GDP in the district of Yambol remained considerably below the national average level. On the other hand, the variance between incomes and salaries in Yambol and the national average levels increased because of their slower growth in the district. Economic activity in the labor market was relatively high, though unemployment remained above average for the country. Investment stayed low in the district but the local administration has performed well in EU fund utilization. Road surface quality in the district has been considerably higher than the national average.
Population ageing has been more visible in the district than in the country. In 2015, Yambol was the district with the greatest drop in population enrollment in 5th–8th grade, while in 2016 Yambol was for the second year in succession the district with the highest share of poor grades at the matriculation exams in Bulgarian language and literature. Healthcare in the district has suffered from both a lack of doctors and a relatively small number of hospital beds. The small number of crimes entailed low workloads of judges in the district and relatively speedy processing of cases, while clearance crime rate was high.
In 2014, GDP per capita in Yambol increased to reach 7,751 BGN per capita but was still considerably below the national average level of 11,574 BGN per capita. Household incomes declined between 2009 and 2011, and then again in 2014, thus lagging behind the national average. In 2015, again, both the share of incomes from salaries (59% vs. 57% nationally) and that from pensions (30% vs. 27% nationally) in the district were above average national levels, which is almost totally at the expense of the share of incomes from self-employment (2% in the district vs. 7% nationally). Salaries in Yambol went on growing in the last few years, albeit at a slower pace than those in the rest of the country. In 2014, the annual average gross salary of employed people in the district was 7,472 BGN (vs. 9,860 BGN nationally). Poverty in the district is slightly above the national average: 22.8% of the population lives below the national poverty line.
In 2015, economic activity in the district rose to 71.5% (vs. the national average of 69.3%), remaining above national average levels during all the last four years. Employment in the district (62.8%) also rose in 2015, after two successive years of decline, practically reaching the national average level (62.9%). Unemployment, however, continued to remain above average, though it also declined and reached 12.0% (vs. 9.1% nationally) in 2015. In 2015, the educational structure of the workforce in Yambol district was more favorable than in the country, which could explain the high level of economic activity and the good level of employment. 29.0% of the population aged 25 to 64 have higher education (vs. 27.5% nationally) while 14.8% have primary or lower education (vs. 18.1% nationally).
Unemployment rate of the population aged 15-64 (annual average) (2015)
Investment is still below average in the district. In 2014, expenditure on the acquisition of FTA rose to 1,741 BGN per capita (vs. 2,786 BGN per capita nationally). The cumulative foreign investment in non-financial enterprises was over 6 times lower. In 2014, it rose slightly to reach 465.6 euro per capita (vs. 3,006 euro per capita nationally). Local administrations in the district of Yambol continued performing relatively well in EU fund utilization. Contract payments to municipalities in the district as beneficiaries from operational programs as of 31 May 2016 amounted to 909.0 BGN per capita (vs. 688.8 BGN per capita in the country). The municipalities of Yambol and Tundzha absorbed most funds (over 1,000 BGN per capita), while that of Elhovo absorbed least (under 100 BGN per capita).
Number of non-financial companies per 1,000 people (2014)
Road network density in Yambol district was above the national average, while the density of the railroad network has remained almost twice lower after the Yambol–Elhovo line was closed in 2013. The share of motorways and first class roads is above national average, which predetermines the relatively good quality of road surfaces (52%) in the district vs. the national average of 40.7%. In 2015, the share of households with internet access as well as that of people to have used it in the past 12 months declined, and they are below national average levels.
The level of local taxes and fees in the municipalities of Yambol district was comparable to the national average in 2016. The single exception was the annual license tax for retailers as the municipalities maintained relatively lower rates. While in most municipalities in Bulgaria the annual license tax for retailers reached 20 BGN/sq. m, in the Yambol municipality it was 10 BGN/sq. m. The lowest rate in the district was that in Straldzha: 4 BGN/sq. m. In 2016, the only tax burden change among the monitored local taxes and fees in Yambol district was in the waste collection fee for immovable property of legal entities – in the municipality of Tundzha it was lowered by 0.49‰ to reach 8.01‰.
The development of electronic government in the district’s municipalities has been below average for the second successive year. The rating for the offering of one-stop shop services, however, remains above the national average level, thus the Yambol municipality registering the highest rate of development. In the Active Transparency Rating of The AIP Foundation for 2016, however, municipalities in the district performed slightly below average levels for the country: 45.6% vs. 54.2% nationally. Transparency in the municipality of Tundzha got the highest rating (51.4%), while those of Straldzha (36.3%) and Bolyarovo (36.9%) got the lowest.
Share of territory included in cadastral map (2015)
Similar to previous years, in 2015, age dependence ratios for the district were considerably less favorable than national average ones. In 2015, the natural growth rate in the district dropped to –9.5‰, reaching its highest negative value so far, still being considerably above the national average rate of –6.2‰. The demographic picture has deteriorated additionally due to the relatively fast rate of out-migration from the district. In 2015, the rate of net migration dropped to –5.8‰, which was still a two times lower value than those in the first years of the crisis (–10, –12‰). About 70.1% of the population in the district lives in towns vs. 73.1% on average in Bulgaria: a factor, predetermining the relatively low population density.
In 2015, Yambol was the district with the greatest decline in the enrolment in 5th–8th grade. The net enrolment rate dropped from 83.5% in 2014 to 78.4%, almost leveling with the national average of 78.3%. Data from the previous year show that the relative share of dropouts from primary and secondary education (2.6%) also increased considerably, but is still more favorable than the national average level of 2.8%. The share of repeaters remains above national average. In 2016, for a second successive year, Yambol was the district with the highest share of “poor” grades at matriculation exams in Bulgarian language and literature: 16.8% vs. 8.7% nationally. Yambol was also among the districts with the lowest average grade at those exams: “good” 3.87 vs. the national average of “good” 4.17.
Students in colleges and universities 1000 people (2015)
Yambol is among the districts with the highest number of health-insured people. On the other hand, healthcare in the district has been suffering both from doctor shortage and from a relatively small number of beds in general hospitals. In 2015, there were 832 people on average per one specialist doctor (vs. 544 for the country). Yet, the number of general practitioners in the district was comparable to the national average. In 2015, the number of beds in general hospitals was still 3.1 per 1,000, a much lower rate than the national average of 4.6 beds per 1,000 people. The shortage of medical specialists and the number of hospital beds constitute the most likely cause for the relatively small share of hospitalizations in the district’s general hospitals: 157 per 1,000 people in 2015 (vs. 232 per 1,000 people in the country). A likely explanation for this data can be the assumption that a great number of people seek medical care and treatment outside the district.
Criminal judges’ workloads were again relatively low in 2015: 6.2 cases per month per judge in Yambol vs. 8.3 cases on average nationally. That fact was reflected in the speediness of closing cases: 91.0% of cases were closed within 3 months (vs. 88.1% nationally); the share of pending cases was 6.3% (vs. 9.4% nationally). The district of Yambol got relatively high ratings for security, too. For the fifth year in succession the rate of registered crimes in it declined to reach 10.8 per 1,000 people vs. 13.6 per 1,000 people nationally. In 2015, 60.0% of registered crimes against the person and property were solved in the district while the national average rate was much lower (39.2%).
Share of criminal cases closed in the first 3 months (2015)
After Vidin, Yambol continues to be the district with the lowest share of population with access to sewerage systems and connectivity to WWTPs. In 2014, it was still 3.6% or over 15 times lower than the national average. The share of the population living in areas with public sewerage systems (70.4%) in the district was also below the national average of 74.9%. The air in the district is relative clean: in 2014, the levels of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere were 62.7 t/sq. km vs. 314.5 t/sq. km in the country. The amount of generated household waste (313 kg per person annually) was smaller than the national average of 442 kg per person in 2014.
Household waste generated per capita of serviced population (2014)
Traditionally, theatre visits relative to the population have been considerable in the district: in 2015, they were over 53,000 or 427 per 1,000 people (vs. 302 per 1,000 people nationally). Cinema visits in the district declined and the variance with average numbers for the country increased. In 2015, 111 cinema visits per 1,000 people were registered in Yambol district vs. 744 per 1,000 people nationally. Museum visits were also relatively few, although they increased in comparison to 2014. Libraries in the district registered 383 visits per 1,000 people or almost twice lower than the national average.
Number of visits to cinemas per 1,000 people of the average annual population (2015)