Bulgaria Had 164 Empty Villages in End-2014Society | April 19, 2015, Sunday // 10:44| views
There were 164 Bulgarian villages with no residents as of December 31, 2014, national statistics show.
Most of the depopulated places are located in the country's north, with the regions of Veliko Tarnovo (the old capital of Bulgaria) and Gabrovo in the north-central area containing, respectively, 57 and 61 now derelict villages. Northern Bulgaria is considered to have benefited less than the south from the years of democratization.
However, the area around Kardzhali, a Southern Bulgarian town with a predominant population of ethnic Turks, comes third with 11 empty villages, according to the National Statistical Institute.
Throughout the country there are as many as 1135 village whose population is below 50 people. This constitutes 21.6 percent of the total, which includes 257 towns and cities and 5009 villages.
There are seven cities housing about 1/3 of Bulgarians. These include Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora and Pleven.
Southwestern Bulgaria has the largest share of the country's population (29%) compared to other regions, while the northwest, considered the poorest region within the EU, has the smallest one with just 11.1 percent of the total.
Data released earlier this week showed that Bulgarian citizens numbered 7 202 198 people in 2014, a figure suggesting a 0.6 percent drop in that year alone. This is more than the negative 0.5 average rate for the past decade.
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