Achieving sustainable economic growth and productive employment is one of the main objectives of sustainable development. There are a number of difficulties in rural areas that hinder or slow down the realization of the established objective. The latter predetermines the increased interest in their development. More than 1/2 of the rural population in Bulgaria is at risk of falling into poverty or social exclusion. This puts our country at the forefront of other European Union (EU) countries in relation to this indicator.
The purpose of the article is to assess the situation and to consider the opportunities for sustainable economic performance and decent work in rural areas of Bulgaria. A comparative analysis has been carried out regarding the level of key macroeconomic indicators for Bulgaria and the EU-28 respectively.
The results from the survey reveal significant lagging behind of the regions with low and average population density in Bulgaria in terms of indicators of economic growth and employment compared to urban centrеs.