Fact Check: There Are NOT 15 Million Bulgarians Living In Russia

проверка на факти

  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: There Are NOT 15 Million Bulgarians Living In Russia Made Up Digit

Do 15 million Bulgarians currently live within Russia's borders? No, that's not true: According to Russian census data for the period 1926-2010, the number of Bulgarians living in Russia never officially exceeded 32,800. All-Russian Population Census 2020-2021 shows that the number of Bulgarians in Russia has decreased to 11,851. Official Bulgarian statistics show a total population of 6.4 million living inside their country, with about 2.8 million Bulgarian citizens living outside the country.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) by @dobrinkamoskova6 on March 10, 2024, with the caption (translated from Bulgarian to English by Lead Stories staff):

15 million Bulgarians live in Russia.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-03-18 at 8.34.41.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Mar 18 06:41:05 2024 UTC)

According to a Russian publication (archived here) from September 9, 2021, census data for the period 1926-2010 showed that the highest number of Bulgarians registered was 32,800 in the late 1980s. According to the same source, approximately 32,000 Bulgarians were counted in 2002. By 2010, this number had decreased to 24,000.

The 2010 Russian census data (archived here) shows that Russia's population was 142.9 million at the time. According to the same official source for the 2002 census, Bulgarians made up 0.02 percent of the total population or 31,965 people, not 10 percent of the Russian population as the TikTok post claimed.

Official All-Russian Population Census 2020-2021 data show a downward trend in Bulgarians living in Russia. The information can be seen here (archived here) in a document named "Таблица 1. Национальный состав населения" (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) or "Table 1. National composition of the population." This census was originally planned for 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was conducted in October 2021, as seen here (archived here). The official Russian 2021 census data show that Bulgarians numbered 11,851. The information is also confirmed by a publication in the Russian media on January 11, 2023 (archived here), which revealed a decline in the Bulgarian population in the country, down from 24,000 in the previous census seen here (archived here), conducted in 2010.

Bulgaria's demographic statistics, seen here (archived here) at the end of 2022, show that the country's population is only 6,447,710. A media publication (archived here) on the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) website dated January 30, 2023, shows that, according to a report by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, around 2.8 million Bulgarian citizens live abroad.

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