People in Bulgaria
Around 7.2 million people live in Bulgaria. The
majority of them, namely 74 percent, live in a city.
Most of the cities are in the lowlands. After Sofia,
Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Russe and Stara Sagora are the
largest cities in the country. On average, every woman
has 1.6 children. Many Bulgarians left their homeland in
the 1990s to look for work elsewhere, especially in
Spain, Italy and Germany. 76 percent of the inhabitants
of Bulgaria belong to the Orthodox Church. 1.1 percent
are Protestants and 0.8 percent are Catholics. 10
percent are Muslim.
Bulgarians, Turks and Roma
85 percent of the population belong to the Bulgarian
people. The Bulgarians are a South Slavic people and
thus related to Serbs, Croats or Macedonians. About a
quarter to a third of the Bulgarians come from the
southern regions of Thrace and Macedonia, from where
they fled in the early 20th century until after the
First World War.
Almost 9 percent of Bulgaria's residents are Turks.
They are also called Balkan Turks. They settled in the
Balkans from the 14th century, when this region belonged
to the Ottoman Empire. Many Turks then stayed there,
even when the Ottoman (Turkish) rule was pushed back
from the 19th century.
4.9 percent of the population are Roma. This ethnic
group also lives in Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.
Everywhere they are a minority without a state of their
own. What they have in common is their language, Romani
. The Roma were previously persecuted and displaced.
Even today they are mostly outsiders to society. They
have a poorer education and find work more difficult
than others. They are abused and people look down on
There are still small minorities living in Bulgaria.
These are Russians, Armenians, Romanians and Pomaks.
Pomaks are Muslims who live in the southwest of
Languages in Bulgaria
Bulgarian is the official language in Bulgaria. It is
also spoken by all residents, but only by 85 percent as
their mother tongue. Bulgarians of Turkish descent speak
Turkish as their mother tongue. Their Turkish, however,
differs from the Turkish spoken in Turkey. It was
influenced by Bulgarian. The members of the Roma also
speak their own language, Romani.
Bulgarian is a Slavic language and belongs to the
South Slavic branch. It is one of the oldest Slavic
languages. It is unusual that there are no grammatical
cases and no infinitives (basic form of the Tu word /
Bulgarian is written in Cyrillic letters. The
appearance of the lower case letters differs very much
from the normal upright letters.
By the way, there are some words in Bulgarian that
originally come from German. If you're ever in Bulgaria,
you might get on with a sunroof (шибидах), baking powder
(бакпулвер) or landscape (ландшафт)!
Religions in Bulgaria