GDP per capita in the district of Targovishte grew by 10% in 2015, overtaking the average growth in the country. Incomes and salaries grew as well, which led to higher living standards in the district. The district’s labor market suffered from the unfavorable educational structure of the population, though economic activity and employment increased in 2016. A considerable increase was registered in FTA investment in 2015. The local administrations’ transparency rating was above the national average.
The relatively low natural increase and the high rate of outmigration continued to worsen the demographic picture in the district. The educational system has serious problems with keeping children in school as well as low matriculation exam grades. Targovishte is one of the districts with the acutest shortage of doctors. The court in Targovishte district has the lowest workloads in the country which positively affects the speed of justice administration. Targovishte is also among the districts with the fewest registered crimes and the highest clearance rate.
After a decline in 2014, GDP per capita in Targovishte was once again on the rise at a rate faster than the national average: almost 10% (vs. 7% nationally). However, its value of 7,821 BGN was still considerably below the national average of 12,339 BGN. Incomes and salaries in the district also rose in 2015 but remained below the average rates. The gross annual salary reached 7,902 BGN while the national average was 10,535 BGN. Income per household member increased to 3,910 BGN (vs. 5,167 in the country). However, in 2016 income per capita dropped to 3,639 BGN because of lower incomes from salaries as well as those from self-employment and property. Targovishte remained one of few districts where salaries formed over half of household incomes: 49% (vs. 56% nationally). Another important part of income came from pensions: 35% (vs. 29% in the country). The rising incomes and salaries led to a rise in living standards in the district. The share of local population living in material deprivation and that living below the national poverty line dropped to levels below the national average ones in 2015.
The labor market in Targovishte is poorly developed, though some positive tendencies can be observed. Economic activity remained relatively low but registered a considerable increase in 2016 to reach 59.1% (vs. 68.7% in the country). That led both to increased employment and increased unemployment due to the failure of some of the economically active people to find jobs. The employment rate rose to 53.6% (vs. 63.4% in the country) while the unemployment rate rose to 9.4% (vs. 7.7% nationally). The population’s educational structure between ages 25 and 64 was worsened considerably which worked as a natural stumbling block on the labor market. In 2016 the share of university graduates increased to 18% (vs. 28% nationally). Targovishte was the second district (after Razgrad) with the greatest number of people with primary and lower education – 36%, or twice the national average rate.
Unemployment rate of the population aged 15-64 (annual average) (2016)
In 2015, the relative number of non-financial enterprises in the district increased to 34 per 1,000 people, though it remained considerably below the national average of 55 per 1,000 people. At the same time, an increase was registered in the district of FTA acquisition expenses by about 580 m BGN which was a record for Targovishte and made it the district with highest investment in FTA relative to the population in 2015. There was an increase in FDI as well. However, it was below the national average: 1,789 euro/person while the national average was 3,250 euro/person as of the end of 2015. EU fund utilization also increased but remained considerably below the national average rate as of 30th June 2017. The greatest sums in the district were received in the municipality of Popovo.
Number of non-financial companies per 1,000 people (2015)
The density of the district’s road network was higher than the national average but in 2015 once again the share of highways and first class roads (15%) was below the national average of 19%. Road surface quality increased, however, and remained above average: 48% of roads in the district were in good condition compared to 42% in the country. In 2016 a rise in Internet access and usage was registered in the district but rates in both indicators were below national average.
Targovishte was one of few districts where municipalities did not change the rates of local taxes and fees in 2017. Thus the average tax load in the district stayed at a relatively low level. Only the vehicle tax was slightly above average. The tax on immovable property of legal entities and that on retail trade were considerably lower. So was the tax on taxi transport. In all municipalities its annual rate was 300 BGN with the single exception of Opaka, where it was 350 BGN while the national average rate was 525 BGN.
Traditionally the transparency rating of municipal administrations in the district was above the national average. In 2017 it reached 65% (vs. 59 nationally), the most transparent municipality in the district being that of Targovishte while the least transparent one was Opaka. Self-evaluations of the administration for the development of electronic government and provided one-stop shop services were close to the national average ones in 2017. In 2016 the municipalities of Targovishte and Antonovo increased their cadastral map coverage considerably whereby the district reached 15% compared with the 6% in 2015. Still, coverage was way below the national average of 23%. Opaka municipality remained the only one with 0% coverage in the district.
Share of territory included in cadastral map (2016)
The low natural increase and high outmigration continue to be a set-back in the district’s demographic picture. In 2016 the natural increase rate continued its slow decline to reach –7.7‰ (vs. –6.0‰ in the country), while the net migration rate dropped to –5.6‰. During the last decade the age dependency ratio as a ratio of the population aged 65+ to that aged 0–14 increased faster than the national average ratio to reach 142% though it stayed below the national average of 147%. Targovishte is one of the relatively poorly urbanized districts. In 2016, 54% of the local population lived in urban areas (vs. 73% in the country) while its density was 1,106 people/sq. km (vs. 1,548 people/sq. km in the country).
The share of population enrolled in 5th–8th grade in the district was identical to that in the country in 2016: 78%. The share of repeaters (0.7%) continued its stable decline for the second year in a row and remained below the national average rate of 1.1%. In 2015 the share of dropouts from primary and secondary education declined as well, though it was still relatively high. Traditionally the average grade of students from the district at the matriculation exam in BLL has been below average. In 2017 it was 4.02 (vs. 4.22 in the country). At the same time those who failed the exam were relatively few: 5.5% vs. 8% nationally. Targovishte is still one of the districts where no higher education institutions are located.
Students in colleges and universities 1000 people (2016)
Targovishte remained one of the districts with the gravest doctor shortage. There were 2,274 people per GP (vs. 1,611 per GP in the country) and 753 people per specialist (vs. 530 per specialist in the country) in 2016. The rest of the healthcare indicators in the district were once again comparable with national average rates in 2016. The share of people with health insurance in it kept increasing to reach 88.5% (vs. 88.1% in the country). Beds in general hospitals also increased in 2016 to reach the national average rate of 5.1 per 1,000 people. Hospitalizations on the other hand dropped for the third year in a row to reach 236 per 1,000 people (vs. 235 nationally).
In 2016 criminal judges at the Targovishte district court once again had the lowest workload in the country which favorably affected the speed of justice administration. A judge saw an average of 3.3 cases a month (vs. an average of 9.4 cases in the country); 95% of cases were closed within 3 months (vs. 89% in the country) and the pending cases were 7% (vs. 8% nationally). Targovishte was one of the districts with the lowest rate of registered crimes and the highest clearance rate in 2016. The registered crimes against the person and property in the district kept their rate of 9 per 1,000 people (vs. 13 per 1,000 people in the country) and their clearance rate rose to reach 68% (vs. 48% in the country).
Share of criminal cases closed in the first 3 months (2016)
There were still relatively few people with access to sewerage and sewerage connection to wastewater treatment plants. In 2015, 56.6% of the district’s population lived in areas with public sewerage (vs. 75.5% in the country) while 45.2% had access to sewerage connected with wastewater treatment plants (vs. 62.3% nationally). Air pollution remained below average in the district, though it kept increasing for the fourth year in a row to reach 129 t/sq. km of harmful carbon dioxide emissions when the national average rate was 324 t/sq. km. New industrial enterprises launched in the district in recent years could be the cause of it. At the same time, the amount of generated household waste declined to 331 kg/person annually (vs. 422 kg/person in the country).
Household waste generated per capita of serviced population (2015)
Library visits in Targovishte were still considerably above the national average rate, reaching 1,122 per 1,000 people in 2016 (vs. 605 per 1,000 people nationally). Visits to local theaters also increased to a level above the national average: 454 per 1,000 people vs. 322 per 1,000 people nationally. Interest in local cinemas and museums remained relatively low in 2016. Cinema visits amounted to 216 per 1,000 people (vs. 778 per 1,000 people nationally) and museum visits were 176 per 1,000 people (vs. 734 per 1,000 people nationally).
Number of visits to cinemas per 1,000 people of the average annual population (2016)