Known as much for its ceramic pavement nicknamed “yellow bricks”, as well as for daily seismic activity that often results in earthquakes, Sofia is the capital city for the Republic of Bulgaria located in southeastern Europe.
Sofia is the fourth-highest capital city in Europe, located 1,804 feet (550 meters) above sea level. Bulgaria’s capital city also has the severest air pollution readings for any capital city of a country belonging to the European Union.
Bulgaria exported US$26.1 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. Highest-value Bulgarian exports include refined petroleum oils, copper, wheat, medicines, insulated wire or cable and electrical energy according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Sofia, Bulgaria: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: National Historical Museum, National Art Gallery, Saint Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Church of St. George, Boyana Church, Saint Nedelja Church and the Buyuk-Djarna Mosque archaeological museum
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Sofia, Bulgaria:
- Stefan Sofiyanski, former mayor (born Nov. 7, 1951)
- Andrea, pop singer (born Jan. 23, 1987)
- Lazar Angelov, competitive body builder (born Sep. 22, 1984)
- Nina Dobrev, actress (born Jan. 9, 1989)
- Stanislav Ianevski, actor (born May 16, 1985)
- KrisKo, award-winning DJ (born May 11, 1988)
- Kubrat Pulev, heavyweight boxer (born May 4, 1981)
- Ivet Lalova, Olympic gold medal sprinter (born May 18, 1984)
- Mira Aroyo, pianist (born Jul. 11, 1977)
- Alex Maleev, cartoonist (born Sep. 30, 1971)
- Stoyanka Mutafova, actress (born Feb. 2, 1922)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Sofia resident: Sofian
Population: 1,260,120 (Sofia city)
Density: 6,632 people per square mile (2,561 per square kilometer)
Population: 1,543,377 (Sofia built-up urban area)
Density: 2,974 people per square mile (1,148 per square kilometer)
Population: 1,681,666 (Sofia metropolitan area)
Density: 415 people per square mile (160 per square kilometer)
Population: 7,144,653 (Bulgaria)
Density: 171 people per square mile (66 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$143.1 billion as of October 2016 (for Bulgaria, per WorldsRichestCountries.com)
GDP per person: $20,116
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Sofia were unavailable.
Official currency used in Sofia: Bulgarian lev
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on December 14, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Europe: Bulgaria. Accessed on February 14, 2017
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on December 14, 2016
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on December 14, 2016
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on December 14, 2016
Official Government Website, Sofia Municipality. Accessed on December 14, 2016
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 1, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on December 14, 2016
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Bulgaria. Accessed on December 14, 2016
Wikipedia, Sofia. Accessed on February 14, 2017
The city of Sofia covers an area measuring 190 square miles (492 square kilometers). An estimated 1.3 million people lived within city limits at the end of 2015.
Including suburbs, towns and villages in its vicinity, Sofia’s built-up urban area contains 519 square miles (1,344 square kilometers) which serves as home to approximately 1.5 million inhabitants.
The more extensive metropolitan area centered in Bulgaria’s capital city encompasses 4,066 square miles (10,531 square kilometers). The metropolitan area’s population is about 1.7 million residents.
At the country level, Denmark’s land area covers 41,888 square miles (108,489 square kilometers). The national population count was 7.1 million inhabitants as of July 2016.
Population density is higher within Bulgaria’s capital city limits with an average 6,600 Sofians per square mile (2,600 per square kilometer).
Sofia’s built-up urban area has a lower density at 3,000 people per square mile (1,100 per square kilometer).
Population density dissipates dramatically over Sofia’s vast metropolitan area, averaging 414 inhabitants per square mile (160 per square kilometer).
For Bulgaria overall, population density drops to an average 171 residents per square mile (66 per square kilometer).
On March 3, 1878 Bulgaria became an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire. Bulgarians celebrate Liberation Day as a public holiday each March 3.