# The Population of Sofia is Almost 2 Million People

Society | May 10, 2024, Friday // 17:00| viewsPhoto: Stella Ivanova

46 of all 257 cities and towns in Bulgaria increased their population last year, and only five of them are regional centers. This shows a comparison of the data of the current demographic statistics of the National Statistical Institute for population by cities and towns as of December 31, 2023 with those of a year earlier, reported BTA.

The regional centers that are increasing their population are Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Kardzhali, Plovdiv and Sofia. In the remaining 211 cities and towns, people decreased by different numbers. There are 11 towns with a population of less than 1,000 people. Thus, in the group of the smallest Bulgarian town, Melnik (165 population), there are also towns like Antonovo (968 population), Boboshevo (955 population), Bolyarovo (991 population), Brusartsi (873 population), Gramada (945 population), Dimovo (917 population), Kiten (809 population), Klisura (829 population), Madjarovo (475 population) and Pliska (775 population).

The data show that the largest increase in residents was registered in the three largest cities in terms of population in the country. The population of the capital, Sofia, increased by 6,550 people and now reaches 1,196,806. After Sofia, the population of Plovdiv "jumped" the most. The inhabitants of the city under the hills increased by 3,661 people and are now 325,485, and in Varna the population grew by 3,514 people and became 314,607. With a four-digit number of inhabitants last year, Nessebar and Sveti Vlas also increased their population, respectively by 2,734 and 1,283 residents.

The population of Pomorie grew by 549 people in 2023. In three other towns - Kardzhali, Rakitovo and Bansko, the inhabitants increased by more than 400. Kardzhali grew by 464 people, Rakitovo - by 405, and Bansko - by 401. In two Bulgarian towns, the population increased by more than 200 people. These are Primorsko - with 233, and Sozopol - with 209 people.

In 5 towns, the number of permanent residents "jumped" by more than 100 people. These are Kiten with 188 people, Byala (Varna region) with 179 people, Veliko Tarnovo (with 165 people), Momchilgrad (with 160 people) and Chernomorets (with 146 people). The population of 23 of the towns in the country increased by a double-digit number of inhabitants. These are Balchik - with 88 inhabitants, Zemen - with 70 inhabitants, Koprivshtitsa - with 62 inhabitants, Aheloy and Obzor - with 51 inhabitants each, Jebel - with 50 inhabitants, Madjarovo - with 43 inhabitants, Ardino - with 39 inhabitants, Zlataritsa - with 37 inhabitants, Boboshevo and Melnik - with 29 inhabitants each, Dimovo, Dolna Banya and Sadovo - with 24 inhabitants each, Kermen - with 23 inhabitants, Sapareva Banya - with 22 inhabitants, Gurkovo - with 19 inhabitants, Glodjevo, Kostandovo, Letnitsa and Ugarchin - with 18 inhabitants each, Elin Pelin - with 11 inhabitants. and Varbitsa with exactly 10 inhabitants.

In only seven of the towns did the population increase by single digits. The residents of Bankya and Vetovo increased by nine people each, in Ahtopol - by eight, in Peshtera - by five, in Dunavtsi - by four, in Nikolaevo - by three, and Pavel Banya by only one person.

The towns that are expected to increase in population in 2023 are located in 19 of the 28 regions, the data show. Unlike previous years, last year there was no area where all towns and cities increased their population.

Half of the 20 towns in the Burgas region had a growing population last year. These are Aheloy, Ahtopol, Kiten, Nessebar, Obzor, Pomorie, Primorsko, Sveti Vlas, Sozopol and Chernomorets.

Next is the Kardzhali region, in which, apart from the regional center, the population has also increased in Ardino, Jebel and Momchilgrad.

In the regions of Pazardzhik, Sofia region and Stara Zagora, there are three towns each with an increasing population. In Pazardzhik these are Kostandovo, Peshtera and Rakitovo, in Sofia region - Dolna Banya, Elin Pelin and Koprivshtitsa, and in the third region - Gurkovo, Nikolaevo and Pavel Banya.

Two of the towns with an increasing population are located in nine regions. These are in Blagoevgrad region - Bansko and Melnik, in Varna - Byala and the regional center Varna, in Veliko Tarnovo - the regional city and Zlataritsa, in Vidin region - Dimovo and Dunavtsi, in Kyustendil - Boboshevo and Sapareva Banya, in Lovech - Letnitsa and Ugarchin, in Plovdiv - the regional center and Sadovo, in Ruse - Vetovo and Glodjevo and in Sofia-city - Bankya and the capital itself.

The remaining towns are located in the regions of Dobrich - Balchik, Pernik - Zemen, Sliven - Kermen, Haskovo - Madjarovo, Shumen - Varbitsa.

Of all regional centers in the country, six decreased by more than 1,000 people last year, according to the data comparison. These are Vidin, Vratsa, Dobrich, Montana, Pleven and Ruse. The population of Dobrich decreased the most - 1,536 people. Pleven lost 1179 people from its population. The inhabitants of Montana are less by 1165. The other two centers in North-West Bulgaria - Vratsa and Vidin - lost 1163 and 1055 people respectively from their population.

In Ruse on the Danube, the population decreased by 1,018.

Of the regional centers with more than 800 people, the population of Yambol decreased - by 886. The population of Haskovo decreased by more than 700 - by 788, Sliven - by 735 and Pernik - by 730. In four regional centers, the population decreased by more than 500 people. Shumen lost 587 inhabitants, Pazardzhik - 568 people, Gabrovo - 554 people, and Lovech - 541 people.

In Kyustendil and Silistra, the population decreased by more than 400 people. The city in Western Bulgaria has become smaller by 475 people, and the one on the Danube - by 457. The decrease in the population in Stara Zagora and Smolyan is by over 300 people each, and in the former the decrease is by 375 inhabitants, and in the latter - by 328.

Razgrad and Targovishte have decreased by around 200 residents, with a drop of 275 and 229, respectively. The last two regional centers with a decrease in population are Blagoevgrad and Burgas, which lost 178 and 128 of their residents, respectively.

The report indicates that at the end of last year, all cities in the ten largest non-regional settlements lost different numbers of their population. Asenovgrad, Kazanlak and Dimitrovgrad are in the top 3 in terms of population among these cities.

Asenovgrad has 45,322 people, Kazanlak - with 41,657, and Dimitrovgrad - with 30,620. The ranking of the largest non-regional cities continues with Dupnitsa (26,527), Petrich (26,018), Gorna Oryahovitsa (25,279), Samokov (24,024), Sandanski (23,649), Velingrad (20,015) and Karlovo (19,016).

At the end of last year, Dimitrovgrad was at the head of the negative ranking for the largest decrease in population among non-regional cities. It has lost 567 people from its inhabitants. Right after it is Gorna Oryahovitsa, which has 485 fewer inhabitants. After them in this ranking comes Dupnitsa, whose inhabitants decreased by 446 people.

Four other non-regional cities decreased by more than 300 people each in the past year, the data show. Karlovo decreased by 357 inhabitants, Karnobat - by 349, Lom - by 338, and Svishtov by 302.

The population of six other towns decreased by more than 200 people. Troyan's population decreased by 273 people, and Mezdra's - by 250. Provadia lost 232 of its inhabitants, Cherven Bryag - 230, and Popovo and Sevlievo - 202 each.

The data show that last year, Byala Cherkva and Straldzha - with 9 inhabitants each, Kuklen, Suhindol and Harmanli - with 8 inhabitants, Dolni Dabnik - with 6 inhabitants, Dobrinishte - with 5 inhabitants, Rila - with 4 inhabitants, Alfatar, Gramada, Malko Tarnovo, Pliska and Sarnitsa - with 3 inhabitants each, Belovo, Devnya and Kaolinovo - with 2 inhabitants each, and with one person each - Bolyarovo and Brusartsi.

At the end of last year, 20 of the Bulgarian cities had more men than women.

The "strong" gender prevails in Alfatar, Batak, Belene, Bobov dol, Boychinovtsi, Zemen, Zlataritsa, Kaolinovo, Kostandovo, Kren, Madjarovo, Melnik, Obzor, Rakitovo, Senovo, Straldja, Sarnitsa, Tvarditsa, Ugarchin and Shivachevo. In the year 2023, there are only two cities in which an equal number of men and women live. These are Beloslav (3334 men and women each) and Pliska (386 men and women each).

As of December 31, 2023, there are 201 settlements in Bulgaria without a single resident, according to the data from the National Statistics.

The most depopulated villages are in the regions of Veliko Tarnovo (67), Gabrovo (67), Kyustendil (10), and Kardzhali (9).

Only between 1 and 49 people live in 1453 villages. And if there is something positive, compared to 2022, the depopulated settlements in the country have decreased by 4.

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