Bulgaria’s 2021 census: Initial results show large drop in population

Announcing preliminary results of the September 2021 census, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said on January 6 that it estimated Bulgaria’s population to be 6 520 314.

NSI Demographic and Social Statistics Directorate head Magdalena Kostova said that the decrease in population between the 2011 and 2021 censuses was the largest so far among recent counts.

“The country has decreased by 844 000 people,” Kostova said.

“Most of this decrease, 53 per cent, is due to negative demographic trends, higher mortality than the birth rate and the negative natural increase, as well as people who left the country and did not return,” she said.

The 2011 census showed the population of Bulgaria to be 7 364 570, according to the NSI.

In 2021, before the census was held, the NSI estimated that as of December 31 2020, the population of Bulgaria was 6 916 548.

According to the preliminary results of the 2021 census, the population of Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia was close to 1.5 million, while among the 28 districts, Vidin’s population was the smallest, about 74 000 people.

The share of people aged 65 and more has increased by 5.4 percentage points compared with 2011 and by 9.6 percentage points compared with 1992.

NSI head Sergei Tsvetarski said that 2021 had been “interesting and difficult”.

“We first had to postpone the census because of the first wave of coronavirus, then there were several elections, coronavirus again, political tensions in the country were high, and a negative attitude among people towards institutions, which also affected our work,” he said.

Tsvetarski said that there had been malicious attacks on the census website “which were quickly overcome, but still affected the attitude of people about participating in the census online”.

He said that final census data would probably be available at the end of 2022.

(Photo: Abdulhamid AlFadhly/freeimages.com)

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