Papers of BAS. Humanities and Social Sciences

Vol. 8, 2021, No. 2

Current trends in the demographic development

of municipalities in Bulgaria

Nikolay Tsekov

Abstract. For more than three decades depopulation and ageing have been the main trends in the demographic development of Bulgaria at both national and regional levels. In the regional aspect, however, the emergence and deepening of the processes of depopulation and demographic ageing in many settlements and entire municipalities have been observed since the 1930s, as is the case with rural depopulation in North-western Bulgaria. Along with the analysis of the current demographic development of Bulgarian municipalities, it is clearly emphasized that depopulation and ageing are not temporary crisis phenomena in the country’s demographic development, but are key indicators of a long and irreversible transition. Its main result is the replacement of the relatively populous generations of the post-war baby-boom era with constantly shrinking and ageing populations. The subject of the study is the tracking of the spatial connections and dependencies between the indicators for the demographic structures and processes. The balance formed on their basis between natural and mechanical growth is one of the main indicators of the current demographic change. The task is to reveal key patterns between the studied factor and result characteristics, which outline the picture of the deepening demographic and socio-economic inequalities in the development of the 265 municipalities in the country during the first two decades of this century.

Keywords: demographic change, Webb classification, depopulation, over-aged population, cores of spatial depopulation


Papers of BAS Humanities and Social Sciences
Vol. 4, 2017, No 2

Rural depopulation and the changing scope

of the rural settlement network in Bulgaria in 1946-2011

Nickolay Tsekov

Abstract. Over the last seven decades, the accelerated depopulation of rural areas in Bulgaria has had a strongly negative impact on the scope and condition of the rural settlement network. The partial and total depopulation of more than 90 % of the villages in the country is extremely detrimental to the development of rural areas in Bulgaria. This article addresses the link between depopulation and the collapse of the rural settle- ment network. In tracking the dynamics in the number of rural settlements, divided into six categories, a number of regularities have been revealed, which determine the link between the decrease of the number of rural inhabitants in settlements and by settlement categories, and the reduction of the number of rural settlements in Bulgaria during the period 1946-2011.

Keywords: “authentic” rural dеpopulation, “authentic” rural settlement network, settlement categories, distribution of settlements by size, shrinkage of the rural settle- ment network