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Smolyan - City and District Information - Invest Bulgaria
  Smolyan - City and District Information
Smolyan - City and District Information - Invest Bulgaria

Smolyan Basic Data

City Population: 32,865
District Population: 140,067
Area size: 3,193 square km.
Places of interest: Smolyan, Devin, Dospat, Pamporovo, Chepelare, Shiroka Laka

Smolyan General Information
The Smolyan municipality is situated in the central part of the Rhodope Mountains upon a territory of 879 sq. m, 67% of which are covered with age-old coniferous forests. The district is bordered by Plovdiv, Kardjali, Pazardjik and Blagoevgrad regions; and with Greece to the south. The Town of Smolyan (altitude above sea level between 800 and 1000 m) occupies the larger part of the valley extension of the Cherna River, known as the Smolyan Hollow. The town is surrounded with green meadows and age-old forests. The three large districts - Smolyan, Raikovo and Oystovo - are situated along the two river banks in the west-east direction. The mountain town combines modern construction with traditional Rhodope architecture.

The municipality is 90 km away from Plovdiv. It borders the Republic of Greece to the south, the municipalities of Roudozem, Madan and Banite to the east, the Laki and Chepelare municipalities to the north and Devin to the west. The territory of the Smolyan municipality is with a mountain relief, with an abundance of coniferous forests and pastures. The average altitude above sea level is about 1 000 m.
The region is with relatively low density of only 41 people per square km, far below the country average of 70 people per square km. Smolyan registers a decrease of -1.5% in its population per year. The main reason behind this is the deteriorated age structure. The common tendency for the country is that the portion of people 65 years old or more is growing up, while the portion of children 15 years old or less is going down – a proof of the fact that the nation is getting old. This is one of the regions with lowest % of Roma population, it accounts for only 0.6% of the total population of the district.
The Rhodope relief is a combination of high ridges, divided by deep river valleys. The deep valley of the Vacha River divides the West Rhodopes in two parts: Batak-Dabrak and Perelik-Prespa. The Smolyan Hollow, in which the town of Smolyan is situated, is in the Perelik-Prespa part. It has a trough shape with a length 9 km and a width 5 km. The relief of the bottom is terraced, with amphitheatrically ordered slopes one above another, and ends with inaccessible Rhiolithic steep slopes, which lend the region an unusual beauty. Their prismatic weathering has lead to the formation of curious rock shapes.

Pamporovo is located in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains. It is one of the most popular south-eastern European mountain ski resorts.

Smolyan Economy
Almost 25% of the Gross Value Added of the region comes from the agricultural sector. Only Ѕ of the agricultural land is cultivated. The district is definitely not economically developed. The timber industry and woodwork were being developed over the recent years. The economy in the region is shrinking. A lot of the industries have been showing negative growth over the last couple of years: food and beverage industry, textile, electronics. 99% of the companies are small or middle size companies with less than 100 employees.

The forest resources are one of the advantages of the region. Smolyan is situated in the mountains and this gives it premises for development of different activities: tourism, wood-growing, fishing and hunting, herbs-growing, growing of rare mountain plants. The ratio of plant-growing to stock-breeding for the district is 4:1. Potato-growing is the main branch of the agriculture.

From the most important industries for the region are: machine building, tailoring industry, construction industry, cable production, dairy industry. One of the leaders of the mineral water industry, Devin, is from the region. Most of the mineral water is exported to Europe, North America and Asia.

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GDP 2011 € 38.60 B
GDP 2012 Q1 € 8.06 B
Inflation 1.7%
Unemployment 12.9%
GDP growth 2011 1.7%
GDP growth Q112 0.9%
FDI 2011 1,341.2 B
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