The Gross Domestic Product of Bulgaria 1870 – 1945

Author: Martin Ivanov

To the On-line publication and tables

  1. Bulgarian GDP, Book
  2. GDP at Current Prices
  3. GDP at 1911 Prices
  4. GDP at 1939 Prices
  5. GDP Overview 1870-2016

This publication is a first attempt for estimating Bulgarian GDP taking a longue durée approach and covering the period between 1870 and 2016. It allows both cross-time and cross-country comparisons of Bulgarian economic and social development during the last nearly 130 years.

My book The Gross Domestic Product of Bulgaria 1870 – 1945, published electronically here, came out in 2012 with the kind support of the National Research Fund. It is here, however, for a first time with the kind cooperation of Bulgarian National Statistical Institute that I am able to present not only the bi-lingual text (in Bulgarian and English) but also the row data in excel format.

In the past few years since 2012 I was able to make several small yet important corrections and amendments to the published results. They are presented at the attached excel files.

Firstly, in my book on Bulgarian GDP for 1870 I have used a population of 2,586 million drawing from the standard reference study by McEverdy and Jones (1978). With the time, however, I became more and more skeptical about the accuracy of that figure. On the one hand, it does not take into account the population decrease due to the Bulgarian atrocities from 1876, the Russian-Turkish War in 1877-1878 and the mass flight of the Turks to the Ottoman Empire which followed suite. On the other, the lower population resulted in dubiously high per capita GDP of Bulgaria in comparison to the neighbouring Greece, Romania, Serbia or the Ottoman Empire which all had very similar economic structure. For this reason here I prefer the more recent estimate by Sterionov (2012) who gives a figure of 3.3 million for 1870.

Secondly, in the 2012 book for the period 1880 – 1945 I have used not-adapted official population figures within the current territory of Bulgaria. In the later Statistical Yearbooks, however, I was able to find official estimates of the population adapted to the present day country borders. The latter are used in the attached excel tables.

And thirdly, thanks to the Maddison Project at the Groningen University I was able to extend the GDP time series until the present day (2016).

Martin Ivanov

Helsinki, March, 21st 2018