Introduction    Romania Top of Page
The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia - for centuries under the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire - secured their autonomy in 1856; they united in 1859 and a few years later adopted the new name of Romania. The country gained recognition of its independence in 1878. It joined the Allied Powers in World War I and acquired new territories - most notably Transylvania - following the conflict. In 1940, Romania allied with the Axis powers and participated in the 1941 German invasion of the USSR. Three years later, overrun by the Soviets, Romania signed an armistice. The post-war Soviet occupation led to the formation of a Communist "people's republic" in 1947 and the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule of dictator Nicolae CEAUSESCU, who took power in 1965, and his Securitate police state became increasingly oppressive and draconian through the 1980s. CEAUSESCU was overthrown and executed in late 1989. Former Communists dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power. Romania joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.
   Geography    Romania Top of Page
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine
Geographic coordinates:
46 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references:
total: 237,500 sq km
land: 230,340 sq km
water: 7,160 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Oregon
Land boundaries:
total: 2,508 km
border countries: Bulgaria 608 km, Hungary 443 km, Moldova 450 km, Serbia 476 km, Ukraine (north) 362 km, Ukraine (east) 169 km
225 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
temperate; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms
central Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Plain of Moldavia on the east by the Carpathian Mountains and separated from the Walachian Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Moldoveanu 2,544 m
Natural resources:
petroleum (reserves declining), timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt, arable land, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 39.49%
permanent crops: 1.92%
other: 58.59% (2005)
Irrigated land:
30,770 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
42.3 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 6.5 cu km/yr (9%/34%/57%)
per capita: 299 cu m/yr (2003)
Natural hazards:
earthquakes, most severe in south and southwest; geologic structure and climate promote landslides
Environment - current issues:
soil erosion and degradation; water pollution; air pollution in south from industrial effluents; contamination of Danube delta wetlands
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
controls most easily traversable land route between the Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine
   People    Romania Top of Page
22,215,421 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 15.5% (male 1,772,583/female 1,681,539)
15-64 years: 69.7% (male 7,711,062/female 7,784,041)
65 years and over: 14.7% (male 1,332,120/female 1,934,076) (2009 est.)
Median age:
total: 37.7 years
male: 36.3 years
female: 39.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.147% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:
10.61 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
11.84 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
urban population: 54% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: -0.1% annual rate of change (2005-2010)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 22.9 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 25.94 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.66 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.45 years
male: 68.95 years
female: 76.16 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.39 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
15,000 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
350 (2001 est.)
noun: Romanian(s)
adjective: Romanian
Ethnic groups:
Romanian 89.5%, Hungarian 6.6%, Roma 2.5%, Ukrainian 0.3%, German 0.3%, Russian 0.2%, Turkish 0.2%, other 0.4% (2002 census)
Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 86.8%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformate and Pentecostal) 7.5%, Roman Catholic 4.7%, other (mostly Muslim) and unspecified 0.9%, none 0.1% (2002 census)
Romanian 91% (official), Hungarian 6.7%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.1%, other 1.2%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.3%
male: 98.4%
female: 96.3% (2002 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
3.5% of GDP (2005)
   Government    Romania Top of Page
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Romania
local long form: none
local short form: Romania
Government type:
name: Bucharest
geographic coordinates: 44 26 N, 26 06 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
41 counties (judete, singular - judet) and 1 municipality* (municipiu); Alba, Arad, Arges, Bacau, Bihor, Bistrita-Nasaud, Botosani, Braila, Brasov, Bucuresti (Bucharest)*, Buzau, Calarasi, Caras-Severin, Cluj, Constanta, Covasna, Dimbovita, Dolj, Galati, Gorj, Giurgiu, Harghita, Hunedoara, Ialomita, Iasi, Ilfov, Maramures, Mehedinti, Mures, Neamt, Olt, Prahova, Salaj, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Teleorman, Timis, Tulcea, Vaslui, Vilcea, Vrancea
9 May 1877 (independence proclaimed from the Ottoman Empire; independence recognized 13 July 1878 by the Treaty of Berlin); 26 March 1881 (kingdom proclaimed); 30 December 1947 (republic proclaimed)
National holiday:
Unification Day (of Romania and Transylvania), 1 December (1918)
8 December 1991; revision effective 29 October 2003
Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Traian BASESCU (since 20 December 2004); note - President Traian BASESCU was suspended by vote of parliament on 19 April 2007, but resumed his duties on 23 May 2007 after a popular referendum confirmed that his impeachment should not stand
head of government: Prime Minister Emil BOC (since 22 December 2008)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 28 November 2004 with runoff between the top two candidates held 12 December 2004 (next to be held in November-December 2009); prime minister appointed by the president with the consent of the Parliament
election results: percent of vote - Traian BASESCU 51.23%, Adrian NASTASE 48.77%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate or Senat (137 seats; members are elected by popular vote in a mixed electoral system to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camera Deputatilor (334 seats; members are elected by popular vote in a mixed electoral system to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 30 November 2008 (next expected to be held in November 2012); Chamber of Deputies - last held 30 November 2008 (next expected to be held November 2012)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by alliance/party - PSD-PC 34.2%, PDL 33.6%, PNL 18.7%, UDMR 6.4%, other 7.1%; seats by alliance/party - PSD-PC 49, PDL 51, PNL 28, UDMR 9; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by alliance/party - PSD-PC 33.1%, PDL 32.4%, PNL 18.6%, UDMR 6.2%, ethnic minorities 3.6%, other 6.1%; seats by alliance/party - PSD-PC 114, PDL 115, PNL 65, UDMR 22, ethnic minorities 18
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Justice (comprised of 11 judges appointed for three-year terms by the president in consultation with the Superior Council of Magistrates, which is comprised of the minister of justice, the prosecutor general, two civil society representatives appointed by the Senate, and 14 judges and prosecutors elected by their peers); a separate body, the Constitutional Court, validates elections and makes decisions regarding the constitutionality of laws, treaties, ordinances, and internal rules of the Parliament; it is comprised of nine members serving nine-year terms, with three members each appointed by the president, the Senate, and the Chamber of Deputies
Political parties and leaders:
Conservative Party or PC [Daniela POPA] (formerly Humanist Party or PUR); Democratic Liberal Party or PDL [Emil BOC]; Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania or UDMR [Bela MARKO]; National Liberal Party or PNL [Calin Popescu-TARICEANU]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Mircea Dan GEOANA] (formerly Party of Social Democracy in Romania or PDSR)
Political pressure groups and leaders:
other: various human rights and professional associations
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Adrian Cosmin VIERITA
chancery: 1607 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-4846, 4848, 4851, 4852
FAX: [1] (202) 232-4748
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge D'Affaires Jeri GUTHRIE-CORN
embassy: Strada Tudor Arghezi 7-9, Bucharest
mailing address: pouch: American Embassy Bucharest, US Department of State, 5260 Bucharest Place, Washington, DC 20521-5260 (pouch)
telephone: [40] (21) 200-3300
FAX: [40] (21) 200-3442
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; the national coat of arms that used to be centered in the yellow band has been removed; now similar to the flag of Chad, also resembles the flags of Andorra and Moldova
   Economy    Romania Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Romania, which joined the European Union on 1 January 2007, began the transition from Communism in 1989 with a largely obsolete industrial base and a pattern of output unsuited to the country's needs. The country emerged in 2000 from a punishing three-year recession thanks to strong demand in EU export markets. Domestic consumption and investment have fueled strong GDP growth in recent years, but have led to large current account imbalances. Romania's macroeconomic gains have only recently started to spur creation of a middle class and address Romania's widespread poverty. Corruption and red tape continue to handicap its business environment. Inflation rose in 2007-08, driven in part by strong consumer demand and high wage growth, rising energy costs, a nation-wide drought affecting food prices, and a relaxation of fiscal discipline. Romania's strong GDP growth moderated markedly in the last quarter of 2008 as the country began to feel the effects of a global downturn in financial markets and trade, and growth is expected to be much weaker in 2009. Romania hopes to adopt the euro by 2014.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$271.2 billion (2008 est.)
$252.1 billion (2007)
$237.8 billion (2006)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$213.9 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
7.6% (2008 est.)
6% (2007 est.)
7.9% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$12,200 (2008 est.)
$11,300 (2007 est.)
$10,700 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 8.1%
industry: 36%
services: 55.9% (2008 est.)
Labor force:
9.32 million (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 29.7%
industry: 23.2%
services: 47.1% (2006)
Unemployment rate:
3.6% (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 20.8% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
32 (2008)
Investment (gross fixed):
31.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
revenues: $64.44 billion
expenditures: $71.16 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt:
14.1% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
7.8% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
13.35% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
$25.17 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$34.96 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$58.76 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$44.93 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, sunflower seed, potatoes, grapes; eggs, sheep
electric machinery and equipment, textiles and footwear, light machinery and auto assembly, mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining
Industrial production growth rate:
8% (2008 est.)
Electricity - production:
58.25 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
48.43 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports:
3.362 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
1.277 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
112,400 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
238,200 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports:
125,200 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
219,000 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves:
600 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production:
12.5 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
17.09 billion cu m (2007)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
4.8 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
63 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance:
-$28.03 billion (2008 est.)
$59.75 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, textiles and footwear, metals and metal products, machinery and equipment, minerals and fuels, chemicals, agricultural products
Exports - partners:
Italy 17.2%, Germany 16.9%, France 7.7%, Turkey 7%, Hungary 5.6%, UK 4.1% (2007)
$92.09 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, fuels and minerals, chemicals, textile and products, metals, agricultural products
Imports - partners:
Germany 17.2%, Italy 12.8%, Hungary 6.9%, Russia 6.3%, France 6.2%, Turkey 5.4%, Austria 4.8% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$44.47 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$92.76 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$72.82 billion (2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.015 billion (2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
lei (RON) per US dollar - 2.5 (2008 est.), 2.43 (2007), 2.809 (2006), 3 (2005), 3 (2004)
   Communications    Romania Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
4.3 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
22.875 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: the telecommunications sector is being expanded and modernized; domestic and international service improving rapidly, especially in wireless telephony
domestic: more than 90 percent of telephone network is automatic; fixed-line teledensity is roughly 20 telephones per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity, expanding rapidly, now slightly exceeds 100 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 40; the Black Sea Fiber Optic System provides connectivity to Bulgaria and Turkey; satellite earth stations - 10; digital, international, direct-dial exchanges operate in Bucharest (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:
698 (frequency type NA) (2006)
Television broadcast stations:
623 (plus 200 repeaters) (2006)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
2.195 million (2008)
Internet users:
12 million (2007)
   Transportation    Romania Top of Page
53 (2008)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 25
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 10
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11 (2008)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total 28 914 to 1,523 m 7 under 914 m 21 (2008)
2 (2007)
gas 3,588 km; oil 2,424 km (2008)
total: 10,789 km
broad gauge: 57 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 10,731 km 1.435-m gauge (3,965 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1 km 0.760-m gauge (2007)
total: 198,817 km
paved: 60,043 km (includes 228 km of expressways)
unpaved: 138,774 km (2004)
1,731 km
note: includes 1,075 km on Danube River, 524 km on secondary branches, and 132 km on canals (2006)
Merchant marine:
total: 17
by type: cargo 11, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 1
registered in other countries: 49 (Cambodia 1, Georgia 16, North Korea 4, Liberia 2, Malta 8, Marshall Islands 1, Moldova 3, Panama 7, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Sierra Leone 3, Syria 2) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Braila, Constanta, Galati, Tulcea
   Military    Romania Top of Page
Military branches:
Land Forces, Naval Forces, Romanian Air Force (Fortele Aeriene Romane, FAR), Special Operations (2009)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription officially ended October 2006; all military inductees (including women) contract for an initial 5-year term of service; subsequent voluntary service contracts are for successive 3-year terms until the age of 36 (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 5,682,299
females age 16-49: 5,557,098 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 4,542,720
females age 16-49: 4,604,484 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 124,356
female: 118,430 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Romania Top of Page
Disputes - international:
the ICJ gave Ukraine until December 2006 to reply, and Romania until June 2007 to issue a rejoinder, in their dispute submitted in 2004 over Ukrainian-administered Zmiyinyy/Serpilor (Snake) Island and Black Sea maritime boundary delimitation; Romania also opposes Ukraine's reopening of a navigation canal from the Danube border through Ukraine to the Black Sea
Illicit drugs:
major transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin transiting the Balkan route and small amounts of Latin American cocaine bound for Western Europe; although not a significant financial center, role as a narcotics conduit leaves it vulnerable to laundering, which occurs via the banking system, currency exchange houses, and casinos

This page was last updated on 23 April 2009


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