Number of Bulgarians Down by Estimated 1 Million in 10 years
During the 22 years of the so-called transition period in Bulgaria, after the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, about 22 000 have emigrated from the country each year.
The data comes from preliminary results of the Census in Bulgaria, conducted by the National Statistics Institute, NSI, from February 1 to February 28.
Data collected up to February 22, shows the number of Bulgarians living in the country is down by 1 220 000 since 2001, the Bulgarian daily Monitor writes Wednesday, pointing out NSI experts warn the data is not yet precise.
According to the latest data, currently 7 563 710 people live in the country, but comments on the dimensions of the demographic crisis and the emigration would be able to be made with accuracy in the beginning of April when the first results will be summarized.
The nation is shrinking by 40 000 a year only because the number of deaths surpasses the number of births.
Regarding emigration, exact data is expected in several months when all Bulgarians living in EU Member States will be accounted for, but this would still not include the large numbers living outside Europe, particularly in the US and Canada.
An estimated 196 000 have left the country between 1999 and 2001, but 19 000 have returned.
Nearly 169 200 Bulgarians live and work in Spain, according to data from the Ministry of Social Policy and Labor. There are 2.34 million foreigners in Spain, topped by Romanians - nearly 830 000. Bulgarians make only 3% of the foreign workers in Spain and rank 9th (according to the Bulgarian address registry) or 8th (according to the Spanish statistics) by their numbers, behind the UK, Germany, and Italy.
About 120 000 live in neighboring Greece and 70 000 of them are permanent residents.
There are also 70 000 Bulgarians in Cyprus and another 70 000 in Great Britain and Ireland. An additional 30 to 40 000 are migrant workers traveling between Bulgaria and the UK depending on the labor market.
53 084 Bulgarians live in Germany.
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