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Population of Bulgaria by gender 1881-2020

Bulgaria gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, and for the next century the population grew at a relatively constant rate, before falling into decline from the 1980s until today. The ratio of men to women in Bulgaria has remained fairly level before the 1980s, with the difference never exceeding 100,000. It was only in the 1980s when the numbers began to drift further apart, with the male population decreasing at a higher rate than females. A difference of more than 100,000 people appeared in 1988, and 200,000 at the turn of the millennium. The difference in Bulgaria's male and female populations has remained around 200,000 people for the past two decades, as the overall population has fallen from around eight million to below seven million people. This drop in population size has been attributed to the economic collapse which followed the end of communism in Eastern Europe, causing many to leave the country in search of work elsewhere. Bulgaria also has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, with just 9 births per 1,000 people in 2020.

Population of Bulgaria from 1881 to 2020, by gender

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

1881 to 2020

Supplementary notes

Please note the irregular intervals in the data prior to 1950.

*Does not include region of Eastern Roumelia.
**Several boundary changes occurred between 1910 and 1920; including the loss of Southern Dobrudja to Romania, and the gain of several larger territories from Turkey.

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