Demographics of Romania
About 89.5% of the people of Romania are ethnic Romanians, a group that — in contrast to its Slav or Hungarian neighbors — traces itself to Latin-speaking Romans, who in the second and third centuries A.D. conquered and settled among the ancient Dacians, a Thracian people. As a result, the Romanian language, although containing elements of Slavic, Turkish, and other languages, is a Romance language related to, among others, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Primarily a rural, agricultural and pastoral population, the medieval Wallachians and Moldavians maintained their language and culture despite centuries of employing Old Church Slavonic in official writings and ecclesiastical rite. Since the 17th century the official name of Ţara Românească replaced the old one of Vlahia or Valahia.
- 1 Minorities
- 2 Religion
- 3 Culture
- 4 Statistics
- 5 External link
Hungarians (Szeklers and Magyars) (especially in Harghita, Covasna and Mureş) and Rromas (commonly known as ţigani) are the principal minorities, with a declining German population (in Timiş, Sibiu, Braşov) and smaller numbers of Slovaks, Serbs and Croats (in Banat), Ukrainians (in Bukovina), Greeks (Brăila, Constanţa), Turks and Tatars (in Constanţa), Armenians, Great Russians (Lippovans, in Tulcea) and others. Minority populations are greatest in Transylvania and the Banat, areas in the north and west, which were possesions of the Habsburg Empire (since 1867 the Austro-Hungarian Empire) until World War I. Even before the union with Romania, ethnic Romanians comprised the overall majority in Transylvania. However, ethnic Hungarians and Germans were the dominant urban population until relatively recently, and still are the majority in Harghita and Covasna counties.
Before World War II, minorities represented more than 28% of the total population. During the war that percentage was halved, largely by the loss of the border areas of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina (to the former Soviet Union -- now Moldova and Ukraine) and southern Dobrudja (to Bulgaria), as well as by the postwar flight or deportation of ethnic Germans.
Though Romanian troops participated in the destruction of the Jewish communities of Bessarabia and Bukovina, most Jews from Romania survived the Holocaust. Mass emigration, mostly to Israel and United States, has reduced the surviving Jewish community from over 300,000 to less than 6,000. In recent years, more than two-thirds of the ethnic Germans in Romania have emigrated to Germany, leaving behind roughly 60,000.
Religious affiliation tends to follow ethnic lines, with most ethnic Romanians identifying with the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Greek Catholic or Uniate church, reunified with the Orthodox Church by fiat in 1948, was restored after the 1989 revolution. The 2002 census indicates that 0.9% of the population is Greek Catholic, as opposed to about 10% prior to 1948. Roman Catholics, largely ethnic Hungarians and Germans, constitute 4.7% of the population; Calvinists, Baptists (see Baptist Union of Romania and Convention of the Hungarian Baptist Churches of Romania), Pentecostals, and Lutherans make up another 5%. There are smaller numbers of Unitarians, Muslims, and other religions.
Main article: Culture of Romania
Romania's rich cultural traditions have been nourished by many sources, some of which predate the Roman occupation. The traditional folk arts, including dance, wood carving, ceramics, weaving and embroidery of costumes and household decorations, and fascinating folk music, still flourish in many parts of the country. Despite strong Austrian, German, and especially French influence, many of Romania's great artists, such as the painter Nicolae Grigorescu, the poet Mihai Eminescu, the composer George Enescu, and the sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi, drew their inspiration from Romanian folk traditions.
The country's many Orthodox monasteries, as well as the Transylvanian Catholic Church and the Evangelical Church, some of which date back to the 13th century, are repositories of artistic treasures. The famous painted monasteries of Bukovina make an important contribution to European architecture.
Poetry and the theater play an important role in contemporary Romanian life. Classic Romanian plays, such as those of Ion Luca Caragiale, as well as works by modern or avant-garde Romanian and international playwrights, find sophisticated and enthusiastic audiences in the many theaters of the capital and of the smaller cities.
21,698,181 (March 2002)
Different sources give extremely different statistics for the evolution of Romania's population history. The National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics (NIRDI) gives the following numbers:
Population evolution: (censuses)
- 1859 - 8,600,000 (Wallachia and Moldavia without Bessarabia, Bukovina, and Transylvania)
- 1912 - 12,923,600
- 1930 - 18,052,896 (Greater Romania; 71.9% Romanians)
- 1948 - 15,872,624 (territory of today's Romania; female 51.7%)
- 1956 - 17,489,450
- 1966 - 19,103,163
- 1977 - 21,559,910
- 1992 - 22,810,035
- Statistics 1859–1992 from NIRDI: 
However, the following numbers, very different for the early years, come from the Tacitus Historical Atlas 
- 1844 - 3.6 million
- 1861 - 3.9 million
- 1870 - 4.3 million
- 1880 - 4.5 million
- 1890 - 5.3 million
- 1900 - 6.0 million
- 1910 - 6.9 million
- 1915 - 7.8 million
- 1921 - 15.6 million
- 1930 - 17.9 million
- 1939 - 19.9 million
- 1940 - 15.9 million
- 1941 - 13.6 million
- 1946 - 15.8 million
- Statistics 1844–1946 from Tacitus Historical Atlas 
Thereafter, the numbers are essentially the same as the NIRDI numbers.
0-14 years: 18% (male 2,111,320; female 2,015,347)
15-64 years: 68% (male 7,597,958; female 7,707,498)
65 years and over: 14% (male 1,237,368; female 1,741,630) (2000 est.)
- Urban - 52.70%
- Rural - 47.30%
Population growth rate
-0.21% (2000 est.)
10.76 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)
12.29 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)
Net migration rate
-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
Infant mortality rate
17.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2002), 
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 69.93 years
male: 66.1 years
female: 73.99 years (2000 est.)
Total fertility rate
1.35 children born/woman (2000 est.)
Data as of 2002:
- Romanian Orthodox - 86.7%
- Roman Catholic - 4.7%
- Protestant - 3.7%
- Pentecostal - 1.5%
- Greek Catholic - Uniate - 0.9%
- Atheist - ~0% (9,271 people)
- No religion - 0.1%
- Other religions - 2.3%
- Refused to declare - 0.1%