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Smolyan Province

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Smolyan Province

Smolyan Province
Област Смолян
Location of Smolyan Province in Bulgaria
Location of Smolyan Province in Bulgaria
Country Bulgaria
Capital Smolyan
Municipalities 10
 • Governor Stefan Staykov
 • Total 3,192.8 km2 (1,232.7 sq mi)
Population (February 2011)[2]
 • Total 121,572
 • Density 38/km2 (99/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
License plate CM

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[1] that is divided into 10 municipalities with a total population of 124,795 inhabitants, as of December 2009.[2][3][4]


  • Municipalities 1
  • Population 2
    • Ethnic groups 2.1
    • Language 2.2
    • Religion 2.3
  • Economy 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Municipalities of Smolyan province

Smolyan Province (Област, oblast) contains 10 municipalities[5] (singular: oбщина, 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.

Municipality Cyrillic Pop.[2][3][4] Town/Village Pop.[6][3][7][8][9]
Banite Баните 4,972 Banite 1,047
Borino Борино 3,618 Borino 2,516
Chepelare Чепеларе 8,045 Chepelare 5,412
Devin Девин 13,204 Devin 7,054
Dospat Доспат 9,526 Dospat 2,604
Madan Мадан 12,606 Madan 6,007
Nedelino Неделино 7,577 Nedelino 4,641
Rudozem Рудозем 9,801 Rudozem 3,583
Smolyan Смолян 43,186 Smolyan 31,718
Zlatograd Златоград 12,260 Zlatograd 7,110


The Miraculous bridges

The Smolyan province had a population of 140,066[10][11] according to the 2001 census, of which 48.8% were male and 51.2% were female.[12] As of the end of 2009, the population of the province, announced by the Bulgarian National Statistical Institute, numbered 124,795[2] of which 23.4% are inhabitants aged over 60 years.[13]

The following table represents the change of the population in the province after World War II:

Smolyan Province
Year 1946 1956 1965 1975 1985 1992 2001 2005 2007 2009 2011
Population 111,193 145,072 160,255 156,157 158,011 154,553 140,066 131,010 128,200 124,795 121,572
Sources: National Statistical Institute,[2] „Census 2001“,[3] „Census 2011“,[4] „“,??

Ethnic groups

Ethnic groups in Smolyan Province (2011 census)
Ethnic group Percentage
others and indefinable

Total population (2011 census): 121 752[14]
Ethnic groups (2011 census):[15] Identified themselves: 95,175 persons:

  • Bulgarians: 86 847 ( 91,25 % )
  • Turks: 4 696 ( 4,93 % )
  • Others and indefinable: 3 632 ( 3,82 % )

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:[11]

Ethnic group Population Percentage
Bulgarian 122,806 87.677%
Turkish 6,212 4.435%
Roma (Gypsy) 686 0.49%
Russian 111 0.079%
Armenian 42 0.03%
Greek 13 0.009%
Ukrainian 27 0.019%
Jewish 1 0.001%
Romanian 1 0.001%
Other 55 0.039%


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 Roma (Gypsy) (0.4%) and 266 other (0.2%).[10]


Religions in Smolyan Province (2011 census)
Religious group Percentage
Orthodox Christian

Unlike Kardzhali Province where the majority of the Muslim population is Turkish, the Muslim population of Smolyan Province is made up almost entirely of Muslim Bulgarians.

Religious adherence in the province according to 2011 census:[16]

Census 2011
religious adherence population %
Answer not mentioned 75 171 50,8 %
Muslims 29 001 19,6 %
Orthodox Christians 28 294 19,1 %
Others and declared irreligious 15 632 10,6 %
total 148,098 100%


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.

Bulgaria's national observatory, Rozhen Observatory, is located near Chepelare. The primary telescope has a 2-meter mirror, and is the largest observatory in SE Europe.

See also


  1. ^ a b (English) Bulgarian Provinces area and population 1999 — National Center for Regional Development — page 90-91
  2. ^ a b c d e (English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Bulgarian provinces and municipalities in 2009
  3. ^ a b c d (English) „WorldCityPopulation“
  4. ^ a b c „“
  5. ^ Oblast Haskovo, official website
  6. ^ (English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Bulgarian towns in 2009
  7. ^ „“
  8. ^ (English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute – Bulgarian villages under 1000 inhabitants – December 2009
  9. ^ (English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute – Bulgarian Settlements 1000–5000 inhabitants – December 2009
  10. ^ a b (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Mother Tongue from : Census 2001National Statistical InstituteBulgarian
  11. ^ a b (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by District and Ethnic Group from : Census 2001National Statistical InstituteBulgarian
  12. ^ (Bulgarian) Population to 01.03.2001 by Area and Sex from : Census 2001National Statistical InstituteBulgarian
  13. ^ (English) Bulgarian National Statistical Institute - Population by age in 2009
  14. ^ (Bulgarian) Population on 01.02.2011 by provinces, municipalities, settlements and age; National Statistical Institute
  15. ^ Population by province, municipality, settlement and ethnic identification, by 01.02.2011; Bulgarian National Statistical Institute (Bulgarian)
  16. ^ (Bulgarian) Religious adherence in Bulgaria - census 2001

External links

  • Pictures from Smolyan Province
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