Sofia Population 2017

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. Not only is it the capital city, but it is the largest by population, with a city population estimated in late 2015 to be 1,260,120. The city has a long history that makes it very unique, and today, it is home to many commercial businesses, universities, and has been considered one of the best places for startup businesses in the entire world.

Sofia Demographics

The majority of Sofia’s citizens were born in Bulgaria, accounting for almost 88% of the total population. A total of 1.5% are Romani, 0.5% are Turks, while the remainder of people responding to the census belonged to another group or did not declare their affiliation.

The primary religion in Sofia is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Over 69% were recorded as following this religion according to the 2011 census. Other religions throughout the city include Protestant, Muslim and Roman Catholic. Over one-quarter of residents did not identify their religion or were classified as non-religious.

The unemployment rate in the area is about 6%. Approximately one-third of the residents in Sofia have earned a college degree. The city has a very high literacy rate, with over 99.6% of residents over the age of 9 being literate.

Sofia History

The city of Sofia is the second oldest in Europe, with humans inhabiting it since at least 8 BC, but it is believed that the area has been inhabited for at least 30,000 years. In the 1870s, the city was liberated from the rule of the Ottomans. By the end of the decade, the city was named as the capital. During this time, the population exceeded 11,000.

In the years that followed, the city’s population continued to grow as migrants made their way into the area. In the early 1900s, Sofia was involved in multiple wars. This included the Second Balkan War, and World War II. During World War II, bombings from the US and the UK destroyed thousands of buildings and killed thousands of people. The city was invaded in 1944 by the Soviet Red Army. The next year, Fatherland Front took control.

In the years that followed, Bulgaria became the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, before changing again in 1990 to the Republic of Bulgaria. The city has continued to see growth, both in terms of dwellings and buildings and its population, which has risen because of migration from rural areas.

Sofia Population Growth

The population of Sofia has grown significantly since the census was first taken in the 1870s. The city through each census has recorded growth. Because of the high rate of immigration to the capital city, these numbers are only expected to continue to grow in the years ahead.

Sofia Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
20301,230,000-0.97%-12,000
20251,242,0000.08%1,000
20201,241,0000.57%7,000
20171,234,0000.65%8,000
20151,226,0002.17%26,000
20101,200,0002.65%31,000
20051,169,0003.63%41,000
20001,128,000-3.42%-40,000
19951,168,000-1.93%-23,000
19901,191,0000.85%10,000
19851,181,0009.96%107,000
19801,074,0009.93%97,000
1975977,00010.02%89,000
1970888,00010.17%82,000
1965806,00013.84%98,000
1960708,00014.94%92,000
1955616,00018.01%94,000
1950522,0000.00%0
Sofia Population Growth

Sofia's 2017 population is now estimated at 1,234,000. In 1950, the population of Sofia was 522,000. Sofia has grown by 8,000 in the last year, which represents a 0.65% change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Sofia, which typically includes Sofia's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Data Sources
  1. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations