Bulgaria Last in EU for Material Living Standard - Economists
December 10 (BTA) - Bulgaria is at the bottom of the EU
for material standard of living: between 2010 and 2017 the
quality of life indicators for Bulgaria were by four- to sixfold
lower than those in the EU28, shows a study by Prof. Vassil
Tsanov and Prof. Georgi Shopov from the Bulgarian Academy of
Sciences' Economic Research Institute (ERI). The study, which
looks into the state and development of the material living
standard and energy poverty in Bulgaria, was presented at an
international science conference on economic development and
policies here on Monday.
According to the data, the average coefficient for material
living standard in the EU was 46.6 per cent in 2010, compared to
9.9 per cent in Bulgaria, placing the country last in the
European Union. The highest standard of living, 90.8 per cent,
was reported in Liechtenstein. The 2017 ranking by standard of
living was similar: 45.6 per cent in the EU as opposed to 7 per
cent in Bulgaria, which was again at the bottom of the Union.
The ERI economists said that there were slight changes in the
ranking between 2010 and 2017: the differences between the
Member States decreased by some 2.2 percentage points, but those
between Bulgaria and the EU average living standard increased.
While the material standard of living improved notably in the
UK, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Malta,
Croatia, and the Czech Republic, Bulgaria kept its low
The study's authors also looked into the changes in the material
living standard by territory, using three groups of assessment
indicators: economic development; incomes and consumption; and
inequality and poverty.
The ranking by regions changed significantly in the 2010-2017
period. According to the data, Bulgaria's Southwest Region
ranked first throughout the period, notable improvements
occurred in the North-Central Region and the Northwest Region,
while the South-Central Region was among the losing regions.
Considerable deterioration of the living standard was recorded
in Sliven, Kurdzhali, Smolyan, and Varna, while an improvement
was observed in Gabrovo, Pleven, Silistra, and Razgrad.
Despite the constant decrease in the living standard since 2010,
the number of regions in a critical state has dropped. LI/DS