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Situated in the eastern Balkans, Bulgaria was ruled by the Byzantine Empire from 1018 to 1185, and by the Ottoman Empire from 1396 to 1878. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. After World War II, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a communist country in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, and Bulgaria has since been a parliamentary democracy. Its transition to democracy and a market economy after the collapse of communism has not been easy, and the country experienced a sharp economic decline in the early and mid-1990s. Implementation of economic reforms since the late 1990s has led to economic stabilization and steady growth. Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

Country Forecast
Major Cities
City Population
Plovdiv 340,494
Sofia 1,152,556
Varna 312,770
Key Data
Region : Eastern Europe
Population : 6,924,716
Area Total : 110,910 km2
Area Land : 110,550 km2
Coast Line : 354 km
Capital : Sofia
Climate : Temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers.
Languages : Bulgarian, various others
Currency : 1 lev (Lv) = 100 stotinki
Holiday : Independence Day is 3 March (1878), Education Day/Day of Slavic Script is 24 May
Average Daily TemperatureBoundaries
January : -1.10°C / 30.00°F
July : 20.10°C / 68.20°F
Annual Rainfall : 574.9mm / 22.6"
Romania 608km
Greece 494km
Serbia 318km
Turkey 240km
Macedonia 148km
Ethnic DivisionsReligions
Bulgarian 83%
Turk 9%
Other 6%
Roma 3%
Bulgarian Orthodox 84%
Muslim 13%
Roman Catholic 2%
Jewish 1%
Protestant, Gregorian-Armenian, and other 1%
Uniate Catholic

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