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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.


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Economy

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, stagnated in 2010, despite a significant recovery in exports, and grew approximately 2.2% in 2011. Despite having 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) World Ranking: 70
$102.3 billion (2011 est.)
$100.7 billion (2010 est.)
$100.3 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$53.51 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 164
1.7% (2011 est.)
0.4% (2010 est.)
-5.5% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 92
$13,800 (2011 est.)
$13,400 (2010 est.)
$13,300 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 5.2%
Industry 30.6%
Services 64.2% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 112
2.465 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 7.1%
Industry 35.2%
Services 57.7% (2009)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 107
9.6% (2011 est.)
9.5% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line
21.8% (2008)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2%
Highest 10% 35.2% (2007)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 40
45.3 (2007)
26 (2001)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 83
20.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $18.06 billion
Expenditures $19.19 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 71
33.8% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 77
-2.1% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 123
17.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
16.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 106
4.2% (2011 est.)
2.4% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 135
0.18% (31 December 2010 est.)
0.55% (31 December 2009 est.)
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

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 75
10.63% (31 December 2011 est.)
11.144% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 68
$13.91 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$12.48 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 72
$37.68 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$35.37 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 67
$37.81 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$33.95 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 75
$8.253 billion (31 December 2011)
$7.276 billion (31 December 2010)
$7.103 billion (31 December 2009)

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 World Ranking: 55
5.9% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 61
34.31 billion kWh (2009)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 63
28.3 billion kWh (2009)

Electricity - exports
7.735 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
5.073 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 102
2,925 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 80
91,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 69
75,840 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 48
201,400 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 87
15 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 82
54 million cu m (2010)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 78
2.62 billion cu m (2010)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 69
0 cu m (2010)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 43
2.48 billion cu m (2010)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 92
5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 46
$502.2 million (2011 est.)
-$737.3 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 67
$28.12 billion (2011 est.)
$20.6 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels

Exports - partners
Germany 12.2%, Romania 9.8%, Italy 8.5%, Turkey 8.2%, Greece 7%, Belgium 5.1%, France 4.3% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 64
$30.86 billion (2011 est.)
$24.29 billion (2010 est.)

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

Imports - partners
Russia 18%, Germany 11%, Italy 7.3%, Romania 7%, Greece 5.7%, Turkey 4.6%, Spain 4.3%, Ukraine 4% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 62
$17.27 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$17.23 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 59
$46.84 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$48.08 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home World Ranking: 53
$53 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$51.64 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 75
$1.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$939.6 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Leva (BGN) per US dollar -
1.4065 (2011 est.)
1.4774 (2010 est.)
1.404 (2009)
1.3171 (2008)
1.4366 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Bulgaria (Sofia):


  GPS points from Bulgaria (Sofia)

Lowzlte Oblast Smolyan

Dobrovichini Oblast Veliko Turnovo

Tekirska Oblast Khaskovo

Nedyalkovtsi Oblast Veliko Turnovo

Kovacovo Oblast Stara Zagora

Zvinitsa Oblast Kurdzhali

Mechkovtsi Oblast Sofiya

Upchovskoto Oblast Lovech




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