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New year also brings new census

In the new 2021, the 18th census of the population and housing stock in Bulgaria will take place. However, the Covid-19 crisis thwarted this activity, planned to be conducted between January 22 and February 15. Last month, parliament postponed the census and allowed the Council of Ministers to change the dates. However, the delay cannot be more than 9 months long as according to EU rules, the census must be conducted within the current year.

The largest statistical survey and one of the main sources for collecting data on the characteristics of the population and housing in the country is important because it provides complete information on the number and structure of the population by sex, age, education, economic activity, profession, and other demographic, socio-economic and ethno-cultural features. The information is needed by a wide range of specialists inside and outside the country's government, who draw strategies and take governance and management decisions.

The history of censuses in this country started in the Principality of Bulgaria after the adoption of a special law for this on December 13, 1880. The Unification of 1885 gave a good reason for the second census, which dates back to December 31, 1887. At the end of the XIX century, the International Statistical Institute approved a set of rules for conducting a census and presenting the results and that became the basis of the Law on Census of Population, Buildings and Livestock in the Principality of Bulgaria adopted in 1897. The fourth census, conducted on December 31, 1900 and the censuses in the first half of the twentieth century were carried out according to this law.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, two censuses have been conducted. They also changed the tradition of doing this activity in the last month of the year. Instead, the 2001 census results refer to March 1 and the 2011 census - to February 1. History shows that in all censuses up through 1985, the country's population had a positive average annual growth. It was highest in the period 1921-1926 - 105,295 people, followed by the period 1927-1934, when the population rose by 74,900 people. The lowest positive growth was registered in the period 1976-1985, when the population increased annually by 22,088 people. For the first time a decline in the population was registered in the period 1986-1992 - a total of 461,332 people. However, the trend continued in the next two periods: 1993-2001 and 2001-2011, with an average annual decline of 69,802 and 56,433 people, respectively.

If we need to summarize the data, in the period 1986 to 2011 the population of Bulgaria decreased by 1,584,079 people. While the decline in the period between 1986 and 1992 was due to emigration, in the next two periods natural negative growth of the population took over, the NSI experts said.

In 2021 we would find out what statistics show these days.

Compiled by: Krassimir Martinov

English: Alexander Markov

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