Location of Smolyan Province in Bulgaria
|• Governor||Nedyalko Slavov|
|• Total||3,192.8 km2 (1,232.7 sq mi)|
|• Density||38/km2 (99/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
Smolyan Province (Bulgarian: Област Смолян, Oblast Smolyan; former name Smolyan okrug) is a province in Southern-central Bulgaria, located in the Rhodope Mountains, neighbouring Greece to the south. It is named after its administrative and industrial centre—the city of Smolyan. The province embraces a territory of 3,192.8 km². that is divided into 10 municipalities with a total population of 124,795 inhabitants, as of December 2009.
Smolyan Province (Област, Oblast) contains 10 municipalities (singular: община, obshtina; plural: Общини, obshtini). The following table shows the names of each municipality in English and Cyrillic, the main town or village (towns are shown in bold), and the population of each as of December 2009.
The Smolyan province had a population of 140,066 according to the 2001 census, of which 48.8% were male and 51.2% were female. As of the end of 2009, the population of the province, announced by the Bulgarian National Statistical Institute, numbered 124,795 of which 23.4% are inhabitants aged over 60 years.
The following table represents the change of the population in the province after World War II:
|Sources: National Statistical Institute, „Census 2001“, „Census 2011“, „pop-stat.mashke.org“,??|
A further 26,000 persons in the Province did not declare their ethnic group at the 2011 census.
In the 2001 census, 132,654 people of the population of 140,066 of Smolyan Province identified themselves as belonging to one of the following ethnic groups:
In the 2001 census, 135,761 people of the population of 140,066 of Smolyan Province identified one of the following as their mother tongue (with percentage of total population): 129,181 Bulgarian (92.2%), 5,782 Turkish (4.1%), 532 Romani (0.4%) and 266 other (0.2%).
Unlike Kardzhali Province where the majority of the Muslim population is Turkish, the Muslim population of Smolyan Province is made up mostly of Muslim Bulgarians. The Muslim population is mainly concentrated in the municipalities Banite, Borino, Dospat, Madan and Rudozem. The Orthodox-Christians population live predominantly in the municipality of Smolyan and the municipality of Chepelare. The religious structure of the municipalities of Devin, Nedelino and Zlatograd is mixed with Pomaks as well as Orthodox-Christians.
Religious adherence in the province according to 2011 census:
|Answer not mentioned||75 171||50,8%|
|Orthodox Christians||28 294||19,1%|
|Others and declared irreligious||15 632||10,6%|
The economy of the province is based on tourism, mining, timber and machine industries and livestock raising. The main crops of the region are potatoes (about 30% of the national production), rye and barley; but sheep, pigs and cattle are of greater importance for the agriculture. In the eastern parts of the province are located more than 20 lead and zinc mines, which form one of the most extensive ore deposits in the Balkans. The dense coniferous forests are prerequisite for well developed timber industry in Dospat, Smolyan, Devin. In Smolyan there are big plants producing machine tools and other machinery, while textile industry is mainly developed to the east in Nedelino, Zlatograd, Madan and Rudozem. There is also a synthetic rubber plant in Madan.
Nowadays, tourism is the backbone of the economy, especially in winter due to the excellent ski resorts of Pamporovo and Chepelare; having been completely renovated and modernized. The only factory for skiing equipment is located in Chepelare and employs 400 people. The mineral springs in Devin and Beden are very popular among tourists. The beautiful, unspoilt nature and the spectacular gorges, rock bridges and caves attract many people from around the country as well as foreign tourists, while the numerous dams are popular with campers and fishermen.
- (in English) Bulgarian Provinces area and population 1999 — National Center for Regional Development — page 90-91 Archived 2011-01-13 at the Wayback Machine
- (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Bulgarian provinces and municipalities in 2009
- (in English) „WorldCityPopulation“
- Oblast Haskovo Archived 2009-06-05 at the Wayback Machine, official website
- (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Bulgarian towns in 2009
- (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute – Bulgarian villages under 1000 inhabitants – December 2009
- (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute – Bulgarian Settlements 1000–5000 inhabitants – December 2009
- (in Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Mother Tongue from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
- (in Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Ethnic Group from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
- (in Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by Area and Sex from Bulgarian National Statistical Institute: Census 2001
- (in English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Population by age in 2009 Archived 2012-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
- (in Bulgarian) Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age; National Statistical Institute
- Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (in Bulgarian)
- (in Bulgarian) Religious adherence in Bulgaria - census 2001