The main source of statistical data for the 19th through 21st centuries has been a national statistical agency located in Sofia. It was founded in 1880, under the name Statistiko-organizatsionno otdelenie kum Ministerstvoto na finansite, and has undergone several name changes, such as Statistichesko biuro and Tsentralnoto statistichesko upravlenie. Since 1991 it has been called Natsionalen statisticheski institut (National Statistical Institute or NSI).External Its responsibilities include gathering, analyzing, and disseminating statistical data on the Bulgarian economy, culture, and daily life, including conducting censuses of population and housing. In the past, it also conducted agricultural censuses, but today that responsibility belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry External
The Natsionalen statistichen institut (NSI), or National Statistical Institute, in Sofia, is an extremely rich resource for recent statistical information. It serves as a clearinghouse for data and questions of statistical research, but also provides full-text PDFs or Excel files of many of its publications. For researchers seeking Bulgarian data produced in the past 10-15 years, this is the first place to look. For some data, it can be the only source, because there is no library in the United States that has a complete collection of all NSI publications in print format. In fact, in 2010 NSI ceased printing paper versions of many of its titles, and began producing them exclusively in digital format, either as files downloadable from its website or as CD-ROMs. When PDFs are available for full-text versions of various publications, links are provided in this guide in the annotations.
Besides compiling and disseminating statistics on the various topics listed below, the NSI also conducts the decennial Bulgarian censuses for population and housing. The final results and full text of almost all of the publications for the 2011 census are available on the NSI site. These publications are annotated in this guide in the section for censuses, with appropriate links to the NSI website. As with all websites, longevity is a potential problem, with some digital data from the past being removed. For the NSI site, the most serious example is the results of the 2001 census, which have been replaced with the data for the 2011 census.
The website appears to be almost completely bilingual in Bulgarian and English, with only a few differences. Many of its publications also are bilingual in Bulgarian and English, but not all. Notable exceptions are some of the regional titles and the most recent census publications.
Founded in 1879, the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry compiles, among its many responsibilities, statistics and agricultural reports that help inform policy decisions of the Bulgarian government. It also conducts the country's national census of agriculture. The website of the ministry presents many statistical publications and data that are not published in print. This kind of information appears only on the Bulgarian-language version of the site, not on the English-language version.
Founded in 1879, the Ministry of Finance is "responsible for the financial management and policy of the state," according to its website. It is responsible for disseminating the state budget, as well as producing an annual report on the state of the Bulgarian economy and economic analyses and forecasts.
The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.
Online catalogs from libraries in Bulgaria are extremely helpful for identifying Bulgarian statistical titles. The following three catalogs were most useful in the preparation of this guide and are described below.