in September 1944.{{Sfn|Wartime Crisis}} The communist-dominated Fatherland Front took power, ended participation in the Axis and joined the Allied side until the war ended.BOOK, Pavlowitch, Stevan K., Hitler's New Disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia, Columbia University Press, 238–240, 2008, 978-0199326631, {{Google books, R8d2409V9tEC, 238, yes, |quote=When Bulgaria switched sides in September}} Bulgaria suffered little war damage and the Soviet Union demanded no reparations. But all wartime gains, with the notable exception of Southern Dobrudzha, were lost.{{Sfn|The Soviet Occupation}}The left-wing uprising of 9 September 1944 led to the abolition of the monarchy and the executions of some 1,000–3,000 dissidents, war criminals, and members of the former royal elite.BOOK, Valentino, Benjamin A., Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Cornell University Press, 91–151, 2005, 978-0-8014-3965-0, BOOK, Stankova, Marietta, Bulgaria in British Foreign Policy, 1943–1949, Anthem Press, 99, 2015, 978-1-78308-430-2, {{Google books, y7G2BgAAQBAJ, 99, yes, }}BOOK, Neuburger, Mary C., Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria, Cornell University Press, 162, 2013, 978-0-8014-5084-6, {{Google books, E7JDJzogCHMC, 162, yes, }} But it was not until 1946 that a one-party people's republic was instituted following a referendum.{{Sfn|Crampton|2005|page=271}} It fell into the Soviet sphere of influence under the leadership of Georgi Dimitrov (1946–1949), who established a repressive, rapidly industrializing Stalinist state.{{Sfn|The Soviet Occupation}} By the mid-1950s standards of living rose significantly and political repressions eased.{{Sfn|Domestic Policy and Its Results|ps=Quote: "real wages increased 75 percent, consumption of meat, fruit, and vegetables increased markedly, medical facilities and doctors became available to more of the population"}}{{Sfn|After Stalin}} The Soviet-style planned economy saw some market-oriented policies emerging on an experimental level under Todor Zhivkov (1954–1989).{{Sfn|The Economy}} Compared to wartime levels, national GDP increased five-fold and per capita GDP quadrupled by the 1980s,WEB,weblink Aggregate and per capita GDP in Europe, 1870–2000, Stephen Broadberry, Alexander Klein, 27 October 2011, 12 July 2013, 23, 27, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 May 2013, although severe debt spikes took place in 1960, 1977 and 1980.BOOK, Vachkov, Daniel, Ivanov, Martin, Българският външен дълг 1944–1989: Банкрутът на комунистическата икономика, Bulgarian Foreign Debt 1944–1989, Siela, 103, 153, 191, 2008, 978-9542803072, Zhivkov's daughter Lyudmila bolstered national pride by promoting Bulgarian heritage, culture and arts worldwide.{{Sfn|The Political Atmosphere in the 1970s}} Facing declining birth rates among the ethnic Bulgarian majority, in 1984 Zhivkov's government forced the minority ethnic Turks to adopt Slavic names in an attempt to erase their identity and assimilate them.{{Sfn|Bulgaria in the 1980s}} These policies resulted in the emigration of some 300,000 ethnic Turks to Turkey.NEWS, Celestine, Bohlen, Vote Gives Key Role to Ethnic Turks,weblink The New York Times, 17 October 1991, 20 December 2011, in 1980s ... the Communist leader, Todor Zhivkov, began a campaign of cultural assimilation that forced ethnic Turks to adopt Slavic names, closed their mosques and prayer houses and suppressed any attempts at protest. One result was the mass exodus of more than 300,000 ethnic Turks to neighboring Turkey in 1989, NEWS,weblink Cracks show in Bulgaria's Muslim ethnic model, Reuters, Anna, Mudeva, 31 May 2009, 30 October 2011, File:Opening Ceremony for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU (38739123335).jpg|thumb|right|Bulgaria hosted the 2018 Presidency of the Council of the European UnionPresidency of the Council of the European UnionThe Communist Party was forced to give up its political monopoly on 10 November 1989 under the influence of the Revolutions of 1989. Zhivkov resigned and Bulgaria embarked on a transition to a parliamentary democracy.{{Sfn|Government and Politics}} The first free elections in June 1990 were won by the Communist Party, now rebranded as the Bulgarian Socialist Party.WEB,weblink Bulgarian Politicians Discuss First Democratic Elections 20y After, Novinite, 5 July 2010, 20 December 2011, A new constitution that provided for a relatively weak elected president and for a prime minister accountable to the legislature was adopted in July 1991weblink The new system initially failed to improve living standards or create economic growth—the average quality of life and economic performance remained lower than under communism well into the early 2000s.NEWS, Vasil, Prodanov, Разрушителният български преход, The destructive Bulgarian transition,weblink Le Monde diplomatique, Bulgarian, 1 October 2007, 20 December 2011, After 2001 economic, political and geopolitical conditions improved greatly,{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=16}} and Bulgaria achieved high Human Development status in 2003.WEB,weblink Human Development Index Report, United Nations, 2005, 224, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 10 March 2011, 28 July 2018, It became a member of NATO in 2004 and participated in the War in Afghanistan. After several years of reforms it joined the European Union and single market in 2007 despite Brussels' concerns about government corruption. Bulgaria hosted the 2018 Presidency of the Council of the European Union at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia.WEB,weblink Bulgaria Absolutely Ready to Take Over EU Presidency, Minister Says, Bulgarian Telegraph Agency, 2 August 2017, 21 July 2018,


{| border="0" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="2" style="float: center; margin: 5px; width: 240px; border: solid 1px #bbb;" align="right"240px|alt=Topographic map of Bulgaria)240px)Above: A map of Bulgaria showing its main topographical featuresBelow: A Köppen climate classification map.BECK LAST2=ZIMMERMANN LAST3=MCVICAR LAST4=VERGOPOLAN LAST5=BERG LAST6=WOOD TITLE=PRESENT AND FUTURE KöPPEN-GEIGER CLIMATE CLASSIFICATION MAPS AT 1-KM RESOLUTION DATE=30 OCTOBER 2018 PAGES=180214 URL=HTTPS://WWW.RESEARCH-COLLECTION.ETHZ.CH/BITSTREAM/20.500.11850/302311/2/SDATA2018214.PDF, }}Bulgaria occupies a portion of the eastern Balkan peninsula, bordering five countries—Greece and Turkey to the south, Macedonia and Serbia to the west, and Romania to the north. The land borders have a total length of {{convert|1808|km|0}}, and the coastline has a length of {{convert|354|km|0}}.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=4}} Its total area of {{convert|110994|km2|0}} ranks it as the world's 105th-largest country.BOOK, Penin, Rumen, Природна география на България, Natural Geography of Bulgaria, Bulvest 2000, 18, 2007, 978-954-18-0546-6, Bulgarian, WEB,weblink Country comparison: Area, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 4 December 2011, Bulgaria's geographic coordinates are 43° N 25° E.WEB,weblink Bulgaria, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 4 December 2011, The most notable topographical features are the Danubian Plain, the Balkan Mountains, the Thracian Plain, and the Rila-Rhodope massif.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=4}} The southern edge of the Danubian Plain slopes upward into the foothills of the Balkans, while the Danube defines the border with Romania. The Thracian Plain is roughly triangular, beginning southeast of Sofia and broadening as it reaches the Black Sea coast.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=4}}File:Pirin-mountains-Bansko.jpg|thumb|left|alt=A view of snowy Pirin Mountain|The Pirin range west of BanskoBanskoThe Balkan mountains run laterally through the middle of the country from west to east. The mountainous southwest has two distinct alpine type ranges - Rila and Pirin, which border the lower but more extensive Rhodope Mountains to the east, various medium altitude mountains to west, northwest and south - Vitosha, Osogovo, Vlahina, Belasitsa, Slavyanka, etc.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=4}} Musala, at {{convert|2925|m|ft|0}}, is the highest point in both Bulgaria and the Balkan peninsula, and the Black Sea coast is the country's lowest point. Plains occupy about one third of the territory, while plateaux and hills occupy 41%.{{Sfn|Topography}} Most rivers are short and with low water levels. The longest river located solely in Bulgarian territory, the Iskar, has a length of {{convert|368|km|0}}. Other major rivers include Struma and Maritsa in the south.{{Sfn|NSI Brochure|2018|pages=2–3}}{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=4}}Bulgaria has a varied and changeable climate, which results from being positioned at the meeting point of the Mediterranean, Oceanic and Continental air masses combined with the barrier effect of its mountains.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=4}} Northern Bulgaria averages {{convert|1|C-change|1}} cooler, and registers {{convert|200|mm|1}} more precipitation, than the regions south of the Balkan mountains. Temperature amplitudes vary significantly in different areas. The lowest recorded temperature is {{convert|-38.3|°C|°F|1|abbr=on}}, while the highest is {{convert|45.2|°C|°F|1|abbr=on}}.WEB,weblink Bulgaria Second National Communication, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 9 October 2018, Precipitation averages about {{convert|630|mm|in|1}} per year, and varies from {{convert|500|mm|1}} in Dobrudja to more than {{convert|2500|mm|1}} in the mountains. Continental air masses bring significant amounts of snowfall during winter.{{Sfn|Climate}}

Biodiversity and environment

File:Lacerta viridis Зелен гущер.jpg|thumb|alt=A Lacerta viridis, or European green lizard, on a tree stump in the Ropotamo reserve|Lacerta viridis in RopotamoRopotamoThe interaction of climatic, hydrological, geological and topographical conditions has produced a relatively wide variety of plant and animal species.WEB,weblink Характеристика на флората и растителността на България, Bulgarian-Swiss Program For Biodiversity, 21 March 2013, Bulgaria's biodiversity, one of the richest in Europe,WEB,weblink Видово разнообразие на България, Species biodiversity in Bulgaria, UNESCO report, Bulgarian, 2013, 30 July 2018, is conserved in three national parks, 11 nature parks, 10 biosphere reserves and 565 protected areas.{{Sfn|NSI Brochure|2018|page=29}}WEB,weblink Бъдещето на природните паркове в България и техните администрации, The future of Bulgaria's natural parks and their administrations, Gora Magazine, Toma, Belev, June 2010, 20 December 2011, WEB,weblink Europe & North America: 297 biosphere reserves in 36 countries, UNESCO, 4 April 2016, Ninety-three of the 233 mammal species of Europe are found in Bulgaria, along with 49% of butterfly and 30% of vascular plant species.WEB,weblink Bulgaria's biodiversity at risk, IUCN Red List, 2013, 12 September 2018,weblink 4 May 2015, dead, Overall, 41,493 plant and animal species are present. Larger mammals with sizable populations include deer (106,323 individuals), wild boars (88,948), jackals (47,293) and foxes (32,326). Partridges number some 328,000 individuals, making them the most widespread gamebird.{{Sfn|NSI Brochure|2018|page=3}} A third of all nesting birds in Bulgaria can be found in Rila National Park, which also hosts Arctic and alpine species at high altitudes.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria: Plant and animal life, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 28 July 2018, Flora includes more than 3,800 vascular plant species of which 170 are endemic and 150 are considered endangered. A checklist of larger fungi in Bulgaria by the Institute of Botany identifies more than 1,500 species.WEB,weblink Checklist of the larger basidiomycetes ın Bulgaria, Institute of Botany, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Cvetomir, Denchev, 12 September 2018, More than 35% of the land area is covered by forests.WEB,weblink Bulgaria – Environmental Summary, UNData, United Nations, United Nations, 20 December 2011, 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.WEB,weblink Biodiversity in Bulgaria, GRID-Arendal, 21 March 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 30 April 2016, Bulgaria has some of the largest Natura 2000 areas in Europe covering 33.8% of its territory.WEB,weblink Report on European Environment Agency about the Nature protection and biodiversity in Europe, European Environment Agency, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 March 2014, 16 October 2018, It also achieved its Kyoto Protocol objective of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 30% from 1990 to 2009.WEB,weblink Bulgaria Achieves Kyoto Protocol Targets – IWR Report, Novinite, 11 August 2009, 20 December 2011, Bulgaria ranks 30th in the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, but scores low on air quality.WEB,weblink Bulgaria, Environmental Performance Index/Yale University, 12 September 2018, Particulate levels are the highest in Europe,NEWS, Danny, Hakim, Bulgaria's Air Is Dirtiest in Europe, Study Finds, Followed by Poland,weblink The New York Times, 15 October 2013, 15 October 2013, especially in urban areas affected by automobile traffic and coal-based power stations.WEB,weblink High Air Pollution to Close Downtown Sofia, Novinite, 14 January 2008, 20 December 2011, WEB,weblink Bulgaria's Sofia, Plovdiv Suffer Worst Air Pollution in Europe, Novinite, 23 June 2010, 20 December 2011, One of these, the lignite-fired Maritsa Iztok-2 station, is causing the highest damage to health and the environment in the European Union.WEB,weblink Industrial facilities causing the highest damage costs to health and the environment, European Environment Agency, 25 November 2014, Pesticide use in agriculture and antiquated industrial sewage systems produce extensive soil and water pollution.WEB,weblink Bulgaria's quest to meet the environmental acquis, European Stability Initiative, 10 December 2008, 20 December 2011, 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.WEB,weblink Report on European Environment Agency about the quality of freshwaters in Europe, European Environment Agency, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 April 2014, 21 March 2014,


File:National Assembly of Bulgaria.jpg|thumb|left|alt=The National Assembly building in Sofia|The National Assembly in SofiaSofiaBulgaria is a parliamentary democracy where the prime minister is the head of government and the most powerful executive position.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=16}} The political system has three branches—legislative, executive and judicial, with universal suffrage for citizens at least 18 years old. The Constitution also provides possibilities of direct democracy, namely petitions and national referenda.WEB,weblink Overview of direct democratic instruments in Bulgaria, Navigator to Direct Democracy, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 January 2014, 25 July 2018, Elections are supervised by an independent Central Election Commission that includes members from all major political parties. Parties must register with the commission prior to participating in a national election.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=17}} Normally, the prime minister-elect is the leader of the party receiving the most votes in parliamentary elections, although this is not always the case.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=16}}Unlike the prime minister, presidential domestic power is more limited. The directly elected president serves as head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and has the authority to return a bill for further debate, although the parliament can override the presidential veto by a simple majority vote.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=16}} Political parties gather in the National Assembly, a body of 240 deputies elected to four-year terms by direct popular vote. The National Assembly has the power to enact laws, approve the budget, schedule presidential elections, select and dismiss the prime minister and other ministers, declare war, deploy troops abroad, and ratify international treaties and agreements.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|pages=16–17}}{{multiple image
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}}Overall, Bulgaria displays a pattern of unstable governments.NEWS,weblink Fitch: Early Bulgaria Elections Would Create Fiscal Uncertainty, Reuters, 23 November 2016, 9 July 2018, Boyko Borisov is serving his third term as prime minister since 2009,NEWS,weblink Bulgaria's government will include far-right nationalist parties for the first time, The Washington Post, Nina, Barzachka, 25 April 2017, 9 July 2018, when his centre-right, pro-EU party GERB won the general election and ruled as a minority government with 117 seats in the National Assembly.MAGAZINE,weblink Bulgarian Cabinet Faces No-Confidence Vote Over Atomic Plant, Bloomberg Businessweek, 6 April 2012, 1 June 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 July 2013, His first government resigned on 20 February 2013 after nationwide protests caused by high costs of utilities, low living standards, corruptionNEWS, Bulgarian government resigns amid growing protests,weblink Yahoo! News, Sam, Cage, 20 February 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 8 March 2013, and the perceived failure of the democratic system. The protest wave was notable for self-immolations, spontaneous demonstrations and a strong sentiment against political parties.WEB,weblink Protests in Bulgaria and the new practice of democracy, Al Jazeera, Mariya, Petkova, 21 February 2013, 7 March 2013, The subsequent snap elections in May resulted in a narrow win for GERB,NEWS,weblink Rightist GERB holds lead in Bulgaria's election, Reuters, Tsvetelia, Tsolova, 12 May 2013, 15 May 2013, but the Bulgarian Socialist Party eventually formed a government led by Plamen Oresharski after Borisov failed to secure parliamentary support.WEB,weblink PM Hopeful: New Bulgarian Cabinet Will Be 'Expert, Pragmatic', Novinite, 25 May 2013, 12 March 2014, NEWS, Neil, Buckley, Bulgaria parliament votes for a 'Mario Monti' to lead government,weblink The Financial Times, 29 May 2013, 28 July 2018, The Oresharski government resigned in July 2014 amid continuing large-scale protests.WEB, Bulgarians protest government of 'oligarchs',weblink Deutsche Welle, Bistra, Seiler, 26 June 2013, 28 July 2018, WEB,weblink Timeline of Oresharski's Cabinet: A Government in Constant Jeopardy, Novinite, 24 July 2014, 29 July 2014, WEB,weblink's%20PM%20Plamen%20Oresharski%20Resigns, Bulgaria's Plamen Oresharski resigns, Novinite, 23 July 2014, 25 July 2014, A caretaker government took overWEB,weblink's+President+Names+Georgi+Bliznashki+as+Prime+Minister, Bulgaria's President Names Georgi Bliznashki as Prime Minister, Novinite, 5 August 2014, 7 April 2016, and called the October 2014 electionsWEB,weblink Bulgaria's 42nd Parliament Dissolved, Elections on October 5, Novinite, 6 August 2014, 9 August 2014, which resulted in a third GERB victory, but a total of eight parties entered parliament.WEB,weblink Bulgaria's Grand Parliament Chessboard Might Be Both Ailment and Cure, Novinite, Angel, Petrov, 6 October 2014, 7 October 2014, Borisov formed a coalitionNEWS,weblink Bulgaria's Borisov plasters together coalition government, Reuters, Tsvetelia, Tsolova, 6 November 2014, 28 July 2018, with several right-wing parties, but resigned again after the candidate backed by his party failed to win the 2016 Presidential election. The March 2017 snap election was again won by GERB, but with 95 seats in Parliament. They formed a coalition with the far-right United Patriots, who hold 27 seats.Freedom House has reported a continuing deterioration of democratic governance after 2009, citing reduced media independence, stalled reforms, abuse of authority at the highest level and increased dependence of local administrations on the central government.WEB,weblink Bulgaria Country Profile, Freedom House, Emilia, Zankina, 24 July 2018, Bulgaria is still listed as "Free", with a political system designated as a semi-consolidated democracy, albeit with deteriorating scores. The Democracy Index defines it as a "Flawed democracy".WEB,weblink Democracy Index 2017: Free speech under attack, The Economist Intelligence Unit, 24 July 2018,

Legal system

Bulgaria has a civil law legal system.WEB,weblink The Bulgarian Legal System and Legal Research, Hauser Global Law School Program, August 2006, 28 July 2018, 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.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=17}} 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.WEB,weblink Съдебната ни система – първенец по корупция, Our justice system – a leader in corruption,, 3 June 2010, 28 July 2018, Bulgarian, NEWS, Matthew, Brunwasser, Questions arise again about Bulgaria's legal system,weblink The New York Times, 5 November 2006, 20 December 2011, WEB,weblink Transparency International report: Bulgaria perceived as EU's most corrupt country, Bulgarian National Radio, 1 December 2012, 23 May 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 November 2012, WEB,weblink Bulgaria Sets Up Anti-Corruption Unit; Security Chief Steps Down, Bloomberg, Elizabeth, Konstantinova, 17 February 2011, 28 July 2018, Law enforcement is carried out by organisations mainly subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior.WEB,weblink Interpol entry on Bulgaria, Interpol, 20 December 2011, The General Directorate of National Police (GDNP) combats general crime and maintains public order.WEB,weblink National Police Service, Ministry of the Interior of Bulgaria, 25 May 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 3 October 2012, GDNP fields 26,578 police officers in its local and national sections.WEB,weblink Справка за щатната численост и незаетите бройки в структурите на МВР към 31.05.2018 г., Summary of staff and vacancies in structures of the Ministry of the Interior as of 31 May 2018, Ministry of the Interior, 31 May 2018, 10 July 2018, Bulgarian,weblink 10 July 2018, dead, The bulk of criminal cases are transport-related, followed by theft and drug-related crime; homicide rates are low.{{Sfn|NSI Brochure|2018|page=27}} The Ministry of the Interior also heads the Border Police Service and the National Gendarmerie—a specialized branch for anti-terrorist activity, crisis management and riot control. Counterintelligence and national security are the responsibility of the State Agency for National Security.WEB,weblink State Agency for National Security Official Website, State Agency for National Security, 20 December 2011,

Administrative divisions

Bulgaria is a unitary state.WEB,weblink Local Structures in Bulgaria, Council of European Municipalities and Regions, 11 April 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 June 2012, Since the 1880s, the number of territorial management units has varied from seven to 26.WEB,weblink Историческо развитие на административно–териториалното устройство на Република България, Historical development of the administrative and territorial division of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ministry of Regional Development, Bulgarian, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2 February 2014, 28 July 2018, Between 1987 and 1999 the administrative structure consisted of nine provinces (oblasti, singular oblast). A new administrative structure was adopted in parallel with the decentralization of the economic system.WEB,weblink Областите в България. Портрети, The oblasts in Bulgaria. Portraits, Ministry of Regional Development, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 June 2012, 28 July 2018, 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 centralized state where the Council of Ministers directly appoints regional governors and all provinces and municipalities are heavily dependent on it for funding.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=17}}{| style="margin:auto;" cellpadding="10"300px|right){{col-begin|width=auto}}{{col-break|gap=2em}}{{ordered list|start=1|Blagoevgrad|Burgas|Dobrich|Gabrovo|Haskovo|Kardzhali|Kyustendil|Lovech|Montana}}{{col-break|gap=2em}}{{ordered list|start=10|Pazardzhik|Pernik|Pleven|Plovdiv|Razgrad|Ruse|Shumen|Silistra|Sliven}}{{col-break|gap=2em}}{{ordered list|start=19|Smolyan|Sofia Province|Stara Zagora|Targovishte|Varna|Veliko Tarnovo|Vidin|Vratsa|Yambol}}{{col-end}}

Foreign relations and security

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.WEB,weblink The United Nations Security Council, The Green Papers Worldwide, 4 December 2011, 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.WEB,weblink Бай Тошовият блян – България в ЕС през '87, Todor Zhivkov's dream – Bulgaria in the EC in '87,, 15 August 2008, Bulgarian, 20 December 2011, NEWS, "Дойче веле": Тодор Живков искал България да стане член на ЕС, "Deutsche Welle": Todor Zhivkov wanted Bulgaria to join the EC,weblink Vesti, 3 September 2008, Bulgarian, 28 July 2018, Bulgaria signed the European Union Treaty of Accession on 25 April 2005,WEB,weblink European Commission Enlargement Archives: Treaty of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania, European Commission, 25 April 2005, 20 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 February 2011, and became a full member of the European Union on 1 January 2007.NEWS,weblink The Big Question: With Romania and Bulgaria joining the EU, how much bigger can it get?, The Independent, Steven, Castle, 29 December 2006, 14 September 2018, In addition, it has a tripartite economic and diplomatic collaboration with Romania and Greece,WEB,weblink Bulgaria – relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, 31 March 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 February 2012, good ties with ChinaWEB,weblink Bulgaria – Bilateral Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 26 July 2013, 28 July 2018, and VietnamWEB,weblink Vietnam Thanks Bulgaria for University Graduates, Novinite, 28 October 2010, 31 March 2012, and a historical relationship with Russia.NEWS,weblink Old ties with Russia weigh on Bulgarian decision in spy poisoning case, Reuters, Alissa, de Carbonnel, 29 March 2018, 21 July 2018, NEWS,weblink Bulgaria Grows Uneasy as Trump Complicates Its Ties to Russia, The New York Times, Rick, Lyman, 4 February 2017, 21 July 2018, For many reasons, including economic necessity, a common culture and deep historical ties, WEB,weblink Bulgaria torn between Russia and the West, Deutsche Welle, Daniel, Smilov, 31 May 2018, 21 July 2018, WEB,weblink Bulgaria–Russia Relations, GlobalSecurity, 21 July 2018, File:BAF MiG-29s in flight Garchev.png|thumb|left|alt=Bulgarian MiG-29 fighters in flight|Mikoyan MiG-29 jet fighters of the Bulgarian Air ForceBulgarian Air ForceBulgaria deployed significant numbers of both civilian and military advisors in Soviet-allied countries like Nicaragua{{Sfn|Arms Sales}} and Libya during the Cold War.{{Sfn|Foreign Affairs in the 1960s and 1970s}} The first deployment of foreign troops on Bulgarian soil since World War II occurred in 2001, when the country hosted six KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and 200 support personnel for the war effort in Afghanistan.WEB,weblink Bulgaria Factbook, United States Central Command, December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 18 October 2011, 4 October 2018, International military relations were further expanded with accession to NATO in March 2004WEB,weblink NATO Update: Seven new members join NATO, NATO, 29 March 2004, 20 December 2011, and the US-Bulgarian Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in April 2006. Bezmer and Graf Ignatievo air bases, the Novo Selo training range, and a logistics centre in Aytos subsequently became joint military training facilities cooperatively used by the United States and Bulgarian militaries.WEB,weblink Bulgaria Factbook, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 4 December 2011, WEB,weblink US, Bulgaria sign defence co-operation agreement, Southeast European Times, 28 April 2006, 20 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 25 January 2011, Domestic defence is the responsibility of the all-volunteer Bulgarian armed forces, composed of land forces, navy and an air force. The land forces consist of two mechanized brigades and eight independent regiments and battalions; the air force operates 106 aircraft and air defence systems in six air bases, and the navy operates various ships, helicopters and coastal defence weapons.WEB,weblink Armed Forces Development Plan, Ministry of Defence of Bulgaria, 2010, 31 March 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 28 June 2012, dead, Active troops dwindled from 152,000 in 1988{{Sfn|Military Personnel}} to 31,300 in 2017, supplemented by 3,000 reservists and 16,000 paramilitary.BOOK, James, Hackett, The Military Balance 2017, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Routledge, 96, 2017, 978-1857439007, The inventory consists mostly of Soviet equipment like Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-25 jets,WEB,weblink Bulgaria Will Modernize Its Army. "Fighters, infantry fighting vehicles", Defence24, Jakub, Palowski, 6 October 2015, 21 July 2018, S-300PT air defence systemsWEB,weblink S-300 Surface-to-air Missile System, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report, 6 August 2015, 21 July 2018, and SS-21 Scarab short-range ballistic missiles.MAGAZINE,weblink SS-21 Scarab: Russia's Forgotten (But Deadly) Ballistic Missile, The National Interest, Sebastien, Roblin, 12 September 2016, 21 July 2018,


(File:Economic Growth in Bulgaria.gif|thumb|right|upright=1.5|alt=Graph showing GDP and unemployment|Economic growth (green) and unemployment (blue) statistics since 2001)Bulgaria has an open, upper middle income range market economy where the private sector accounts for more than 70% of GDP.WEB,weblink World Bank Country and Lending Groups, 2018, The World Bank Group, 28 July 2018,weblink 11 January 2018, dead, WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 10 July 2011, Bulgaria Overview, 2002, USAID, 2 November 2011, From a largely agricultural country with a predominantly rural population in 1948, by the 1980s Bulgaria had transformed into an industrial economy with scientific and technological research at the top of its budgetary expenditure priorities.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria – Late Communist rule, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 28 July 2018, Bulgaria gave the highest priority to scientific and technological advancement and the development of trade skills appropriate to an industrial state. In 1948 approximately 80 percent of the population drew their living from the soil, but by 1988 less than one-fifth of the labour force was engaged in agriculture, with the rest concentrated in industry and the service sector., The loss of COMECON markets in 1990 and the subsequent "shock therapy" of the planned system caused a steep decline in industrial and agricultural production, ultimately followed by an economic collapse in 1997.WEB,weblink The economies of Bulgaria and Romania, European Commission, January 2007, 20 December 2011, BOOK, OECD Economic Surveys: Bulgaria, OECD, 1999, 24, 9789264167735,weblink The previous 1997 Economic Survey of Bulgaria documented how a combination of difficult initial conditions, delays in structural reforms, ... culminated in the economic crisis of 1996–97., 4 October 2018, The economy largely recovered during a period of rapid growth several years later, but the average salary of 1,036 leva ($615) per month remains the lowest in the EU.WEB,weblink Средната работна заплата расте до 1036 лв., Average monthly wages wage increased to 1,036 lv, BTV, 15 May 2017, Bulgarian, More than a fifth of the labour force are employed on a minimum wage of $1.16 per hour.WEB,weblink One out of six employees in the EU27 was a low-wage earner in 2010, Eurostat, 20 December 2012, 20 December 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 December 2012, A balanced budget was achieved in 2003 and the country began running a surplus the following year.JOURNAL, Hawkesworth, Ian, Budgeting in Bulgaria, OECD Journal on Budgeting, 2009, 3/2009, 137,weblink 6 August 2018, Expenditures amounted to $21.15 billion and revenues were $21.67 billion in 2017.WEB,weblink Field listing: Budget, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 16 July 2018, Most government spending on institutions is earmarked for security. The ministries of defence, the interior and justice are allocated the largest share of the annual government budget, whereas those responsible for the environment, tourism and energy receive the least amount of funding.WEB,weblink Бюджет 2018: Повече за заплати, здраве и пенсии, 2018 Budget: More for salaries, health and pensions, Kapital Daily, Vera, Denizova, 23 October 2017, 16 July 2018, Bulgarian, Taxes form the bulk of government revenue at 30% of GDP.WEB,weblink Field listing: Taxes and other revenue, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 16 July 2018,weblink 16 July 2018, dead, Bulgaria has some of the lowest corporate income tax rates in the EU at a flat 10% rate.WEB, These are the 29 countries with the world's lowest levels of tax,weblink Business Insider, 15 March 2016, 16 July 2018, The tax system is two-tier. Value added tax, excise duties, corporate and personal income tax are national, whereas real estate, inheritance, and vehicle taxes are levied by local authorities.WEB,weblink Structure of Bulgarian Tax System, Ministry of Finance of Bulgaria, 16 July 2018, Strong economic performance in the early 2000s reduced government debt from 79.6% in 1998 to 14.1% in 2008. It has since increased to 28.7% of GDP by 2016, but remains the third lowest in the EU.WEB,weblink General government gross debt – annual data, Eurostat, 12 March 2017, The Yugozapaden planning area is the most developed region with a per capita gross domestic product (PPP) of $26,580 in 2016.WEB,weblink Regional gross domestic product (PPS per inhabitant), by NUTS 2 regions, Eurostat, 12 March 2017, It includes the capital city and the surrounding Sofia Province, which alone generate 42% of national gross domestic product despite hosting only 22% of the population.WEB,weblink БВП – регионално ниво, GDP – regional level, National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, 22 July 2018, Bulgarian, {{sfn|NSI Census data|2017}} PPP GDP per capita and the cost of living in 2017 stood at 49 and 48.4% of the EU average, respectively.WEB,weblink GDP per capita in PPS, Eurostat, 28 July 2018, WEB,weblink Comparative price levels, Eurostat, 28 July 2018, National PPP GDP was estimated at $143.1 billion in 2016, with a per capita value of $20,116.WEB,weblink Bulgaria, International Monetary Fund, 12 March 2017, Economic growth statistics take into account illegal transactions from the informal economy, which is the largest in the EU as a percentage of economic output.WEB,weblink EU: Countries to Begin Counting Drugs, Prostitution in Economic Growth, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, 9 September 2014, 16 July 2018, WEB,weblink Shadow Economy, Eurostat, 2012, 20 December 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 14 November 2012, The Bulgarian National Bank issues the national currency, lev, which is pegged to the euro at a rate of 1.95583 levа per euro.WEB,weblink Курсове на българския лев към еврото и към валутите на държавите, приели еврото, Exchange rates of the lev to the euro and Eurozone currencies replaced by the euro, Bulgarian National Bank, 16 October 2018, Bulgarian, After several consecutive years of high growth, repercussions of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 resulted in a 3.6% contraction of GDP in 2009 and increased unemployment.WEB,weblink Bulgaria: GDP growth (annual %), The World Bank, 28 July 2018, WEB,weblink Bulgaria: Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) (modeled ILO estimate), 2018, The World Bank, 28 July 2018, Industrial output declined 10%, mining by 31%, and ferrous and metal production marked a 60% drop.WEB,weblink Economist: financial crisis brewed by U.S. market fundamentalism, Xinhua News Agency, 12 March 2009, 20 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 November 2011, Positive growth was restored in 2010 but intercompany debt exceeded $59 billion, meaning that 60% of all Bulgarian companies were mutually indebted.WEB,weblink Inter-company debt – one of Bulgarian economy's serious problems, Bulgarian National Radio, Tanya, Harizanova, 17 June 2010, 10 July 2012, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 1 November 2012, By 2012, it had increased to $97 billion, or 227% of GDP.WEB,weblink Бизнесът очерта уникална диспропорция в България, Business points to a major disproportion in Bulgaria,, Bulgarian, 14 January 2013, 28 July 2018, The government implemented strict austerity measures with IMF and EU encouragement to some positive fiscal results, but the social consequences of these measures, such as increased income inequality and accelerated outward migration, have been "catastrophic" according to the International Trade Union Confederation.WEB,weblink ITUC Frontlines Report 2012: Section on Bulgaria, Novinite, 10 October 2012, 10 October 2012, Siphoning of public funds to the families and relatives of politicians from incumbent parties has resulted in fiscal and welfare losses to society.WEB,weblink Bulgaria, Romania Rapped for Public Procurement Fraud, Novinite, 21 July 2010, 16 July 2018, BOOK, Center for the Study of Democracy, Anti-corruption Reforms in Bulgaria: Key Results and Risks, Center for the Study of Democracy, 44, 2007, {{Google books, EgHHCbYKZXoC, 44, yes, |isbn=9789544771461}} Bulgaria ranks 71st in the Corruption Perceptions IndexWEB,weblink Corruption Perceptions Index: Transparency International, 2017, Transparency International, 16 July 2018, and experiences the worst levels of corruption in the European Union, a phenomenon that remains a source of profound public discontent.NEWS,weblink Cloud of corruption hangs over Bulgaria as it takes up EU presidency, The Guardian, Jennifer, Rankin, 28 December 2017, 9 July 2018, NEWS,weblink Bulgarian corruption at 15-year high, The Telegraph, 12 December 2014, 9 July 2018, Along with organized crime, corruption has resulted in a rejection of the country's Schengen Area application and withdrawal of foreign investment.NEWS,weblink Bulgarian border officers suspended over airport security lapse, Reuters, 24 March 2018, 9 July 2018, NEWS,weblink Bulgaria savors EU embrace despite critics, Reuters, Alastair, Macdonald, 11 January 2018, 9 July 2018, NEWS,weblink Bulgaria's government faces no-confidence vote over corruption, Reuters, Angel, Krasimirov, 17 January 2018, 9 July 2018, Government officials reportedly engage in embezzlement, influence trading, government procurement violations and bribery with impunity.WEB,weblink US State Dept criticises Bulgaria on prisons, judiciary, corruption, people-trafficking and violence against minorities, The Sofia Globe, 21 April 2018, 9 July 2018, Government procurement in particular is a critical area in corruption risk. An estimated 10 billion leva ($5.99 billion) of state budget and European cohesion funds are spent on public tenders each year;NEWS,weblink 10 млрд. лв. годишно се харчат с обществени поръчки, 10 bln. leva are spent on public procurement every year, 24 Chasa, 21 February 2016, 30 July 2018, Bulgarian, nearly 14 billion ($8.38 billion) were spent on public contracts in 2017 alone.WEB,weblink Рекорд при обществените поръчки: открити са търгове за почти 14 млрд. лв., A record in public procurement: tenders worth nearly 14 billion lv unveiled, Kapital Daily, Ivaylo, Stanchev, 29 December 2017, 16 July 2018, Bulgarian, A large share of these contracts are awarded to a few politically connectedJOURNAL, Stefanov, Ruslan, The Bulgarian Public Procurement Market: Corruption Risks and Dynamics in the Construction Sector, Government Favouritism in Europe: The Anticorruption Report 3, 2015, 3/2015, 35,weblink 6 August 2018, companies amid widespread irregularities, procedure violations and tailor-made award criteria.WEB,weblink Public procurement in Bulgaria, European Commission, 2015, 16 July 2018, Despite repeated criticism from the European Commission, EU institutions refrain from taking measures against Bulgaria because it supports Brussels on a number of issues, unlike Poland or Hungary.


(File:Bulgaria 2016 export treemap.svg|thumb|upright=1.5|alt=Economic complexity chart showing the various kinds of Bulgarian exports|Tree-map of Bulgarian exports in 2016)The labour force is 3.36 million people,WEB,weblink Field listing: Labor force, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 16 July 2018, of whom 6.8% are employed in agriculture, 26.6% in industry and 66.6% in the services sector.WEB,weblink Field listing: Labor force by occupation, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 21 March 2013, Extraction of metals and minerals, production of chemicals, machine building, steel, biotechnology, tobacco and food processing and petroleum refining are among the major industrial activities.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria – Manufacturing, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 28 July 2018, WEB,weblink Field listing: Industries, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 20 December 2011, WEB,weblink Bulgaria: Selling off steel, 31 August 2011, Oxford Business Group, 28 July 2018, Mining alone employs 24,000 people and generates about 5% of the country's GDP; the number of employed in all mining-related industries is 120,000.WEB,weblink's+GDP+–+Energy+Minister, Mining Industry Accounts for 5% of Bulgaria's GDP – Energy Minister, Novinite, 29 August 2015, 20 July 2018, NEWS, Bulgaria's ore exports rise 10% in H1 2011 – industry group,weblink 18 August 2011, The Sofia Echo, 20 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 16 March 2012, Bulgaria is Europe's fifth-largest coal producer.WEB,weblink Total Primary Coal Production (Thousand Short Tons), U.S. Energy Information Administration, 28 July 2018, Local deposits of coal, iron, copper and lead are vital for the manufacturing and energy sectors.{{Sfn|Resource Base}}Two-thirds of food and agricultural exports go to OECD countries.WEB,weblink Agricultural Policies in non-OECD countries: Monitoring and Evaluation, OECD, 2007, 28 July 2018, Although cereal and vegetable output dropped by 40% between 1990 and 2008,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink Bulgaria – Natural conditions, farming traditions and agricultural structures, Food and Agriculture Organization, 28 March 2008, 2 November 2011, output has since increased, and the 2016–2017 season registered the biggest grain output in a decade.WEB,weblink Bulgaria – Economic Summary, UNData, United Nations, United Nations, 20 December 2011, WEB,weblink Experts: Bumper Year for Wheat Producers in Dobrich Region, Bulgarian Telegraph Agency, 4 August 2017, 20 July 2018, Maize, barley, oats and rice are also grown. Quality Oriental tobacco is a significant industrial crop.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria – Agriculture, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 28 July 2018, Bulgaria is also the largest producer globally of lavender and rose oil, both widely used in fragrances.WEB,weblink Bulgarian rose oil keeps its top place on world market, Bulgarian National Radio, Miglena, Ivanova, 31 May 2017, 20 July 2018, WEB,weblink Bulgaria is Again the World's First Producer of Lavender Oil, Novinite, 30 November 2017, 20 July 2018, WEB,weblink Bulgaria tops lavender oil production, outpacing France, Fox News, 16 July 2014, 12 September 2018, Of the services sector, tourism is a significant contributor to economic growth. Bulgaria has emerged as a travelling destination with its inexpensive resorts and beaches outside the reach of the tourist industry.NEWS, Europe (without the euro),weblink The Guardian, 20 April 2009, 20 December 2011, Most of the visitors are Romanian, German, Turkish, British and Russian.WEB,weblink Посещения на чужденци в България по месеци и по страни, Arrivals of foreigners in 2017 by month and country of origin, National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, 16 March 2018, 28 July 2018, Bulgarian, Sofia, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, coastal resorts Golden Sands and Sunny Beach and winter resorts Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovets are some of the locations most visited by tourists.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria – Tourism, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 28 July 2018,

Science and technology

Spending on research and development amounts to 0.78% of GDP,{{Sfn|NSI Brochure|2018|page=19}} and the bulk of public R&D funding goes to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).WEB,weblink EU Presidency Puts Lagging Bulgarian Science in the Spotlight, Novinite, 22 March 2018, 14 July 2018, Private businesses accounted for more than 73% of R&D expenditures and employed 42% of Bulgaria's 22,000 researchers in 2015.WEB,weblink R&D Spending in Bulgaria Up in 2015, Mostly Driven by Businesses, Novinite, 31 October 2016, 14 July 2018, The same year, Bulgaria ranked 39th out of 50 countries in the Bloomberg Innovation Index, the highest score being in education (24th) and the lowest in value-added manufacturing (48th).WEB,weblink The 2015 Bloomberg Innovation Index, Bloomberg, 14 July 2018, Chronic government underinvestment in research since 1990 has forced many professionals in science and engineering to leave Bulgaria.JOURNAL, Shopov, V., The impact of the European scientific area on the 'Brain leaking' problem in the Balkan countries, Nauka, 2007, 1/2007, (File:BulgariaSat-1 Mission (35491530485).jpg|thumb|upright|right|alt=A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching BulgariaSat-1 in June 2017|The launch of BulgariaSat-1 by SpaceX in 2017)Despite the lack of funding, research in chemistry, materials science and physics remains strong. Antarctic research is actively carried out through the St. Kliment Ohridski Base on Livingston Island in Western Antarctica.St. Kliment Ohridski Base. SCAR Composite Antarctic GazetteerIvanov, Lyubomir (2015). General Geography and History of Livingston Island. In: Bulgarian Antarctic Research: A Synthesis. Eds. C. Pimpirev and N. Chipev. Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press. pp. 17–28. {{ISBN|978-954-07-3939-7}} The information and communication technologies (ICT) sector generates three per cent of economic output and employs 40,000NEWS,weblink Bulgaria strives to become tech capital of the Balkans, The Financial Times, Kerin, Hope, 17 October 2016, 15 July 2018, to 51,000 software engineers.WEB,weblink Bulgaria's ICT Sector Turnover Trebled over Last Seven Years – Deputy Economy Minister, Bulgarian Telegraph Agency, 12 March 2018, 15 July 2018, Bulgaria was known as a "Communist Silicon Valley" during the Soviet era due to its key role in COMECON computing technology production.WEB,weblink The Great Bulgarian BrainDrain, Delft Technical University, David, McMullin, 2 October 2003, 15 July 2018, The country is a regional leader in high performance computing: it operates Avitohol, the most powerful supercomputer in Southeast Europe, and will host one of the eight petascale EuroHPC supercomputers.WEB,weblink Малката изчислителна армия на България, Bulgaria's small computing army, Kapital Daily, Yoan, Zapryanov, 22 June 2018, 15 July 2018, Bulgarian, WEB,weblink Digital Single Market: Europe announces eight sites to host world-class supercomputers, European Commission, 7 June 2019, 15 August 2019, Bulgaria has made numerous contributions to space exploration.BOOK, Burgess, Colin, Vis, Bert, Interkosmos: The Eastern Bloc's Early Space Program, Springer, 247–250, 2016, 978-3-319-24161-6, {{Google books, MG__CgAAQBAJ, 247, yes, }} These include two scientific satellites, more than 200 payloads and 300 experiments in Earth orbit, as well as two cosmonauts since 1971. Bulgaria was the first country to grow wheat and vegetables in space with its Svet greenhouses on the Mir space station.WEB,weblink's+Space+Program, Cosmonauts Eager, Hopeful for Reboot of Bulgaria's Space Program, Novinite, 17 April 2011, 15 July 2018, JOURNAL, Ivanova, Tanya, Six-month space greenhouse experiments—a step to creation of future biological life support systems, Acta Astronautica, 1998, 42, 1–8, 11–23, 10.1016/S0094-5765(98)00102-7, 11541596, 1998AcAau..42...11I, It was involved in the development of the Granat gamma-ray observatory and the Vega program, particularly in modelling trajectories and guidance algorithms for both Vega probes.BOOK, Dimitrova, Milena, Златните десятилетия на българската електроника, The Golden Decades of Bulgarian Electronics, Trud, 257–258, 2008, {{Google books, jqJ6Ocql0XIC, 257, yes, |isbn=9789545288456}}BOOK, Badescu, Viorel, Zacny, Kris, Inner Solar System: Prospective Energy and Material Resources, Springer, 276, 2015, 978-3-319-19568-1, {{Google books, ZrAYCgAAQBAJ, 276, yes, |accessdate=28 July 2018}} Bulgarian instruments have been used in the exploration of Mars, including a spectrometer that took the first high quality spectroscopic images of Martian moon Phobos with the Phobos 2 probe.BOOK, Harland, David M., Ulivi, Paolo, Robotic Exploration of the Solar System: Part 2: Hiatus and Renewal, 1983–1996, Springer, 155, 2009, 978-0-387-78904-0, {{Google books, dZyaAAVwg5QC, 155, yes, }} Cosmic radiation en route to and around the planet has been mapped by Liulin-ML dosimeters on the ExoMars TGO.JOURNAL, Semkova, Jordanka, Dachev, Tsvetan, Radiation environment investigations during ExoMars missions to Mars – objectives, experiments and instrumentation, Comptes Rendus de l'Académie Bulgare des Sciences, 2015, 47, 25, 485–496,weblink 6 August 2018, 1310-1331, Variants of these instruments have also been fitted on the International Space Station and the Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe.WEB,weblink Radiation Dose Monitor Experiment (RADOM), ISRO, 20 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 19 January 2012, JOURNAL, Dachev, Yu., Dimitrov, F., Tomov, O., Matviichuk, Spurny, Ploc, Liulin-type spectrometry-dosimetry instruments, Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 2011, 144, 1–4, 675–679, 10.1093/rpd/ncq506, 21177270, 1742-3406, Another lunar mission, SpaceIL's Beresheet, was also equipped with a Bulgarian-manufactured imaging payload.WEB,weblink Bulgarian Camera Flies to the Moon, Darik News, 22 March 2019, 30 March 2019, Bulgaria's first geostationary communications satellite—BulgariaSat-1—was launched by SpaceX in June 2017.WEB,weblink BulgariaSat-1 Mission, SpaceX, 15 July 2018,


File:Trakiya highway 04.jpg|thumb|left|alt=Trakiya motorway, one of the main national motorways|Trakia motorwayTrakia motorwayTelephone services are widely available, and a central digital trunk line connects most regions.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=14}} Vivacom (BTC) serves more than 90% of fixed lines and is one of the three operators providing mobile services, along with A1 and Telenor.WEB,weblink Bulgaria: 2011 Telecommunication Market and Regulatory Developments, European Commission, 2, 2011, 19 March 2013, WEB,weblink Bulgaria Opens Tender for Fourth Mobile Operator, Novinite, 3 October 2011, 20 December 2011, Internet penetration stood at 61.9% of the population aged 16–74, in 2017.WEB,weblink Individuals regularly using the Internet (Every day or at least once a week), National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, 8 December 2017, 9 October 2018, 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.WEB,weblink Energy Hub, Oxford Business Group, 13 October 2008, 28 July 2018, Thermal power plants generate 48.9% of electricity, followed by nuclear power from the Kozloduy reactors (34.8%) and renewable sources (16.3%).{{Sfn|NSI Brochure|2018|page=47}} Equipment for a second nuclear power station at Belene has been acquired, but the fate of the project remains uncertain.NEWS,weblink Bulgaria must work to restart Belene nuclear project: parliament, Reuters, Angel, Krasimirov, 7 June 2018, 24 October 2018, Installed capacity amounts to 12,668 MW, allowing Bulgaria to exceed domestic demand and export energy.WEB,weblink Bulgaria – Power Generation, International Trade Administration, 15 June 2018, The national road network has a total length of {{convert|19512|km}},WEB,weblink Country comparison: Total road length, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 15 June 2018, of which {{convert|19235|km}} are paved. Railroads are a major mode of freight transportation, although highways carry a progressively larger share of freight. Bulgaria has {{convert|6238|km}} of railway track{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=14}} and currently a total of {{convert|81|km|abbr=off}} of high-speed lines are in operation.WEB,weblink Влаковете Пловдив-Димитровград вече със 160 км/час, The trains from Plovdiv to Dimitrovgrad now with 160 km/h, Dariknews, 28 July 2018, Bulgarian, MAGAZINE,weblink Bulgaria to Turkey wiring underway, Railway Gazette International, 11 May 2012, Rail links are available with Romania, Turkey, Greece, and Serbia, and express trains serve direct routes to Kiev, Minsk, Moscow and Saint Petersburg.WEB,weblink Trains in Bulgaria, EuRail, 28 July 2018, Sofia and Plovdiv are the country's air travel hubs, while Varna and Burgas are the principal maritime trade ports.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=14}}


(File:Bulgaria-demography.png|thumb|alt=Population graph|Population trend since 1960)File:Bulgariapop.svg|thumb|Population pyramidPopulation pyramidThe population of Bulgaria is {{sigfig|7,364,570|3}} people according to the 2011 national census. The majority of the population, 72.5%, reside in urban areas.{{sfn|NSI Census data|2011|page=3}} {{as of|2017}}, Sofia is the most populated urban centre with {{sigfig|1,325,429|3}} people, followed by Plovdiv (345,000), Varna (344,000), Burgas (209,000) and Ruse (160,000).{{sfn|NSI Census data|2017}} Bulgarians are the main ethnic group and comprise 84.8% of the population. Turkish and Roma minorities comprise 8.8 and 4.9%, respectively; some 40 smaller minorities comprise 0.7%, and 0.8% do not self-identify with an ethnic group.{{sfn|NSI Census data|2011|page=4}}WEB,weblink Census results: population by residence, ethnic group and age, National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, 2011, 20 July 2018,weblink" title="">weblink 2 June 2012, dead, Former Statistics head Reneta Indzhova has disputed the 2011 census figures, suggesting the actual population is smaller than reported.WEB,weblink НСИ: Преброяването от 2011 г. е сгрешено, нужно е ново, NSI: The 2011 census is incorrect, a new one needed, Vesti, 25 March 2014, 22 July 2018, Bulgarian, WEB,weblink Скандални твърдения за неточности в преброяването през 2011 г., Scandalous claims of inaccuracies in the 2011 census, Bulgarian National Television, Eliana, Dimitrova, 25 March 2014, 22 July 2018, Bulgarian, The Roma minority is usually underestimated in census data and may represent up to 11% of the population.NEWS, Bulgarians unfazed by anti-Roma hate speech from deputy prime minister,weblink Deutsche Welle, 31 October 2017, WEB,weblink Field listing: Ethnic Groups, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 21 July 2018,weblink 25 June 2014, dead, Population density is 65 per square kilometre, almost half the European Union average.WEB,weblink Population density (people per sq. km of land area), The World Bank, 2018, 12 September 2018, In 2017 the average total fertility rate (TFR) across Bulgaria was 1.56 children per woman,WEB,weblink Population and Demographic Processes in 2017,, 2017-08-25, below the replacement rate of 2.1, it remains considerably below the high of 5.83 children per woman in 1905.HTTPS://OURWORLDINDATA.ORG/GRAPHER/CHILDREN-BORN-PER-WOMAN?YEAR=1850&COUNTRY=BGR, Total Fertility Rate around the world over the last centuries, Max Roser, 2014, Our World In Data, Gapminder Foundation, Bulgaria subsequently has one of the oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 43 years.HTTPS://WWW.CIA.GOV/LIBRARY/PUBLICATIONS/THE-WORLD-FACTBOOK/GEOS/BU.HTML, World Factbook EUROPE : BULGARIA, The World Factbook, July 12, 2018, {{PD-notice}}Bulgaria is in a state of demographic crisis.NEWS,weblink World Bank: The demographic crisis is Bulgaria's most serious problem, Klassa, 15 November 2012, 8 April 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 7 May 2016, dead, WEB,weblink Demographic crisis in Bulgaria deepening, Bulgarian National Radio, 12 March 2012, 8 April 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 5 November 2013, It has had negative population growth since the early 1990s, when the economic collapse caused a long-lasting emigration wave.WEB,weblink Will EU Entry Shrink Bulgaria's Population Even More?, Deutsche Welle, 26 December 2006, 11 April 2016, Some 937,000 to 1,200,000 people—mostly young adults—left the country by 2005.BOOK, Klaus, Roth, Lauth Bacas, Jutta, Migration In, From, and to Southeastern Europe, The British Library, 188, 2004, 978-3643108968, {{Google books, pNSGDpXT4A0C, 188, yes, }} The majority of children are born to unmarried women.WEB,weblink Eurostat – Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table, Eurostat, 17 October 2013, 25 February 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 October 2014, Furthermore, a third of all households consist of only one person and 75.5% of families do not have children under the age of 16. The resulting birth rates are among the lowest in the worldWEB,weblink Country Comparison: Population growth rate, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 20 December 2011, WEB,weblink Country Comparison: Birth rate, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 8 April 2013, while death rates are among the highest.WEB,weblink Country Comparison: Death rate, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 8 April 2013, High death rates result from a combination of an ageing population, a high number of people at risk of poverty and a weak healthcare system.NEWS,weblink Bulgaria battles to stop its brain drain, The Financial Times, Kerin, Hope, 11 January 2018, 7 September 2018, But a sharp decline in the quality of state healthcare and high poverty rates—42% of the population are at risk of poverty in old age, according to Eurostat—gives Bulgaria the second-lowest life expectancy in the EU after Lithuania., More than 80% of all deaths are due to cancer and cardiovascular conditions; nearly a fifth of those are avoidable.Country Health Profile, p. 1 Mortality rates can be sharply reduced to levels below the EU average through timely and adequate access to medical services, which the healthcare system does not provide fully.WEB,weblink Bulgaria: Health Care & Long-Term Care Systems, European Commission, 20 May 2018, Although healthcare in Bulgaria is nominally universal,JOURNAL, Georgieva, Lidia, Salchev, Petko, Bulgaria Health system review, Health Systems in Transition, 2007, 9, 1, xvi, 12,weblink 1817-6127, out-of-pocket expenses account for nearly half of all healthcare spending, which significantly limits access to medical care.Country Health Profile, p. 7 Other problems disrupting care provision are the emigration of doctors due to low wages, understaffed and under-equipped regional hospitals, supply shortages and frequent changes to the basic service package for those insured.Country Health Profile, pp. 8, 11, 12.WEB,weblink The Bulgaria 2012 Review: Health and Healthcare, Novinite, Maria, Guineva, 7 January 2013, 21 February 2013, The 2018 Bloomberg Health Care Efficiency Index ranked Bulgaria last out of 56 countries.WEB,weblink These Are the Economies With the Most (and Least) Efficient Health Care, Bloomberg, Lee J, Miller, 19 September 2018, 21 September 2018, Average life expectancy is 74.7 years compared with an EU average of 80.2 and a world average of 69.WEB,weblink Country Comparison: Life Expectancy, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 12 September 2018, WEB,weblink Life expectancy at birth, total (years), The World Bank, 2018, 7 September 2018, (File:Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (37849719131).jpg|thumb|left|alt=Sofia University building|The Rectorate of Sofia University)Public expenditures for education are far below the European Union average as well. Educational standards were once high,{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=6}} but have declined significantly since the early 2000s.WEB,weblink Education in Bulgaria, UNICEF, 2007, 23 March 2013, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 4 March 2016, 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. Although average literacy stands at 98.4% with no significant difference between sexes,WEB,weblink Field Listing: Literacy, The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency, 20 May 2018, functional illiteracy is significant. The PISA study of 2015 found 41.5% of pupils in the 9th grade to be functionally illiterate in reading, maths and science.WEB,weblink International study: 40% of Bulgarian ninth-graders functionally illiterate in science, maths and reading, The Sofia Globe, 12 June 2016, 21 May 2017, 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.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|page=6}} The process spans through 12 grades, where 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.WEB,weblink Structure of the Education System in Bulgaria, Ministry of Education, Youth and Science of Bulgaria, 4 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 11 January 2012, Bulgaria's highest-ranked higher education institution is Sofia University.MAGAZINE,weblink Bulgaria: University Ranking, Times Higher Education, 28 July 2018, MAGAZINE,weblink Study in Bulgaria, Times Higher Education, 20 May 2018, Bulgarian is the only language with official status and native for {{sigfig|85.2|2}}% of the population.{{harvnb|NSI Census data|2011|p=5}} In the 2011 census, the language question was optional and it was answered by 90.2% of those surveyed. It belongs to the Slavic group of languages, but it has a number of grammatical peculiarities, shared with its closest relative Macedonian, that set it apart from other Slavic languages: these include a complex verbal morphology (which also codes for distinctions in evidentiality), the absence of noun cases and infinitives, and the use of a suffixed definite article.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Language and Literature of Bulgaria, Encyclopædia Britannica, James, Bourchier, James David Bourchier, 1911, 20 November 2018, The introduction of the definite article, which appears in the form of a suffix, and the almost total disappearance of the ancient declensions, for which the use of prepositions has been substituted, distinguish the Bulgarian from all the other members of the Slavonic family., Other major languages are Turkish and Romani, which according to the 2011 census were spoken natively by 9.1% and 4.2% respectively.The country scores high in gender equality, ranking 18th in the 2018 Global Gender Gap Report.BOOK, The Global Gender Gap Report, 2018, World Economic Forum, 10, 45, 46,weblink 978-2-940631-00-1, 26 February 2019, Although women's suffrage was enabled relatively late, in 1937, women today have equal political rights, high workforce participation and legally mandated equal pay. Bulgaria has the highest ratio of female ICT researchers in the EU,WEB,weblink Girls and women under-represented in ICT, Eurostat, 25 April 2018, 15 July 2018, 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.NEWS,weblink Bulgaria builds on legacy of female engineering elite, The Financial Times, Kerin, Hope, 9 March 2018, 15 July 2018,


More than three-quarters of Bulgarians subscribe to Eastern Orthodoxy.{{sfn|NSI Census data|2011|page=5}} Sunni Muslims are the second-largest religious community and constitute 10% of Bulgaria's overall religious makeup, although a majority of them are not observant and find the use of Islamic veils in schools unacceptable.NEWS,weblink Bulgaria's Muslims not deeply religious: study, Hürriyet Daily News, 9 December 2011, 28 July 2018, Less than 3% of the population are affiliated with other religions and 11.8% are irreligious or do not self-identify with a religion.{{sfn|NSI Census data|2011|page=5}} The Bulgarian Orthodox Church gained autocephalous status in AD 927,BOOK, The Ecumenical Patriarchate, Kiminas, D., 2009, Wildside Press LLC., 15,weblink 978-1-4344-5876-6, 20 December 2011, BOOK, Religion and power in Europe: conflict and convergence, Carvalho, Joaquim, 2007, Pisa University Press, 258, {{Google books, jR98-Ata0CkC, 258, yes, |isbn=978-88-8492-464-3}} and has 12 dioceses and over 2,000 priests.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Encyclopædia Britannica, 28 July 2018, Bulgaria is a secular state with guaranteed religious freedom by constitution, but Orthodoxy is designated as a "traditional" religion.WEB,weblink The Bulgarian Constitution, Parliament of Bulgaria, 20 December 2011,


File:Kukeri E8.jpg|thumb|right|alt=Bulgarian Kuker|Kuker in LesichovoLesichovoContemporary Bulgarian culture blends the formal culture that helped forge a national consciousness towards the end of Ottoman rule with millennia-old folk traditions. An essential element of Bulgarian folklore is fire, used to banish evil spirits and illnesses. Many of these are personified as witches, whereas other creatures like zmey and samodiva (veela) are either benevolent guardians or ambivalent tricksters.{{Sfn|MacDermott|1998|pages=64–70}} Some rituals against evil spirits have survived and are still practised, most notably kukeri and survakari.BOOK, Creed, Gerald W., Masquerade and Postsocialism: Ritual and Cultural Dispossession in Bulgaria, Indiana University Press, 2, 2011, 978-0-253-22261-9, {{Google books, ilhCTCHKCAQC, 2, yes, }} Martenitsa is also widely celebrated.WEB,weblink The Bulgarian Tradition of Martenitsa, Bulgarian National Television, 1 March 2018, 28 July 2018, Nestinarstvo, a ritual fire-dance of Thracian origin, is included in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.{{Sfn|MacDermott|1998|page=226}}WEB,weblink Nestinarstvo, messages from the past: the Panagyr of Saints Constantine and Helena in the village of Bulgari, UNESCO, 28 July 2018, Nine historical and natural objects are UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Pirin National Park, Sreburna Nature Reserve, the Madara Rider, the Thracian tombs in Sveshtari and Kazanlak, the Rila Monastery, the Boyana Church, the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo and the ancient city of Nesebar.WEB,weblink Bulgaria – Profile, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 4 December 2011, The Rila Monastery was established by Saint John of Rila, Bulgaria's patron saint, whose life has been the subject of numerous literary accounts since Medieval times.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgarian Literature, Encyclopædia Britannica, Liliana, Brisby, 20 July 2018, The establishment of the Preslav and Ohrid literary schools in the 10th century is associated with a golden period in Bulgarian literature during the Middle Ages. The schools' emphasis on Christian scriptures made the Bulgarian Empire a centre of Slavic culture, bringing Slavs under the influence of Christianity and providing them with a written language.BOOK, Giatzidis, Emil, An Introduction to post-Communist Bulgaria: Political, Economic and Social Transformation, Manchester University Press, 11, 2002, 978-0-7190-6094-6, {{Google books, MUVgsK_GfxYC, 11, yes, |quote=Thus, with its early emphasis on Christian Orthodox scholarship, Bulgaria became the first major centre of Slavic culture}}BOOK, Riha, Thomas, Readings in Russian Civilization, University of Chicago Press, 214, 1964, 978-0719060946, {{Google books, _Bkddxc600IC, 214, yes, |quote=And it was mainly from Bulgaria that a rich supply of literary monuments was transferred to Kiev and other centres.}}BOOK, McNeill, William Hardy, The Rise of the West, University of Chicago Press, 49, 1963, 978-1112695315, {{Google books, _RsPrzrsAvoC, 49, yes, |quote=Accordingly, when Bulgaria was converted to Christianity (after 865), bringing massive Slavic-speaking populations within the pale of Christendom, a new literary language, Old Church Slavonic, directly based upon Bulgarian speech, developed for their use.}} Its alphabet, Cyrillic script, was developed by the Preslav Literary School.BOOK, Curta, Florin, Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250, Cambridge University Press, 221, 2006, 9780521815390, {{Google books, YIAYMNOOe0YC, 221, yes, }} The Tarnovo Literary School, on the other hand, is associated with a Silver age of literature defined by high-quality manuscripts on historical or mystical themes under the Asen and Shishman dynasties. Many literary and artistic masterpieces were destroyed by the Ottoman conquerors, and artistic activities did not re-emerge until the National Revival in the 19th century.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria – The arts, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 28 July 2018, The early impetus of Bulgarian traditions in the arts was cut short by the Ottoman occupation in the 14th century, and many early masterpieces were destroyed. ... the foundations were laid for later artists such as Vladimir Dimitrov, an extremely gifted painter specializing in the rural scenes of his native country ... At the beginning of the 21st century, the best-known contemporary Bulgarian artist was Christo, an environmental sculptor known for wrapping famous structures, The enormous body of work of Ivan Vazov (1850–1921) covered every genre and touched upon every facet of Bulgarian society, bridging pre-Liberation works with literature of the newly established state. Notable later works are Bay Ganyo by Aleko Konstantinov, the Nietzschean poetry of Pencho Slaveykov, the Symbolist poetry of Peyo Yavorov and Dimcho Debelyanov, the Marxist-inspired works of Geo Milev and Nikola Vaptsarov, and the Socialist realism novels of Dimitar Dimov and Dimitar Talev. Tzvetan Todorov is a notable contemporary author,WEB,weblink French-Bulgarian Theorist Tzvetan Todorov Wins Top Spanish Award, Novinite, 18 June 2008, 20 December 2011, while Bulgarian-born Elias Canetti was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1981.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Lorenz, Dagmar C.G., Elias Canetti, The Literary Encyclopedia, 17 April 2004, Volume 1.4.1,weblink 1747-678X, File:The Serpentine with "The Mastaba" massive temporary sculpture (geograph 5815020).jpg|thumb|left|alt=Christo's Mastaba installation in Hyde Park, London|Christo's Mastaba in Hyde Park, LondonHyde Park, LondonА religious visual arts heritage includes frescoes, murals and icons, many produced by the medieval Tarnovo Artistic School.BOOK, Grabar, André, La Peinture Religieuse en Bulgarie, Religious Visual Arts in Bulgaria, P. Geuthner, 95, 1928, {{ASIN|B005ZI4OV8}} Like literature, it was not until the National Revival when Bulgarian visual arts began to reemerge. Zahari Zograf was a pioneer of the visual arts in the pre-Liberation era. After the Liberation, Ivan Mrkvička, Anton Mitov, Vladimir Dimitrov, Tsanko Lavrenov and Zlatyu Boyadzhiev introduced newer styles and substance, depicting scenery from Bulgarian villages, old towns and historical subjects. Christo is the most famous Bulgarian artist of the 21st century, known for his outdoor installations.Folk music is by far the most extensive traditional art and has slowly developed throughout the ages as a fusion of Far Eastern, Oriental, medieval Eastern Orthodox and standard Western European tonalities and modes.BOOK, Kremenliev, Boris A., Bulgarian-Macedonian Folk Music, University of California Press, 52, 1952, {{Google books, wOOfVFJWMLIC-zcC, 52, yes, |quote=Bulgaria's scales are numerous, and it may be demonstrated that they are a fusion of Eastern and Western influences. ... first, Oriental scales; second, church modes: the osmoglasie ... third, the conventional scales of Western Europe. ... Among the scales which have come to the Balkans from Asia, the pentatonic is one of the most widely used in Bulgaria. Whether it came from China or Japan, as Dobri Hristov suggests}} Bulgarian folk music has a distinctive sound and uses a wide range of traditional instruments, such as gadulka, gaida, kaval and tupan. A distinguishing feature is extended rhythmical time, which has no equivalent in the rest of European music. The State Television Female Vocal Choir won a Grammy Award in 1990 for its performances of Bulgarian folk music.WEB,weblink 32nd Grammy Awards Winners, Grammy Awards, 28 July 2018, Written musical composition can be traced back to the works of Yoan Kukuzel (c. 1280–1360),BOOK, Lang, David Marshall, The Bulgarians: From Pagan Times to the Ottoman Conquest, Westview Press, 145, 1976, 978-0-89158-530-5, John Kukuzel, the eminent Bulgarian/born reformer of Byzantine music.,weblink but modern classical music began with Emanuil Manolov, who composed the first Bulgarian opera in 1890. Pancho Vladigerov and Petko Staynov further enriched symphony, ballet and opera, which singers Ghena Dimitrova, Boris Christoff, Ljuba Welitsch and Nicolai Ghiaurov elevated to a world-class level.WEB, The 2011/2012 season of the National Opera and Ballet House,weblink Bulgarian National Radio, Elena, Tzvetkova, 25 October 2011, 20 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 23 June 2012, NEWS,weblink Obituary: Ghena Dimitrova, The Telegraph, 13 June 2005, 20 December 2011, NEWS,weblink Obituary: Boris Christoff, The Independent, 29 June 1993, 20 December 2011, Elizabeth, Forbes, NEWS,weblink Obituary: Ljuba Welitsch, The Independent, 9 September 1996, 4 October 2018, Elizabeth, Forbes, NEWS, Boris Christoff, Bass, Dies at 79; Esteemed for His Boris Godunov,weblink 29 June 1993, The New York Times, 20 December 2011, Allan, Kozinn, NEWS, Anne, Midgette, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Operatic Bass, Dies at 74,weblink The New York Times, 3 June 2004, 13 December 2013, Bulgarian performers have gained acclaim in other genres like electropop (Mira Aroyo), jazz (Milcho Leviev) and blends of jazz and folk (Ivo Papazov).The Bulgarian National Radio, bTV and daily newspapers Trud, Dnevnik and 24 Chasa are some of the largest national media outlets.NEWS,weblink Bulgaria profile – Media, BBC News, 13 July 2015, 2 May 2014, Bulgarian media were described as generally unbiased in their reporting in the early 2000s and print media had no legal restrictions.{{Sfn|Library of Congress|2006|pages=18, 23}} Since then, freedom of the press has deteriorated to the point where Bulgaria scores 111th globally in the World Press Freedom Index, lower than all European Union members and membership candidate states. The government has diverted EU funds to sympathetic media outlets and bribed others to be less critical on problematic topics, while attacks against individual journalists have increased.WEB,weblink Bulgaria, Reporters Without Borders, 20 May 2018, NEWS,weblink Why Bulgaria is the EU's lowest ranked country on press freedom index, The Guardian, Roy, Greenslade, 23 September 2014, 20 May 2018, Collusion between politicians, oligarchs and the media is widespread.Bulgarian cuisine is similar to that of other Balkan countries and demonstrates strong Turkish and Greek influences.BOOK, Albala, Ken, Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, 61, 62, 2011, 978-0-313-37626-9, {{Google books, zG1H75z0EYYC, 61, yes, }} Yogurt, lukanka, banitsa, shopska salad, lyutenitsa and kozunak are among the best-known local foods. Meat consumption is lower than the European average, given a cultural preference for a large variety of salads. Bulgaria was the world's second-largest wine exporter until 1989, but has since lost that position.WEB,weblink Bulgaria Bounces Back, Novinite, Tom, Bruce-Gardyne, 7 February 2012, 7 February 2012, WEB,weblink Bulgaria Ranks 22nd in World Wine Production, Novinite, 21 October 2016, The 2016 harvest yielded 128 million litres of wine, of which 62 million was exported mainly to Romania, Poland and Russia.WEB,weblink Bulgaria wine production 2016, SEE News, Ivaylo, Mihaylov, 14 February 2017, Mavrud, Rubin, Shiroka melnishka, Dimiat and Cherven Misket are the typical grapes used in Bulgarian wine.WEB,weblink Wines of Bulgaria, ChicagoNow, 30 July 2018, Rakia is a traditional fruit brandy that was consumed in Bulgaria as early as the 14th century.WEB,weblink Archeological Find Proves Rakia Is Bulgarian Invention, Novinite, 10 October 2011, 20 December 2011,


File:Grigor Dimitrov (18697714220).jpg|thumb|alt=Grigor Dimitrov in 2017|Grigor Dimitrov at the 2015 Italian Open ]]Bulgaria appeared at the first modern Olympic games in 1896, when it was represented by gymnast Charles Champaud.WEB,weblink Athens 1896, Bulgarian Olympic Committee, 4 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 September 2011, Since then, Bulgarian athletes have won 52 gold, 89 silver, and 83 bronze medals,WEB,weblink Bulgaria, International Olympic Committee, 5 October 2018, ranking 25th in the all-time medal table. Weight-lifting is a signature sport of Bulgaria. Coach Ivan Abadzhiev developed innovative training practices that have produced many Bulgarian world and Olympic champions in weight-lifting since the 1980s.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink Bulgaria – Sport and recreation, Encyclopædia Britannica, John D., Bell, 22 July 2018, In international sports competition, Bulgarians have excelled in tennis, wrestling, boxing, and gymnastics, but the country's greatest repute may be in weight-lifting. ... Fans of football (soccer), the most popular sport in Bulgaria, were buoyed by the success of the national team in the 1994 World Cup, when it advanced to the semi-final match under the leadership of forward Hristo Stoichkov. The premier league in Bulgaria has 16 teams, of which four play in Sofia: CSKA, Levski, Slavia, and Lokomotiv., Bulgarian athletes have also excelled in wrestling, boxing, gymnastics, volleyball and tennis. Stefka Kostadinova is the reigning world record holder in the women's high jump at {{convert|2.09|m|abbr=off}}, achieved during the 1987 World Championships.WEB,weblink Highest high jump (female), The Guinness World Records, 22 July 2018, Grigor Dimitrov is the first Bulgarian tennis player in the Top 3 ATP Rankings.WEB,weblink Dimitrov Breaks Into Top 10 of Emirates ATP Rankings, ATP World Tour, James, Buddell, 7 July 2014, 9 October 2018, Football is the most popular sport in the country by a substantial margin. The national football team's best performance was a semi-final at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, when the squad was spearheaded by forward Hristo Stoichkov. Stoichkov is the most successful Bulgarian player of all time; he was awarded the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball and was considered one of the best in the world while playing for FC Barcelona in the 1990s.WEB,weblink Hristo Stoichkov, FC Barcelona, 22 July 2018, WEB,weblink Hristo Stoichkov – Bulgarian League Ambassador, Professional Football Against Hunger, 4 December 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 6 November 2011, CSKA and Levski, both based in Sofia, are the most successful clubs domestically and long-standing rivals.WEB,weblink"Eternal+Derby", Levski, CSKA Score Emphatic Wins Before "Eternal Derby", Novinite, 1 April 2007, 22 July 2018, Ludogorets is remarkable for having advanced from the local fourth division to the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League group stage in a mere nine years.WEB,weblink Plucky Ludogorets' rise to the Champions League group stage, ESPN, Nick, Ames, 16 September 2014, 22 July 2018, Placed 39th in 2018, it is Bulgaria's highest-ranked club in UEFA.WEB,weblink Club Coefficients, UEFA, 22 July 2018,

See also







  • WEB, {{harvid, NSI Census data, 2017, |url= |title=Население по области, общини, местоживеене и пол|trans-title=Population by Province, Municipality, Address and Sex as of 31 December 2017 |publisher=National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria|accessdate=22 July 2018|language=Bulgarian|date=2017}}
  • WEB, {{harvid, NSI Census data, 2011, |url=|title=Преброяване 2011 (окончателни данни)|trans-title=Final Results of the 2011 census|publisher=National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria|accessdate=22 July 2018|language=Bulgarian|date=2011|archive-url=|archive-date=22 December 2018|url-status=dead}}
  • WEB, {{harvid, NSI Brochure, 2018, |url=|title=Bulgaria 2018|publisher=National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria|accessdate=23 July 2018|language=Bulgarian, English|date=2018}}
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  • WEB,weblink State of Health in the EU. Country Health Profile: Bulgaria 2017, European Commission, 20 May 2018,
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  • BOOK, Chen, Sanping, Multicultural China in the Early Middle Ages, {{Google books, ugbWH-5OjegC, yes, |publisher=University of Pennsylvania Press|year=2012 |isbn=978-0812243703 |ref={{harvid|Chen2012}}}}
  • BOOK, R. J., Crampton, A Short History of Modern Bulgaria, Cambridge University Press, 1987, 978-0521253406, {{harvid, Crampton, 1987, |url={{Google books|iL06AAAAIAAJ|plainurl=yes}}}}
  • BOOK, Crampton, R. J., A Concise History of Bulgaria, Cambridge University Press, 2005, 978-0-521-61637-9, {{harvid, Crampton, 2005, |url={{Google books|Ylz4fe7757cC|plainurl=yes}}}}
  • BOOK, Bulgaria, Crampton, R. J., 2007, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-954158-4, {{harvid, Crampton, 2007, }}
  • BOOK, Curtis, Glenn E., Mitova, Pamela, Marsteller, William, Soper, Karl Wheeler, Country Study: Bulgaria, Library of Congress Country Studies, Library of Congress, 1992,weblink 6 August 2018,
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, Chapter 1, Historical Setting, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Historical Setting, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2008, Chapter 1, The First Golden Age, 13 October 2012, {{Sfnref, The First Golden Age, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, The Bulgarian Independence Movement, The Final Move to Independence, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, The Final Move to Independence, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2008, The Bulgarian Independence Movement, San Stefano, Berlin, and Independence, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, San Stefano, Berlin and Independence, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2008, World War II, Bulgaria in World War II: The Passive Alliance, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Bulgaria in World War II: The Passive Alliance, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, World War II, Wartime Crisis, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Wartime Crisis, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2008, World War II, The Soviet Occupation, 27 July 2018, {{Sfnref, The Soviet Occupation, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, Communist Consolidation, After Stalin, 24 April 2012, {{Sfnref, After Stalin, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, Communist Consolidation, Domestic Policy and Its Results, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Domestic Policy and Its Results, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2008, The Zhivkov Era, Foreign Affairs in the 1960s and 1970s, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Foreign Affairs in the 1960s and 1970s, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, The Zhivkov Era, The Political Atmosphere in the 1970s, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, The Political Atmosphere in the 1970s, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, The Zhivkov Era, Bulgaria in the 1980s, 27 July 2018, {{Sfnref, Bulgaria in the 1980s, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2008, The Society and its Environment, Topography, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Topography, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2008, The Society and its Environment, Climate, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Climate, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, Chapter 3, The Economy, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, The Economy, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, The Economy, Resource Base, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Resource Base, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2008, Chapter 4, Government and Politics, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Government and Politics, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 20 September 2008, National Security, Arms Sales, 4 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Arms Sales, }}
    • BOOK,weblink dead,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2008, National Security, Military Personnel, 20 December 2011, {{Sfnref, Military Personnel, }}
  • BOOK, Ghodsee, Kristen R., Kristen R. Ghodsee, Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life After Communism, Duke University Press, 2011, 978-0822351023,
  • BOOK, Ghodsee, Kristen R., Kristen R. Ghodsee, Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria, Princeton University Press, 2009, B015X41JMA,
  • BOOK, Ghodsee, Kristen R., Kristen R. Ghodsee, The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism and Postsocialism on the Black Sea,weblink registration, Duke University Press, 2005, 978-0822336624,
  • BOOK, Golden, Peter Benjamin, Peter Benjamin Golden, 1992, An Introduction to the History of the Turkic Peoples: Ethnogenesis and State Formation in Medieval and Early Modern Eurasia and the Middle East,weblink Harrassowitz Verlag, Otto Harrassowitz, 978-3447032742, {{harvid, Golden1992, }}
  • BOOK, MacDermott, Mercia, Bulgarian Folk Customs, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 19, 64–70, 226, 1998, 978-1853024863, {{harvid, MacDermott, 1998, |url={{Google books|gh4IE6toGJMC|plainurl=yes}}}}
  • BOOK, Roisman, Joseph, Worthington, Ian, A Companion to Ancient Macedonia, John Wiley and Sons, 2011, 978-14-4435-163-7, {{Google books, QsJ183uUDkMC, yes, |ref={{Sfnref|Roisman|2011}}}}

External links

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Eastern Philosophy
History of Philosophy
M.R.M. Parrott