Close to 30 000 Bulgarians left the country in 2015, the largest shares heading to Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain, according to the National Statistical Institute (NSI).
These are official statistics, included in an NSI annual report on demographics in Bulgaria, and do not take account of Bulgarians who moved abroad without registering a formal address change.
The NSI said that in 2015, a total 29 470 people changed their current address in Bulgaria for an address abroad.
Of these 52.1 per cent were male. A total of 43.6 per cent of Bulgarian emigrants were aged between 20 and 39, and 25.3 per cent were aged 40 to 59.
The youngest emigrants (under 20 years) added up to 17.5 per cent of the total while emigrants over 60 years of age accounted for 13.5 per cent, according to the NSI report.
The NSI said that the most preferred destination countries were Germany (23 per cent), the United Kingdom (14.3 per cent) and Spain (11.5 per cent).
In turn, a total of 25 223 registered an address in Bulgaria in 2015 – a figure that included Bulgarians who had returned to Bulgaria after living abroad, and citizens of other countries granted a residence permit or status in Bulgaria.
Of the total number of immigrants, as they are termed in the report, 53.5 per cent were male.
Among the immigrants to Bulgaria, 35.4 per cent were aged 20 – 39 years and 29.9 per cent, 40 to 59 years.
The youngest immigrants (under 20 years) were 17.2 per cent and the oldest, over 60 years of age – 17.5 per cent.
The largest number of immigrants were from Turkey (24.3 per cent), Syria (15.9 per cent) and Russia (14 per cent).
The NSI also recorded what is officially termed internal migration.
The largest movement was from city to town, 37.6 per cent, followed by people moving from one town to another, 35.8 per cent, from village to town, 17 per cent, and from one village to another, just less than 10 per cent.
At the same time, the largest number of people who moved was to Sofia, 17 800 people, the NSI said. Of these people, most moved to the Bulgarian capital city from Blagoevgrad, Plovdiv and Vratsa.
Most of those who moved from one place to another in the country were aged 20 to 39 (35.3 per cent), followed by people aged 40 to 59 (22.6 per cent) and people younger than 20 (21.5 per cent), the NSI said.
In all, 119 202 people changed their residence within the country in 2015, according to the NSI.
(Photo: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)