The Balkan Peninsula is the European region known for its persistent negative population growth. Beside the largest number of deaths versus births, migration is one of the reasons for decreasing number of residents of the Balkans.
Some of the main demographic indicators related to population quantity are natural increase rate and population change. Natural increase rate is the difference between the number of births and deaths per 1,000 residents. Population change is the difference between the population number in two periods, divided by the earlier one. Population change is represented in percentages. Bulgarian Border Region comprises 23 regions of Bulgaria (11), Macedonia (3), Serbia (7) and Turkey (2).
Unlike many European countries with low or negative natural increase, Bulgarian border regions and its residents did not become rich and evolve to the small family culture. Rather than that, those regions are usually struck by the high unemployment rates and poverty. The unfavorable economic conditions directly influenced population growth.
Population change for the period from 2002 to 2012 shows only 5 regions gained population in 11 years - two Macedonian, two Turkish and the region of the capital of Bulgaria. The biggest population change is the one in the region of Pcinja (-33.14%), meaning that the region lost roughly one third of the population during the decade. Sofia-town region increased its population by 9,29%.
When it comes to natural increase rate, only 4 Bulgarian border regions have the positive rate - Northeastern and Southeastern Macedonia and two regions of Turkey - Edirne and Kirklareli. Not one Bulgarian nor Serbian region gained population in terms of birthrate versus mortality rate.
Average age of the population indicates the ratio of the youth and the elderly. The oldest population regions are corresponding the one with the lowest natural increase rate - Vidin, Zajecar, Kyustendil and Pernik.
High mortality rate, as well as low birthrate of most of the Bulgarian and Serbian regions in the Bulgarian Border Region, are making them the population loss regions. Beside the 'natural' causes of population decrease, the migration is also the reason to blame for dying Balkan regions. Check stats and related story here. Read about the Barents vs Balkan population change on Jefferson Institute blog.