Demographics of Bulgaria
Demographics of Bulgaria
Bulgaria has a population of 7,364,570 people, according to the 2011 census. 72.5 percent of the population lives in urban areas, with nearly one-sixth of the total population concentrated in Sofia. Bulgarians are the largest ethnic group in the country, accounting for 84.8% of the population. Turkish and Roma minorities account for 8.8 and 4.9 percent of the population, respectively; about 40 smaller minorities account for 0.7%, and 0.8% do not self-identify as an ethnic group.
Bulgarian is spoken by all ethnic groups, either as a first or second language. Bulgarian is the sole official language and the mother tongue of 85.2% of the people. Bulgarian, being the first written Slavic language, has some grammatical distinctions from the other Slavic languages, including the lack of noun clauses and infinitives, as well as a trailing definite article.
According to 2003 official figures, literacy rates are 98.6 percent, with no major gender disparity. Education has historically been of a high quality, however still falls short of European norms, and has rapidly worsened over the last decade. Bulgarian pupils were among the world’s finest readers in 2001, outperforming their Canadian and German counterparts; by 2006, their reading, mathematics, and science levels had decreased. Government investment on education is much less than the average throughout the European Union. The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Science contributes to the funding of public schools, colleges, and institutions, establishes textbook specifications, and regulates publishing. In public elementary and secondary schools, the state offers free education. The educational system is divided into twelve grade levels, with grades one through eight considered primary and grades nine through twelve considered secondary. High schools might be technical, vocational, general, or specialized, while higher education is comprised of a four-year bachelor’s degree and a one-year master’s degree.
Bulgaria’s Constitution establishes a secular state with guaranteed religious freedom, but refers to Orthodoxy as a “traditional” faith. In 927 AD, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was given autocephaly, and it now comprises 12 dioceses and nearly 2,000 priests. Bulgarians profess Eastern Orthodoxy in more than three-quarters. Sunni Muslims are the second biggest religious group, accounting for 10% of the religious composition, despite the fact that the majority of them do not pray and find the usage of Islamic veils in schools intolerable. 11.8 percent do not self-identify as religious, and 21.8 percent do not express their beliefs.
Bulgaria has a universal health care system that is funded entirely by taxes and contributions. The National Health Insurance Fund pays a continuously rising percentage of basic health care expenditures (NHIF). Health expenditures are expected to account for 4.1 percent of GDP in 2013. While the number of physicians is higher than the EU average (181 per 100,000 people), the distribution of doctors by speciality is unequal, there is a serious lack of nurses and other medical personnel, and the majority of medical facilities are substandard. In certain locations, personnel shortages are so acute that patients go to other nations for care. Bulgaria is ranked 113th in the world in terms of average life expectancy, which is 73.6 years for men and 73.6 years for women. Similar to other industrialized nations, the leading causes of mortality are cardiovascular disorders, neoplasms, and respiratory diseases.
Bulgaria is undergoing a demographic transition. The nation has had negative population growth since the early 1990s, when the economic collapse caused a sustained wave of emigration. Until 2005, between 937,000 to 1,200,000 people – largely young adults – left from the nation. In 2013, the total fertility rate (TFR) was predicted to be 1.43 children born per woman, which was less than half of the replacement rate of 2.1. One-third of all households are headed by a single individual, and 75.5 percent of families do not include children under the age of 16. As a consequence, population growth and fertility rates are among the lowest worldwide, while death rates are among the highest. Unmarried women give birth to the bulk of children (of all births in 2012, 57.4 percent were out of wedlock).