The analysis of the needs of the regional development is designed in the way to reflect the status, the problems and the opportunities for development of the regions, to be refracted through the prism of the territorial dimensions of the development of the regions and to take into account the objectives of the European cohesion policy for achieving smart, sustainable, inclusive growth.
The Southwestern region is the only exception, due to its demographic, economic, social and infrastructural indicators that outline it far beyond the rest of the regions and close it to the average level of European regions. The contribution of the Southwestern region in the national GDP (48.3%) is almost equal to the contribution of all the other five regions, put together. Meanwhile, the Northwestern region occupies the last place in almost all major indicators of development. Having in mind the development, the other regions, particularly the North Central region, are closer to the Northwestern than to the Southwestern, in relation to which they lag seriously.
The sustainable development of the Bulgarian regions is found to be difficult due to the general tendency of reducing the country's population, depopulation in less developed areas and migration to the more attractive regions and cities, such as Sofia. The economic crisis deepens the demographic problems and strengthens the disparities in the territorial distribution of the population.