Country Fact Sheet: Bulgaria

The Republic of Bulgaria is located in Southeastern Europe bordering Romania, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, and Serbia, and the Black Sea. It is about the size of Tennessee and covers an area of 110,910 sq. kilometers.  Bulgaria’s total population is about 7 million and is shrinking at a rate of 0.81% with 71% living in urban areas.  The Bulgarian capital of Sofia has a population of about 1.2 million with other major cities including Plovdiv (368,000) and Varna (349,000). The people are governed by a parliamentary democracy, are predominately Bulgarian Orthodox, and the primary language is Bulgarian. Bulgaria joined NATO in 2004 and joined the EU in 2007. The local currency used is the Bulgarian Lev with plans to adopt the Euro by 2012-13.

Bulgaria’s economy has improved greatly in the past decade and has begun attracting more foreign investment.  Membership in the EU will be beneficial to the economy but there still remain concerns about corruption and organized crime. Its main trade partners are Germany, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, Romania, and Austria. Its primary imports are machinery and equipment, metals and ores, chemicals, plastics, fuels, minerals, and raw materials. Exports consist of clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, and fuels. Bulgaria’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) is $105.5 billion and is growing at a real rate of 0.8% with an inflation rate of 2.4%. Bulgaria ranked 66th out of 185 countries in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking.  Click here to search for Businesses Franchising Internationally  


Demographic Data   Economic Data    Cultural & Other Data   
Area (sq. km.)     110,879  GDP (PPP, $bn)   105.5  Capital   Sofia 
Population (million)   6.98  GDP Real Growth (%)   0.8  Other Large Cities   Plovdiv, Varna 
Population Growth       (%)   -0.81  PerCap GDP ($)   14,500  Primary Language   Bulgarian 
Population Under     15yrs (%)   14.2  Prime Lending               Rate (%)   9.4  Urbanization       (%)             71 
Population below poverty line (%)   21.8  Inflation Rate%   2.4  Urban Growth   (%)        -0.3 
Agricultural Workers    (% of population)   7.1  Unemployment%   9.9  Literacy  (population %)   98.4 
Industrial Workers     (% of population)   35.2  Foreign          Direct     Investment ($bn)   52.29  Education spending              % of GDP   4.6 
Service Workers        (% of population)   57.7  Debt-External ($bn)   50.54  CPI Score           (1-100)*   41 
Labor Force (mil)   2.451  Exports ($bn)   27.67  Corporate Income Tax %   10 
      Imports ($bn)   30.32  Ease of Doing Business Ranking **   66 


Click the links below for articles with more information on Franchising in Bulgaria

Doing Business in Bulgaria (2012)

US Commercial Service Market Report - Bulgaria (2010)

Reform of European Union Rules on Distributiong (2010)

European Commission's New Block Exemption Rules Enter Into Force June 1 (2010)

Picking the Best European Countries for Franchising  (2009)

Bulgaria-Bullish on Franchising (2008)


* CPI Score is published by Transparency International and relates to the perceptions of the degree of corruption as seen by business people and country analysts and ranges between 100 (highly clean) and 0 (highly corrupt).  

**Ease of Doing Business Ranking is determined by the World Bank Group and is ranked out of a possible 185 countries. www.doingbusiness.org  

Most recent statistics have been taken from the CIA World Factbook unless noted otherwise. 

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