Brain Food: Us and them - Bulgaria

In the Soviet bloc, Bulgaria's steel, chemicals, electronics, IT and armaments industries were developed impressively from 1946. After 1990, these artificially boosted industries proved ill-suited to the post-Soviet world. In '96, economic downturn led to the fall of the socialist government, and industrial recovery has been slow, while botched reforms harmed the strong agricultural sector. Now committed to economic reform, Bulgaria aims for EU accession.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

COST OF LIVING

At 7.5 million, Bulgaria's population is the fourth slowest growing in the world, having declined drastically over the past 14 years. Unemployment was about 14.3% last year, and inflation and corruption are problematic. Bulgarians come second internationally in terms of average IQ, and ministers are quick to cite the country's specific international educational achievements, despite a decline in the overall quality of education over the past 25 years.

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