Bulgaria's population continues to decline since its peak of 9 million in 1986. With a high death rate, low birth rate, and negative net migration, the decline is expected to continue throughout the 21st century. Interestingly, Bulgaria (along with Latvia) is one of only two countries with a lower population today than in 1950.
Bulgaria Population Growth
According to the CIA World Factbook, the population of Bulgaria as of 2015 was 7,186,893. This reflected a slight decrease from the population of 7.36 million recorded during the 2011 census. Based on the most recent estimates, Bulgaria is ranked as the 101st most populous country in the world.
As previously mentioned, Bulgaria experienced a decline in population from the official figures from 2011 to estimates taken in 2015. In 2011, it was noted that Bulgaria was experiencing a "demographic crisis." This has been attributed to declines that began in the 1990s following an economic collapse. As many as one million people left the country by 2005 because of this. The country also has a low fertility rate of 1.43, with a birth rate that's one of the lowest in the world. Emigration, low birth rates, and a high death rate are all contributing factors to the declining population in this country.
The statistics in these areas of concern for 2018 are at 1.46 for fertility rate, showing a small increase; 8.7 births per 1,000 population, and 14.5 deaths per 1,000 population. The growth rate is currently at -0.67% for the entire country.
Bulgaria Population Projections
The negative growth rate in Bulgaria is expected to continue slowly declining until roughly 2040, when it is predicted that the rate of growth will slowly begin to increase again. Projections believe that the most extreme growth rate in 2040 will be roughly -0.87%. As the population continues to decline, Bulgaria loses roughly 50,000 citizens per year. Current projections believe that the population of Bulgaria will be 6,940,527 in 2020, 6,430,847 in 2030, 5,894,132 in 2040, and 5,423,867 by 2050.