The population of Bulgaria (1998 estimate) is 8,240,426. The 1985
census population was 8,948,649; the subsequent decrease was largely
caused by emigration. Bulgaria has a population density of 74 persons
per sq km (192 per sq mi).
The population became increasingly urbanized after 1945, and today
69 percent of the people live in urban areas. About 85 percent of
the population is classified as ethnic Bulgarian and about 9 percent
is Turkish. Small groups of Armenians, Roma (Gypsies), Greeks, and
Macedonian Slavs also inhabit the country.
Bulgarian is the official language and the Cyrillic alphabet is
used. English, German, French and Russian are spoken in major tourist
resorts and hotels.
The majority of the population are Christian, most of whom adhere
to the Eastern Orthodox Church. There is also a significant Muslim
minority (9%) and small Roman Catholic and Jewish communities.