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 2012 reveal the following:
In the middle of 2012 about 10,250 people (about 5,050 men and 5,250 women) were living in the municipality, which ranks Šmarje pri Jelšah 53th among Slovene municipalities. The population density was 95 people per square kilometre, which was lower than the national average of 101 people per square kilometre.
The number of live births was higher than the number of deaths, which means that natural increase per 1,000 population in the municipality was positive. It was 1.0 (in Slovenia 1.3). 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 3. The sum of natural increase and net migration per 1,000 population in the municipality was positive. It was 4 (in Slovenia 1.6).
The mean age of people in Šmarje pri Jelšah was 40.9 years, which was lower than the national average (42).
As in most Slovene municipalities, in Šmarje pri Jelšah the number of old people was higher than the number of young people: there were 101 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 8 kindergartens. They were attended by 484 children or 79% of all children aged 1–5, which was more than the national average of 75%. In the school year 2012/2013 basic schools in Šmarje pri Jelšah were attended by about 900 pupils, while various upper secondary schools were attended by about 380 pupils. There were 50 students and 9 graduates per 1,000 people in the municipality; in Slovenia the averages were 47 per 1,000 and 10 per 1,000, respectively.
Among people aged 15–64 (i.e. working age population) about 59% were persons in employment (i.e. persons in paid employment or self-employed persons), which is more than the national average of 57%.
The registered unemployment rate was 12.3%, which is more than the national average (12%). 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 18% lower than the annual average of monthly earnings for Slovenia; and net earnings about 15% lower.
In 2012, there were 416 dwellings per 1,000 population. About 64% of dwellings had at least three rooms. Average size of dwellings in the municipality was 80 m2.
Every other person in Šmarje pri Jelšah had a car (51 passenger cars per 100 population); cars in this municipality were on average 9 years old.
In 2012, 186 kg of municipal waste per person was collected in Šmarje pri Jelšah, which is 141 kg less than on average in Slovenia.