Income and living standard in the district of Shumen kept increasing, though staying below national average. Shumen was one of the districts with the highest economic activity of the population but also with the highest unemployment. Investment activity in the district remained relatively low though infrastructural development was relatively good. The average rate of local taxes and fees was close to national average. A considerable part of local administrations retained a relatively poor transparency.
Indicators of the population’s age structure were relatively favorable. The numerous new teachers employed in the district raised the district of Shumen to the second place for the highest number of teachers relative to the number of students. Shumen was one of the districts with the acutest shortage of specialist doctors and the most limited hospital capacity. Judges’ workloads in the district have traditionally been below national average, which has contributed to speedier justice administration. Air pollution and generated waste remain considerably below the average in the country. Local museums and libraries keep attracting numerous visitors.
In 2015 once again GDP per capita in the district of Shumen kept increasing to reach 7,577 BGN/person though it remained below the national average level of 12,339 BGN/person. Salaries and incomes also rose with every year but they were lower, too, compared to the national average. In 2016 once again the share of incomes from pensions was relatively higher whereas those from salaries and other employment remained lower. The rise of GDP, salaries and incomes in the district led to a rise in the local population’s living standard. In 2015 a considerable decline in the share of population living in material deprivation was registered as well as that of the population living below the national poverty line, though both indicators remained below national average.
Shumen kept its place among the districts with the highest economic activity of the population; in 2016 it rose to 74% while the national average rate was 69%. At the same time, employment rose while unemployment dropped. Nevertheless, the employment rate remained below national average while the unemployment rate in the district was the highest in the country: over 17% while the national average rate was under 8% in 2016. Improvement in the labor market was limited by the relatively unfavorable educational structure of the population. In 2016 the number of people aged 25–64 with university degrees decreased to reach 22% (vs. 28% nationally) while the number of people with primary or lower education increased to reach 30% (vs. 18% nationally). The demographic replacement ratio in the district (67%) continued to exceed the average one in the country (63%). That means almost 67 young people were about to replace 100 people leaving the labor market.
Unemployment rate of the population aged 15-64 (annual average) (2016)
Investment activity in Shumen remained relatively low. The number of working enterprises in the district rose slightly from 38 to 39 per 1,000 people, which was still considerably below the national average of 55 per 1,000 people. The cumulative FDI in 2015 also retained a relatively low level: 590 euro/person (vs. 3,250 euro/person in the country). A faster growth was registered in FTA investment and EU fund utilization though both indicators had lower rates than national average ones relative to the population. FTA expenditures in 2015 reached 2,030 BGN/person (vs. 2,973 BGN/person in the country). As of 30th June 2017 sums paid in the district from operational programs rose to 1,111 BGN/person (vs. 1,344 BGN/person nationally). The municipality which absorbed most funds was that of Novi Pazar while that with least funds was that of Hitrino.
Number of non-financial companies per 1,000 people (2015)
Infrastructural development in the district continued to be much better than its average level in the country in 2016. The main reason was the fact that Shumen is the district with the highest share of highways and first class roads – mainly because of the “Hemus” highway – 36% compared with the national average of 19%. That fact as well as the highway’s rehabilitation in 2016 also explain the high share of road surfaces in good condition: 56% in the district vs. 42% in the country. Besides, road network density in the district also remained above national average. Internet usage in the district was close to national average levels.
The average rates of local taxes and fees in the district’s municipalities remained close to the national average in 2017. Local taxes exceeding those levels were that on property transfer and on vehicles though in the case of the latter the difference shrank due to the lowered rate in the Varbitsa municipality. In 2017 there was a single case of raised tax: that on immovable property of legal entities in the municipality of Kaolinovo. The annual license tax on retail trade and that on taxi transport remained considerably below average.
In 2017 self-evaluations of municipal administrations for development of electronic government and offered one-stop shop services in the district were slightly below national average. The AI Foundation’s transparency rating of local government was lower as well: 47% in the district vs. 59% in the country. The lowest rating in the district was that of the Venets municipality (under 40%), while Smyadovo and Hitrino had the highest ratings of over 60%. Cadastral map coverage of the district’s territory did not increase in 2016, though it retained a level higher than the national average: 30% (vs. 23% nationally). Two of the ten municipalities in the district of Shumen, those of Venets and Nikola Kozlevo, still have a cadastral coverage of 0%.
Share of territory included in cadastral map (2016)
Age structure indicators in the district have on the whole been more favorable than national average levels. The district of Shumen has been characterized by above-average natural increase rates in the last 15 years. In 2014 and 2015, however, the rate deteriorated considerably to reach –6.5‰ in 2015 when the national average rate was –6.0‰. In 2016 it rose to –5.6‰, an above-average level. Between 2012 and 2015 migration processes in Shumen were more favorable than national average rates but in 2016 the net migration rate worsened and reached –1.5‰ when the national average rate was –1.3‰. Shumen kept its place among the districts with a relatively low rate of urban population. In 2016 its rate even dropped for the sixth year in a row (while there was an upward tendency in the country) to reach 61.8% (vs.73.3% nationally). Population density in the district also remained considerably below the national average level.
The enrolment rate of children in 5th–8th grade declined in the district in 2016, following the national trend, though it remained above national average. On the other hand, the shares of repeaters and dropouts from primary and secondary education increased in 2015 and 2016; yet they stayed below average in the last monitored year. Employing numerous new teachers in the district in 2016 (almost 200) raised it to the second position after Smolyan in highest number of teachers relative to the number of students in schools. Student performance at the matriculation exams improved in the district but in 2017 it was once again below average. At the exam in BLL students from Shumen got an average grade of 4.10 while the national average grade was 4.22, and the share of fail grades dropped by 1 p.p. to under 9% (vs. 8% nationally). Like the general trend in university enrolment in the country, the number of students in the district declined though Shumen University still accounted for the district’s relatively good performance in the student-to-population rate.
Students in colleges and universities 1000 people (2016)
Though the number of GPs relative to the population in the district was relatively higher, in 2016 there was still a shortage of medical specialists in it. Shumen was one of the districts with the most limited capacity of medical facilities and the number of beds in general hospitals declined for the second year in a row to reach 2.8 per 1,000 people (vs. 5.1 per 1,000 people nationally). That explains the decline in the number of patients in local hospitals in the last two years which reached 135 per 1,000 people (vs. 235 per 1,000 people nationally). In the district there has been a clear downward tendency in infant mortality in recent years; in 2016 its rate reached its lowest level in the last decade and was below the national average for the first time.
Local judges’ workloads at the district court have traditionally been below the national average level, which explains the greater speed of justice administration in the district in 2016. The share of criminal cases completed within 3 months was 94% (vs. 78% nationally) while that of pending cases was below 6% (vs. over 8% nationally). The relative share of registered crimes in the district was also below average and kept going down in 2016 which resulted in a rise in clearance rate to 63% when the national average was 48%.
Share of criminal cases closed in the first 3 months (2016)
Air pollution and generated waste in Shumen remained considerably below average once again in 2015. Carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere relative to the territory were about ten times lower than they were in the country as a whole. Generated household waste dropped to reach 301 kg/person annually while the national average rate was 422 kg/person. On the other hand, the population’s access to sewerage and wastewater treatment plants remained limited. In 2015 the share of population living in areas with public sewerage systems was 59% (vs. 76% nationally) and that of population connected with wastewater treatment plants reached 55% (vs. 62% nationally). Since the end of 2016 the newest wastewater treatment plant in the district has been in operation, so this indicator’s value could be expected to further go up in 2016 data.
Household waste generated per capita of serviced population (2015)
The relative number of visits to cinemas and theaters in Shumen district remained considerably below average. At the same time, local museums and libraries kept attracting visitors: in 2016 museum visits in the district reached 1,097 per 1,000 people (vs. 734 per 1,000 people nationally) while library visits reached 931 per 1,000 people (vs. 605 per 1,000 people nationally).
Number of visits to cinemas per 1,000 people of the average annual population (2016)