At the end of 2018, 5,159,129 people lived in cities, or 73.7% of the population, and 1,840,910 people, or 26.3% – in villages, according to the National Statistical Institute (NSI).
At the end of 2018, there were 257 cities and towns and 4,999 villages in Bulgaria. Abandoned villages were 164, mostly in the provinces of Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo and Kardzhali. Some 1,193, or 22.7%, of the villages, have 1 to 49 inhabitants. Cities with a population of over 100,000 people were six, with 34.4% of the population living in them.
As of the end of 2018 the country is divided into 6 statistical regions, 28 provinces and 265 municipalities.
Half of the country’s population (50.2%) lives in the southwestern and southern central regions, and the northwest region has the smallest population – 742,000, or 10.6%. In all six statistical regions, the population had declined compared to 2017, with the largest decrease being to the northwest – 1.8%, and the lowest in the southwest region – 0.3%.
The Vidin province had the smallest population – 84 865 people, or 1.2% of the country’s population, and Sofia District (capital city) had the largest – 1,328,120 people (19.0%). Six provinces had a population of more than 300,000, with more than a third of the country’s population (35.3%) living in the first three of them – Sofia (capital city), Plovdiv and Varna. Only two provinces – Sofia District (capital city) and Kardzhali – had increased their population compared to 2017 – by 0.2 and 1.2%, respectively. In all other areas, there was a decrease, the largest being in the provinces of Vidin (2.4%) and Montana and Vratsa (1.9%).
The distribution of the population was also uneven. In 73 municipalities with less than 6,000 people there lived only 4.0% of the population, while 41.3% lived in the nine municipalities with a population of over 100,000. The smallest municipality was Treklyano – 758 people.
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