Bulgaria



Official Country Name
Bulgaria

Bulgaria Overview
The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

Bulgaria Economy
Bulgaria, a former communist country that entered the European Union on 1 January 2007, has experienced macroeconomic stability and strong growth since a major economic downturn in 1996 led to the fall of the then socialist government. As a result, the government became committed to economic reform and responsible fiscal planning. Minerals, including coal, copper, and zinc, play an important role in industry. In 1997, macroeconomic stability was reinforced by the imposition of a fixed exchange rate of the lev against the German D-mark - the currency is now fixed against the euro - and the negotiation of an IMF standby agreement. Low inflation and steady progress on structural reforms improved the business environment; Bulgaria has averaged 5.1% growth since 2000 and has begun to attract significant amounts of foreign direct investment. Corruption in the public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime remain the largest challenges for Bulgaria.

Bulgaria Location
Bulgaria is located in Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey

Region
Bulgaria is located in Europe

Bulgaria Population
Bulgaria has population of 7,385,367 (July 2006 est.)

Bulgaria Climate
Bulgaria has temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers

Bulgaria Terrain
mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast

Bulgaria Natural Resources
bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land

Ethnic Groups in Bulgaria
Bulgaria has the following ethnic groups - Bulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian) (2001 census)

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

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

Bulgaria Capital
Bulgaria capital is Sofia

Bulgaria Currency
Bulgaria currency is Lev

Map of Bulgaria