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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 following the conflict. In 1940, it 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 by a fractious coalition of centrist-right parties. In 2000, the center-left Social Democratic Party (PSD) became Romania's leading party, governing with the support of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR). The opposition center-right alliance formed by the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Democratic Party (PD) scored a surprise victory over the ruling PSD in December 2004 presidential elections. The PNL-PD alliance maintains a parliamentary majority with the support of the UDMR, the Humanist Party (PUR), and various ethnic minority groups. Although Romania completed accession talks with the European Union (EU) in December 2004, it must continue to address rampant corruption - while invigorating lagging economic and democratic reforms - to fulfill the requirements for EU accession, scheduled to take place in 2007 or 2008. Romania joined NATO in March of 2004.


Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine

Geographic coordinates:

46 00 N, 25 00 E


total: 237,500 sq km
land: 230,340 sq km
water: 7,160 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 2,508 km
border countries: Bulgaria 608 km, Hungary 443 km, Moldova 450 km, Serbia and Montenegro 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)

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

Geography - note:

controls most easily traversable land route between the Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine


22,303,552 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 15.7% (male 1,799,072/female 1,708,030)
15-64 years: 69.6% (male 7,724,368/female 7,797,065)
65 years and over: 14.7% (male 1,347,392/female 1,927,625) (2006 est.)

Median age:

total: 36.6 years
male: 35.3 years
female: 37.9 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:

-0.12% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:

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

Death rate:

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

Net migration rate:

-0.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

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: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 25.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 28.64 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 22.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 71.63 years
male: 68.14 years
female: 75.34 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.37 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

people living with HIV/AIDS:

6,500 (2001 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 (official), Hungarian, German


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98.4%
male: 99.1%
female: 97.7% (2003 est.)

Country name:

conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Romania
local long form: none
local short form: Romania

Government type:




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; kingdom proclaimed 26 March 1881); 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:

former mixture of civil law system and communist legal theory; is now based on the constitution of France's Fifth Republic


18 years of age; universal

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate or Senat (137 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camera Deputatilor (332 seats; members are elected by direct, popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 28 November 2004 (next expected to be held in November 2008); Chamber of Deputies - last held 28 November 2004 (next expected to be held November 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by alliance/party - PSD-PUR 37.1%, PNL-PD 31.8%, PRM 13.6%, UDMR 6.2%; seats by party - PSD 44, PNL 30, PD 20, PRM 20, PC 11, UDMR 10, independents 2; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by alliance/party - PSD-PUR 36.8%, PNL-PD 31.5%, PRM 13%, UDMR 6.2%; seats by party - PSD 111, PNL 66, PD 45, PRM 34, ex-PRM (Ciontu Group) 12, UDMR 22, PC 20, PIN (GUSA Group) 3, independent 1, 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

Economy - overview:

Romania 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. Despite the global slowdown in 2001-02, strong domestic activity in construction, agriculture, and consumption have kept GDP growth above 4%. An IMF standby agreement, signed in 2001, has been accompanied by slow but palpable gains in privatization, deficit reduction, and the curbing of inflation. The IMF Board approved Romania's completion of the standby agreement in October 2003, the first time Romania has successfully concluded an IMF agreement since the 1989 revolution. In July 2004, the executive board of the IMF approved a 24-month standby agreement for $367 million. IMF concerns about Romania's tax policy and budget deficit led to a breakdown of this agreement in 2005. In the past, the IMF has criticized the government's fiscal, wage, and monetary policies. Meanwhile, macroeconomic gains have only recently started to spur creation of a middle class and address Romania's widespread poverty, while corruption and red tape continue to handicap the business environment. Romanian government confidence in continuing disinflation was underscored by its currency revaluation in 2005, making 10,000 "old" lei equal 1 "new" leu.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$186.7 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):

$72.09 billion (2005 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

4.5% (2005 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$8,400 (2005 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 13.1%
industry: 33.7%
services: 53.2% (2004 est.)

Labor force:

9.31 million (2005 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 31.6%
industry: 30.7%
services: 37.7% (2004)

Unemployment rate:

5.5% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line:

25% (2005 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.4%
highest 10%: 27.6% (2003)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

28.8 (2003)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

8.6% (2005)

Investment (gross fixed):

23.5% of GDP (2005 est.)


revenues: $29.97 billion
expenditures: $31.37 billion; including capital expenditures of $2.2 billion (2005 est.)

Public debt:

21.1% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture - products:

wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, sunflower seed, potatoes, grapes; eggs, sheep


textiles and footwear, light machinery and auto assembly, mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining

Industrial production growth rate:

2.5% (2005 est.)

Electricity - production:

51.7 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - consumption:

45.16 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - exports:

3.3 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity - imports:

380 million kWh (2003)

Oil - production:

119,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption:

235,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:

1.055 billion bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural gas - production:

12.3 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

18 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural gas - imports:

5.4 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

100.7 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current account balance:

-$9.541 billion (2005 est.)


$27.72 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports - commodities:

textiles and footwear, metals and metal products, machinery and equipment, minerals and fuels, chemicals, agricultural products

Exports - partners:

Italy 21.4%, Germany 15%, France 8.5%, Turkey 7%, UK 6.6% (2004)


$38.15 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and equipment, fuels and minerals, chemicals, textile and products, basic metals, agricultural products

Imports - partners:

Italy 17.2%, Germany 14.9%, France 7.1%, Russia 6.8%, Turkey 4.2% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$22.77 billion (2005 est.)

Debt - external:

$29.47 billion (2005 est.)

Currency (code):

leu (ROL) is being phased out in 2006; "new" leu (RON) was introduced in 2005 due to currency revaluation: 10,000 ROL = 1 RON

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Telephones - main lines in use:

4,389,100 (2004)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

10,215,400 (2004)

Telephone system:

general assessment: rapidly improving domestic and international service, especially in wireless telephony
domestic: 90% of telephone network is automatic; liberalization in 2003 is transforming telecommunications; there has been 20% growth in fixed lines with a penetration rate of 58% of households; nation-wide wireless service is growing even faster with four major providers and a penetration rate of 32%
international: country code - 40; satellite earth station - 10 (Intelsat 4); digital, international, direct-dial exchanges operate in Bucharest (2005)

Radio broadcast stations:

AM 40, FM 202, shortwave 3 (1998)

Television broadcast stations:

48 (plus 392 repeaters) (1995)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

56,188 (2005)

Internet users:

4.5 million (2004)


61 (2005)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 25
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12 (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 36
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 23 (2005)


1 (2005)


gas 3,508 km; oil 2,427 km (2004)


total: 11,385 km (3,888 km electrified)
standard gauge: 10,898 km 1.435-m gauge
broad gauge: 60 km 1.524-m gauge
narrow gauge: 427 km 0.760-m gauge (2004)


total: 198,817 km
paved: 60,043 km (including 228 km of expressways)
unpaved: 138,774 km (2003)


1,731 km
note: includes 1,075 km on Danube River, 524 km on secondary branches, and 132 km on canals (2005)

Merchant marine:

total: 24 ships (1000 GRT or over) 204,803 GRT/255,382 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 1, cargo 16, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 2 (Italy 2)
registered in other countries: 41 (Georgia 8, North Korea 16, Malta 3, Panama 9, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, Syria 3) (2005)

Ports and terminals:

Braila, Constanta, Galati, Tulcea

Military branches:

Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces (AMR), Special Operations, Civil Defense (2005)

Disputes - international:

Romania and Ukraine have taken their dispute over Ukrainian-administered Zmiyinyy (Snake) Island and Black Sea maritime boundary to the ICJ for adjudication; Romania also opposes Ukraine's reopening of a navigation canal from the Danube border through Ukraine to the Black Sea; Hungary amended the status law extending special social and cultural benefits to ethnic Hungarians in Romania, to which Romania had objected

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