24 % of the Apartments in Sofia are Uninhabited
Despite the continuous internal migration to the big cities, the number of uninhabited dwellings is large. The so-called dark windows in Sofia are 24% of the dwellings. In Sofia area, they reach 48%. The percentage is also significant in Varna - 30 per cent, and in Plovdiv - 26 per cent. This is shown by a Eurostat report on the demographic map of the European Union published last week.
Community statistics are close to the findings of a World Bank report commissioned by the Bulgarian regional ministry and published in early November last year. As the Sega newspaper wrote then, nearly 1.2 million homes in Bulgaria are uninhabited. This is approximately 1/3 of the total number of homes in Bulgaria. In the large cities, an average of a quarter of the dwellings are uninhabited, but in rural areas the percentage is far higher - an average of 43%.
The families who are almost under the poverty line or half of all people, 80% of the children under 18 and 595 of those between 16 and 29 live in a home which is considered overcrowded. 82% of the people who are renting their apartment also live with too many people. Over 3/4 of apartments in the country are in buildings which are over 30 years old and are not in good condition. The reasons for this unfortunate turnout are several factors: lack of care of the common spaces, oweners living abroad and not paying taxes and unreasonable expectations that the state has to take care of such problems. The problems are getting increasingly serious despite the popular rehabilitation propgramme for "free" funded with billions of leva by the state.
The trend towards urban migration continues to deepen, Eurostat data show. By 2016, the cities population in Bulgaria has risen to 75% of the total population. In the last 65 years the small villages in our country have been significantly vacated, losing 6 million people at the expense of the cities. By the middle of the last century, the urban population in Bulgaria was 20%. Only in four decades the citizens of the cities were already 67% of the Bulgarians in the country. Today, more than 5 million people live in the city at the expense of 1.8 million people in the villages.
This migration is extremely uneven. Only Sofia and Varna are the cities whose population has steadily grown in recent years. The growth in the capital is 30%, and in the seaside - about 10%. At the other pole are Vratsa and Vidin. In the most depopulated cities the decrease of the population is minus 23% per cent for Vratsa and minus 22% for Vidin.
More than 30% of the population in the cities in Bulgaria and 39% of the population in the villages are at risk of poverty, Eurostat data show. Romania is slightly better than us - the risk of poverty in the city is 24%, while for another neighbor - Greece, this indicator is over 33%. In 2016, one in four city residents (around 24%) in Europe was at risk of poverty. People in countries such as Austria, Belgium and Denmark are threatened with material deprivation in the city, while in poorer countries like ours and Romania the population is at risk of poverty in the countryside. Material deprivation is measured by the impossibility of paying a rent, a mortgage, the impossibility of vacation or the possession of items such as a TV set, a telephone, a washing machine, and a car, etc.
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