Since 1999, Bulgaria has been divided into 28 provinces (Bulgarian: области, oblasti; singular област, oblast; also translated as "region") which correspond approximately to the 28 districts (okrugs) that existed before 1987. In 1987, near the end of the Communist period, under Todor Zhivkov, the districts were consolidated into nine larger provinces (oblasts), which survived until 1999.
The provinces don't have official names (legally, they are only described in terms of which municipalities they consist of and which city is the administrative centre), but in practice, in Bulgarian they are usually called oblast [noun]; this is a recent trend, though, and occasionally they are still referred to as [adjective] oblast, and rarely as "oblast with administrative centre [noun]". In the case of Sofia Province and Sofia-grad, the city of Sofia is the administrative centre of both, but Sofia municipality (almost all of whose population lives in the city of Sofia) is only included in Sofia-grad and is the sole municipality comprising that province.
The provinces are further subdivided into 264 municipalities (община, obshtina).
In 1987, the then-existing twenty-eight districts were transformed into nine large provinces. In 1999, the old districts were restored, but the designation "province" ("oblast") was kept. The nine large provinces are listed below, along with the pre-1987 districts (post-1999 provinces) comprising them.