Sofia is placed 90th amongst 133 countries around the world in this year edition of Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living 2019. In fact, our capital rises up by 29 positions compared to 2018 and is placed among the cities that made the biggest change in ranking compared to the previous year.
According to the report: “Bulgaria is an economically stable east European country, which pegs its currency, the Bulgarian lev, to the euro but is yet to join the Eurozone. Like many cities in the region, Sofia continues to offer good value for money. Nevertheless, prices for groceries in the capital city are beginning to converge with west European destinations in anticipation of the country adopting the euro currency in the coming years. Growth in food prices (one of the main drivers of the 3% inflation in the country for 2018) averaged 2.6% year on year in December 2018. Utility prices (electricity, gas, district heating and water) as well as recreation and culture prices, continued to rise at the slightly higher pace of around 4% over the last 12 months.”
When making the ranking, Economist Intelligence Unit compares prices of more than 150 goods and services as commodities, home appliances, house rents, monthly public services, transportation, cosmetics, clothes, private school taxes, restaurant prices, as well as the price of theatre, concert or cinema tickets.
For the first time in the history of the ranking, the top spot is occupied by three cities at the same time: Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong. The top three positions are completed by Zurich and Geneva. At the bottom of the ranking are the cheapest cities in the world: Caracas (Venezuela), Damascus (Syria) and Tashkent (Uzbekistan).
Bulgaria is placed 35th in terms of opportunities for women around the world according to the Women’s Liveability Index 2019 survey. The survey includes hundred countries and ranks them according to 20 different indicators such as gender equality, opportunities for professional career, representation of women in science, politics and on management positions, traffic and violence protection, access to education, number of women entrepreneurs, etc.
Bulgaria has a leading position in the number of women managers (10th place with 49%), it is 13th in the percentage of women on ministry positions and 16th in number of women in the National Assembly (25.4%). However, Bulgaria is placed 48th in the category for women entrepreneurs.
Norway, Sweden, Canada, Finland and Iceland provide the best environment for women development among the 100 studied countries.
Bulgaria is ranked 51st out of 189 countries included in the UN Human Development Index 2018. The index evaluates the levels of health, education, income, mobility and safety.
The top countries in the ranking are Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany while at the bottom are Niger, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi.
According to the report attached to the ranking, the global trend is for continuous improvement of human development. This is most valid for global health, life expectancy and the time spent in educational activities. An important reason for inequality remains the gap between men and women. Women have lower income globally, a higher percentage of unemployment and more limited access to education in some countries.
Bulgaria is placed 29th in the Global Connectedness Index of DHL Express – the largest courier company in the world. In its fifth edition, the study combines indicators related to the trade with goods and services, international investments, sharing of information (as access to the Internet, phone calls and publications), as well as indicators related to people as migration, tourism and number of foreign students.
Bulgaria is ranked higher than countries like the USA, Canada, Japan, Romania and Turkey. Our country relies strongly on the movement of goods and services as well as the migration of people for education and work.
The first positions of the index are taken by The Netherlands, Singapore and Switzerland, and the majority of the countries in Top 10 are from the EU.
The entire report could be read here. Bulgaria’s profile is on page 110.