GDP per capita in Ruse district has been falling, and so the district is increasingly lagging behind the national average. Both employment and unemployment figures remain more favorable than the average ones in the country. Production value per capita in the district has shrunk slightly, but it remains relatively high. Ruse is the district with the highest railway network density in the country. The average level of the tax rates levied by the municipalities in Ruse district is close to the national average. The local authorities’ self-assessment on the provision of one-stop-shop administrative services achieved high scores.
The age dependency ratios in the district have improved slightly but remain above the country’s average. Student performance in the district is close to the average one in the country. The healthcare system continues to suffer from a shortage of doctors. The workloads of the local criminal judges are among the heaviest in the country but this does not have a negative effect on the speed of delivery of justice. The share of household waste handed over for treatment and recycling remains extremely low. Ruse is among the districts whose cultural life shows high intensity.
GDP per capita in Ruse district has been falling, and the district is increasingly lagging behind the national average. While two decades ago GDP in the district was lower than the country’s average by about 12–13%, in 2020 it reached 12,600 BGN, compared to 17,300 BGN in the country – a difference of 27%. For the fifth year in a row, household incomes in the district have been falling below the national average. The income per household member was 7,500 BGN in 2021, compared to 7,700 BGN in the country. The average annual gross salary of employed people reached 13,600 BGN in 2020, versus 16,700 BGN nationally. At the same time, poverty levels in the district exceed the national average. The share of the population living with material deprivation was 23.2% in 2021, versus 19.4% nationally, and the share of those living below the national poverty line was 24.0%, compared to 22.1% in the country.
Economic activity in the district is growing and continues to be higher than the national average, reaching 74.9% in 2021, compared to 72.0% in the country. Both employment and unemployment figures remain more favorable than average. The employment rate is 71.4%, against 68.1% in the country, and the unemployment rate is 4.6%, compared to 5.3% nationwide. Ruse is also among the districts with the most highly educated workforce. The share of university graduates among the population aged 25–64 is the second highest in the country (after the capital), even though in 2021 it shrank slightly to 30.9%. The share of people with primary or lower education is only 11.6%, versus 16.6% in the country. The local labor market continues to face the challenge of population ageing. In 2021, the replacement ratio of the population aged 15–19 to that aged 60–64 was 63.9%, compared to 69.4% in the country. This means that for every 100 people who are about to leave the labor market in the next few years, there will be 64 young people joining the workforce.
Unemployment rate of the population aged 15-64 (annual average) (2021)
In 2020, investment activity in Ruse district came close to the national average. The number of enterprises reached 54 per 1,000 persons, compared to 60 per 1,000 persons in the country. For the third consecutive year, FTA acquisition expenditures went up and reached 2,100 BGN/person, against 3,300 BGN/person nationally. Accumulated FDI flows increased to 2,100 EUR/person, versus the national average of 3,900 EUR/person. Production value in the district shrank slightly but remained relatively high – 24,600 BGN/person. Utilization of European funds in Ruse has registered a significant increase though it is still lagging behind the average level in the country. By 30 June 2022, payments made in the district to beneficiaries under EU operational programs amounted to 2,281 BGN/person. Within the district, the leader in utilization of EU funding is Byala municipality.
Number of non-financial companies per 1,000 people (2020)
Ruse is the district with the highest railway network density in the country. The density of the road network and the share of highways and first-class roads are also higher than average. Road quality has improved drastically and 41% of road surfaces were in good condition in 2021, against 42% nationwide. The percentage of households in the district with internet access has also increased considerably. It is traditionally higher than the national average – 87.9% compared to 83.5% in the country. The installed RES capacities are small – 0.04 kW/person. The share of households connected to a gas supply is also below the national average – 4.6%, compared to 5.3% countrywide.
In 2022, the average level of the tax rates in Ruse district was close to the country’s average. Among all monitored taxes, the only one where there was a significant margin with the national average was the tax on non-gratuitous acquisition of property, which in Ruse district’s municipalities was lower. For their part, the local taxes on motor vehicles and retail trade were higher, but they did not differ much from the average levels. Within the district, the municipality of Ruse city levies the highest local taxes, while the lowest rates are in the municipalities of Tsenovo, Slivo Pole, and Vetovo.
After three years without any major progress, cadastral map coverage in Ruse district rose sharply from 43% to 97.1% in 2021 and came very close to the national average of 97.4%. In 2022, the local authorities’ self-assessment on the development of e-government went slightly up but did not yet reach the national average. However, the self-assessment on the provision of one-stop-shop administrative services again achieved high scores. The AIP active transparency ratings of local government bodies fell slightly but again exceeded the country’s average.
Share of territory included in cadastral map (2021)
Natural population growth in Ruse district has continued to decline and in 2021 it fell to –17.6‰, against the national average of –13.2‰. However, Ruse is one of the few districts that manage to attract new residents, although its net migration rate is low – 0.3‰. The age dependency ratios in the district have improved slightly, but remain higher than the national average. The ratio of people aged 65+ to those aged 0–14 years has reached 184.5%, compared to 149.3% in the country on average, and to those aged 15–64 years – 37.5%, versus 34.0% nationwide. Ruse is among the districts with a high level of urbanization – in 2021 76.9% of the population was living in urban settlements, compared to 73.1% nationally, while the population density was 1,618 persons/sq. km, compared to 1,489 persons/sq. km in the country.
The enrolment ratio in 5thto 8th grade again remains below the national average, and has even decreased to 83.8%, versus the national average of 85.9% for 2021. At the same time, the share of repeaters has risen slightly, though it still remains lower than nationally – 0.41% in the district, versus 0.94% nationally. The number of teachers in primary and secondary schools in Ruse is equal to the national average – 97 per 1,000 students. Students’ results for 2022 again remained close to the average ones in the country. The average score in the external examination in mathematics after 7th grade dropped to 35.9 points, compared to 35.3 points nationally. The average grade in the State matriculation exam in Bulgarian language and literature was “Good” 3.88, whereas the national average was 3.97. “Fail” grades (below 3.00) made up 17.2%, against the national average of 17.0%. The number of university students has shrunk to 27 per 1,000 persons, compared to 32 per 1,000 persons nationally.
Students in colleges and universities 1000 people (2021)
In 2021, the healthcare system in Ruse district continued to suffer from a shortage of doctors. One local GP was caring for an average of 2,248 persons from the population, compared to 1,734 people per doctor in the country. The number of specialist physicians was close to the national average. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of beds in the local general hospitals, and in 2021, for the first time in at least ten years, bed availability exceeded the country’s average – 5.70 beds per 1,000 persons, compared to 5.62 per 1,000 persons in the country. The number of patients treated in the local general hospitals was higher than the national average – 245.9 per 1,000 persons, compared to 222.6 per 1,000 persons in the country. The infant mortality rate in the district is close to the national average. The share of people with health insurance is 88.2%, whichis slightly lower than the national average of 88.7%.
Although the workloads of the criminal judges in Ruse district were again relatively heavy in 2021, this did not have a negative impact on the speed of delivery of justice. One local judge heard an average of 10.5 cases a month, compared to 9.0 cases per one judge countrywide. The proportion of criminal cases closed within 3 months was 92%, compared to the average of 89% nationwide, and that of pending cases – 8.3%, versus 11.8% nationally. The crime rate in Ruse district is relatively low, and the detection rate is close to the average one in the country. In 2021, the registered crimes against the person and property in the district constituted 8.8 per 1,000 persons, versus the average of 9.8 per 1,000 persons nationwide. The detection rate, for its part, dropped to 52.5%, against 51.7% for the country on average.
Share of criminal cases closed in the first 3 months (2021)
The amounts of household waste generated in the district are close to, though above the national average – 423 kg/person in the district per year, versus 409 kg/person in the country. At the same time, the share handed over for treatment and recycling remained extremely low at 33.9%, compared to the national average of 6.3% for 2020. The share of the population with access to public sewerage systems remains relatively low – 68.0%, versus 76.3% in the country on average. Nevertheless, in 2020 the whole sewerage network was already connected to wastewater treatment plants, compared to the national average of 66.7%. Forest areas in Ruse district are relatively limited – 14.6%, versus 33.1% countrywide. Degraded land, however, is high – 0.54 %, against 0.42% in the country for 2021.
Household waste generated per capita of serviced population (2020)
In 2021, Ruse was once again among the districts with the most active cultural life. After the sharp decline of 2020, its intensity in the district grew in 2021, although none of the values of the monitored indicators managed to return to their pre-pandemic level. Cinema visits reached 395 per 1,000 persons, against 351 per 1,000 persons nationally. Visits to the local theatres and museums numbered 178 per 1,000 persons, against 129 per 1,000 persons in the country, and 348 per 1,000 persons, against 426 per 1,000 persons nationwide respectively. Local libraries attracted 220 visits per 1,000 persons, against 449 per 1,000 persons nationally.
Number of visits to cinemas per 1,000 people of the average annual population (2021)