The new edition of the study “Regional Profiles: Development Indicators” 2023 is now ready and at the end of November 2023 it will be officially presented and published, writes “Focus”.
The study includes 73 indicators distributed in 12 categories for the economic and social development of the regions. IPI pulls back the curtain in its weekly newsletter.
The 28 Bulgarian regions initially have huge differences in their characteristic base indicators. The capital is the most numerous with a population of nearly 1.3 million people, which is double that of the second district (Plovdiv with 634 thousand people) and 17 times more than the last one (Vidin with 75 thousand people).
The last regions in the ranking by population – Vidin, Smolyan, Gabrovo, Silistra and Targovishte – already have less than 100 thousand people and are smaller than some municipalities in the country, which raises the question of administrative-territorial reform not only of municipal , but also at the regional level.
The differences in the area of the districts are also significant. The largest district – Burgas is about five times larger than the smallest – the capital and Gabrovo. Sofia and Blagoevgrad are also among the most extensive areas.
Gabrovo region excels in almost all main indicators. Apart from being among the smallest in terms of area and population, it is the second with the most populated places (after Kardzhali) and at the same time it is the third district with the highest share of urban population (after the capital and Varna).
An explanation for this can be found in the fact that Gabrovo is the leader among the regions with absolutely depopulated settlements (61 out of a total of 167 in the country). For comparison, Kardzhali is the district with the largest number of settlements (468 out of a total of 5,257 in the country) and the lowest share of the population in cities (41.8% against an average of 73.6% in the country).
Razgrad is among the regions with the smallest number of settlements (103) and the lowest urban population (47.8%).
These basic indicators for the regions predetermine a number of aspects of their economic and social development, such as the possibilities for the transformation of the economy and investments, income and poverty, access to education and health care, cultural and tourist potential, the specifics of the infrastructure, ensuring order and security, the quality of the environment.
All these categories are also part of the new edition of “Regional Profiles: Development Indicators” 2023, and until its presentation, everyone can test their knowledge and observations in the Regional Quiz: who is the best among the regions.
Follow the latest news with BLITZ and on Telegram. Join the channel here