From www.Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia
Bulgarian Americans are citizens of the United States with significant Bulgarian heritage. For the 2000 US 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. Some Bulgarian Americans might be born in Bulgaria, the United States or other countries with ethnic Bulgarian population. Because some Bulgarians are not American citizens, others are dual citizens, and still others’ ancestors have come to the US several generations ago, some of these people consider themselves to be simply Americans, Bulgarians, Bulgarians living in the United States or American Bulgarians.
Mass Bulgarian immigration to the United States began sometime in the second part of the 19th century. Chicago is a good example of a city known through the years for being inhabited by a significant number[quantify] Bulgarians compared to other cities. There was a book written by a Bulgarian writer Aleko Konstantinov called To Chicago and Back (Bulgarian:“До Чикаго и назад“) from that period. However, according to the US census for 2000 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 than 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.
There might be as many as 250,000 Bulgarians in the United States at the present time, according to 2004 estimates of the Agency for Bulgarians Abroad. The United States Census of 2000 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, and Ohio. According to the US census for 2000 the cities with the highest numbers of Bulgarian Americans are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. 17% of Bulgarian Americans hold a bachelor’s degree or higher . Bulgarian Americans have an annual median household income of $44,578 . 28% of Bulgarian Americans are married with children under the age of 18 .
An estimated 10,000 Bulgarian Americans continue to live in Michigan today. In contrast, only about three to four thousand Bulgarians reside in the New York metropolitan area. Other cities hosting large numbers of Bulgarian Americans include Gary, Fort Wayne, and Indianapolis, Indiana; Lorain, Toledo, Cleveland, Youngstown, and Akron, Ohio; and Los Angeles, California.
According to the 22nd US Census, 28,565 people indicated that they speak Bulgarian at home in 2000. 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.
List of Bulgarian Americans
- Asen Yordanov – aviation constructor with a global recognition.
- Andre Roussimoff – professional wrestlers, known as Andre The Giant.
- Carl Djerassi – chemist, developed the first oral contraceptive pill (OCP) that was nominated as one of the greatest medical discoveries in the last 166 years.(1)
- Christo – world famous artist, known for projects such as The Gates, The Wrapped Reichstag, etc.
- Dan Koloff – wrestler from the first part of the 20th century.
- John Atanasoff – the inventor of the first automatic electronic digital computer.
- Laura Chukanov – Miss USA 2009 competitor
- Leah LaBelle – singer, finalist in American Idol.
- Peter Petroff – inventor, engineer, NASA scientist, and adventurer.
- Stephane Groueff – writer, journalist, wrote the Manhattan Project.
- Victor Ninov – nuclear physicist
- Ted Kotcheff – Canadian film and television director.
- Kyril Vassilev (1908-1987) – a portrait painter of royalty and American society during the mid-20th century.
- Milcho Leviev – Jazz pianist and composer
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