More Bulgarians Working Abroad Than in Bulgaria
The total number of Bulgarians working abroad is bigger than their homeland's entire workforce at the moment, new data suggests.
As of 2015, some 2.5 million people born in Bulgaria work outside the country, with their contributions sent home amounting to EUR 1.7 M (in an economy of around EUR 40 B). To compare, the active population in Bulgaria's labor market totals 2.2 million.
Citing data from the National Statistical Institute and the Economics Institute with the Bulgarian Academy of Science, an official with state-run Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) has presented the figures to Bulgarian journalists at the Eleventh world meeting of Bulgarian media held in Athens this week.
She has warned the number of Bulgarians leaving the country every year has varied between 13 000 and 24 000 every year since the beginning of the decade.
Of them, 55% are aged between 20 and 29.
Emigration rates are far below those of the 1990s. Official statistics of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry show at least 3 million Bulgarians live abroad, many of them having left since Communist rule ended in 1989. Others fled the country earlier, during the Communist years.
Against this background, just 230 000 have returned to Bulgaria over the past few decades.