About 600 Bulgarian villages have disappeared from the map – 571 of the 5,000 villages across the country have been totally depopulated, or they have just one resident.
The problem is especially acute in the region of Vidin, where whole villages have migrated to Spain or Italy.
The village of Bostanite in the Chuprene Municipality for instance, is a ghost villages, as there isn't a single resident left there. The village of Shepikovi Kolibi, Boynitsa Municipality, has got only two residents and the village of Kanits in the same municipality has got four.
Of these, the village of Prolaznitsa in the Municipality of Belogradchik is the most populous one with six residents.
In the past, this picturesque region of the country, offering perfect conditions for farming and agriculture, was bustling with life and trade.
According to a census of 1875, in the Vidin sanjdak there were 291,000 Bulgarians, 40,000 Turks, 29,000 Vlachs, 5,500 gypsies, 2,000 Jews and 10,000 people of other ethnicities.
A more recent census of 1934 shows that the region had 191, 784 residents.
A recent survey of the National Statistical Institute shows that Bulgaria's population is shrinking by six people per hour. In 26 years the country has lost two million people.
If this negative demographic tendency continues, in just three years Bulgaria's population will dwindle to under 6.9 million people.