Municipality Šmarje pri Jelšah, which is part of the Savinjska statistical region, measures 108 km2; this ranks it 62th among Slovene municipalities.

Statistical data for 2008 reveal the following:

At the end of 2008 about 9,900 people (about 4,900 men and 5,000 women) were living in the municipality, which ranks Šmarje pri Jelšah 54th among Slovene municipalities. The population density was 92 people per square kilometre, which was lower than the national average of 100 people per square kilometre.

The number of live births was lower than the number of deaths, which means that natural increase per 1,000 population in the municipality was negative. It was -1.3 (in Slovenia 1.7). The number of people who moved from the municipality was lower than the number of people who moved into the municipality, so net migration per 1,000 population in the municipality was positive. It was 5.5. The sum of natural increase and net migration per 1,000 population in the municipality was positive. It was 4.2 (in Slovenia 10.9).

The mean age of people in Šmarje pri Jelšah was 40.5 years, which was lower than the national average (41.3 years). 

As in most Slovene municipalities, in Šmarje pri Jelšah the number of old people was higher than the number of young people: there were 106 people, aged 65 or more, per 100 people aged 0–14. This ratio shows that the value of the ageing index was lower than the national average of 118. It also shows that the mean age of people in Šmarje pri Jelšah is growing more slowly than in Slovenia as a whole. Data by sex show that the ageing index for women was in all Slovene municipalities higher than the ageing index for men. In Šmarje pri Jelšah – as in most Slovene municipalities – more women were 65+ years old than 14 or less; for men the situation was exactly the opposite.

Šmarje pri Jelšah had 6 kindergartens. They were attended by 356 children. Of all children aged 1–5, 70% were included in kindergartens, which was the same as the national average. In the school year 2008/09 elementary schools in Šmarje pri Jelšah were attended by about 870 pupils. About 490 pupils from the municipality attended various secondary schools. There were 60 students and 7 graduates per 1,000 people in the municipality; in Slovenia the averages were 55 per 1,000 and 8 per 1,000, respectively.

Among people aged 15–64 (i.e. working age population) about 60% were persons in employment (i.e. persons in paid employment or self-employed persons), which is less than the national average of 62%.

The registered unemployment rate was 9.7%, which is more than the national average (6.7%). As in most Slovene municipalities, more women than men were unemployed.

In Šmarje pri Jelšah, average monthly gross earnings per person employed by legal persons were about 14% lower than the annual average of monthly earnings for Slovenia; and net earnings about 12% lower.

Every 20th person in the municipality was receiving at least one financial social assistance. In Slovenia as a whole every 28th person received at least one financial social assistance.

The value of gross investment in new fixed assets in the municipality (EUR 1,287 per capita) was lower than the national average (EUR 3,165 EUR per capita). 

In 2008, there were 415 dwellings per 1,000 population. About 55% of dwellings had at least three rooms. Average size of dwellings in the municipality was 74 m2.

Every other person in Šmarje pri Jelšah had a car (49 passenger cars per 100 population); cars in this municipality were on average 9 years old.

In 2008, 328 kg of municipal waste per person was collected in Šmarje pri Jelšah, which is 91 kg less than on average in Slovenia.