Serious Demographic Meltdown Registered in Bulgaria
The current demographic situation in Bulgaria is characterized by the continuing decrease of the population and its ageing, according to the National Statistics Institute, NSI.
The negative trends are attributed to the decrease of the birth rate, high level of mortality, and emigration exodus.
The dynamics of demographic processes and changes in the population's structure during the last decades strongly influence basic systems of society: economy, education, healthcare and social protection.
NSI mentions as positive trends in 2012, the lower infant and premature mortality and increased life expectancy at birth.
As of December 31 2012, the population of Bulgaria was 7 282 041 persons or 1.5% of the EU population, thus ranking the country at the 16th place immediately after Austria (8 443 thousand persons) and before Denmark (5 581 thousand persons).
Compared to 2011, the country's population decreased by 45 183 persons, or by 0.6%.
The male population was 3 543 606 (48.7%) and female - 3 738 435 (51.3%) or to 1 000 males correspond 1 055 females. Males prevail among those 52 years-of-age or younger. The number and share of females increases in the elderly group.
Every fifth Bulgarian is older than 65.
At the end of 2012, the persons aged 65 and over were 1 395 078 or 19.2% of the country population. Bulgaria is among the top 5 EU Member States by the share of the elderly, behind Germany, Italy, Greece and Portugal. This share is the lowest in Ireland (11.9%).
Compared to 2011, the share of the population aged 65 and over increased by 0.4%, and compared to 2005 - by 2.0%.
The aging of population is more intensive among females than among males. The share of females aged 65 and over is 22.2%, compared to 16.0% - males. The difference is due to the higher mortality among males and as a consequence – lower life expectancy.
The share of persons aged 65 and over is the highest in regions of Vidin (26.4%), Gabrovo (25.1%) and Lovech (24.3%). In 15 regions, people aged 65 and over represent more than 20% of the population. The share of the elderly population is the lowest in Sofia City – 16.1%, Blagoevgrad (16.6%), Varna and Burgas (16.8% and 16.7%, respectively).
69 121 babies were born in 2013, with 1 725 fewer compared to 2011. 109 281 have passed away in 2013, which is by 1 023 more than in 2011.
Children up to 15 years-of-age represent less than 14% of the population. There is a small increase of 0.2% in this age group and their number in 2012 was nearly 990 000.
The average life span has increased to 43 years, compared to 40 in 2001.
One third of the population is concentrated in 7 cities – Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora and Pleven.
73% of Bulgarians live in cities and towns; the population of the villages fell below 2 million for the first time in 2012.
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