Bulgarian Facts and Figures

Bulgaria has many industrial sectors, including steel, petrochemicals, ferrous metallurgy, aluminium, energy and electronics. It is among the leading countries in South Eastern Europe in terms of copper and tin production, as well as lead and zinc, while it ranks first in the Balkans and second worldwide for the production of pig iron.

The economy has been growing steadily and the country has one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the region. During the past five years it has been attracting investments from the EU, as well as from North America and the Far East. Bulgaria has a highly qualified workforce and offers good business conditions, including low labour costs, macroeconomic stability and a growing domestic market. The government is committed to continuing the process of reform and liberalization, which has resulted in the privatization of large state-owned enterprises.

A small number of Bulgarian words have been borrowed from other languages, especially from the Turkish and French. The majority of the Bulgarian language has Slavic roots, although some of its features resemble those of other Indo-European languages, and it has a complex system of case. The word for “uncle” in Bulgarian, for example, has five different forms.

There are six vowels and one semivowel in the Bulgarian language, while phoneticians argue over the number of consonant phonemes – some consider that palatal consonants are allophones rather than independent phones, reducing the total to 21.

Bulgarian is a Slavic language and belongs to the Eastern branch of the Slavic family. It is an official language of Bulgaria, and it is also spoken in four other countries as a mother tongue by a small percentage of the population.

It is a full member of the Council of Europe and is part of both NATO and the European Union. The Constitution of Bulgaria guarantees freedom of religion and assembly and is based on the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. The country has a free market economic system, with a high standard of living and a relatively low unemployment rate.

The capital city of Sofia is home to the Bulgarian National Academy of Sciences, the State Museum of History and the National Palace of Culture. It is also the site of many architectural monuments, including the Boyana Church and the Balkan Theatre and Opera.

The Bulgarian ethnicity is predominantly Slavic, with a substantial minority of Turks and Roma. The main religion is Christianity, with the vast majority of the population belonging to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Other religious groups include Jews and Crimean Tatars. The country is an active contributor to peacekeeping operations in Africa and is a founding member of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It is also a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization and the Council of Europe. Its strategic location, highly-qualified workforce and stable economy have made it a magnet for high-tech industries, with multinational corporations establishing regional service centers and headquarters in Sofia even before the country joined the European Union.