Republic of Bulgaria is located in South-Eastern Europe. With a territory of 110,994 sq. km., Bulgaria is Europe’s 14th-largest country.
As of 31 December 2012 the population of Bulgaria is 7 282 041 people or 1.5% of the EU population. The population is predominantly urban and mainly concentrated in the administrative centres of its 28 provinces. Most commercial and cultural activities are concentrated in the capital Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are heavy industry, power engineering, and agriculture, all relying on local natural resources.
The official language of in the country is Bulgarian. It is an Indo-European language, a member of the Southern Slavic language family. Bulgarian is spoken by around 12 million people mainly in Bulgaria, but also in Ukraine, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Greece, Romania, Canada, USA, Australia, Germany and Spain. It is mutually intelligible with Macedonian, and fairly closely related to Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Slovenian. Bulgarian language appeared first in writing during the 9th century in the Glagolitic alphabet, which was developed to an early version of the Cyrillic alphabet over the following centuries.
The traditional religion in Bulgaria is Eastern Orthodox Christianity but there are Muslim, Catholic and Protestant communities in the country. The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion.
The climate in Bulgaria is a continental one with four different seasons. The average temperature is around + 23 °C in the summer and -1 °C in the winter.
Bulgaria is a parliamentary democratic republic with separated legislative, executive and judicial powers. It is a member of the European Union, NATO, and the Council of Europe; a founding state of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).