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Bulgaria’s Black Hole Generation

Date: 13.08.2011

The transition period in Bulgaria has given rise to a “black hole” generation. The results of the latest census carried out February have shown that there is a boom of illiteracy among the young people who have grown up after the collapse of Communism. Those falling into the age bracket of 20-29 who have never set foot in school are equal in number to those who grew up in the years before and shortly after September 9, 1944 (the onset of the Communist regime - ed.’s note,) Census’2011 shows. The Bulgarians who have never seen how a school looks inside amount to 80 963; those who hardly have elementary education are 328 803, most of them are between 20-24 and 25-29; 7 497 do not have an idea what a classroom is, another 7 351 didn’t finish elementary school, which in practice means they have almost no access to the labor market.

The number of young people between 25 and 29 years old, who never went to school, is 7 753. 21 594 young Bulgarians have only elementary education as 8 095 people didn’t manage to complete even this first step of education. In neither of the rest age groups of the economically active Bulgarian population till 64 years old the number of illiterate doesn’t exceed 4 000 people as most frequently it is about 3 000. Thus illiterate Bulgarians between 20 and 29 years old are twice more than those from any other working generation.

The generation of today’s 30-34 years old is the best educated – 167 466 people have university degree, followed by the 35-39 years old – university graduates among them are 158 256.

Logically the illiterate Bulgarians more frequently fall among the jobless, statistics shows. Unemployed Bulgarians are about half a million.

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