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Overview

Country Context

BULGARIA

2021

Population, million

6,899

GDP, current US$ billion

77.5

GDP per capita, current US$

11,237

Gini Coefficient (Gini coefficient of disposable income - 2020, Eurostat)40.0

Life Expectancy at birth, years (Most recent WDI value 2019)

74.9

Bulgaria has undergone a significant transformation over the past three decades. It has moved from a highly centralized, planned economy to an open, market-based, upper-middle-income economy securely anchored in the European Union (EU). In its initial transition to a market economy, the country went through a decade of slow economic restructuring and growth, high indebtedness, and loss of savings. 

However, the advancement of structural reforms starting in the late 1990s, the introduction of a currency board, and expectations of EU accession unleashed a decade of exceptionally high economic growth and improved living standards. Yet, some legacy issues from that early period, the global economic crisis of 2008, and the pandemic-induced crisis in 2020 undid some of the gains achieved during the high-growth period. 

The long-term structural challenges facing Bulgaria include negative demographic trends, coupled with institutional and governance weaknesses. Institutional gaps have been mirrored by suboptimal public service delivery, hindering private sector expansion and undermining inclusive growth and shared prosperity. High rates of inequality of opportunity limit access to key public services, constraining the ability of individuals to escape poverty and thus leading to persistently high income inequality. Poverty and inequality are reinforced by inadequacies in the targeting, coverage, and generosity of the social security system, limiting its role as a redistributive mechanism.

Last Updated: Apr 19, 2022

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Bulgaria: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

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World Bank
Advance Business Center, 2 Samara Street, 1715, fl.4
Tel: (359-2) 969-72-29
Fax:(359-2) 971-20-45
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Tel: (359-2) 801-83-00