A total of 85 895 foreigners were resident in Bulgaria in 2018, according to official statistics released by European Union statistics agency Eurostat on March 15.
The largest group of non-nationals was citizens of non-EU countries, a total of 70 920, Eurostat said.
Nationals of other EU countries resident in Bulgaria in 2018 added up to 13 105, while the number of stateless persons was 1870.
The figures were valid for January 1 2018, at a point when Bulgaria’s total population was officially said to be 7 050 034.
Among EU countries, Bulgaria had the fourth-lowest proportion of resident foreigners.
Eurostat did not provide a breakdown by nationality of the foreigners resident in Bulgaria.
However, in statistics issued earlier, Eurostat said that Bulgaria issued a total of 10 958 first residence permits to non-EU citizens in 2017, more than 3000 more than in 2016.
The largest group of recipients of Bulgarian residence permits were citizens of Turkey, 4060 (37.1 per cent), followed by Russians, 2137 (19.5 per cent) and Ukrainians, 1115 (10.2 per cent).
The number of people residing in EU member states with citizenship of a non-member country on January 1 2018 was 22.3 million, representing 4.4 per cent of the EU population.
In addition, there were 17.6 million people living in one of the EU member states on January 1 2018 with the citizenship of another EU member state. In most EU countries, the majority of non-nationals were citizens of non-EU countries.
In relative terms, the EU member state with the highest share of non-nationals was Luxembourg, as non-nationals accounted for 48 per cent of its total population.
A high proportion of foreign citizens (10 per cent or more of the resident population) was also observed in Cyprus, Austria, Estonia, Malta, Latvia, Belgium, Ireland and Germany.
In contrast, non-nationals represented less than one per cent of the population in Poland, Romania and Lithuania, Eurostat said.