Bulgarian Americans

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Bulgarian American
Американски българи
Total population
2010 US Census
+ more 30,000 students
General assessments of Bulgarian diplomatic representations in the US (2010)[2])
Bulgarian, American English
Predominantly Orthodox Christianity
(Bulgarian Orthodox Church)
Related ethnic groups
Bulgarian people, Bulgarian Canadians, Bulgarians in South America, Macedonian American

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Bulgarian Americans are Americans of Bulgarian descent.

For the 2000 United States Census, 55,489 Americans indicated Bulgarian as their first ancestry,[3] while 92,841 persons declared to have Bulgarian ancestry.[4] Those can include Bulgarian Americans living in the United States for one or several generations, dual Bulgarian American citizens, or any other Bulgarian Americans who consider themselves to be affiliated to both cultures or countries.

Some Bulgarian Americans might be born in Bulgaria, the United States or other countries with ethnic Bulgarian population. Because some Bulgarians are not American citizens, others are dual citizens, and still others' ancestors have come to the US several generations ago, some of these people consider themselves to be simply Americans, Bulgarians, Bulgarians living in the United States or American Bulgarians.

After 2000 US census, in the recent years the population grew significantly — according to the general assessments of Bulgarian diplomatic representations in the US for 2010, there are 250,000 Bulgarians residing in the country, and more than 30,000 students.[2]


Mass Bulgarian immigration to the United States began sometime in the second part of the 19th century. Chicago is a good example of a city known through the years for being inhabited by a significant number[quantify] of Bulgarians compared to other cities. There is a book written by the famous and eminent Bulgarian writer Aleko Konstantinov, called To Chicago and Back (Bulgarian:"До Чикаго и назад") which was first published in 1894. According to the 2000 census, the highest number of Bulgarians lived in the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

The United States has one of the highest numbers of Bulgarians of any country in the world. As many as 250,0001 Bulgarians live in the country. From the Eastern European countries, Bulgaria has the second highest number of students who study in the United States, after Russia.


The 2000 United States Census shows that there were 63,000 people of Bulgarian descent in the US. According to the same source, the state with the largest number of Bulgarians is California, followed by Illinois, New York, Florida, Ohio, and Indiana. Texas, more specifically Houston, also has a growing population. According to the 2000 US census the cities with the highest number of Bulgarian Americans are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. 17% of Bulgarian Americans hold a bachelor's degree or higher.[5]

Bulgarian Americans have an annual median household income of $44,578.[6] Following the 2000 US census when Bulgarians were 50-100,000, during the last 10 years their number has grown significantly to over 250,000.[2]


According to the 2000 US Census, 28,565 people indicated that they speak Bulgarian at home in 2000. But in the recent years the number grew significantly to over 250,000 people.[2] Some Bulgarian Americans speak Bulgarian, especially the more recent immigrants, while others might not speak the language at all, or speak Bulgarian mixed with English to a lesser or greater extent.

Some Bulgarian Americans understand Bulgarian even though they might not be able to speak the language. There are cases where older generations of Bulgarians or descendants of Bulgarian immigrants from the early part of the 20th century are fluent in the Bulgarian language as well.

Famous Bulgarian Americans

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See also

References and notes

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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  3. [1] Archived November 25, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. [2] Archived November 10, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. [3]
  6. [4]

^ Estimates of the Agency for Bulgarians Abroad for the numbers of ethnic Bulgarians living for the country in question based on data from the Bulgarian Border Police, the Bulgarian Ministry of Labour and reports from immigrant associations. The numbers include members of the diaspora (2nd and 3rd generation descendants of Bulgarian immigrants), legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, students and other individuals permanently residing in the country in question as of 2004.

Further reading

  • Encyclopedia of Multiculturalism. Ed. Susan Auerbach. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1994. REF E 184 .A1 E58 1994
  • The Bulgarian Americans by Claudia Carlson (Chelsea House, out of print, 1990) ISBN 0-87754-865-X
  • Peter Menikoff: The Story of a Bulgarian Boy in the Great American Melting Pot by Peter Dimitrov Yankoff (Cokesbury Press, out of print)
  • University of Minnesota. Immigration History Research Center.
  • The Immigration History Research Center: A Guide to Collections. Compiled and edited by Suzanna Moody and Joel Wurl; foreword by Rudolph J. Vecoli. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991. xxiii, 446 pp., ill., bibliographies. LC call number: Z1361 .E4U58 1991 LH&G; MRR Alc LC control number: 91016262
  • Nikolay G. Altankov, The Bulgarian-Americans (Palo Alto, Calif.: Ragusan Press, 1979)
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Gale, 2000. 3 vols. by Eleanor Yu, ISBN 0-7876-3986-9, 2000.

External links