Bulgarian Americans are Americans who's ethnic or nationalistic descent comes from Bulgaria, a Slavic country in Southeastern Europe.
The earliest Bulgarians immigrated to the east coast of the United States throughout most of the late 1800s (1880s - 1890s), after Bulgaria was liberated from Ottoman occupation by the Russian Empire during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 - 1878. Almost all of these immigrants were drawn from the country's wealthy elite, as the majority of the population were impoverished peasants who had been harshly oppressed and disenfranchised under Ottoman rule and thus lacked the financial and logistical means to leave the country. In the years after their immigration to the United States, many of the Bulgarians who originally settled in the east coast cities of New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia eventually spread across Middle America and into major cities such as Detroit and Chicago.
Bulgarian immigration to the United States was drastically slowed down during and after the Balkan Wars, the First World War, the Interwar period and the Second World War. After the Second World War ended in Europe circa May 1945, immigration of Bulgarians to the United States was basically non-existent, other than a very small minority of intellectuals and members of the old monarchy who were able to flee the communist regime for the United States.
During the period that communism ruled Bulgaria from 1945 - 1990, there was little to no Bulgarian immigration to the United States because of the travel restrictions imposed on citizens by the communist regime. The only Bulgarians who entered the United States as sociopolitical refugees and immigrants during this time period were defectors to the West, who often had to make very dangerous journeys through Greece and Turkey in order to eventually get into the United States.
After the fall of communism in Bulgaria circa 1990, many Bulgarians have immigrated out of the country, mostly for European Union countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Most Bulgarian immigrants who are currently residing in the United States, either as permanent immigrants or naturalized citizens, have moved between the years of 2000 - 2010 and beyond.
Immigration from Bulgaria to other European Union countries, along with Canada and the United States, has created a phenomenon of the "brain drain" in the country. Many skilled workers and intellectuals within the country, such as skilled laborers, tradesmen, civil servants, doctors, scientists and university students have left the country in order to take their skills and experience elsewhere; most leave with the expressed intention of never returning.
Social, political and economic corruption in Bulgaria, along with rising rates of unemployment and the phenomenon of the Bulgarian Mafia, which have all widely proliferated since the fall of the communist regime in 1990, is an additional factor for Bulgarians to leave the country, especially if they're within family units. Additional factors such as the widespread hatred and resentment directed towards Pomaks, ethnic Bulgarian converts to Islam, Turks and Romani gypsies have caused many members of Bulgaria's ethnic and racial minorities to permanently leave the country.
Many of the Bulgarians who immigrate to the United States are very eager to assimilate into mainstream American society and culture, in stark contrast to non-European immigrants nowadays. With this in mind, however, most Bulgarians and 1st generation Bulgarian Americans within the United States often reside in Bulgarian communities within major American cities before leaving for suburbia or rural areas to begin the societal and cultural assimilation process. Thus, most Bulgarians who immigrate to the United States are very keen on maintaining Bulgarian customs, norms, cultural traditions and the languages such as Bulgarian, Turkish and Romani that they most commonly used back home. Bulgarians are also known to own and operate their own small businesses within their ethnic and national communities such as convenience stores and restaurants.
The vast majority of the estimated 250,000 Bulgarian immigrants in the United States reside across San Andreas, along with Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Florida and New York. These immigrants primarily live inside of self-created Bulgarian immigrant communities throughout the major cities within.
Bulgarian immigrants who are of ethnic Pomak, Turkish or Romani gypsy heritage have reported in recent Bulgarian immigrant community surveys that they are frequently made the targets of repeated harassment, discrimination, prejudice and racism at the hands of ethnic Bulgarians. There is also additional self-reporting and evidence which shows that Pomaks, Turks and Romani gypsies have been the targeted victims of violent crime. These documented cases of violent crime have primarily happened from 2010 onward, and the worst cases consist of Bulgarian Turks and Bulgarian Romani being horiffically beaten to the point of hospitalization, their mosques being severely vandalized and some of their small businesses have been burglarized and even lit on fire as a part of arson attacks perpetrated by individuals suspected of being ethnic Bulgarians. As a result, it is not uncommon for Pomaks, Bulgarian Turks and Bulgarian Romani, for their own personal safety and security, to leave Bulgarian communities in favor of mingling with Islamic, Turkish, Indian and Pakistani immigrant communities across the country. Other Pomaks, Turks and Romani gypsies have found themselves in situations where they did not leave on their free will, but were instead moved out via violent force from ethnic Bulgarians.
Organizations which assist Bulgarians in immigrating to the United States exist across the country, but mainly in New York City, Detroit, Chicago, San Fierro and Los Santos. These organizations have an integral and powerful presence within communities formed of Bulgarian immigrants across the country, and are often seen as the voice of the Bulgarian diaspora in the United States.
Bulgarian Americans in San Andreas primarily reside in the major cities of San Fierro and Los Santos, though a considerable minority over the years have moved to Las Venturas and rural counties.
In terms of distribution, most Bulgarian immigrants and their 1st generation American descendants throughout San Andreas live in Los Santos.
Westside Los Santos, a district of Los Santos which comprises Mulholland, Vinewood, Temple, Santa Maria and Rodeo, contains the highest amount of Bulgarian immigrants and Bulgarian Americans per capita throughout all of Southern San Andreas.
In Northern San Andreas, Bulgarian immigrants and Bulgarian Americans are most commonly found in the north-central regions of San Fierro, especially the Downtown core, where there are several dozen Bulgarian-owned small businesses.
Due to the cultural similarities between Bulgarians and other Eastern European ethnicities and nationalities across San Andreas, Bulgarians will often inter-mix with other immigrant groups, namely the Macedonians. It is not uncommon nowadays for American family units to be formed from Bulgarians and Macedonians, along with Bulgarians and Russians. In Westside Los Santos, this inter ethnic mixing is especially common among Bulgarians and Macedonians, Bulgarians and Serbs along with Bulgarians and Russians.
Along with cultural similarities between Bulgarians, Macedonians, Serbs and Russians, the Bulgarians across San Andreas are also known for intermingling with the Greek and Armenian immigrant communities. This is most commonly seen among Bulgarian citizens with distant or close Greek and Armenian heritage.
Bulgarian citizen immigrants who are of Pomak, Turkish or Romani gypsy heritage often voluntarily leave Bulgarian communities in favor of joining Islamic, Turkish, Indian or Pakistani communities. Some of these minority groups do not even settle within Bulgarian communities to begin with, or they're forced out by the ethnic Bulgarians, sometimes by violent force, who do not typically want them in their communities.
A considerable minority of Bulgarians who live in San Andreas are college and university students who are temporarily studying abroad in the United States. The vast majority of Bulgarian immigrants in San Andreas, however, are skilled workers or professionals such as skilled laborers, tradesmen, civil servants, athletes, scientists and academic professors.