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Romania (formerly spelled Rumania or Roumania) is a country in southeastern Europe. Romania is bordered by Ukraine and Moldova in the northeast, Hungary and Serbia in the west and Bulgaria to the south. Romania also has a small sea coast on the Black Sea.

Flag of Romania Romanian Coat of Arms
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: none
Location of Romania
Official languageRomanian
PresidentIon Iliescu
Prime MinisterAdrian Năstase
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 78th
238,391 km²
 - Total (2002)
 - Density
Ranked 49th
Independence9 May 1877 (from the Ottoman Empire)
Time zoneUTC +2/+3
National anthemDeşteaptă-te, Române!
Calling Code40


The name Romania comes from Rome or the (Eastern) Roman Empire and asserts the country'Roman_Empire" title ="Roman Empire">Roman Empire province. In Late Antiquity the Roman Empire was often called Romania in Latin. Some historians have argued that the medieval Byzantine Empire should more properly be called Romania, but this has not caught on.

"Romania" is also used for the set of European lands where Romance languages appeared.


Main article: History of Romania

The Dacians were defeated by the Roman Empire in 106 by the Emperor Trajan in two campaigns stretching from 101 to 107, which marked the beginning of a succession of invasions of Romania, although the rulers usually allowed a high degree of autonomy.

In the Middle Ages, Romanians lived in three distinct principalities: Wallachia, Moldavia (also Moldova) and Transylvania.

Wallachia and Moldavia came under the suzeranity of the Ottoman Empire in 15th and 16th century respectively, with internal autonomy, and brief periods of independence, Moldova losing its eastern side Bessarabia to the Russian Empire in 1812, its northern part Bukovina to the Austrian Empire in 1775 and its south-eastern part Bugeac to the Ottoman Empire

Transylvania came under Hungary'Anjou" title ="Anjou">Anjou, of Habsburg, and of Holy Roman Empire), becoming a Principality under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire in 1526, following the Battle of Mohacs. At the end of the 18th century, Austrian Empire (since 1867 Austria-Hungary) included Transylvania inside its borders.

The modern Romania was born when the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia merged in 1859, and independency was ratified by the Great Powers in 1877. Following the WW I and the disintegration of the Russian Empire and Austro-Hungary, and the rise of Bolshevism in Hungary and Russia, Transylvania and Bessarabia opted for a Union with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

Bessarabia, N. Bukovina and Bugeac were incorporated by the Soviet Union in 1940, mostly comprising the present-day Republic of Moldova with Bugeac and N. Bukovina assigned to Ukraine. After the Second World War, Romania became a communist state under military and economic control of USSR until 1958.

The decades-long reign of president Nicolae Ceauşescu was ended with an uprising in late 1989, part of which, now reformed as social democrats continued to be present in the democratically elected government until 1996 when a center-right coalition government took power for one term. In 2000, social democrats returned to power and elections will be held on November 28th, 2004

See also: Kings of Romania


Main article: Politics of Romania

Romania is a democratic republic. The legislative branch of the Romanian government consists of two chambers, the Senat (Senate), which has 137 members (as of 2004), and the Camera Deputaţilor (Chamber of Deputies), which has 332 members (as of 2004). The members of both chambers are chosen in elections held every four years.

The president, the head of the executive branch, is also elected by popular vote, every five years (until 2004 - four years). The president appoints a prime minister, who heads the government, the members of which are in turn appointed by the prime minister. The government is subject to a parliamentary vote of approval.


Main article: Counties of Romania

Romania is divided into 41 judeţe, or counties, and the municipality of Bucharest (Bucureşti) - the capital.

The counties are (in alphabetical order):

Administrative map of RomaniaTransylvania is green, Wallachia blue, the Moldavian region red, and Dobrogea yellow
Administrative map of Romania
Transylvania is green, Wallachia blue, the Moldavian region red, and Dobrogea yellow


Map of Romania with cities

Main article: Geography of Romania

A large part of Romania'Danube" title ="Danube">Danube. The Danube is joined by the Prut River, which forms the border with Moldova.

The Carpathian Mountains dominate the western part of Romania, with peaks up to 2,500 m, the highest, Moldoveanu, reaching 2,544 m.

Major cities are the capital Bucharest, Braşov, Timişoara, Cluj-Napoca, Constanţa, Craiova, and Iaşi (Jassy).

See also:


Main article: Economy of Romania

After the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989-91, Romania was left with an obsolete industrial base and a pattern of industrial capacity wholly unsuited to its needs.

In February 1997, Romania embarked on a comprehensive macroeconomic stabilisation and structural reform programme, but reform subsequently has been a frustrating stop-and-go process. Restructuring programs include liquidating large energy-intensive industries and major agricultural and financial sector reforms.

Romania's lagging and unstable economy has been transformed into one with macroeconomic stability, high growth and low unemployment.

Romania reached an agreement with the IMF in August for a USD $547 million loan, but release of the second tranche was postponed in October because of unresolved private sector lending requirements and differences over budgetary spending.

Bucharest avoided defaulting on mid-year lump-sum debt payments, but had to significantly draw down reserves to do so; reserves rebounded to an estimated $1.5 billion by year end 1999.

The government'Privatisation" title ="Privatisation">privatisation, and restructuring unprofitable firms.

2002 and 2003 were successful economic years, and currently GDP growth is forecast at 4.5% per annum. The economy grew by 6.6% in the first half of 2004, and 7.0% (year-on-year) in the second quarter of 2004, marking the highest growth rate in the region. The average gross wage per month in Romania is 8,392,766 lei as of October 2004, an increase of 2.1% over the previous month. This equates to US$283.54, 213.60 euro and 360.21 AUD. The average net salary per month in January 2004 was 6,071,211 lei.

GDP growth should be around 8% in 2004 and around 6-7% in 2005.

Unemployment in Romania is at 6.2% (2004), which is very low compared to other European countries.

Romania was invited by the European Union in December 1999 to begin accession negotiations. It is expected to join the EU in 2007 along with Bulgaria.

Despite clear improvements, Romania still faces several key problems: rampant corruption on almost all levels of society, lack of transparency regarding public spendings, lack of economic competitivity - especially in the agricultural sector, some underemployment in rural areas and low pace of reform in the public (state owned) sector of economy.

Press freedom is generally granted, but some economic and administrative pressures determine media to reflect especially the positive or neutral aspects in the society, rather than the negative ones or critics addressed to the Government.

Romania was granted in October 2004 the much desired 'Market_economy" title ="Market economy">market economy' status by EU officials, with some reserves - especially related to aspects mentioned in the paragraph above.


Main article: Demographics of Romania

Ethnic groups (2002 est.):

  • Romanian 89.5%
  • Hungarian 6.6%
  • Gypsy 2.5%
  • Ukrainian 0.3%
  • German 0.3%
  • Russian 0.2%
  • Turkish and Tatar 0.2%
  • other 0.4%

Religions (2002 est.):

  • Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 87%
  • Protestant 6.8%
  • Catholic 5.6%
  • Muslim 0.3%
  • others 0.1%
  • unaffiliated 0.2%

The official language is Romanian, a Romance language of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, which are also called Romanic, and are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but mainly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

Sizeable minorities of Hungarian and German descent, mostly in Transylvania, also speak Hungarian and German. Other ethnic groups include Roma Gypsies and natives of Romania'Polish_minority_in_Romania" title ="Polish minority in Romania">Polish minority (numbering a few thousand people) living in Suceava County.

Most Romanians are members of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which is one of the churches of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Catholicism (both Roman Catholic and Romanian Catholic) and Protestantism are also represented, mostly in the areas inhabited by population closer to western influence.

In Dobrogea, the region lying on the shore of the Black Sea, there is a small Muslim minority (of Turkish and Tatar ethnicity), a remnant of the Ottoman rule and migrations from the Crimea.


Main article: Culture of Romania

See also:

Miscellaneous topics

External links

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Reference links

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bg:Румъния cs:Rumunsko cy:Romania da:Rumænien de:Rumänien et:Rumeenia es:Rumanía eo:Rumanio fr:Roumanie gd:Romàinia io:Rumania ia:Romania is:Rúmenía it:Romania he:רומניה la:Romania lv:Rumānija lt:Rumunija hu:Románia ms:Romania nl:Roemenië ja:ルーマニア no:Romania nds:Rumänien pl:Rumunia pt:Roménia ro:România ru:Румыния simple:Romania sk:Rumunsko sl:Romunija fi:Romania sv:Rumänien tokipona:ma Lomani tr:Romanya uk:Румунія wa:Roumaneye zh:羅馬尼亞

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