The capital

Sofia-town is bordered by the Sofia and Pernik regions. It is surrounded by a number of mountains - Vitosha, Lyulin, Lozen, Sredna Gora and the Balkan Mountains.


The town was initially called Serdica after the Celtic tribe Serdi, who first settled the region in the 5th century BC. The city was first-time called Sofia in the 14th century, after the Saint Sofia Church. The church was built in the 6th century, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. It is a common misbelief that the church was named after the Roman saint Sofia the Martyr. In fact, the church name Sofia derives from the Christian concept of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia).


Vitosha mountain is one of the symbols of the city of Sofia. The Vitosha national park includes Bistrishko Branishte and Torfeno Branishte reserves, as well as waterfalls on the Boyana and Bistritza rivers. The mountain offers excellent conditions for tourism - both winter and summer. Of several skiing resorts, the most popular one is Aleko.


Sofia-town is the heart of the Bulgarian economy. Most of the major companies in the country operate in Sofia. The fastest developing region in the country, Sofia has become an outsourcing destination for large international companies. 


Regional stories

Is Balkan Becoming A Europe's Top Outsourcing Destination?
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

The struggling economy of the Balkans is looking up, but far from the EU's standard. Salaries in some of the regions of the Balkans are more than 10 times lower than salaries in some of the EU countries. According to the national statistical offices of Serbia, Bulgaria and Macedonia, in 2013 the region of the capital of Bulgaria - Sofia had the highest average salaries in the region - nearly 750 $US. Average monthly salaries are highest in the regions of the capitals as well - Belgrade (635 $US) and Skopje (554 $US).  ...

Gender Differences in Balkan's Life Expectancy
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Life expectancy is defined as an average number of years a person would live if mortality rates remain constant in the future. Average life expectancy for persons born between 2010 and 2013 in the whole world is 71 years, according to the World Population Prospects.

The figures for the each country directly reflects the country's healthcare system, wars and HIV infections. Thus, persons in the developed countries live much longer than those in the developing world. People in Japan are expected to live an average of 84 years (87 for women, and 80 for men). On the other hand, in some African countries like Angola and Zambia, where HIV and...

The Deadliest Days on the Bulgarian Roads
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

According to the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria 660 people were killed and 8639 injured in total of 7018 road accidents in 2014 on the Bulgarian roads. NSI is claiming that the number of people killed increased by 9,8% from 2013 to 2014. July and September were the deadliest months with 13% and 11,2% deaths of the year's total.

Most car accidents (1,299) happened in the capital city - Sofia. The second and third place on the list of regions with the most accidents are regions of the Bulgarian biggest cities - Plovdiv (944) and Varna (710). 


Rural Areas Healthcare in Balkans
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Rural medicine is an interdisciplinary field of health care in rural areas. It incorporates a number of fields such as sociology, midwifery, nursing and economics.

Health care and need of the rural population differs from urban in many ways. Rural residents are usually pooper than the urban, and more likely to live under the poverty level line. This directly affects their lifestyle. Also, rural population usually consists of fewer working-age population. The health care needs of the children and the elderly differ significantly from those of the working age population. 

According to the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria and...

Bulgaria and Macedonia Information Nations?
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

We live in the era of information. Internet has become a part of almost every aspect of modern human life. Internet Live Stats says 37.9% of the world population were using internet in 2013. Internet World Stats is claiming that 70,5% of Europeans were using the internet in 2014. 

According to the Bulgarian National Statistical Institute and State Statistical Office of Macedonia total of 36 regions of the Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Bulgaria range from 36,6% to 77,5% internet users in 2013. Compared to the Europe and the World, these regions have the percentage of internet users matching those from undeveloped countries...

Bulgarian Seaside Leading the Patchwork Balkan Tourism Race
By Sanja Stamenkovic, Jefferson Institute

Amongst the many regions of the Patchwork Balkan (NUTS3 regions of Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia) with numerous historical landmarks and major economic impact, Bulgarian seaside regions were the most visited regions by foreigners in 2013. 

Bulgarian coastline is 378 km long. Sandy beaches constitute 130 km of that number. The Balkan Mountains are dividing a coastline into a southern and northern part. The southern part is more popular due to its wide sandy beaches. Two out of four biggest cities in the country are located on the coastline - Burgas and Varna. Besides being tourist destinations, Burgas and Varna are also a major economic centers and seaports. 

Out of three Bulgaria seaside regions - Dobrich, Varna and Burgas, the most visited by the foreigners is Burgas. With more than 6.5 mil nights spent in 2013. Some...