After several years of hesitant growth in GDP, accompanied by shrinkages, in 2015 Smolyan district registered the second successive year of growth. Salaries also continued to grow but remained considerably below average. Smolyan reached the top three districts in population economic activity. Investment activity in the district remained relatively low. Because of the predominantly mountainous relief of the territory infrastructural development was limited. The main local taxes and fees in the municipalities of Smolyan were close to or lower than the respective national average levels.

In 2016, Smolyan was once again the district with the highest net number of people moving out relative to the population. It was the absolute first in education. The relative number of specialist doctors was lagging behind. Smolyan was the district with the smallest number of registered crimes and the highest clearance rate. Its relatively low urbanization accounts for the low share of population with access to sewerage. Cultural life in the district was not characterized by particular intensity. In 2016 the interest in libraries made an exception.

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