With its standard language, shared culture, and state tradition, the Bulgarian nationality has existed for more than 13 centuries. It developed over the centuries as an amalgamation of various tribes of which known are the Thracian, Slavic and Bulgar (Proto-Bulgarian) tribes. All of them were statehood builders.
Far over 12 million people of Bulgarian ancestry live around the world.
Large groups of Bulgarians (Bulgars, Bolgars) live in the Russian Federation. They are mainly descendants of Proto-Bulgarians.
Compact groups of Bulgarian people have lived for centuries in the Ukraine, Moldova, Greece, Albania, Serbia, Rumania, Hungary.
The Slav population in Macedonia that is now part of the Macedonian nation, is of Bulgarian descent and its official language is a Bulgarian dialect.
Uncountable are the successors of Proto-Bulgarians who live in Northern Italy, a fact that became known back in the 1930's.
Descendants of the early Bulgarians (Katars) live in the other West European countries too.
There are large groups of Bulgarian immigrants in North and Latin America, who settled there over the last centuries.
Ethnic Turks who have retained their Bulgarian citizenship, are the predominant population in whole residential areas in the big Turkish cities.
The population of present-day Bulgaria amounts to nearly 7.5 million.
Slavic-speaking and Turcophone Bulgarians, together with Gypsies, Albanians, Jews, Armenians, etc., have formed the Bulgarian nation. By their appearance, Bulgarians could hardly be distinguished from any other European living in the Mediterranean region.
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