Useful country information
Land area: 42,683 sq mi (110,549 sq km); total area: 42,823 sq mi (110,910 sq km )
Population (2021 est.): 6.899 million
Capital and largest city (2021 est.): Sofia, 1,284,000
Sofia: Capital City Profile
Monetary unit: Lev
Languages: Bulgarian (official) 76.8%, Turkish 8.2%, Roma 3.8%, other 0.7%, unspecified 10.5% (2011 est.)
Ethnicity/race: Bulgarian 76.9%, Turkish 8%, Roma 4.4%, other 0.7% (including Russian, Armenian, and Vlach), other (unknown) 10% (2011 est.)
National Holiday: Liberation Day, March 3
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.)
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Bulgaria earned its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, but having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, it 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 multi-party 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.
Bulgaria became a NATO member state in 2004 and joined the EU on 1 January 2007.
Other countries in Southeast Europe: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia
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