"Statistics" Magazine, issue 4/2014

The National Statistical Institute informs users of statistical information that the 4th issue for 2014 of "Statistics" magazine is out of print. In the printed edition of the issue 4/2014 the Editorial Board of the journal presents selected articles published in three issues of the magazine in 2014 in electronic form. The issue is in Bulgarian language with summaries in Bulgarian, English and Russian and includes the following sections:

• Theory and methodology of statistical research
• Development of statistical theory and practice
• Statistical research and analysis

The Theory and methodology of statistical research section presents the article:

• About the modern statistics... – Author - Ph.D. Bogdan Bogdanov, Deputy President of the National Statistical Institute and editor of "Statistics" magazine

The article is devoted to the 134th anniversary of the creation of the state statistics in Bulgaria. It makes a brief retrospect of the events of the recent past. It includes critical comment to unsolved problems and missed opportunities for the modernization of Bulgarian statistics at the moment. The role of the main actors in the implementation of statistical surveys (methodologists’ interviewers, respondents) is outlined. The major internal and external factors (leaders and society as a whole), affecting the performance of the NSI are presented. The winning formula for the development of the institution is verbally described in brief. The key role of national statistics for the management of the contemporary society and the presentation of our country to the world is outlined.

The Development of statistical theory and practice presents the articles:

• Essence, classification and statistical analysis of the territory infrastructure - Author - Prof. Yordan Hristoskov, Economic Research Institute at BAS and the "Paisii Hilendarski" Plovdiv University

The article is divided into two parts: a) theoretical and methodological issues of the essence, qualifications and indicators and methods for statistical analysis of the infrastructure; b) assessment of the level and differences in the development of infrastructure at statistical regions and statistical areas level by the method of Bennett.

In the first part the author makes a critical analysis of the existing definitions of infrastructure in the scientific literature and regulatory documents, and a working definition of the term "infrastructure" and "infrastructure of the region" is displayed. Presented is a classification of infrastructure according to different indications and an indicative list of the composition of the material and institutional infrastructure at national and regional level. Outlined are the indicators of the infrastructure and a critical review of methods for measuring the level of infrastructure development and the differences in these levels at the regional level. A review and critical analysis of approaches to assess the impact of infrastructure on various aspects of economic and social development of the region is made. The results obtained in this theoretical and methodological plan are a good scientific basis not only for the particular study, but can be used by other researchers of the infrastructure problems.

In the second part of the article are displayed relative integral assessments of the levels and differences in the development of physical and institutional infrastructure in Bulgaria at the level of statistical regions (NUTS2) and statistical areas (NUTS3), as well as a specific assessment for the access of economic agents and the population in the regions and districts of Bulgaria to linear and point objects of the infrastructure with international, national and regional importance. Recommendations are made for the accelerated development of infrastructure as a whole and its individual sectors in the areas where its development is insufficient and appears to be a limitation for the economic growth and attraction of foreign investment.

• Organisation of work at the NSI and RSO with the use of ICT in statistical tasks – Author - Deyan Slavov, Director of RSO - Varna

An analysis of existing ICT in the NSI in relation to their possible updating and implementation of new methods of work organization using ICT as a survey done by computer web intervews, telephone interviews, cloud technologies, GIS and GPS technologies. Introduction of new information systems will enhance and facilitate the work of the employees in the RSO in collecting primary data, and if necessary, by penalizing incorrect respondents.

The article discuses the need for the use of corporate content management systems in order to streamline business processes and reaching readiness for e-governance using cloud systems and data warehouse (Data Wharehouse). Application of Cloud Technologies at the NSI is related to the necessary modernization of IT. Common definitions for cloud computing, which is characterized as an approach to complete rethinking of the role of IT in organizations are presented.

Listed are the key priorities with a view to the future development of ICT in the NSI to improve the statistical production processes.

The Statistical research and analyses section contains the articles:

• Estimates of changes in the structure of segmentation of employment based on "statistics of income and living conditions (EU-SILC)"  - Author - Prof. Vasil Tsanov, Ph.D. Economic Research Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Object of the survey are changes in the scope and structure of income segmentation of the labor market in Bulgaria based on annual (pack) data from the "Statistics on Income and Living Conditions" 2007-2010 survey. For that purpose are defined six profitable segments covering low, medium and high labor income of the employed persons. The boundaries of the segments are defined as a percentage of the median annual gross labor income. The structure is reviewed depending on the educational level of employees, gender, occupation, sectorial affiliation and rental relations. In each segment stability and trends of the studied parameters are identified. Outlined are the major changes in the scope and structure of the segments during the survey period. It was found that the main characteristics of the employed persons and the rental relations significantly affect labor market segmentation.

• The international conference on population and development - Cairo 1994 (20 years later) - Author - Ivan Balev, Director of ‘Demographic and Social Statistics’ directorate, NSI  

The article marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development - Cairo 1994. The anniversary is an occasion to analyse the implementation of the adopted action program, which has 20 years term. Presented are the topics that have been subject of discussion during the conference. Special attention is paid to the participation of the Bulgarian delegation to the conference. The article focuses on two very important points. The first one is that the demographic decline that Bulgaria is experiencing is not a result of the last few years when this topic became one of the most discussed in the public domain. The second one is that the National Statistical Institute is the first institution in the country, which due to the nature of its work began to explore and analyse the reasons for the changes in the key demographic processes and their consequences for population development.

The article tracks the changes in the key demographic indicators, which characterize the period from 1994 to 2013. Amid continuing negative trends are identified some positive developments: increasing life expectancy, reducing infant mortality, reducing premature mortality and others. The article will be useful for public institutions that should form the demographic policy of Bulgaria.

• Are small and medium size enterprises recovering from the economic crisis? – Author - Luba Yaneva, State expert in "General methodology and analysis of statistical surveys" Department at the NSI

The number of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in 2013 was over 300 000, which represents 99.8% of all businesses. Most numerous are the micro enterprises with 0-9 employees, whose share is 91.9 % of all businesses. Next is the group of small enterprises with 10-49 employees - 6.7 % and the medium-sized enterprises with 50-249 employees -respectively 1.3 %.

A key feature of the small and medium business in Bulgaria continues to be the large number of micro enterprises, which however have lower average employment rate (2.0 employees per enterprise) and relatively low labour productivity, which is lower as compared with the group of the small enterprises, as well as with the group of the medium-sized enterprises.

The large territorial disproportions in the typical for the SMEs characteristics in Bulgaria are preserved. In terms of territory most attractive for planning and development of SMEs is still the Yugozapaden statistical rajon. On the opposite side is the extremely low structural contribution of the Severozapaden rajon whose shares are between 2 % and 5 % for the various indicators.

The answer to the question whether the economic crisis in the sector of Small and Medium Enterprises has been overcome cannot be unequivocal. In some sectors, such as "Production and distribution of electricity, heat and gaseous fuels", "Production and distribution of information and creative products; telecommunications", "Water supply sewerage, waste management and recovery" and others, the level of economic activity of 2008 has definitely been surpassed. In other sectors like "Construction" and "Real Estate Operations" the decline continues. The lack of sufficient investments to expand and modernize the activity of production of goods and provision of services, however, does not contribute for increase in the competitiveness of SMEs and creates an environment of uncertainty.

• Statistical review of education r some issues of the educational system and the information assurance of its management – Author - Stoyan Baev, Consultant in education and lifelong learning statistics                                                                              

The problems of the education system of Bulgaria and its information provision are nothing new, are not fully identified and analysed, and the negative consequences of this are deepening. They are mainly expressed in the unsatisfactory results of the functioning of the formal education system. The article reviews only one part of the socially significant issues for which statistical data are available.

Pre-school education and school-prep fail to fully cover all children subject to mandatory education. Another important problem is that in the ‘output’ of the mandatory pre-school education pass children who are not prepared to enter first grade. Primary education suffers from low quality - about 40% of 15 year olds are functionally illiterate. Against this background and the background of the structures of the education systems of the EU countries in which the duration of basic education is generally nine years the idea of a 7-year period seems completely illogical. Traditions in vocational education lead to annual reproduction of ‘State admission plan’ which is less consistent with the real needs of the economy of experts. Higher education traditionally fails to meet the needs of the economy and ‘produces’ experts of numerous, in some cases strange and unnecessary specialties.

MES Information systems carry irreplaceable and important function of information assurance of the management of the education system. Along with the positive sides, the functioning of the MES information systems is accompanied by a number of problems and shortcomings, which are summarized in the article. Possible measures and actions to address these deficiencies are mainly related to the construction and implementation of an integrated information system of MES and NSI and from it is expected to produce a number of positive results, which are referred to in the final part of the article.

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