Bulgaria Travel Information

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Facts About Bulgaria

Background: Bulgaria earned its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, but having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, it 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 multi-party 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. Today, reforms and democratization keep Bulgaria on a path toward eventual integration into NATO and the EU - with which it began accession negotiations in 2000.
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: Sofia
Currency: 1 lev (Lv) = 100 stotinki

Geography of Bulgaria

Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates: 43 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references: Europe
total: 110,910 sq km
land: 110,550 sq km
water: 360 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,808 km
border countries: Greece 494 km, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia and Montenegro 318 km (all with Serbia), Turkey 240 km
Coastline: 354 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers
Terrain: mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Musala 2,925 m
Natural resources: bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 43%
permanent crops: 2%
permanent pastures: 14%
forests and woodland: 38%
other: 3% (1999 est.)
Irrigated land: 12,370 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: earthquakes, landslides
Environment - current issues: air pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:  Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia

More Geography

People of Bulgaria

Population: 7,450,349 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  15.11% 
15-64 years:  68.17% 
65 years and over:  16.72%
Population growth rate: -1.14% 
Birth rate: 8.06 births/1,000 population
Death rate: 14.53 deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: -4.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population
Infant mortality rate: 14.65 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  71.2 years
male:  67.72 years
female:  74.89 years
Total fertility rate: 1.13 children born/woman
noun: Bulgarian(s)
adjective: Bulgarian
Ethnic groups: Bulgarian 83%, Turk 8.5%, Roma 2.6%, Macedonia, Armenian, Tatar, Gagauz, Circassian, others (1998)
Religions: Bulgarian Orthodox 83.5%, Muslim 13%, Roman Catholic 1.5%, Jewish 0.8%, Uniate Catholic 0.2%, Protestant, Gregorian-Armenian, and other 1% (1998)
Languages: Bulgarian, secondary languages closely correspond to ethnic breakdown
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: 99%
female: 98% (1999)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

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