The high investment activity in the district affected both the labor market and incomes and living conditions in 2016. Employment in Burgas continued to go up and was above the national average for the first time in ten years. The share of highways and first class roads is way above national average figures. The municipal administration has performed well in electronic services and one-stop shop services. The rates of local taxes and fees in Burgas municipalities have stayed relatively high, though.
The demographic picture in the district is still relatively good, though the ageing of the population has followed the general tendency in the country. The state and the results of the educational system in Burgas are relatively unfavorable. The shortage of doctors, the relatively small share of health-insured people, and the insufficient capacity of hospitals explain the small number of hospitalizations relative to the population. The district’s relatively poor performance in security has continued. A rising interest in cinemas and theaters has been noticeable in the last few years.
The high investment activity in the district was reflected both in the labor market and in incomes and living conditions. In 2015, GDP per capita rose twice faster than the country’s average to reach 10,310 BGN vs. 12,339 BGN nationally. Salaries also increased, though at a slower rate and the district took the 6th place in the country in labor remuneration with an average annual salary of 9,102 BGN. The population’s incomes rose in 2016 to reach 4,592 BGN/person vs. 5,167 BGN/person nationally. With the increase of incomes in the district the share of people living in material deprivation dropped in 2015. The relative share of the people living below the national poverty line also dropped to 19.5% – also below the national average of 22.9%.
The employment rate in the district of Burgas went on growing in 2016 and was above the national figure for the first time in 10 years at 63.6% vs. 63.4% nationally. Economic activity also increased, despite the reversal of the upward trend in the country as a whole in 2016. Yet, unemployment in the district of Burgas was still relatively high. In 2016 it dropped to 9.0% vs. 7.7% nationally. Despite the relatively good employment and unemployment figures, the district suffered from the unfavorable educational structure of the population aged 25–64. In 2016, university graduates were 23.1% vs. 27.7% nationally, while people with primary and lower education were 27.8% vs. 17.7% nationally. For the last ten years the tendency has been towards improvement of both indicators. The ratio of demographic replacement as a ratio between the population aged 15–19 to that aged 60–64 was more favorable than the national average; it even exceeded that in the capital, which indicates relatively good prospects for workforce reproduction.
Unemployment rate of the population aged 15-64 (annual average) (2016)
Burgas is still one of the districts where investment activity is highest. The district comes second after the capital in number of non-financial enterprises relative to the population and the third district in terms of attracted foreign investment. FDI grew abruptly in 2015 by 767 m euro (mainly due to some renovation and enlargement in the Lukoil Neftochim refinery in Burgas, which added a new plant) to reach 4,124 euro/person by the end of 2015 vs. 3,250/person nationally. Though FTA acquisition expenditure in the district dropped in 2015, they retained a relative high level: 3,587 BGN/person vs. 2,973 BGN/person nationally. The district is still among the best achievers in utilization of EU funds as well. As of 30th June 2017, the sums paid to beneficiaries from operational programs in it reached almost 900 m BGN or 1,434 BGN/person vs. 1,344 BGN/person nationally. The best performing municipalities in this respect were those of Sozopol (over 5,000 BGN/person) and Pomorie (over 3,000 BGN/person).
Number of non-financial companies per 1,000 people (2015)
Road and railroad network density in the district is lower than the national average. At the same time, the share of highways and first class roads is considerably higher (25.9% vs. the national average of 18.6%) mainly due to the Trakiya highway. The road surface quality is similar to national average indicators: 42.0% of surfaces are in good condition vs. 41.5% nationally. The share of people with Internet access as well as that of persons who used the Internet in 2016 was lower than national average figures.
Local tax and fee rates in the district’s municipalities are relatively high. The average rates in Burgas place the district third – after the capital and the district of Varna – regarding tax burden from the main local taxes and fees. The only lower taxes are the ones on immovable property and the waste collection fee. Burgas is the district with the highest tax for vehicles of 74 to 110 kW of power: 1.54 BGN/kW while the national average is 1.35 BGN/kW. Within the district is situated Sozopol – the municipality with the highest tax rate for taxi transportation of passengers – 1,000 BGN – almost twice the national average of 525 BGN.
The ranking of the administration for availability of electronic services and one-stop shop services went up in 2017, being above the national average figures. The transparency rating of local administrations, however, has been on the decline for the second successive year: it was below the national average for the first time. As far as cadastral coverage is concerned, the city municipality of Burgas was the single one to enlarge its cadastral map coverage in 2016. The municipality of Nesebar is still among the few Bulgarian municipalities with full cadastral coverage of their territory, whereas the municipalities of Aitos and Ruen still have 0% cadastral coverage.
Share of territory included in cadastral map (2016)
The demographic picture in the district is still relatively good. The population is ageing but the age dependency ratio figures are still considerably below the national average ones. The ratio between the population aged 65+ and that under 14 is lower only in the district of Sliven. The natural growth rate went further down in 2016 but remains one of the lowest in the country at –3.6‰ vs. –6.0‰ nationwide. What is more, the district of Burgas still attracts new population and the net migration rate is positive. The district is relatively highly urbanized: 76.2% of the population lives in cities (vs. 73.3% for the country as a whole), and the density was 2,260 people/sq. km in 2016 (vs. the national average of 1,548 people/sq. km).
The state of the education system in the district and its results are relatively unfavorable. The number of students enrolled in 5th–8th grade dropped to 77.7% in 2016, while it was 78.2% nationally. The share of repeaters and dropouts increased while the share of fail grades at the matriculation exams in BLL remained above the national average: almost 10% vs. the national average of 8% in 2017. The average grade at the matriculation exams in 2017 was also lower compared with the performance of the other districts: 4.10 vs. the national average of 4.22. Burgas is still one of the districts where the number of teachers in primary and secondary education is lowest compared to the number of students, though in 2016 new teachers were employed in the district. For yet another successive year the number of university students in the district has been going down, following the general tendency of shrinkage in admissions in the country.
Students in colleges and universities 1000 people (2016)
In 2016, as before, the number of doctors relative to the population was considerably lower in the district than the national average. One GP in the district was responsible for 1,902 people, the national ratio being 1 GP for 1,611 people. One specialist doctor in the district was responsible for 622 people (vs. 530 on average in the country). At the same, time the number of health-insured people in the district of Burgas went on being considerably below average (84.3% vs. 88.1% nationally). The shortage of doctors, the relatively low rate of health-insured people, and the relatively small hospital capacity explain the small number of hospitalizations relative to the population. The number of beds in general hospitals was 3.1 per 1,000 people (vs. 5.1 per 1,000 people for the country as a whole), whereas the number of hospitalizations reached 178 per 1,000 people vs. 235 people per 1,000 in the country in 2016.
The district of Burgas has continued to perform poorly in security. In 2016, Burgas was again the district with the highest relative number of registered crimes against the person and property: 18.8 per 1,000 people vs. 12.6 per 1,000 people nationally. Burgas was also among the districts with the lowest crime clearance rate (lower only in the capital): only 38% of the crimes registered during the year were cleared (vs. 48% nationally). The share of crime cases at the district court cleared within 3 months rose to 94% in 2016 (compared with 89% nationally) while the share of pending cases rose too to go above the national average.
Share of criminal cases closed in the first 3 months (2016)
The high urbanization in the district determines the relatively high share of people living in areas with access to sewerage systems, as well as the high connectivity with wastewater treatment plants. At the same time, in 2015 Burgas remained among the districts with the largest quantity of generated household waste: 519 kg/person (vs. 422 kg/person nationally), something typical for regions with a considerable number of tourist arrivals. The air in the district is relatively pure, the carbon dioxide emissions being almost four times lower than national average levels.
Household waste generated per capita of serviced population (2016)
In recent years, a growing interest in theaters and cinemas has been noticeable in the district, the rates of visits relative to the population being comparable with national average figures. In 2016, visits to the cinema in the district of Burgas amounted to 800 per 1,000 people (vs. 778 per thousand people nationally). Visits to the theatre were 312 per 1,000 people (vs. 322 per 1,000 people nationally). Museum visits in the district also increased, while staying below national average figures. In 2016, they reached 505 per 1,000 people (vs. 734 per 1,000 people nationally). The data on library visits in the district make an exception in terms of the general growth of other indicators. In 2016, they dropped to 117 per 1,000 people in the district (vs. 605 per 1,000 people in the country). In 2009 the difference between the number of visits in Burgas district and in the country was twofold, whereas in 2016 it became five-fold.
Number of visits to cinemas per 1,000 people of the average annual population (2016)