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Although the Bulgarian population reached 1 million by 1300, the black death in the 15th century caused a major set-back and the arrival of the Ottoman Turks slowed the population growth. It began to grow substantially only during the 18th century. It stood at 3 million when it was augmented by the territory of Eastern Rumelia in 1885 and had reached a total by 1994 of 8.5 million. The largest city and capital is Sofia with a population of 1.1 million. Other important cities include Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas.

The breakdown of the population by ethnic group in 1994 was 86% Bulgarians, 9% Turks, and 5% Gypsies, Macedonians, Armenians, and Russians. A majority of the Christian population is Bulgarian Orthodox. The Turkish portion of population is primarily Muslim. There are groups of Roman Catholics, Armenian Orthodox, Protestants and Jews in the country.[1]


  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Bulgaria,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1991-1998.