Bulgarian diaspora

The Bulgarian diaspora includes ethnic Bulgarians living outside Bulgaria and surrounding countries and immigrants from Bulgaria abroad.

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Bulgarian citizens

The number of Bulgarians outside Bulgaria has sharply increased since 1989, following the collapse of the communism in Central and Eastern Europe. Over one million Bulgarians have left the country, either permanently or as temporary workforce, leading to a marked decline in its population. Many took advantage of the US green card lottery system (people applied for tickets, they did not purchase them). Also many Bulgarians immigrated to Canada using the advantage of the Canadian immigration point system for skilled workers. Others went across the European Union. In countries such as Greece and Spain many Bulgarians work and stay there intermittently while retaining Bulgaria as their permanent residence, especially after the country became a European Union member state in 2007.

Most of the causes for the spread of the post-1990s Bulgarian diaspora throughout the EU member states and Northern America (USA and Canada) have been related to work and education. Therefore, the majority of the emigrants have been allowed residence in other countries on skilled worker or student basis. That includes people of various skills - lower education workers (which usually deal with utilities and housekeeping) plumbers, construction workers, gardeners, handymen, maids, as well as a substantial amount of higher-education specialists - usually from the areas of engineering, computer science, chemistry and medicine.

The largest communities of the Bulgarian diaspora in the Western part of the European Union are in Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Italy.

Other places that attracted Bulgarian immigration are Australia, New Zealand, South America (especially Argentina and Brazil), South Africa, and some expats in United Arab Emirates.

The numbers of Bulgarians living abroad has been reported in vastly different numbers by varying groups such as the government and various NGOs, leading to some criticism.[1]

Distribution by country

Country Bulgarian Citizens Ethnic Bulgarians Article
Turkey500,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarian Turks in Turkey and Bulgarians in Turkey
Greece100,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Greece
United States300,000 (in 2011)[2]95,588[3]
2010 US Census
Bulgarian Americans
Spain250,000 (in 2011)[2]150,878 (in 2011)[4]Bulgarians in Spain
Germany226,926 (in 2016)[5]Bulgarians in Germany
United Kingdom100,000 (in 2011)[2]35,000 (in 2009)[6]Bulgarians in the United Kingdom
Italy100,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Italy
Canada70,000 (in 2011)[2]30,485 (by ancestry, 2011 Census)[7] (official data)Bulgarian Canadians
Template:Country data Vardaska Macedonia1700000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in the Republic of Macedonia
Cyprus35,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Cyprus
Netherlands34 809 (in 2019)[8]Bulgarians in the Netherlands
Russia32,265 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Russia
France30,000 (in 2011)[2]34,000 (in 2011)Bulgarians in France
Moldova20,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Moldova
South Africa20,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in South Africa
Austria18,481 (in 2014)[2]Bulgarians in Austria
Belgium18,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Belgium
Australia15,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarian Australian
Portugal15,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Portugal
Serbia15,000 (in 2011)[2]18,543 (2011) [9]Bulgarians in Serbia
Poland14,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Poland
Sweden9,105 (in 2016)[2]Bulgarians in Sweden
Israel7,500 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarian Jews in Israel
Switzerland4,500 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Switzerland
Denmark4,200 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Denmark
UAE3,500 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in UAE
Czech Republic3,206 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Czechoslovakia and Bulgarians in Czech Republic
Ireland3,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Ireland
New Zealand3,000Bulgarians in New Zealand
Hungary2,800 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Hungary
Argentina2,500 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Argentina
Romania2,000 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Romania
Norway1,800 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Norway
Slovakia1,800 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Slovakia
Slovenia1,500 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Slovenia
Syria1,200 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Syria
Lebanon1,000Bulgarians in Lebanon
Jordan1,000 (in 2011)[2]
State of Palestine1,000 (in 2011)[2]
Finland1,000 (in 2011)[2]
Uruguay1,000 (in 2005)[10][11] to 2,000 persons (1998)[12]Bulgarians in Uruguay
Latvia921 (2011 est.)[13]
Luxembourg800 (in 2011)[2]
Kuwait700 (in 2011)[2]
Qatar600 (in 2014)[14]
Mexico500 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Mexico
Ukraine420 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Ukraine
Japan350 (in 2011)[2]
Morocco312 (in 2011)[2]
Croatia300 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Croatia
Brazil277 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Brazil
China256 (in 2011)[2]
Egypt250 (in 2011)[2]
Nigeria250 (in 2011)[2]
Indonesia235 (in 2011)[2]
Algeria200 (in 2011)[2]
Tunisia200 (in 2011)[2]
Chile200 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Chile
India104 (in 2011)[2]
Belarus100 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Belarus
Kosovo100 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Kosovo
South Korea100 (in 2011)[2]
Cuba65 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Cuba
Yemen60 (in 2011)[2]
Azerbaijan50 (in 2011)[2]
Vietnam50 (in 2011)[2]
Bosnia44 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Bosnia
Armenia30 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarian Armenians in Armenia
Albania26 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Albania
Georgia25 (in 2011)[2]
Montenegro25 (in 2011)[2]
Iran20 (in 2011)[2]
Kazakhstan20 (in 2011)[2]Bulgarians in Kazakhstan
Ethiopia16 (in 2011)[2]
Pakistan11 (in 2011)[2]
Uzbekistan8 (in 2011)[2]2,166 (in 1989 Soviet Census)[15]
Mongolia6 (in 2011)[2]
Afghanistan2 (in 2011)[2]
Nicaragua50Bulgarians in Nicaragua
Singapore350Bulgarians in Singapore
TOTAL2,009,718 - 2,012,218 ( Bulgaria: 7,364,570 (in 2011)[16] )

See also


  1. "How Many Bulgarians Migrate? No One Knows". Archived from the original on 2018-03-22. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  2. Брой на българските граждани в чужбина (2011 г.) | www.EuroChicago.com - The Bulgarian Media Portal in Chicago
  3. "National Institute of Statistics of Spain - 2011 Census" (PDF). ine.es. Retrieved 2011-05-23.
  4. "Ausländische Bevölkerung. Ergebnisse des Ausländerzentralregisters" (in German). Statistisches Bundesamt. 2016. p. 37. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  5. "Estimated population resident in the United Kingdom, by foreign country of birth (Table 1.3)". Office for National Statistics. September 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  6. Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  7. CBS
  8. "Serbian 2011 census".
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2015-08-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. "Внук на нашенски емигрант ни представя в Уругвай". monitor.bg. Archived from the original on 2012-09-04.
  11. "??????? ????? - Държавата се е "самоотстранила" от българския национален въпрос (отпечатване)". vestnikataka.com.
  12. (in Latvian) Latvijas iedzīvotāju sadalījums pēc nacionālā sastāva un valstiskās piederības
  13. "Qatar´s population by nationality - bq magazine". Archived from the original on 2014-12-21. Retrieved 2014-12-21.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2015-12-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. Национален статистически институт - Преброяване 2011
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