Authors: Rossitsa Rangelova
Published: December, 2006

Not unlike other countries in Europe, Bulgaria has been subject to the steady process of population ageing, partly owing to the well-established downward trend in birth rates over the last several decades. In the past 15 years, this trend has been accompanied by the consequences of rising emigration, which has primarily involved young and active persons. As a result of the continual process of depopulation and an increase in population ageing, Bulgaria has one of the larger shares of older persons in Europe. The worsening demographic situation and health status of the Bulgarian people, exacerbated by the conditions of economic and social crisis during the transition period to a market economy may be the most alarming phenomena in Bulgaria. Although there are differences among the countries from Central and Eastern Europe, most of them also experienced a deterioration of demographic and health indicators in the 1990s. In Bulgaria, the economic crisis gravely damaged access to health care services in particular.
This report presents the health status and morbidity of the population in Bulgaria over the past several decades, emphasising developments in the 1990s, during the country’s transition period. Using statistical data it offers an in-depth analysis of the social and economic factors that determine health status as well as the utilisation of health care services in Bulgaria.

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