Bulgaria is facing a number of challenges resulting from shifting demographics in the country. The country is projected to face the steepest decline in the working age population worldwide - with 1 out of every 3 Bulgarians over the age of 65 by 2050 and only 1 out of every 2 of working age.
As more and more workers exit the workforce and fewer Bulgarians replace them, the need to implement broad-based reforms today in order to help the country avert potential challenges tomorrow continues to intensify.
In response to this situation, policy makers in Bulgaria are working with the World Bank Group to assess the challenges posed by an aging Bulgaria and identify policy directions that can mitigate their impact.
According to the recently launched Mitigating the Economic Impact of an Aging Population: Options for Bulgaria report, a key determinant of a country’s income level is the size of its working age population, meaning that the shrinking workforce in Bulgaria is likely going to lead to lower growth, increasing demands on the health care sector, and lower living standards for populations throughout the country elderly population.
However, strategic action and policy reform in several key areas can help lessen the impacts brought on by ongoing demographic shifts and can help steer the country toward a more inclusive future that provides for young and old Bulgarians alike.
“Bulgaria is facing an extraordinary demographic challenge,” notes Doerte Doemeland, World Bank Senior Economist and author of the report, “at the same time it is clear that it has many options to successfully mitigate its impact.”