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Roumanian Stories

Roumania Past and Present, James Samuelson

Le Tour du Monde; En Roumanie

Area Handbook for Romania, by Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole

Twinning of Greece and Romania, The

The Balkan Peninsula , Sir Frank Fox

Romania (Europe)

Introduction ::Romania

Background:

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


View Larger Map

Location:

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

Geographic coordinates:
46 00 N, 25 00 E

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 238,391 sq km country comparison to the world: 82 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

Coastline:

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

Climate:

temperate; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms

Terrain:

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: 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

Population:

21,959,278 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 53

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) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 38.4 years

male: 36.9 years

female: 39.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

-0.247% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 216

Birth rate:

9.58 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 203

Death rate:

11.78 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 34

Net migration rate:

-0.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 131

Urbanization:

urban population: 54% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: -0.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 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: 0.69 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 11.32 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 145 male: 12.76 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 73.74 years country comparison to the world: 110 male: 70.26 years

female: 77.42 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.27 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 212

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

less than 0.1% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 127

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

15,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 87

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

350 (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 102

Nationality:

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)

Religions:

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)

Languages:

Romanian 91% (official), Hungarian 6.7%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.1%, other 1.2%

Literacy:

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: 15 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2008)

Education expenditures:

4.4% of GDP (2007) country comparison to the world: 94

Government ::Romania

Country name:

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Romania

local long form: none

local short form: Romania

Government type:

republic

Capital:

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

Independence:

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)

Constitution:

8 December 1991; revised 29 October 2003

Legal system:

based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Traian BASESCU (since 20 December 2004)

head of government: Prime Minister Emil BOC (since 22 December 2008); Deputy Prime Minister Marko BELA (since 23 December 2009)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) 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 (137 seats; members 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 elected by popular vote in a mixed electoral system to serve four-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 30 November 2008 (next expected to be held in November 2012); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 30 November 2008 (next expected to be held in 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 - PDL 115, PSD-PC 114, 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 [Daniel CONSTANTIN] (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 [Crin ANTONESCU]; National Union for Romania's Progress or UNPR [Gabriel OPREA]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Victor 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:

Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CBSS (observer), CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD,
EIB, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, G-9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC,
ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO,
Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer),
MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NSG, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA,
SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS,
UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

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 Mark GITENSTEIN

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; 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 1861 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 anthem:

name: "Desteapta-te romane!" (Wake up, Romanian)

lyrics/music: Andrei MURESIANU/Anton PANN

note: adopted 1990; the anthem was written during the 1848 Revolution

Economy ::Romania

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 GDP contracted 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 GDP fell more than 7% in 2009, prompting Bucharest to seek a $26 billion emergency assistance package from the IMF, the EU, and other international lenders. Drastic austerity measures, as part of Romania's IMF-led agreement led to a further 1.9% GDP contraction in 2010. The economy is expected to return to positive growth in 2011.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$253.3 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 49 $258.2 billion (2009 est.)

$277.9 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$158.4 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-1.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 205 -7.1% (2009 est.)

7.1% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$11,500 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 96 $11,700 (2009 est.)

$12,600 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 12.8%

industry: 36%

services: 51.2% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

9.35 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 29.7%

industry: 23.2%

services: 47.1% (2006)

Unemployment rate:

8.2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 93 7.8% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

25% (2005 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) country comparison to the world: 103 28.8 (2003)

Investment (gross fixed):

21.1% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 74

Public debt:

34.8% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 83 24% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

6% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 163 5.6% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
NA%

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

17.28% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 46 14.99% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$24.39 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 60 $26.03 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$63.67 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 63 $61.66 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$77.46 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 54 $72.45 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$30.32 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 61 $19.92 billion (31 December 2008)

$44.93 billion (31 December 2007)

Agriculture - products:

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

Industries:

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:

1.5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 140

Electricity - production:

58.28 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 44

Electricity - consumption:

49.44 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 45

Electricity - exports:

5.169 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

921 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production:

117,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 50

Oil - consumption:

214,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 53

Oil - exports:

115,600 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 64

Oil - imports:

217,000 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 43

Oil - proved reserves:

600 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 43

Natural gas - production:

11.42 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 40

Natural gas - consumption:

16.92 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 38

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 139

Natural gas - imports:

5.5 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 30

Natural gas - proved reserves:

63 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 60

Current account balance:

-$7.934 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 175 -$7.139 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

$51.91 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 51 $40.6 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

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

Exports - partners:

Germany 18.76%, Italy 15.42%, France 8.2%, Turkey 4.99%, Hungary 4.33% (2009)

Imports:

$59.84 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 42 $50.03 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

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

Imports - partners:

Germany 17.3%, Italy 11.78%, Hungary 8.36%, France 6.14%, China 4.91%, Austria 4.75% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$50.51 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 21 $44.11 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$108.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 34 $110 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$80.16 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 42 $73.96 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$1.831 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 69 $1.731 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

lei (RON) per US dollar - 3.2 (2010), 3.0493 (2009), 2.5 (2008), 2.43 (2007), 2.809 (2006)

Communications ::Romania

Telephones - main lines in use:

5.313 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 30

Telephones - mobile cellular:

25.377 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 34

Telephone system:

general assessment: the telecommunications sector is being expanded and modernized; domestic and international service improving rapidly, especially mobile-cellular services

domestic: more than 90 percent of telephone network is automatic; fixed-line teledensity exceeds 20 telephones per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity, expanding rapidly, roughly 115 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 (2009)

Broadcast media:

a mixture of public and private TV stations; the public broadcaster operates multiple stations; roughly 100 private national, regional, and local stations operating; more than 75% of households are connected to multi-channel cable or satellite TV systems that provide access to Romanian, European, and international stations; state-owned public radio broadcaster operates 4 national networks and regional and local stations; more than 100 private radio stations broadcasting (2008)

Internet country code:

.ro

Internet hosts:

2.464 million (2010) country comparison to the world: 34

Internet users:

7.787 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 37

Transportation ::Romania

Airports:

54 (2010) country comparison to the world: 88

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 26

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 10

1,524 to 2,437 m: 11

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 28

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 21 (2010)

Heliports:

3 (2010)

Pipelines:

gas 3,588 km; oil 2,424 km (2009)

Railways:

total: 10,788 km country comparison to the world: 21 broad gauge: 57 km 1.524-m gauge

standard gauge: 10,731 km 1.435-m gauge (3,965 km electrified) (2008)

Roadways:

total: 198,817 km country comparison to the world: 25 paved: 60,043 km (includes 281 km of expressways)

unpaved: 138,774 km (2008)

Waterways:

1,731 km country comparison to the world: 48 note: includes 1,075 km on Danube River, 524 km on secondary branches, and 132 km on canals (2006)

Merchant marine:

total: 15 country comparison to the world: 102 by type: cargo 10, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 1

registered in other countries: 35 (Cambodia 1, Georgia 7, Liberia 3, Malta 8, Marshall Islands 2, Moldova 2, North Korea 1, Panama 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Sierra Leone 4, Syria 1, Togo 1, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Braila, Constanta, Galati (Galatz), Mancanului (Giurgiu), Midia,
Tulcea

Military ::Romania

Military branches:

Land Forces, Naval Forces, Romanian Air Force (Fortele Aeriene
Romane, FAR), Special Operations (2010)

Military service age and obligation:

18-35 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription officially ended October 2006; all military inductees (including women) contract for an initial 5-year term of service, with subsequent successive contracts for 3-year terms until age 36 (2009)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 5,617,144

females age 16-49: 5,487,510 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 4,513,619

females age 16-49: 4,566,620 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 121,391

female: 115,258 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

1.9% of GDP (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 76

Transnational Issues ::Romania

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

Hellenica World

Index