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Romania

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.

Landscape

Location:

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

Area:

  • Total: 238,391 sq kmcountry comparison to the world: 82
  • Land: 229,891 sq km
  • Water: 8,500 sq km

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

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

Natural resources:

  • Petroleum (reserves declining), timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt, arable land, hydropower

Cultural Traditions

Population:

22,215,421 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52

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.)

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%
(2002 census)

Social and Government

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

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)

Flag description:

Three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; the three colors were used by various national revolutionary movements in the 19th century; 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

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, but fell in 2009 as a result of the world recession.

Romania's GDP growth 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, and unemployment nearly doubled. Romania hopes to adopt the euro by 2014

Copyright: www.cia.gov