Bulgaria (GPS: 43 00 N, 25 00 E) located in Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey. The country’s area measurements are total: 110,879 sq km; land: 108,489 sq km, water: 2,390 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly larger than Tennessee. The total irrigated land is 1,020 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Bulgaria: Strategic location near the Turkish Straits. Controls key land routes from Europe to the Middle East and Asia.
It’s significant, and simultaneously, the principal city, Sofia’s GPS coordinates are 42 41 N 23 19 E. Sofia’s local time is 7 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+2, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
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. Still, 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’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Bulgaria, traditional short form: Bulgaria, local long way: Republika Bulgaria, local short state: Bulgaria, etymology: named after the Bulgar tribes who settled the lower Balkan region in the 7th century A.D. Named after the Bulgar tribes who inhabited the lower Balkan area in the 7th century A.D.
Bulgaria’s terrain is typically mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast. The country’s mean elevation: 472 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: the Black Sea 0 m, highest point: Musala 2,925 m.
The general climate in the country; temperate: cold, damp winters: hot, dry summers.
The total number of border countries is 5, Greece 472 km, North Macedonia 162 km, Romania 605 km, Serbia 344 km, Turkey 223 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Bulgaria’s coastline is 354 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. Waterways: 470 km (2009). Land use: agricultural land: 46.9%; arable land 29.9%; permanent crops 1.5%; permanent pasture 15.5%; forest: 36.7%; other: 16.4% (2011 estimate).
The population in Bulgaria 7,057,504 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 73.9% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: SOFIA (capital) 1.226 million (2015), while Bulgaria has a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger populations. Their spoken languages are: Bulgarian (official language) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 estimate). Main religions in Bulgaria are Eastern Orthodox 59.4%, Muslim 7.8%, other (including Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox, and Jewish) 1.7%, none 3.7%, unspecified 27.4% (2011 estimate). The nation uses civil law. It is a(n) parliamentary republic, National holiday(s) Liberation Day, 3 March (1878).
Economic overview for the country: Bulgaria, a former communist country that entered the EU in 2007, has an open economy that historically has demonstrated strong growth, but its per-capita income remains the lowest among EU members, and its reliance on energy imports and foreign demand for its exports makes its growth sensitive to external market conditions. The government undertook significant structural economic reforms in the 1990s to move the economy from a centralized, planned economy to a more liberal, market-driven economy. These reforms included privatization of state-owned enterprises, liberalization of trade, and strengthening the tax system – changes that initially caused some economic hardships and later helped to attract investment, spur growth, and make gradual improvements to living conditions.
From 2000 through 2008, Bulgaria maintained robust, average annual real GDP growth over 6%, followed by a deep recession in 2009 as the financial crisis caused domestic demand, exports, capital inflows, and industrial production to contract, prompting the government to rein in spending. Real GDP growth remained slow – less than 2% annually – until 2015, when demand from EU countries for Bulgarian exports, plus an inflow of EU development funds, boosted growth to more than 3%. In recent years, strong domestic demand combined with low international energy prices has contributed to Bulgaria’s economic growth approaching 4% and has also helped ease inflation. Bulgaria’s prudent public financial management contributed to budget surpluses both in 2016 and 2017. Bulgaria is heavily reliant on Russia’s energy imports, a potential vulnerability, and is a participant in EU-backed efforts to diversify regional natural gas supplies.
In late 2016, the Bulgarian Government provided funding to Bulgaria’s National Electric Company to cover the $695 million compensation owed to Russian nuclear equipment manufacturer Atomstroyexport for the cancellation of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project, which the Bulgarian Government terminated in 2012. As of early 2018, the government was floating the possibility of resurrecting the Belene project. The natural gas market, dominated by state-owned Bulgargaz, is also almost entirely supplied by Russia. Infrastructure projects such as the Inter-Connector Greece-Bulgaria and Inter-Connector Bulgaria-Serbia enable Bulgaria to have access to non-Russian gas, have either stalled or made limited progress. In 2016, the Bulgarian Government established the State eGovernment Agency. This new agency is responsible for electronic governance, coordinating national policies with the EU, and strengthening cybersecurity. Despite a favorable investment regime, including low, flat corporate income taxes, significant challenges remain. Corruption in public administration, a weak judiciary, low productivity, lack of transparency in public procurements, and the presence of organized crime continue to hamper the country’s investment climate and economic prospects.
Main export partners for Bulgaria, Europe are Germany 12.5%, Italy 9.2%, Turkey 8.5%, Romania 8.2%, Greece 6.5%, France 4.2% (2015) for clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels, while the main import partners for the country are: Germany 12.9%, Russia 12%, Italy 7.6%, Romania 6.8%, Turkey 5.7%, Greece 4.8%, Spain 4.8% (2015) for machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials.
When you visit this country in Europe, consider the natural hazards in Bulgaria: Earthquakes, landslides, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Bulgaria faces the following environmental 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.