As of December 31 2017, the population of Bulgaria was 7 050 034, a drop of close to 52 000 compared with 2016, according to figures released on April 12 by the National Statistical Institute (NSI).
Figures released separately by EU statistics agency Eurostat showed that the population of Bulgaria decreased by about 416 000 between 2007 and 2017.
The December 31 2017 figure for the Bulgarian population represented about 1.4 per cent of the total population of the EU, according to the NSI.
Of the Bulgarian population at the end of 2017, women made up 51.5 per cent.
The working-age population was 4 248 000, just more than 60 per cent of the total population, but down by 56 000 compared to the working-age population in 2016.
The population over working age added up to 1 736 000, about 24.6 per cent of the total, while those under working age added up to 1 066 000, about 15 per cent of Bulgaria’s population.
There were 63 955 live born children in Bulgaria in 2017. The number of live births decreased by 1029 compared to 2016.
Close to two-thirds of births were outside of marriage.
The share of extramarital births in rural areas (65.7 per cent) was higher than in urban areas (56.7 per cent).
“For 77.9 per cent of the extramarital births data on the fathers exists, i.e. most probably the children are grown up in families, by parents cohabiting without marriage,” the NSI said.
The highest share of extramarital births was in the districts of Vidin (78.3 per cent) and Vratsa (73.3 per cent).
The share of extramarital births in all country regions is higher than 50 per cent except in the districts of Razgrad (48.6 per cent), Blagoevgrad (44.2 per cent) and Kurdzhali (35.7 per cent).
The number of deaths in in Bulgaria in 2017 was 109 791 and the crude mortality rate was 15.5‰. Compared to 2016, the number of deaths in Bulgaria increased by 2211.
The process of population ageing was continuing, the NSI said.
By the end of 2017, the number of people aged 65 and over was 1 481 908, or 21 per cent of the country population. Compared to 2016, this was 0.3 percentage points higher, and compared with 2001, it was 4.1 percentage points higher.
Life expectancy for Bulgaria , calculated for the period 2015 – 2017, was 74.8 years.
Compared with the previous period (2014 – 2016), this was an increase of 0.1 years.
The life expectancy of the male population was 71.3 years, and of women, 7.1 years higher or 78.4 years. The life expectancy of the urban population (75.6 years) was higher than that of the rural one (72.8 years).
There were 28 593 juridical marriages registered in 2017, or 1790 more than in 2016 The marriage rate was four ‰. Three quarters of the total marriages number (21 536) were registered among the urban population.
The number of divorces in Bulgaria in 2017 is 10 411, or 192 fewer than in 2016. Eighty-one per cent of divorces was among the urban population.
The highest number of divorces was by “mutual agreement” (63.4 per cent), followed by divorces due to “incompatibility of temperament” (26.6 per cent) and “virtual parting” (8.3 per cent). The divorce was not the first one for 9.8 per cent of women and 10.7 per cent of men who divorced in 2017.
The average duration of a marriage in Bulgaria before a divorce in 2017 was 15.8 years, the NSI said.
(Photos, of abandoned houses in a deserted village in Bulgaria’s Eastern Rhodopes region: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)