Bulgaria Comprehensive Country Report

The following is a comprehensive report on Bulgaria

 

Within this report you will find information that may be of use to you in evaluating the suitability, attractiveness or otherwise of your involvement with the country of Bulgaria for the purposes of obtaining a passport from that country, doing business with that country or living in that country.

 

You may download your personal copy of this complete 20+ page comprehensive country report on Bulgaria by clicking on the image below.

BULGARIA – Country Report

 

Background:

 

bulgaria-country-report

Click the image to download your personal report on Bulgaria

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.

Geography: BULGARIA

Location:

Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey

Area:

Total: 110,879 sq. km

Land: 108,489 sq. km

Water: 2,390 sq. km

Country comparison to the world: 105

Area – comparative:

Slightly larger than Tennessee

Land boundaries:

Total: 1,806 km

border countries (5): Greece 472 km, Macedonia 162 km, Romania 605 km, Serbia 344 km, Turkey 223 km

Coastline:

354 km

 

Climate:

Temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers

Terrain:

Mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast

Elevation:

Mean elevation: 472 m

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:

Agricultural land: 46.9%

Arable land 29.9%; permanent crops 1.5%; permanent pasture 15.5%

Forest: 36.7%

Other: 16.4% (2011 EST.)

Irrigated land:

1,020 sq. km (2012)

Total renewable water resources:

21.3 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

Total: 6.12 cu km/yr. (16%/68%/16%)

Per capita: 821.8 cu m/yr. (2009)

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-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography – note:

Strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia

People and Society: BULGARIA

Nationality:

Noun: Bulgarian(s)

Adjective: Bulgarian

Ethnic groups:

Bulgarian 76.9%, Turkish 8%, Roma 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Russian, Armenian, and Vlach), other (unknown) 10% (2011 est.)

Languages:

Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 EST.)

Religions:

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 EST.)

Population:

7,186,893 (July 2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 101

Age structure:

0-14 years: 14.53% (male 538,266/female 505,927)

15-24 years: 9.95% (male 373,340/female 341,507)

25-54 years: 43.35% (male 1,598,130/female 1,517,744)

55-64 years: 13.45% (male 451,841/female 514,696)

65 years and over: 18.72% (male 547,887/female 797,555) (2015 EST.)

Population pyramid:

Median age:

Total: 42.4 years

Male: 40.6 years

Female: 44.5 years (2016 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 25

Population growth rate:

-0.58% (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 225

Birth rate:

8.92 births/1,000 population (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 210

Death rate:

14.44 deaths/1,000 population (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 3

Net migration rate:

-0.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 126

Urbanization:

Urban population: 73.9% of total population (2015)

Rate of urbanization: -0.31% annual rate of change (2010-15 EST.)

Major urban areas – population:

SOFIA (capital) 1.226 million (2015)

Sex ratio:

At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female

Total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2015 EST.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth:

26.3 (2011 EST.)

Maternal mortality rate:

11 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 152

Infant mortality rate:

Total: 8.66 deaths/1,000 live births

Male: 9.73 deaths/1,000 live births

Female: 7.52 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 150

Life expectancy at birth:

Total population: 74.39 years

Male: 71.05 years

Female: 77.93 years (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 120

Total fertility rate:

1.45 children born/woman (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 204

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

69.2%

Note: percent of women age 20-49 (2007)

Health expenditures:

8.4% of GDP (2014)

Country comparison to the world: 71

Physician’s density:

3.87 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density:

6.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source:

Improved:

Urban: 99.6% of population

Rural: 99% of population

Total: 99.4% of population

Unimproved:

Urban: 0.4% of population

Rural: 1% of population

Total: 0.6% of population (2015 EST.)

Sanitation facility access:

Improved:

Urban: 86.8% of population

Rural: 83.7% of population

Total: 86% of population

Unimproved:

Urban: 13.2% of population

Rural: 16.3% of population

Total: 14% of population (2015 EST.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:

NA

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:

NA

HIV/AIDS – deaths:

NA

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:

25.6% (2014)

Country comparison to the world: 72

Education expenditures:

3.5% of GDP (2012)

Country comparison to the world: 108

Literacy:

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write

Total population: 98.4%

Male: 98.7%

Female: 98.1% (2015 EST.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

Total: 15 years

Male: 15 years

Female: 15 years (2014)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

Total: 28.4%

Male: 30.2%

Female: 25.7% (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 30

Government: BULGARIA

Country name:

Conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria

Conventional short form: Bulgaria

Local long form: Republika Bulgaria

Local short form: Bulgaria

Etymology: named after the Bulgar tribes who settled the lower Balkan region in the 7th century A.D.

Government type:

Parliamentary republic

Capital:

Name: Sofia

Geographic coordinates: 42 41 N, 23 19 E

Time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions:

28 provinces (oblasti, singular – oblast); Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Haskovo, Kardzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofia, Sofia-Grad (Sofia City), Stara Zagora, Targovishte, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol

Independence:

3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday:

Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)

Constitution:

Several previous; latest drafted between late 1990 and early 1991, adopted 12 July 1991; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)

Legal system:

Civil law

International law organization participation:

Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship:

Citizenship by birth: no

Citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Bulgaria

Dual citizenship recognized: yes

Residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

Chief of state: President Rosen PLEVNELIEV (since 22 January 2012); Vice President Margarita POPOVA (since 22 January 2012)

Head of government: Prime Minister Boyko BORISOV (since 7 November 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers Tomislav DONCHEV (since 7 November 2014), Rumiana BACHVAROVA (since 7 November 2014), Meglena KUNEVA (since 7 November 2014); note – this is BORISOV’s second term as prime minister, he first served between 27 July 2009 and 13 March 2013

Cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, elected by the National Assembly

elections/appointments: president and vice president elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 23 and 30 October 2011 (next to be held in 2016); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister, elected by the National Assembly

Election results: Rosen PLEVNELIEV elected president in runoff election; percent of vote – Rosen PLEVNELIEV (independent) 52.6%, Ivailo KALFIN (BSP) 47.4%

Legislative branch:

Description: unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

Elections: last held on 5 October 2014 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: percent of vote by party – GERB 32.7%, CfB 15.4%, DPS 14.8%, RB 8.9%, PF 7.3%, BBTs 5.7%, Ataka 4.5%, ABV 4.2%, other 6.5%; seats by party – GERB 84, CfB 39, DPS 38, RB 23, PF 19, BBTs 15, Ataka 11, ABV 11

Judicial branch:

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cassation (consists of a chairman and approximately 72 judges organized into penal, civil, and commercial colleges); Supreme Administrative Court (organized in 2 colleges with various panels of 5 judges each); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 justices); note – Constitutional Court resides outside the Judiciary

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Cassation and Supreme Administrative judges elected by the Supreme Judicial Council or SJC (consists of 25 members with extensive legal experience) and appointed by the president; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court justices elected by the National Assembly and appointed by the president and the SJC; justices appointed for 9-year terms with renewal of 4 justices every 3 years

Subordinate courts: appeals courts; regional and district courts; administrative courts; courts martial

Political parties and leaders:

Alternative for Bulgarian Revival or ABV [Georgi PARVANOV]

Attack (Ataka) [Volen Nikolov SIDEROV]

Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Mihail MIKOV]

Bulgaria of the Citizens or DBG [Meglena KUNEVA]

Bulgaria Without Censorship or BBTs [Nikolay BAREKOV]

Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria or GERB [Boyko BORISOV]

Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB [Mikhail MIKOV] (coalition dominated by BSP)

Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Radan KANEV]

IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement or IMRO-BNM [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV]

Movement for Rights and Freedoms or DPS [Lyutvi MESTAN]

National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria or NFSB [Valeri SIMEONOV]

National Movement for Stability and Progress or NDSV [Hristina HRISTOVA] (formerly National Movement Simeon II or NMS2)

Patriotic Front or PF (alliance of IMRO-BNM and NFSB)

Union of Democratic Forces or SDS [Bozhidar LUKARSKI]

Reformist Bloc or RB (a five-party alliance including the DSB, DBG, and SDS)

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB

Podkrepa Labor Confederation

Other: numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas

International organization participation:

Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

Chief of mission: Ambassador Tihomir Anguelov STOYTCHEV (since 27 June 2016)

Chancery: 1621 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Telephone: [1] (202) 387-0174

FAX: [1] (202) 234-7973

Consulate general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

Chief of mission: Ambassador Eric RUBIN (since February 2016)

Embassy: 16 Kozyak Street, Sofia 1408

Mailing address: American Embassy Sofia, US Department of State, 5740 Sofia Place, Washington, DC 20521-5740

Telephone: [359] (2) 937-5100

FAX: [359] (2) 937-5320

Flag description:

Three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; the pan-Slavic white-blue-red colors were modified by substituting a green band (representing freedom) for the blue

Note: the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed

National symbol(s):

Lion; national colors: white, green, red

National anthem:

Name: “Mila Rodino” (Dear Homeland)

Lyrics/music: Tsvetan Tsvetkov RADOSLAVOV

Note: adopted 1964; composed in 1885 by a student en route to fight in the Serbo-Bulgarian War

 

Economy: BULGARIA

Economy – overview:

Bulgaria, a former communist country that entered the EU on 1 January 2007, averaged more than 6% annual growth from 2004 to 2008, driven by significant amounts of bank lending, consumption, and foreign direct investment.

Successive governments have demonstrated a commitment to economic reforms and responsible fiscal planning, but the global downturn sharply reduced domestic demand, exports, capital inflows, and industrial production. GDP contracted by 5.5% in 2009, and has been slow to recover in the years since.

Despite a favorable investment regime, including low, flat corporate income taxes, significant challenges remain. Corruption in public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime continue to hamper the country’s investment climate and economic prospects.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$133.9 billion (2015 EST.)

$130.3 billion (2014 EST.)

$128.2 billion (2013 EST.)

Note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Country comparison to the world: 77

GDP (official exchange rate):

$47.17 billion (2015 EST.)

GDP – real growth rate:

3% (2015 EST.)

1.5% (2014 EST.)

1.3% (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 104

GDP – per capita (PPP):

$19,100 (2015 EST.)

$18,500 (2014 EST.)

$18,100 (2013 EST.)

Note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Country comparison to the world: 89

Gross national saving:

23.5% of GDP (2015 EST.)

22.6% of GDP (2014 EST.)

23.2% of GDP (2013 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 58

GDP – composition, by end use:

Household consumption: 63%

Government consumption: 16.2%

Investment in fixed capital: 21.1%

Investment in inventories: 0.1%

Exports of goods and services: 66.7%

Imports of goods and services: -67.1% (2015 EST.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:

Agriculture: 5.2%

Industry: 27.4%

Services: 67.4% (2015 EST.)

Agriculture – products:

Vegetables, fruits, tobacco, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets; livestock

Industries:

Electricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel

Industrial production growth rate:

3.5% (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 72

Labor force:

2.535 million

Note: number of employed persons (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 113

Labor force – by occupation:

Agriculture: 7%

Industry: 30.1%

Services: 62.9% (2014)

Unemployment rate:

10% (2015 EST.)

10.7% (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 118

Population below poverty line:

21.8% (2014 EST.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

Lowest 10%: 2%

Highest 10%: 35.2% (2007)

Distribution of family income – Gini index:

35.4 (2013)

31.2 (2005)

Country comparison to the world: 91

Budget:

Revenues: $17.81 billion

Expenditures: $19.14 billion (2015 EST.)

Taxes and other revenues:

37.8% of GDP (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 47

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-2.8% of GDP (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 104

Public debt:

26.4% of GDP (2015 EST.)

26.4% of GDP (2014 EST.)

note:: defined by the EU’s Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities: currency and deposits, securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives, and loans; general government sector comprises the subsectors: central government, state government, local government, and social security funds

Country comparison to the world: 149

Fiscal year:

Calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

-1.1% (2015 EST.)

-1.6% (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 11

Central bank discount rate:

0.01% (31 December 2015)

0.03% (31 December 2014)

Note: Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) has had no independent monetary policy since the introduction of the Currency Board regime in 1997; this is BNB’s base interest rate

Country comparison to the world: 155

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

7.5% (31 December 2015 EST.)

8.28% (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 115

Stock of narrow money:

$20.09 billion (31 December 2015 EST.)

$17.38 billion (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 65

Stock of broad money:

$41.32 billion (31 December 2015 EST.)

$37.99 billion (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 73

Stock of domestic credit:

$29.72 billion (31 December 2015 EST.)

$29.08 billion (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 73

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$4.797 billion (31 December 2015 EST.)

$5.45 billion (31 December 2014)

$6.666 billion (31 December 2012 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 85

Current account balance:

$1.043 billion (2015 EST.)

$658 million (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 37

Exports:

$24.33 billion (2015 EST.)

$27.91 billion (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 67

Exports – commodities:

Clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels

Exports – partners:

Germany 12.5%, Italy 9.2%, Turkey 8.5%, Romania 8.2%, Greece 6.5%, France 4.2% (2015)

Imports:

$27.66 billion (2015 EST.)

$31.6 billion (2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 66

Imports – commodities:

Machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials

Imports – partners:

Germany 12.9%, Russia 12%, Italy 7.6%, Romania 6.8%, Turkey 5.7%, Greece 4.8%, Spain 4.8% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$22.75 billion (31 December 2015 EST.)

$20.11 billion (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 55

Debt – external:

$37.31 billion (31 December 2015 EST.)

$43 billion (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 70

Stock of direct foreign investment – at home:

$54.98 billion (31 December 2015 EST.)

$52.78 billion (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 60

Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad:

$3.26 billion (31 December 2015 EST.)

$3.01 billion (31 December 2014 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 74

Exchange rates:

Leva (BGN) per US dollar –

1.79 (2015 EST.)

1.61 (2014 EST.)

1.4742 (2013 EST.)

1.52 (2012 EST.)

1.4053 (2011 EST.)

Energy: BULGARIA

Electricity – production:

48.44 billion KWh (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 55

Electricity – consumption:

37.99 billion kWh (2015 EST.)

Country comparison to the world: 57

Electricity – exports:

14.7 billion kWh (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

Electricity – imports:

4.25 billion kWh (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Electricity – installed generating capacity:

11.84 million kW (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 52

Electricity – from fossil fuels:

41.7% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 164

Electricity – from nuclear fuels:

16.9% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Electricity – from hydroelectric plants:

8.5% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 119

Electricity – from other renewable sources:

32.9% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 4

Crude oil – production:

1,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 93

Crude oil – exports:

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 105

Crude oil – imports:

128,100 bbl/day (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 40

Crude oil – proved reserves:

15 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 86

Refined petroleum products – production:

138,500 bbl/day (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 65

Refined petroleum products – consumption:

89,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 79

Refined petroleum products – exports:

85,890 bbl/day (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 47

Refined petroleum products – imports:

37,280 bbl/day (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Natural gas – production:

181 million cu m (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Natural gas – consumption:

2.635 billion cu m (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 77

Natural gas – exports:

0 cu m (2013 est.)

country comparison to the world: 71

Natural gas – imports:

2.725 billion cu m (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Natural gas – proved reserves:

5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 92

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

43.61 million Mt (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 65

Communications: BULGARIA

Telephones – fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 1,654,535

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 23 (July 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 64

Telephones – mobile cellular:

total: 9.195 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 128 (July 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 87

Telephone system:

general assessment: inherited an extensive but antiquated telecommunications network from the Soviet era; quality has improved with a modern digital trunk line now connecting switching centers in most of the regions; remaining areas are connected by digital microwave radio relay

domestic: the Bulgaria Telecommunications Company’s fixed-line monopoly terminated in 2005 in an effort to upgrade fixed-line services; mobile-cellular teledensity, fostered by multiple service providers, is over 125 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code – 359; submarine cable provides connectivity to Ukraine and Russia; a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system provides connectivity to Italy, Albania, and Macedonia; satellite earth stations – 3 (1 Intersputnik in the Atlantic Ocean region, 2 Intelsat in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (2015)

Broadcast media:

4 national terrestrial TV stations with 1 state-owned and 3 privately owned; a vast array of TV stations are available from cable and satellite TV providers; state-owned national radio broadcasts over 3 networks; large number of private radio stations broadcasting, especially in urban areas (2010)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 31, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2001)

Television broadcast stations:

39 (plus 1,242 repeaters) (2001)

Internet country code:

.bg

Internet hosts:

976,277 (2012)

country comparison to the world: 47

Internet users:

total: 4.072 million

percent of population: 56.7% (July 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 75

Transportation: BULGARIA

Airports:

68 (2013)

country comparison to the world: 73

Airports – with paved runways:

total: 57

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 17

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12

under 914 m: 26 (2013)

Airports – with unpaved runways:

total: 11

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 9 (2013)

Heliports:

1 (2013)

Pipelines:

gas 2,887 km; oil 346 km; refined products 378 km (2013)

Railways:

total: 5,114 km

standard gauge: 4,989 km 1.435-m gauge (2,880 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 125 km 0.760-m gauge (2014)

country comparison to the world: 36

Roadways:

total: 19,512 km

paved: 19,235 km (includes 458 km of expressways)

unpaved: 277 km

note: does not include Category IV local roads (2011)

country comparison to the world: 111

Waterways:

470 km (2009)

country comparison to the world: 83

Merchant marine:

total: 22

by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 8, liquefied gas 2, and petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 2

foreign-owned: 14 (Germany 12, Russia 2)

registered in other countries: 30 (Belize 1, Comoros 4, Georgia 1, Malta 8, Moldova 1, Panama 6, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9) (2010)

country comparison to the world: 93

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Burgas, Varna (Black Sea)

Military and Security: BULGARIA

Military branches:

Bulgarian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Naval Forces, Bulgarian Air Forces (Bulgarski Voennovazdyshni Sily, BVVS) (2011)

Military service age and obligation:

18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in January 2008; service obligation 6-9 months (2012)

Military expenditures:

1.2% of GDP (2015)

1.6% of GDP (2013)

1.46% of GDP (2012)

1.55% of GDP (2011)

1.46% of GDP (2010)

country comparison to the world: 66

 

Transnational Issues: BULGARIA

Disputes – international:

none

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 13,819 (Syria) (2015)

stateless persons: 67 (2015)

note: 38,778 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (2015 – August 2016)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Bulgaria is a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Bulgaria is one of the main sources of human trafficking in the EU; women and children are increasingly sex trafficked domestically, as well as in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and the US; adults and children become forced laborers in agriculture, construction, and the service sector in Europe, Israel, and Zambia; Romanian girls are also subjected to sex trafficking in Bulgaria

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Bulgaria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, authorities prosecuted and convicted fewer traffickers and issued suspended sentences for the majority of those convicted; victim protection efforts declined and were minimal relative to the number of victims identified; funding for the state’s two NGO-operated shelters was significantly cut, forcing them to close; specialized services for child and adult male victims were non-existent; the government took action to combat trafficking-related complicity among public officials and police officers (2015)

Illicit drugs:

major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market; limited producer of precursor chemicals; vulnerable to money laundering because of corruption, organized crime; some money laundering of drug-related proceeds through financial institutions (2008)