Bulgaria
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current time and date
currency: Lev (BGN)
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Area
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Literacy rate
National anthem
GDP (PPP)
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Bulgaria profile
strategic location near Turkish Straits;

controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia
Bulgaria history
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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Conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria

Conventional short form: Bulgaria

Local long form: Republika Balgariya

Local short form: Balgariya
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Bulgaria's capital city is Sofia
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Bulgaria Constitution:

adopted 12 July 1991
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Bulgaria population growth rate: -0.796%
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Bulgaria highest point: Musala 2,925 m
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Bulgaria lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
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About 30% of Bulgaria's land is arable.
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Iskar is the Longest River in Bulgaria
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Bulgaria birth rate is 9 births/1,000 population
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Bulgaria infant mortality rate is 16 deaths/1,000 live births
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Bulgaria fertility rate is 1.43 children born/woman
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Bulgaria climate:

temperate;

cold, damp winters;

hot, dry summers
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Top 10 cities of Bulgaria with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Sofia: 1,204,685
2. Plovdiv: 338,153
3. Varna: 334,870
4. Burgas: 200,271
5. Ruse: 149,642
6. Stara Zagora: 138,272
7. Pleven: 106,95
8. Sliven: 91,620
9. Dobrich: 91,030
10. Shumen: 80,855
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Bulgaria ethnic groups:

Bulgarian - 76.9%
Turk - 8%
Roma - 4.4%
other - 0.7% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian)
other (unknown)
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Bulgaria Exports:

clothing
footwear
iron and steel
machinery and equipment
fuels
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Bulgaria Imports:

machinery and equipment
metals and ores
chemicals and plastics
fuels
minerals
raw materials
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unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Administrative Divisions:
28 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast)

Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Khaskovo, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofiya (Sofia), Sofiya-Grad (Sofia City), Stara Zagora, Turgovishte, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol
Political parties and leaders:
Attack (Ataka) [Volen SIDEROV]; Blue Coalition [Ivan KOSTOV and Martin DIMITROV] (a parliamentary coalition of center-right parties dominated by UDF and DSB); Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Sergei STANISHEV]; Bulgaria of the Citizens [Meglena KUNEVA]; Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria or GERB [Boyko BORISOV]; Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB [Sergei STANISHEV] (coalition of parties dominated by BSP); Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Ivan KOSTOV]; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or IMRO [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV]; Movement for Rights and Freedoms or MRF [Lyutvi MESTAN]; National Movement for Stability and Progress or NDSV [Hristina HRISTOVA] (formerly National Movement Simeon II or NMS2); Order, Law, and Justice or RZS [Yane YANEV]; Union of Democratic Forces or UDF [Emil KABAIVANOV]; United People's Party or ENP [Maria CAPONE]