Provinces of Bulgaria
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The provinces of Bulgaria (Bulgarian: области на България Oblasti na Bǎlgarija) are the first level administrative subdivisions of the country.
Since 1999, Bulgaria has been divided into 28 provinces (Bulgarian: области – oblasti; singular: област – oblast; also translated as "regions") which correspond approximately to the 28 districts (in Bulgarian: окръг – okrags, plural: окръзи – okrǎzi), that have existed before 1987.
The provinces are further subdivided into 265 municipalities (singular: община – obshtina, plural: общини – obshtini).
Sofia – the capital city of Bulgaria and the largest settlement in the country, is the administrative centre of both Sofia Province and Sofia City Province (Sofia-grad). The capital is included (together with 3 other cities plus 34 villages) in Sofia Capital Municipality (over 90% of whose population lives in Sofia), which is the sole municipality comprising Sofia City province.
The provinces do not have official names – legally (in the President's decree on their constitution), they are not named but only described as "oblast with administrative centre [Noun]" - together with a list of the constituting municipalities. In Bulgaria they are usually called "[Adjective] Oblast"; occasionally they are referred to as "Oblast [Noun]" and rarely as "oblast with administrative centre [Noun]".
The Bulgarian term "област" (oblast) is preferably translated into English as "province", in order to avoid disambiguation and distinguish from the former unit called "окръг" (okrag, translated as "district") and the term "регион" (always translated as "region"). Anyhow, there are instances of use of "distinct" and "region" to name these contemporary 28 units.
- "region": "28 regions (en) / région (fr) / oblast (bg)" – in ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 (2011-12-13, corrected 2011-12-15)
- "district": "The territory of the South Central Region encompasses five districts – Pazardzhik, Plovdiv, Smolyan, Haskovo, and Kyrdzhali." – in a website of the European Commission 
|Province||Population (Census 2001)||Population (Census 2011)||Population growth (2001/2011)||Land area (km²)||Population density (/km²)||Municipalities||Planning
|Sofia City||1,170,842||1,291,591||+10.3%||1,348.90||957.44||1||South Western|
|Sofia (province)||273,240||247,489||-9.4%||7,062.33||34.01||22||South Western|
|Stara Zagora||370,615||333,265||-10.1%||5,151.12||67.20||11||South Eastern|
|Veliko Tarnovo||293,172||258,494||-11.8%||4,661.57||55.19||10||North Central|
The 9 large provinces are listed below, along with the pre-1987 districts (post-1999 small provinces) comprising them.
|Comprising former districts (future provinces)|
|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||Blagoevgrad, Kyustendil, Pernik, Sofia|
|Varna||Dobrich, Shumen, Varna|
On 1 January 1999, the old districts were restored, but the designation ("oblast") "province" was kept.
- Etymological list of provinces of Bulgaria
- List of cities and towns in Bulgaria
- List of villages in Bulgaria
- Municipalities of Bulgaria
- ISO 3166-2:BG
- (French) Liste des gouverneurs des provinces bulgares
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Provinces of Bulgaria.|
- http://www.nsi.bg/census2011/PDOCS2/Census2011final_en.pdf Census 2011 PDF
- http://censusresults.nsi.bg/Welcome.aspx Census 2011
- Government Structure of Bulgaria at countrystudies.us, a website affiliated with the Library of Congress