The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia – for centuries under the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire – secured their autonomy in 1856; they were de facto linked in 1859 and formally united in 1862 under 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.

Romanian Flag

Romanian Flag


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

Geographic coordinates:
46 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references:

total: 238,391 sq km
country comparison to the world: 83
land: 229,891 sq km
water: 8,500 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 Moldavian Plateau on the east by the Eastern 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: 37.73%
permanent crops: 1.86%
other: 60.41% (2011)

Irrigated land:
6,153 sq km (2007)

Total renewable water resources:
211.9 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 6.88 cu km/yr (22%/61%/17%)
per capita: 320.8 cu m/yr (2009)

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

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People & Society

noun: Romanian(s)
adjective: Romanian

Ethnic groups:
Romanian 83.4%, Hungarian 6.1%, Roma 3.1%, Ukrainian 0.3%, German 0.2%, other 0.7%, unspecified 6.1% (2011 est.)

Romanian (official) 85.4%, Hungarian 6.3%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.2%, other 1%, unspecified 6.1% (2011 est.)

Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 81.9%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformed and Pentecostal) 6.4%, Roman Catholic 4.3%, other (includes Muslim) 0.9%, none or atheist 0.2%, unspecified 6.3% (2011 est.)

21,729,871 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58

Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.6% (male 1,628,220/female 1,541,914)
15-24 years: 11.3% (male 1,258,746/female 1,197,681)
25-54 years: 45.7% (male 5,021,370/female 4,916,576)
55-64 years: 15.4% (male 1,320,781/female 1,508,878)
65 years and over: 15.1% (male 1,346,864/female 1,988,841) (2014 est.)

Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 43.6 %
youth dependency ratio: 21.7 %
elderly dependency ratio: 21.9 %
potential support ratio: 4.6 (2014 est.)

Median age:
total: 39.8 years
male: 38.4 years
female: 41.4 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.29% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 216

Birth rate:
9.27 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206

Death rate:
11.88 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 28

Net migration rate:
-0.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123

urban population: 52.8% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: -0.18% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas – population:
BUCHAREST (capital) 1.937 million (2011)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Mother’s mean age at first birth:
26 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
27 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 127

Infant mortality rate:
total: 10.16 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 140
male: 11.52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 8.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.69 years
country comparison to the world: 108
male: 71.23 years
female: 78.36 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.32 children born/woman (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 214

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
note: percent of women aged 15-49 (2005)

Health expenditures:
5.9% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 116

Physicians density:
2.39 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density:
6.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
urban: 98.5% of population
rural: 75.6% of population
total: 87.7% of population
urban: 1.5% of population
rural: 24.4% of population
total: 12.3% of population (2008 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
urban: 87.9% of population
rural: 54.4% of population
total: 72.1% of population
urban: 12.1% of population
rural: 45.6% of population
total: 27.9% of population (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122

HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS:
16,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 88

HIV/AIDS – deaths:
fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76

Obesity – adult prevalence rate:
19.1% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 101

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
3.5% (2002)
country comparison to the world: 103

Education expenditures:
4.2% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 104

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 97.7%
male: 98.3%
female: 97.1% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 14 years
female: 15 years (2011)

Child labor – children ages 5-14:
total number: 26,658
percentage: 1 % (2000 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
total: 22.7%
country comparison to the world: 49
male: 22.3%
female: 23.2% (2012)

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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, Dambovita, Dolj, Galati, Gorj, Giurgiu, Harghita, Hunedoara, Ialomita, Iasi, Ilfov, Maramures, Mehedinti, Mures, Neamt, Olt, Prahova, Salaj, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Teleorman, Timis, Tulcea, Vaslui, Valcea, Vrancea

9 May 1877 (independence proclaimed from the Ottoman Empire; independence recognized on 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)

several previous; latest adopted 21 November 1991, approved by referendum and effective 8 December 1991; amended 2003 (2014)

Legal system:
civil law system

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Traian BASESCU (since 20 December 2004); note – President BASESCU has twice been temporarily suspended since assuming his post: first from 20 April-23 May 2007, second from 6 July-27 August 2012; he survived a national recall referendum on both occasions
head of government: Prime Minister Victor-Viorel PONTA (since 7 May 2012); Deputy Prime Ministers Daniel CONSTANTIN, Hunor KELEMAN, Gabriel OPREA (since 5 March 2014)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 22 November 2009 with runoff on 6 December 2009 (next to be held in November-December 2014); prime minister appointed by the president with the consent of the Parliament
election results: Traian BASESCU reelected president; percent of vote – Traian BASESCU 50.3%, Mircea GEOANA 49.7%

Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate or Senat (176 seats; members elected by popular vote in a mixed electoral system to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camera Deputatilor (412 seats; members elected by popular vote in a mixed electoral system to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate – last held on 9 December 2012 (next by December 2016); Chamber of Deputies – last held on 9 December 2012 (next by December 2016)
election results: Senate – percent of vote by alliance/party – USL 60.1%, ARD 16.7%, PP-DD 14.6%, UDMR 5.3%, other 3.3%; seats by alliance/party – USL 122, ARD 24, PP-DD 21, UDMR 9; Chamber of Deputies – percent of vote by alliance/party – USL 58.6%, ARD 16.5%, PP-DD 14%, UDMR 5.2%, ethnic minorities 2.6%, other 3.1%; seats by alliance/party – USL 273, ARD 56, PP-DD 47, UDMR 18, ethnic minorities 18

Judicial branch:
highest court(s): High Court of Cassation and Justice (consists of 111 judges and organized into civil, penal, commercial, contentious administrative and fiscal business, and joint sections); Supreme Constitutional Court (consists of 9 members)
judge selection and term of office: High Court of Cassation and Justice judges appointed by the president upon nomination by the Superior Council of Magistracy, a 19-member body mostly of judges, prosecutors, and law specialists; judges appointed for 6-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court members – 6 elected by Parliament and 3 appointed by the president; members serve 9-year, non-renewable terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; regional tribunals; first instance courts; military and arbitration courts

Political parties and leaders:
Christian-Democratic National Peasants’ Party or PNT-CD [Aurelian PAVELESCU]
Civic Force or FC [Mihai-Razvan UNGUREANU]
Conservative Party or PC [Daniel CONSTANTIN] (formerly Humanist Party or PUR)
Democratic Liberal Party or PDL [Vasile BLAGA] (formerly Democratic Party)
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania or UDMR [Hunor KELEMEN]
National Liberal Party or PNL [Crin ANTONESCU]
National Union for Romania’s Progress or UNPR [Gabriel OPREA]
New Republic Party or NR [Mihai NEAMTU]
People’s Party – Dan Diaconescu or PP-DD [Dan DIACONESCU]
Popular Movement Party or PMP [Eugene TOMAC]
Social Democratic Party or PSD [Victor-Viorel PONTA] (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: Iulian BUGA (since 3 December 2013)
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 Duane BUTCHER (since 14 December 2012)
embassy: Bulevardul Dr. Liviu Librescu 4-6, District 1, Bucharest, 015118
mailing address: 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; modeled after the flag of France, the colors are those of the principalities of Walachia (red and yellow) and Moldavia (red and blue), which united in 1862 to form Romania; the national coat of arms that used to be centered in the yellow band has been removed
note: now similar to the flag of Chad, whose blue band is darker; also resembles the flags of Andorra and Moldova

National symbol(s):
golden eagle

National anthem:
name: “Desteapta-te romane!” (Wake up, Romanian!)

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Economy – overview:
Romania, which joined the EU 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 due to strong demand in EU export markets. Domestic consumption and investment fueled strong GDP growth, but led to large current account imbalances. Romania’s macroeconomic gains have only recently started to spur creation of a middle class and to address Romania’s widespread poverty. Corruption and red tape continue to permeate the business environment. As a result of the global financial crisis, Romania signed on to a $26 billion emergency assistance package from the IMF, the EU, and other international lenders. GDP contracted from 2009 to 2011.

In March 2011, Romania and the IMF/EU/World Bank signed a 24-month precautionary stand-by agreement, worth $6.6 billion, to promote fiscal discipline, encourage progress on structural reforms, and strengthen financial sector stability. In September 2013, the Romanian authorities and the IMF/EU agreed to a follow-on stand-by agreement, worth $5.4 billion, to continue with reforms, although Bucharest announced that it does not intend to draw funds under the agreement. Economic growth accelerated in 2013, driven by strong industrial exports and an excellent agricultural harvest; in December 2013 inflation dropped to a historical low annual rate of 1.6%; and the current account deficit was reduced substantially. Yet, progress on structural reforms is uneven and the economy still is vulnerable to shocks.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$288.5 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
$278.7 billion (2012 est.)
$277 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$188.9 billion (2013 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:
3.5% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92
0.6% (2012 est.)
2.3% (2011 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):
$14,400 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 94
$13,700 (2012 est.)
$13,600 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

Gross national saving:
24.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
23.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
22.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

GDP – composition, by end use:
household consumption: 71.4%
government consumption: 6.2%
investment in fixed capital: 23.6%
investment in inventories: -0.7%
exports of goods and services: 42.2%
imports of goods and services: 42.7%
(2013 est.)

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 6.4%
industry: 34.2%
services: 59.4% (2013 est.)

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% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26

Labor force:
9.451 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 51

Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 29%
industry: 28.6%
services: 42.4% (2012)

Unemployment rate:
7.3% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
6.5% (2012 est.)

Population below poverty line:
22.2% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 14.1%
highest 10%: 7.5% (2012 est.)

Distribution of family income – Gini index:
27.4 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 127
24.2 (2010)

revenues: $60.11 billion
expenditures: $64.85 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
31.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2.5% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106

Public debt:
38.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
37.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: defined by the EU’s Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities: currency and deposits, securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives, and loans; general government sector comprises the subsectors: central government, state government, local government, and social security funds

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.2% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
3.4% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
4% (31 December 2013)
country comparison to the world: 66
5.25% (31 December 2012)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
NA% (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
11.49% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$30.82 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 59
$26.51 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$74.21 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 61
$66.13 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$91.77 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
$90.75 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$43.67 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
$31.71 billion (31 December 2012)
$24.26 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Current account balance:
-$1.986 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
-$7.48 billion (2012 est.)

$65.84 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
$57.86 billion (2012 est.)

Exports – commodities:
machinery and equipment, metals and metal products, textiles and footwear, chemicals, agricultural products, minerals and fuels

Exports – partners:
Germany 18.9%, Italy 12.3%, France 7.1%, Turkey 5.5%, Hungary 5.5% (2012)

$73.42 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$70.17 billion (2012 est.)

Imports – commodities:
machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels and minerals, metals, textile and products, agricultural products

Imports – partners:
Germany 17.5%, Italy 11%, Hungary 9.1%, France 5.7%, Russia 4.4%, Poland 4.3%, Austria 4.2%, Kazakhstan 4.1% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$48.78 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41
$46.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Debt – external:
$131.6 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
$131.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – at home:
$84.04 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 47
$78.05 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad:
$1.455 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
$1.298 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates:
lei (RON) per US dollar –
3.41 (2013 est.)
3.4682 (2012 est.)
3.1779 (2010 est.)
3.0493 (2009)
2.5 (2008)

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Cincinnati Connection

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