household debts in Bulgaria

Gross debt in Bulgaria

General government debt of Bulgaria refers to the debts of the state, their states and municipalities, and also of public sector institutions such as social security funds.

The government debt in the period from 2000 to 2021 was between 8.7 billion and 29.6 billion USD. The highest level of the last years at 30 billion US Dollar was reached in 2021. The budget deficit in the same year was 3.3 billion USD.

Based on the number of inhabitants, this is a debt of 4,303 USD per person. For comparison, the average debt per person in the same year in the European Union was 35,341 USD.

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Gross debt of the last 21 years in billion USD

This is how much debt Bulgaria can afford

In accordance with the Maastricht Treaty, government debt in Bulgaria is aggregated for the federal, state and local governments as well as state institutions, and therefore includes the debt of all public budgets. As it is gross debt, the government's assets are not deducted. According to the EU convergence criteria, each EU country must meet certain requirements. For the debt budget, these two conditions in particular are decisive:
  • Consolidated gross debt may not exceed 60% of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The budget deficit, i.e. new annual debt, may not exceed 3% of GDP.
Between 2000 and 2021, Bulgaria exceeded the 60% ceiling 2 times. The budget deficit exceeded the 3 percent limit 6 times. If a country repeatedly fails to comply with these limits, infringement proceedings can be initiated on the part of the EU. During the COVID years in particular, aid programs were launched in most countries to offset the consequences of the economic downturn. Around half of all EU countries were therefore unable to comply with these limits.

At the end of 2021, the debt of all EU countries averaged 92 percent.

YearBulgaria total% of GDPper capitaEU per capita
20009.47 bn USD71.51%1,159 USD10,328 USD
20019.33 bn USD65.81%1,165 USD10,404 USD
20028.69 bn USD52.97%1,109 USD11,368 USD
20039.66 bn USD45.67%1,242 USD14,148 USD
20049.81 bn USD37.51%1,271 USD16,162 USD
20058.67 bn USD29.01%1,131 USD16,918 USD
20069.32 bn USD27.12%1,227 USD17,549 USD
200710.75 bn USD24.21%1,425 USD19,574 USD
200810.24 bn USD18.80%1,366 USD22,721 USD
200911.07 bn USD21.29%1,488 USD23,701 USD
201011.20 bn USD22.10%1,515 USD25,145 USD
201112.23 bn USD21.20%1,664 USD28,417 USD
201212.38 bn USD22.79%1,694 USD27,784 USD
201313.17 bn USD23.61%1,813 USD30,021 USD
201419.24 bn USD33.71%2,664 USD30,832 USD
201516.03 bn USD31.56%2,233 USD26,170 USD
201619.32 bn USD35.80%2,710 USD26,655 USD
201718.76 bn USD31.70%2,652 USD27,535 USD
201819.13 bn USD28.83%2,723 USD29,172 USD
201918.50 bn USD26.84%2,652 USD27,927 USD
202022.97 bn USD32.71%3,313 USD32,227 USD
202129.60 bn USD35.21%4,303 USD35,341 USD

Comparison of gross debt per capita with the European Union in U.S. dollars

      Bulgaria       European Union

Budget deficit in Bulgaria

household debts in BulgariaThe budget deficit of a country is the result of all its claims and liabilities. This includes incomes and expenses, repayments and building of new debts in other countries, but also domestic positions of the government, such as social insurance, local authorities and communities. It is the financial balance of the economic accounts. In simple terms: If a country at the end of the year has more money than at at the beginning, it is a surplus. If it is less, it is called a deficit.

The budget balance in Bulgaria in the period between 1998 and 2022 varied between -3.27 billion euros and +1.48 billion euros. In 2022, Bulgaria reached a balance of -3 billion euros.

In ratio to population, this equals a new indebtedness of 364 euros per capita in Bulgaria in 2022. For comparison, the average debt per capita in the European Union in the same year was 1,254 euros.

Budget deficit and surplus in the last 24 years

YearBulgaria total% of GDPper capitaEU per capita
1998-1.56 bn USD-10.40%-189 USD-398 USD
19990.02 bn USD0.16%3 USD-204 USD
2000-0.07 bn USD-0.53%-9 USD112 USD
20010.15 bn USD1.05%19 USD-299 USD
2002-0.19 bn USD-1.17%-24 USD-565 USD
2003-0.08 bn USD-0.39%-11 USD-840 USD
20040.47 bn USD1.80%61 USD-920 USD
20050.30 bn USD1.01%39 USD-822 USD
20060.62 bn USD1.81%82 USD-568 USD
20070.49 bn USD1.10%65 USD-360 USD
20080.87 bn USD1.59%116 USD-1,085 USD
2009-2.32 bn USD-4.45%-311 USD-2,021 USD
2010-1.86 bn USD-3.67%-251 USD-1,970 USD
2011-1.01 bn USD-1.75%-137 USD-1,463 USD
2012-0.44 bn USD-0.81%-60 USD-1,220 USD
2013-0.41 bn USD-0.73%-56 USD-1,027 USD
2014-3.08 bn USD-5.39%-426 USD-851 USD
2015-0.94 bn USD-1.86%-132 USD-574 USD
20160.17 bn USD0.32%24 USD-421 USD
20170.96 bn USD1.63%136 USD-263 USD
20181.15 bn USD1.73%163 USD-134 USD
20191.48 bn USD2.14%212 USD-191 USD
2020-2.68 bn USD-3.81%-386 USD-2,317 USD
2021-3.27 bn USD-3.90%-476 USD-1,852 USD
2022-2.50 bn USD-364 USD-1,254 USD

(negative numbers = deficit)
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