The income level in the district of Smolyan is relatively high due to the high employment rate of the population. In 2015, unemployment dropped for the second successive year, but, due to the high economic activity of the population, it has remained above the national average level. Investment activity has yet to reach its pre-crisis levels, whereas EU fund utilization is lagging behind the levels of most districts. There are no first class roads or motorways in the district but road surface quality is good. Local taxes and fees are relatively low and the development of administrative services is similar to that in the rest of the country.
Smolyan has been the district with the least favorable net migration rate of the population in the last four years. School education has achieved a good coverage and the performance of local students at the state matriculation in Bulgarian language and literature has been among the best in Bulgaria. Despite a certain shortage of doctors, healthcare has maintained a relatively good level. The district is characterized by low crime rates, high clearance crime rates, and relatively speedy justice administration. The environment is well preserved, air pollution with carbon dioxide being among the lowest in the country. Cultural development is lagging behind considerably, though some positive tendencies have been noticeable in recent years.
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