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Provinces of Bulgaria

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bulgaria

The provinces of Bulgaria (Bulgarian: области на България) are the first level administrative subdivisions of the country.

Since 1999, Bulgaria has been divided into 28 provinces (Bulgarian: областиoblasti; singular: област – oblast; also translated as "regions") which correspond approximately to the 28 districts (in Bulgarian: окръг – okrags, plural: окръзи – okrazi), that have existed before 1987.

The provinces are further subdivided into 265 municipalities (singular: община – obshtina, plural: общини – obshtini).

Distribution of provinces by NUTS: Level 1 (regions): Northern and Eastern, South-Western and South-Central; Level 2 (planning regions)

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.

Contents

  • Terminology 1
  • Provinces 2
  • History 3
  • Ethnicity 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6

Terminology

The provinces don't 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 [2]

Provinces

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

History

Provinces (with ex-districts) in 1987-1999
Provinces of Bulgaria from 1987 to 1998

In 1987, the then-existing 28 districts were transformed into 9 large units (in Bulgarian called oblasts - provinces), which survived until 1999.[3]

The 9 large provinces are listed below, along with the pre-1987 districts (post-1999 small provinces) comprising them.

1987-1999
oblasts
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 Sofia City
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.

Ethnicity

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

Distribution of Bulgarians and Turks minority by municipality
Distribution of Roma (gypsy) minority by province, 2001
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

References

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