The subject of the ‘Regional Profiles: Indicators of Development’ study is a comparative analysis of districts in Bulgaria. The comprehensive analysis covers the country’s entire territory and is based on information about the last sixteen years, for which there is available data on the indicators included in the study. Information for the analysis underlying the regional profiles comes from official statistics as well as data obtained in accordance with the Law for Access to Public Information (LAPI) by 30 June 2018. Any data published after this date has not been included in the analysis.
Information for compiling the ‘Regional Profiles: Indicators of Development’ study and its regular updates has been provided from two primary sources: official statistics and data obtained in accordance with the Law for Access to Public Information (LAPI).
The main source of official statistics is the national statistical system, more precisely, the National Statistical Institute (NSI). Additional data has been provided by the information systems of the National Social Security Institute (NSSI), the National Centre for Public Health and Analyses (NCPHA), The Ministry of Education and Science (MES), The National Revenue Agency (NRA), and others.
The methodology is based on the following main principles:
Depending on the static analysis of indicators in each category, district performance has been assessed by means of a five-point scale: from ‘poor’ (the lowest degree) to ‘very good’ (the highest degree). Analysis is based on the last year’s available data (2017). Data for 2016 is used for some indicators where no data for 2015 is available.
The methodological approaches in regional comparisons can be summarised in the following three basic types, depending on the use of:
A combination of the three approaches has been adopted in this methodology; it allows, on the one hand, overcoming to a great extent the flaws of one-dimensional and complex metrics, and, on the other hand, taking advantage of the benefits of multidimensional methods.
All indicators are standardized by calculating the so called regional index.
For each group in the assessment system of indicators for the regional profiles, the so called complex indicator is calculated; it has the following characteristics:
The final stage of the combined approach presents the summary result for all indicator groups and all districts in the form of visual clusters with the help of neural networks. In the present edition cluster formation is based on the primary indicator values.
The selection of indicators is based on their relevance to various aspects of the economic or social profile of the district as well as their interrelatedness and dynamics. A key argument for the choice of indicators is the availability, accessibility, and regularity of published information on the indicators or that of the primary data needed for their calculation. Two main sections result from this: Economic Development and Social Development. Each of the two includes 6 categories characterising the various aspects of the social and economic condition and the development of the districts.
For more information on the indicators choose one of the eight categories:
Each category contains a set of indicators that give a realistic picture of the state and development dynamics of districts in Bulgaria. The total number of indicators used in the methodology of the study is 63.
This year’s study includes 7 new indicators in comparison with last year. The new indicators in the field of economic development are as follows:
The new indicators in the field of social development are as follows:
As a result of the continuing efforts to improve the study’s methodology and the consequent results, some additional changes were made in the indicators used in previous editions:
As a consequence of the structural change in the districts’ socioeconomic profiles, several other changes were made in the indicators used till 2014. The complex indicator concerning the number of registered crimes against the person and the property has already been separated into two individual indicators: crimes against the person and crimes against the property. The data source for the level of development of local government e-services and one-stop services has been changed. In the previous years’ studies, data received under the APIA from municipalities was the source of information. In the 2015 edition, municipalities’ self-assessment reports submitted to the Information System for Completing Reports on the State of the Administration have been used instead.
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