Stara Zagora

Stara Zagora is the district with the highest GDP per capita and the highest annual average gross salary in Bulgaria after the capital. Employment levels have been going up at a relatively slow pace, therefore 2015 was the first of fifteen years when unemployment rates were above the national average level. The probable cause for the difficult recovery of employment rates is the relatively unfavorable educational structure of the workforce. The district has been the fourth most attractive one for foreign investment, while EU fund utilization has been following the general trends for the country. Infrastructure and administrative services are well developed, and the level of most local taxes and fees has been favorable.

Demographically, the district of Stara Zagora does not differ from the general picture in Bulgaria. The educational system is well developed but the district’s average grade at matriculation exams in Bulgarian language and literature has gradually declined as has the national average level. The number of beds in general hospitals shrank in 2015, though the district had a relatively high number of general practitioners and medical specialists. Although judges’ workloads have been on the increase, the number of pending criminal cases has been relatively small. The environment is rated “poor” because of the serious air pollution, while the development of cultural life has followed general trends in the country.

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