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Although the Bulgarian population reached 1 million by 1300, the black death in the 15th century caused a major set-back and the arrival of the Ottoman Turks slowed the population growth. It began to grow substantially only during the 18th century. It stood at 3 million when it was augmented by the territory of Eastern Rumelia in 1885 and had reached a total of 7.4 million by 2008. The largest city and capital is Sofia with a population of more than 1.5 million. Other important cities include Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas.
The breakdown of the population by ethnic group in 2008 was 84% Bulgarian, 9.4% Turkish, and 4.7% Roma (Gypsy). Macedonians, Armenians, Jews, Russians, and other groups also inhabit Bulgaria in smaller numbers. A majority of the population is Christian. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church comprises 83% of the population, Muslims comprise 12%, and Roman Catholics comprise 1.7%. There are also Armenian Orthodox, Protestants, and Jews in the country. 
- CultureGrams 2008 World Edition, Republic of Bulgaria, (N.p.: Omnigraphics, 2007).