ария – Bălgaria
Capital city Sofia
Surface 110,910 km²
Population 7,000,000 (2021)
Road network length 44,033 km
Length of highway network 808 km
First highway 1978
Motorway name avtomagistrala
Traffic drives Right
License plate code BG

Bulgaria, in full the Republic of Bulgaria (Bulgarian: Република България, Republika Balgariya) is a country in southeastern Europe, located in the southern Balkans. The country has 7 million inhabitants and the capital is Sofia. The country is 2.5 times the size of the Netherlands.


According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Bulgaria is located in Southeastern Europe on the eastern side of the Balkan Peninsula on the Black Sea. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west and Greece and Turkey to the south.. Bulgaria measures a maximum of 490 kilometers from west to east and 320 kilometers from north to south. Bulgaria has two high mountain ranges, the east-west running Stara planina (Balkans Mountains) in the center of the country, and the Rodopi and Rila Mountains. The 2,925 meter high Musala is the highest mountain in Bulgaria and the entire Balkans. To the north lies the Danube Plain, to the southeast the Thracian Plain. The largest river is the Danube (Bulgarian: Дунав, Dunav) which largely forms the border with Romania. Other rivers are the Maritsa and Struma.


Bulgaria is the least prosperous EU country, with an average salary of 1500 leva (€767) per month (2021). Living costs are relatively low, with almost 90% of Bulgarians paying no rent or mortgage payments. The lev (BGN) is considered the most stable currency in Eastern Europe. Bulgaria is a highly industrialized country, a holdover from the communist era, when it was called the ‘Silicon Valley of the Eastern Bloc’. In 2013, Bulgaria had the second lowest public debt in the European Union.


City Population date data
Sofia 1,243,000 December 31, 2019
Plovdiv 348,000 December 31, 2019
Varna 337,000 December 31, 2018
Burgas 202,000 December 31, 2018
Ruse 145,000 December 31, 2016
Stara Zagora 135,000 December 31, 2019
Pleven 91,000 December 31, 2020

The population of Bulgaria peaked at almost 9 million in the 1980s. Since the fall of communism, the population has been shrinking, in 2020 the population shrank to 7 million inhabitants. This is due to a lower birth rate and emigration to other countries. See Bulgaria population density. Bulgaria consists of approximately 85% ethnic Bulgarians, followed by Turks (9%) and Roma (5%). Other ethnic groups are smaller than 0.1%. Turkish Bulgarians mainly live in the northeast and central south of the country, especially in the countryside. In Kardzhali Oblast, a majority is Turkish. The languages ​​are evenly distributed, 85% speak Bulgarian and 10% Turkish. Bulgarian is a Slavic language and is written in the Cyrillic script. It is closely related to Macedonian.


In the Middle Ages there was a Bulgarian Empire in the Balkans in two periods. This empire covered a much larger area than present-day Bulgaria, as far as the Ionian Sea. In 1396 the area became part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1878 the country of Bulgaria came into existence for the third time after the Turkish-Russian war. In 1885 a short war was fought with Serbia. Although Bulgaria had been a de facto independent country ever since, it did not declare its independence from the Ottoman Empire until 1908. Between 1912 and 1918, the country was involved in three wars, two Balkan Wars in 1912-1913 and the First World War in 1914-1918. Because the country lost the Second Balkan War, it entered into an alliance with the Central Powers. It subsequently lost the First World War.

Between 1918 and 1943, the country was a dictatorship ruled by Tsar Boris III. It took part in World War II as one of the Axis Powers. Bulgaria stayed out of the invasion of the Soviet Union. In 1944 the country was invaded by the Soviet Union, after which the People’s Republic of Bulgaria was founded in 1946. The country was then part of the Eastern Bloc as a satellite state of the Soviet Union. Todor Zhivkov was the country’s leader between 1954 and 1989. Bulgaria was considered the most loyal satellite state of the Soviet Union, although until the 1980s the regime was considered less repressive than elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc. The turning point was the persecution of the Turkish population from 1984 onwards. In 1989 the communist regime fell and in 1990 the first free elections were held. Bulgaria had long suffered from the switch from the communist planned economy to a free market economy, only in the early 2000s did the prosperity in Bulgaria improve. The country joined NATO in 2004 and became a member of the European Union in 2007.

Bulgaria Location Map