Census 2021: 84.6% of population define themselves as Bulgarians, 8.4% Turks, 4.4% Roma

In Bulgaria’s September 2021 national census, 84.6 per cent defined themselves as Bulgarians, 8.4 per cent as Turks and 4.4 per cent as Roma, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) told a news conference on November 24.

Of Bulgaria’s population of 6 519 789, a total of 5 118 494 identified as Bulgarians, the NSI said.

Compared with the 2011 census, there was a slight decrease in those identifying as Turks and as Roma.

Those defining themselves as Turks (508 378) were 0.4 percentage points less than in 2011, while those identifying as Roma (266 720) were 0.5 percentage points fewer than in the census 10 years earlier.

Those defining themselves as of other ethnicities added up to 1.3 per cent, while in the remainder of cases, the question, to which responding was voluntary, went unanswered.

The news conference was told that census takers had been briefed to write down whatever identity the person gave, without challenging the answer.

Among those in the “other” category, close to 15 000 were Pomaks, 14 000 Russians, 5306 Armenians, 3239 Ukrainians, 2894 as British, 2071 Karakachans, 1625 Greeks, 1153 Jews, 1143 Macedonians, 1129 Tatars, 865 Italians, 824 Poles and 683 Romanians.

It was pointed out that the figure for Ukrainians in Bulgaria was now different, given that the census was taken in September, months before Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Separately, the Bulgarian government information portal posted on November 24 that since that invasion, 902 608 Ukrainians had entered Bulgaria, of whom 51 445 remained in the country.

The NSI’s head of demography and social statistics, Magdalena Kostova, told the news conference that the data stated referred to people’s self-identity in terms of ethnicity, not citizenship.

The census found that 5 037 607 people – 85.3 per cent of the population of Bulgaria on September 7 last year- gave their mother tongue as Bulgarian.

A total of 514 386 (8.7 per cent) said that their mother tongue was Turkish, 227 974 (3.9 per cent) Romani.

A total of 1.1 per cent stated their mother tongue as something other, 0.2 per cent could not say what their mother tongue was, and 0.8 per cent declined to answer the question.

(Photo: Abdulhamid AlFadhly/freeimages.com)

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