+ more 30,000 students
General assessments of Bulgarian diplomatic representations in the US (2010)
|Regions with significant populations|
|California, with smaller communities in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Michigan|
|Bulgarian, American English|
|Predominantly Orthodox Christianity|
(Bulgarian Orthodox Church)
Minority Atheism, other Christian groups, Islam (mainly Pomaks), & Judaism
|Related ethnic groups|
|Bulgarians, Bulgarian Canadians, Bulgarians in South America, Macedonian Americans|
|Part of a series on|
For the 2000 United States Census, 55,489 Americans indicated Bulgarian as their first ancestry, while 92,841 persons declared to have Bulgarian ancestry. 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.
Bulgarian Americans include persons born in Bulgaria, in the United States, and in other countries with ethnic Bulgarian population. Because some Bulgarians are not American citizens, others are dual citizens, and still others' ancestors came to the U.S. several generations ago, some of these people consider themselves to be simply Americans, Bulgarians, Bulgarians living in the United States or American Bulgarians.
After the 2000 U.S. 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.
Mass[dubious ] Bulgarian immigration to the United States began in the mid 19th century. According to Mihaela Robila they tended to settle in Slavic enclaves in the Midwest or Northeast. David Cassens has published a study of 'The Bulgarian Colony of Southwestern Illinois 1900-1920'. To Chicago and Back, (Bulgarian:"До Чикаго и назад") by the eminent Bulgarian author Aleko Konstantinov; first published in 1894 mostly concerns attendance at a trade fair, not emigration per se. 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. Approximately 60% of Bulgarian Americans over the age of 25 hold a bachelor's degree or higher.
Bulgarian Americans have an annual median household income of $76,862. 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.
Bulgarian-born population in the US since 2010:
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. 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.
- Alexander Arabadzhiev – 3rd place winner of the NFTE New England Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge
- John Vincent Atanasoff (1903–1995) – inventor of the first automatic electronic digital computer
- Miroslav Barnyashev – professional wrestler who worked as "Rusev" and currently, "Miro"
- Christo – world-famous artist known for projects such as The Gates and The Wrapped Reichstag
- Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev – writer, art historian, and curator
- Laura Chukanov – Miss USA 2009 competitor
- Bill Danoff – songwriter and singer [Bill does not have Bulgarian heritage, despite the name, according to the man himself.]
- Carl Djerassi (1923–2015) – chemist, developed the first oral contraceptive pill, and nominated as one of the greatest medical discoveries in the last 166 years
- Stephane Groueff (1922–2006) – writer and journalist who wrote the book Manhattan Project: The Untold Story of the Making of the Atomic Bomb
- Assen Jordanoff (1896–1967) – aviation constructor with a global recognition
- Dan Kolov (1892–1940) – early 20th century wrestler
- Ted Kotcheff – film and television director and producer (First Blood, Weekend at Bernie's)
- Leah LaBelle (1986–2018) – singer and finalist on American Idol
- Milcho Leviev – jazz pianist and composer
- Alex Maleev – comic book illustrator and artist best known for the Marvel Comics' series Daredevil (vol. 2), collaborating with writer Brian Michael Bendis
- Angela Nikodinov – figure skater
- Victor Ninov – nuclear physicist
- Peter Petroff (1919–2003) – inventor, engineer, NASA scientist, and adventurer
- Maria Popova – writer, critic, and blogger; named among the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company in 2012
- Svetla Protich – classical pianist
- Vladimir Tenev – billionaire, co-founder of Robinhood, entrepreneur
- Andre Roussimoff (1946–1993) – professional wrestler known as André the Giant
- Dimitar Sasselov – astronomer and professor at Harvard University
- Kyril Vassilev (1908–1987) – portrait painter of royalty and American society during the mid-20th century
- Sam Voinoff (1907–1989) – college golf coach at Purdue University, with 10 Big Ten, and 1 NCAA championships.
- Sophia Popov – professional golfer, of Bulgarian and German ancestry
- Pete George – weightlifter and Olympic and World champion
- Jim George – weightlifter
- Stoyan Chrstowe – author, journalist and noted Vermont political figure
- Chet Hanks – actor and musician, son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
- Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia
- Macedonian Patriotic Organization
- St. John of Rila Church (Chicago)
^ 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.
- Altankov, Nikolay G. The Bulgarian-Americans. Palo Alto, Calif.: Ragusan Press, 1979.
- Auerbach, Susan (ed.). Encyclopedia of Multiculturalism. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1994.
- Carlson, Claudia and David Allen. The Bulgarian Americans. New York: Chelsea House, 1990. ISBN 0-87754-865-X
- Moody, Suzanna, Joel Wurl; Rudolph J Vecoli (eds.). The Immigration History Research Center: A Guide to Collections. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.
- Riggs, Thomas. Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, Vol. 1. 3rd ed. Farmington Hills: Gale, 2000.
- Yankoff, Peter Dimitrov. Peter Menikoff: The Story of a Bulgarian Boy in the Great American Melting Pot. Nashville, Tenn.: Cokesbury Press, 1928.