Romania

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Introduction | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Communications
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Map of Romania
Romania Introduction Top of Page
Background: Soviet occupation following World War II led to the formation of a communist “peoples republic” in 1947 and the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule of President Nicolae CEAUSESCU became increasingly draconian through the 1980s. He was overthrown and executed in late 1989. Former communists dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power. Much economic restructuring remains to be carried out before Romania can achieve its hope of joining the EU.
Romania Geography Top of Page
Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine
Geographic coordinates: 46 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 237,500 sq km land: 230,340 sq km water: 7,160 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, Yugoslavia 476 km, Ukraine (north) 362 km, Ukraine (east) 169 km
Coastline: 225 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation exclusive economic zone: 200 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
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 Plain of Moldavia on the east by the 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: 41% permanent crops: 3% permanent pastures: 21% forests and woodland: 29% other: 6% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 31,020 sq km (1993 est.)
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, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography – note: controls most easily traversable land route between the Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine
Romania People Top of Page
Population: 22,364,022 (July 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.95% (male 2,054,323; female 1,959,196) 15-64 years: 68.51% (male 7,605,751; female 7,715,434) 65 years and over: 13.54% (male 1,255,880; female 1,773,438) (2001 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.21% (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 10.8 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 12.28 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 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: 0.71 male(s)/female total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 19.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 70.16 years male: 66.36 years female: 74.19 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.35 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 0.02% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 7,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 350 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Romanian(s) adjective: Romanian
Ethnic groups: Romanian 89.5%, Hungarian 7.1%, Roma 1.8%, German 0.5%, Ukrainian 0.3%, other 0.8% (1992)
Religions: Romanian Orthodox 70%, Roman Catholic 3%, Uniate Catholic 3%, Protestant 6%, unaffiliated 18%
Languages: Romanian, Hungarian, German
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 97% male: 98% female: 95% (1992 est.)
Romania Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Romania local long form: none local short form: Romania
Government type: republic
Capital: Bucharest
Administrative divisions: 40 counties (judete, singular – judet) and 1 municipality* (municipiu); Alba, Arad, Arges, Bacau, Bihor, Bistrita-Nasaud, Botosani, Braila, Brasov, Bucuresti*, Buzau, Calarasi, Caras-Severin, Cluj, Constanta, Covasna, Dimbovita, Dolj, Galati, Gorj, Giurgiu, Harghita, Hunedoara, Ialomita, Iasi, Maramures, Mehedinti, Mures, Neamt, Olt, Prahova, Salaj, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Teleorman, Timis, Tulcea, Vaslui, Vilcea, Vrancea
Independence: 1881 (from Turkey; republic proclaimed 30 December 1947)
National holiday: Unification Day (of Romania and Transylvania), 1 December (1918)
Constitution: 8 December 1991
Legal system: former mixture of civil law system and communist legal theory; is now based on the constitution of France’s Fifth Republic
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Ion ILIESCU (since 20 December 2000) head of government: Prime Minister Adrian NASTASE (since 29 December 2000) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 26 November 2000, with runoff between the top two candidates held 10 December 2000 (next to be held NA November/December 2004); prime minister appointed by the president election results: percent of vote – Ion ILIESCU 66.84%, Corneliu Vadim TUDOR 33.16%
Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Senate or Senat (140 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Adunarea Deputatilor (345 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote on a proportional representation basis to serve four-year terms) elections: Senate – last held 26 November 2000 (next to be held in the fall of 2004); Chamber of Deputies – last held 26 November 2000 (next to be held in the fall of 2004) election results: Senate – percent of vote by party – PDSR 37.1%, PRM 21.0%, PD 7.6%, PNL 7.5%, UDMR 6.9%; seats by party – PDSR 65, PRM 37, PD 13, PNL 13, UDMR 12; Chamber of Deputies – percent of vote by party – PDSR 36.6%, PRM 19.5%, PD 7.0%, PNL, 6.9%, UDMR 6.8%; seats by party – PDSR 155, PRM 84, PD 31, PNL 30, UDMR 27, ethnic minorities 18
Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (judges are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the Superior Council of Magistrates)
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Party or PD [Petre ROMAN]; Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania or UDMR [Bela MARKO]; National Liberal Party or PNL [Mircea IONESCU-QUINTUS]; Party of Social Democracy in Romania or PDSR [Adrian NASTASE]; Romania Mare Party (Greater Romanian Party) or PRM [Corneliu Vadim TUDOR]; The Democratic Convention or CDR [Ion DIACONESCU]
Political pressure groups and leaders: various human rights and professional associations
International organization participation: ACCT, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CEI, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (applicant), FAO, G- 9, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MONUC, NAM (guest), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UPU, WCL, WEU (associate partner), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Mircea GEOANA chancery: 1607 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 telephone: [1] (202) 332-4846, 4848, 4851 FAX: [1] (202) 232-4748 consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador James C. ROSAPEPE embassy: Strada Tudor Arghezi 7-9, Bucharest mailing address: American Embassy Bucharest, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5260 (pouch) telephone: [40] (1) 210 40 42 FAX: [40] (1) 210 03 95 branch office(s): Cluj-Napoca
Flag description: three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; the national coat of arms that used to be centered in the yellow band has been removed; now similar to the flag of Chad, also resembles the flags of Andorra and Moldova
Romania Economy Top of Page
Economy – overview: Romania, one of the poorest countries in Central and Eastern Europe, began the transition from communism in 1989 with a largely obsolete industrial base and a pattern of output unsuited to the country’s needs. Over the past decade economic restructuring has lagged behind most other countries in the region. Consequently, living standards have continued to fall – real wages are down over 40%. Corruption too has worsened. The EU ranks Romania last among enlargement candidates, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) rates Romania’s transition progress the region’s worst. The country emerged in 2000 from a punishing three-year recession thanks to strong demand in EU export markets. A new government elected in November 2000 promises to promote economic reform. Bucharest hopes to receive financial and technical assistance from international financial institutions and Western governments; negotiations over a new IMF standby agreement are to begin early in 2001. If reform stalls, Romania’s ability to borrow from both public and private sources could quickly dry up, leading to another financial crisis.
GDP: purchasing power parity – $132.5 billion (2000 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 2.2% (2000 est.)
GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity – $5,900 (2000 est.)
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 13.9% industry: 32.6% services: 53.5% (2000)
Population below poverty line: 44.5% (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.8% highest 10%: 20.2% (1992)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 45.7% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 9.9 million (1999 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture 40%, industry 25%, services 35% (1998)
Unemployment rate: 11.5% (1999)
Budget: revenues: $11.7 billion expenditures: $12.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1999 est.)
Industries: textiles and footwear, light machinery and auto assembly, mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining
Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2000)
Electricity – production: 49.036 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity – production by source: fossil fuel: 53.99% hydro: 36.18% nuclear: 9.81% other: 0.02% (1999)
Electricity – consumption: 44.768 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity – exports: 1.935 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity – imports: 1.1 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture – products: wheat, corn, sugar beets, sunflower seed, potatoes, grapes; eggs, sheep
Exports: $11.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports – commodities: textiles and footwear 26%, metals and metal products 15%, machinery and equipment 11%, minerals and fuels 6% (1999)
Exports – partners: Italy 23%, Germany 18%, France 6%, Turkey 5%, US (1999)
Imports: $11.9 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Imports – commodities: machinery and equipment 23%, fuels and minerals 12%, chemicals 9%, textile and products 19% (1999)
Imports – partners: Italy 20%, Germany 19%, France 7%, Russia 6% (1999)
Debt – external: $9.3 billion (2000 est.)
Currency: leu (ROL)
Currency code: ROL
Exchange rates: lei per US dollar – 26,243.0 (January 2001), 21,708.7 (2000), 15,332.8 (1999), 8,875.6 (1998), 7,167.9 (1997), 3,084.2 (1996); note – lei is the plural form of leu
Fiscal year: calendar year
Romania Communications Top of Page
Telephones – main lines in use: 3.777 million (1997)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 645,500 (1999)
Telephone system: general assessment: poor domestic service, but improving domestic: 90% of telephone network is automatic; trunk network is mostly microwave radio relay, with some fiber-optic cable; about one-third of exchange capacity is digital; roughly 3,300 villages have no service international: satellite earth station – 1 Intelsat; new digital, international, direct-dial exchanges operate in Bucharest; note – Romania is an active participant in several international telecommunication network projects (1999)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 40, FM 202, shortwave 3 (1998)
Radios: 7.2 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 48 (plus 392 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions: 5.25 million (1997)
Internet country code: .ro
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 38 (2000)
Internet users: 600,000 (2000)
Romania Transportation Top of Page
Railways: total: 11,385 km (3,888 km electrified) standard gauge: 10,898 km narrow gauge: 487 km (1996)
Highways: total: 153,359 km paved: 103,671 km (including 133 km of expressways) unpaved: 49,688 km (1998 est.)
Waterways: 1,724 km (1984)
Pipelines: crude oil 2,800 km; petroleum products 1,429 km; natural gas 6,400 km (1992)
Ports and harbors: Braila, Constanta, Galati, Mangalia, Sulina, Tulcea
Merchant marine: total: 95 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 695,227 GRT/931,598 DWT ships by type: bulk 10, cargo 71, container 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 4, railcar carrier 2, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 1 (2000 est.)
Airports: 62 (2000 est.)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 25 over 3,047 m: 3 2,438 to 3,047 m: 10 1,524 to 2,437 m: 12 (2000 est.)
Airports – with unpaved runways: total: 37 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 914 to 1,523 m: 12 under 914 m: 23 (2000 est.)
Heliports: 1 (2000 est.)
Romania Military Top of Page
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces, Paramilitary Forces, Civil Defense
Military manpower – military age: 20 years of age
Military manpower – availability: males age 15-49: 5,899,536 (2001 est.)
Military manpower – fit for military service: males age 15-49: 4,962,807 (2001 est.)
Military manpower – reaching military age annually: males: 179,951 (2001 est.)
Military expenditures – dollar figure: $720 million (FY00)
Military expenditures – percent of GDP: 2.2% (FY00)
Romania Transnational Issues Top of Page
Disputes – international: none
Illicit drugs: important transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin transiting the Balkan route and small amounts of Latin American cocaine bound for Western Europe