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ormerly part of Romania, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting the Slavic majority population, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, who have proclaimed a "Transnistria" republic. The poorest nation in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist as its president in 2001.


Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania

Geographic coordinates:

47 00 N, 29 00 E


total: 33,843 sq km
land: 33,371 sq km
water: 472 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 1,389 km
border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 939 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


moderate winters, warm summers


rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Dniester River 2 m
highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m

Natural resources:

lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone

Land use:

arable land: 54.52%
permanent crops: 8.81%
other: 36.67% (2005)

Irrigated land:

3,000 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards:

landslides (57 cases in 1998)

Environment - current issues:

heavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from poor farming methods

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone


4,466,706 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 20% (male 455,673/female 438,934)
15-64 years: 69.7% (male 1,498,078/female 1,613,489)
65 years and over: 10.3% (male 170,456/female 290,076) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 32.3 years
male: 30.3 years
female: 34.3 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

0.28% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

15.7 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:

12.64 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:

-0.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 38.38 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 41.44 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 35.17 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 65.65 years
male: 61.61 years
female: 69.88 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.85 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2001 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

5,500 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 300 (2001 est.)


noun: Moldovan(s)
adjective: Moldovan

Ethnic groups:

Moldovan/Romanian 78.2%, Ukrainian 8.4%, Russian 5.8%, Gagauz 4.4%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 1.3% (2004 census)
note: internal disputes with ethnic Slavs in the Transnistrian region


Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5% (2000)


Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.6%
female: 98.7% (2003 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Moldova
conventional short form: Moldova
local long form: Republica Moldova
local short form: none
former: Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic; Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic

Government type:




Administrative divisions:

32 raions (raioane, singular - raionul), 3 municipalities (municipiul), 1 autonomous territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala autonoma), and 1 territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala)
raions: Anenii Noi, Basarabeasca, Briceni, Cahul, Cantemir, Calarasi, Causeni, Cimislia, Criuleni, Donduseni, Drochia, Dubasari, Edinet, Falesti, Floresti, Glodeni, Hincesti, Ialoveni, Leova, Nisporeni, Ocnita, Orhei, Rezina, Riscani, Singerei, Soldanesti, Soroca, Stefan-Voda, Straseni, Taraclia, Telenesti, Ungheni
municipalities: Balti, Bender, Chisinau
autonomous territorial unit: Gagauzia
territorial unit: Stinga Nistrului


27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 27 August (1991)


new constitution adopted 29 July 1994, effective 27 August 1994; replaced old Soviet constitution of 1979

Legal system:

based on civil law system; Constitutional Court reviews legality of legislative acts and governmental decisions of resolution; accepts many UN and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) documents


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; parties and electoral blocs elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 6 March 2005 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - PCRM 46.1%, Democratic Moldova Bloc 28.4%, PPCD 9.1%, other parties 16.4%; seats by party - PCRM 56, Democratic Moldova Bloc 34, PPCD 11

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional judicature)

Economy - overview:

Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe despite recent progress from its small economic base. It enjoys a favorable climate and good farmland but has no major mineral deposits. As a result, the economy depends heavily on agriculture, featuring fruits, vegetables, wine, and tobacco. Moldova must import almost all of its energy supplies. Energy shortages contributed to sharp production declines after the breakup of the Soviet Union in December 1991. As part of an ambitious reform effort after independence, Moldova introduced a convertible currency, freed prices, stopped issuing preferential credits to state enterprises, backed steady land privatization, removed export controls, and freed interest rates. The government entered into agreements with the World Bank and the IMF to promote growth and reduce poverty. The economy returned to positive growth in 2000, and has remained at or above 6% every year since. Further reforms will come slowly because of strong political forces backing government controls. The economy remains vulnerable to higher fuel prices, poor agricultural weather, and the scepticism of foreign investors.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$9.519 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$2.519 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

7.5% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$2,100 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 20.5%
industry: 23.9%
services: 55.6% (2005 est.)

Labor force:

1.34 million (2005 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 40%
industry: 14%
services: 46% (1998)

Unemployment rate:

8%; note - roughly 25% of working age Moldovans are employed abroad (2002 est.)

Population below poverty line:

80% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.2%
highest 10%: 30.7% (1997)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

36.2 (2001)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

12% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

21% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $1.069 billion
expenditures: $1.065 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public debt:

72.9% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

vegetables, fruits, wine, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco; beef, milk


sugar, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles

Industrial production growth rate:

17% (2003 est.)

Electricity - production:

2.942 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

3.036 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

300 million kWh (2003)

Electricity - imports:

600 million kWh (2003)

Oil - consumption:

37,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

2.38 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - imports:

2.05 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Current account balance:

-$178 million (2005 est.)


$1.04 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

foodstuffs, textiles, machinery

Exports - partners:

Russia 35.8%, Italy 13.9%, Romania 10%, Germany 7.3%, Ukraine 6.6%, Belarus 6%, US 4.6% (2004)


$2.23 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

mineral products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles (2000)

Imports - partners:

Ukraine 24.6%, Russia 12.2%, Romania 9.3%, Germany 8.5%, Italy 7.4% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$520 million (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$1.926 billion (2005 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

$100 million (2000)

Currency (code):

Moldovan leu (MDL)

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

863,400 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

787,000 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: inadequate, outmoded, poor service outside Chisinau; some modernization is under way
domestic: new subscribers face long wait for service; mobile cellular telephone service being introduced
international: country code - 373; service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 7, FM 50, shortwave 3 (1998)

Television broadcast stations:

1 (plus 30 repeaters) (1995)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

30,861 (2005)

Internet users:

406,000 (2005)


15 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 6
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 4 (2005)


gas 606 km (2004)


total: 1,138 km
broad gauge: 1,124 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 14 km 1.435-m gauge (2004)


total: 12,730 km
paved: 10,973 km
unpaved: 1,757 km (2003)


424 km (on Dniester River) (2005)

Merchant marine:

total: 6 ships (1000 GRT or over) 11,425 GRT/12,185 DWT
by type: cargo 6
foreign-owned: 3 (Ukraine 3) (2005)

Military branches:

National Army (includes Ground Forces, Rapid Reaction Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces) (2006)

Disputes - international:

Moldova and Ukraine have established joint customs posts to monitor transit through Moldova's break-away Transnistria region which remains under OSCE supervision

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

IDPs: 1,000 (internal secessionist uprising in Transnistrian region in 1991) (2005)

Illicit drugs:

limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia via Central Asia to Russia, Western Europe, and possibly the US; widespread crime and underground economic activity