With high emigration figures and a negative birth rate, Bulgaria is a country with a demographic imbalance.
Pensioners make up over 30% of the population in a country where for every working person there are two on social support. Consequently, the elderly often live in poverty and during the long Bulgarian winters are faced with a stark choice between food, heating and medicine.
Did you know?
One in three Bulgarians is retired and lives on an average of 140 BGN (£47) per month.
Bulgaria is the only EU member state that has not seen an increase in life expectancy since 1990, whereas the retirement age has been gradually rising.
Lower birth rates mean fewer relatives to help in case of chronic illness or infirmity.