Provinces of Bulgaria

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Sofia-grad
Coat of arms of Bulgaria.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bulgaria

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.[1]

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).

Province Population (Census 2001)[2][3] Population (Census 2011)[2][3] Population growth (2001/2011)[2] Land area (km²) Population density (/km²) Municipalities
Blagoevgrad 341,173 323,552 -5.2% 6,449.47 49.95 14
Burgas 423,547 415,817 -1.8% 7,748.07 54.58 13
Dobrich 215,217 189,677 -11.9% 4,719.71 40.36 8
Gabrovo 144,125 122,702 -14.9% 2,023.01 59.77 4
Haskovo 277,478 246,238 -11.3% 5,533.29 61.06 11
Kardzhali 164,019 152,808 -6.8% 3,209.11 37.90 7
Kyustendil 162,534 136,686 -15.9% 3,051.52 45.16 9
Lovech 169,951 141,422 -16.8% 4,128.76 34.21 8
Montana 182,258 148,098 -18.7% 3,635.38 41.20 11
Pazardzhik 310,723 275,548 -11.3% 4,456.92 62.72 11
Pernik 149,832 133,530 -10.9% 2,394.22 56.18 6
Pleven 311,985 269,752 -13.5% 4,653.32 63.98 11
Plovdiv 715,816 683,027 -4.6% 5,972.89 114.35 18
Razgrad 152,417 125,190 -17.9% 2,639.74 47.28 7
Ruse 266,157 235,252 -11.6% 2,803.36 89.93 8
Shumen 204,378 180,528 -11.7% 3,389.68 53.65 10
Silistra 142,000 119,474 -15.9% 2,846.29 41.74 7
Sliven 218,474 197,473 -9.6% 3,544.07 54.16 4
Smolyan 140,066 121,752 -13.1% 3,192.85 34.47 10
Sofia-grad 1,170,842 1,291,591 +10.3% 1,348.90 957.44 1
Sofia (province) 273,240 247,489 -9.4% 7,062.33 34.01 22
Stara Zagora 370,615 333,265 -10.1% 5,151.12 67.20 11
Targovishte 137,689 120,818 -12.3% 2,558.53 44.17 5
Varna 462,013 475,074 +2.8% 3,819.47 124.40 12
Veliko Tarnovo 293,172 258,494 -11.8% 4,661.57 55.19 10
Vidin 130,074 101,018 -22.3% 3,032.88 32.89 11
Vratsa 243,036 186,848 -23.1% 3,619.77 45.59 10
Yambol 156,070 131,447 -15.8% 3,355.48 31.23 5

History[edit]

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.

Provinces of Bulgaria from 1987 to 1998
1987-1999
oblasts
Comprising
Burgas Burgas, Sliven, Yambol
Haskovo Haskovo, Kardzhali, Stara Zagora
Lovech Gabrovo, Lovech, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo
Montana Montana, Vidin, Vratsa
Plovdiv Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Smolyan
Razgrad Razgrad, Ruse, Silistra, Targovishte
Sofia Sofia City
Sofia Blagoevgrad, Kyustendil, Pernik, Sofia
Varna Dobrich, Shumen, Varna

Ethnic composition[edit]

Ethnic composition of all Provinces of Bulgaria according to the 2011 census:

Province Ethnicity
Bulgarian Turkish Gypsy
Blagoevgrad Province 89% 6% 3%
Burgas Province 80% 13% 5%
Dobrich Province 75% 13% 9%
Gabrovo Province 92% 6% 1%
Haskovo Province 79% 13% 7%
Kardzhali Province 30% 66%
Kyustendil Province 93% 0% 6%
Lovech Province 91% 3% 4%
Montana Province 86% 0% 13%
Pazardzhik Province 84% 6% 8%
Pernik Province 96% 0% 3%
Pleven Province 91% 4% 4%
Plovdiv Province 87% 6% 5%
Razgrad Province 43% 50% 5%
Ruse Province 81% 13% 4%
Shumen Province 59% 30% 8%
Silistra Province 57% 36% 5%
Sliven Province 77% 10% 12%
Smolyan Province 91% 5% 0%
Sofia City 96% 1% 2%
Sofia Province 91% 0% 7%
Stara Zagora Province 86% 5% 8%
Targovishte Province 55% 36% 7%
Varna Province 87% 7% 3%
Veliko Tarnovo Province 90% 7% 2%
Vidin Province 91% 0% 8%
Vratsa Province 93% 0% 6%
Yambol Province 87% 3% 8%
Source (2011 census):[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Government Structure of Bulgaria at countrystudies.us, a website affiliated with the Library of Congress
  2. ^ a b c http://www.nsi.bg/census2011/PDOCS2/Census2011final_en.pdf Census 2011 PDF
  3. ^ a b http://censusresults.nsi.bg/Welcome.aspx Census 2011
  4. ^ Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (Bulgarian)