Romania Population

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Population

Population

The population of what is now Romania reached two million in the first quarter of the 1500s. Between 1700 and 1800 the population increased from 2.5 million to 5.5 million people. By 1880 the population had reached 10 million. In 1992 there were 24.1 million and there were nearly 21,5 million in 2009. The largest city is Bucharest with 1.9 million inhabitants. The next highest populations are in Braşov, Constanta, Cluj-Napoca, Timişoara, Iaşi, Galati and Craiova, which range from 250,000 and 300,000.

Boundary changes in Romania caused the influx and exodus of ethnic groups to surrounding countries as well as emigration to the new world.

Minorities

The area of Romania has long been a land of ethnic diversity. In many areas of Wallachia and Moldavia the population was 100 percent Romanian. Nevertheless both had many areas of diversity, especially Moldavia. As early as the beginning of the eighteenth century, Moldovan prince and scholar Dimitrie Cantemir observed that he "didn't believe that there [existed] a single country of the size of Moldova in which so many and such diverse peoples meet." Dobruja had, and still has, many ethnic groups. The ethnic Romanian population of Dobrudja has always been under 50 percent; other groups include Bulgarians, Tatars, Russians, and Turks. Historically the most ethnically diverse areas of Romania have been the former Hungarian territories of Transylvania and the Banat. This has been a multi-ethnic region with Hungarian, Romanian, German, and Serbian inhabitants since medieval times.

Hungarians - The largest minority group in Romania are the Hungarians who are found chiefly in Transylvania. There are two distinct Hungarian cultural groups, the Magyars and the Szeklers. The Magyars came into the area in 896 and shortly thereafter the Szeklers settled in southeastern Transylvania. Most Szeklers are Protestant; the majority of Magyars are Roman Catholic. When Transylvania became part of the Kingdom of Romania in 1918 nearly 200,000 ethnic Hungarians moved into the Republic of Hungary and the exodus of Hungarians from Romania continued though most of the twentieth century.

Germans - The ethnic German component of the population is also concentrated in former Hungarian territory. The Germans are divided into two distinct groups--the Protestant Saxons and the Catholic Swabians. The Saxons arrived in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, invited by Hungarian kings. Most came from the Rhineland and settled in the south and east of Transylvania. The Saxons converted to the Lutheran faith which helped preserve their cultural identity. The Swabians settled in Romania much later, in the mid and late 1700s. They came chiefly from the Württemberg area and ended up mostly in the Banat. Since the second world war, most ethnic Germans have left Romania, ending up primarily in Germany and Austria.

Ukrainians – Formerly fourth after the Germans, Ukrainians (also called Ruthenians in this area) are now the third-largest ethnic minority in Romania. Ukrainians live mainly in northern Romania, in areas close to the Ukrainian border. This area was formerly part of the Austrian province of Bukovina. Romania now has the southern half of Bukovina, the population of which, in 1930, was 29.2% Ukrainians. More than half of all Romanian Ukrainians live in Maramureş County. Sizeable populations of Ukrainians are also found in Suceava County and Timiş County.

Serbs - The Serb population in the area of Romania was larger in the past. Although most of the Serbs lived in Banat, there was also a Serb population living in what is now Arad county of Romania, just north of Banat in Transylvania. The Serb percentage of the Romanian population declined during the 1800s as Romanians moved into the area and Serbs migrated into Serbia. In 1919, when the border between the Kingdom of Romania and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, about 65,000 Serbs were left in Romania.

Jews - In 1912 there were an estimated 240,000 Jews in the area of the Kingdom of Romania. First arriving from Poland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 1800s, in the late 1800s Jews constituted a majority in the ten northernmost towns of Moldavia, especially Iaşi (Jassy). Bucharest also had a significant number of Jews. Today, the largest segment of the Jewish population (about 17,000) live in Bucharest.

Ethnic Changes in the Area of Romania[1]

Group
1875
1912
1930
1977
1992
2010
Romanians
61.8%
68.4%
79.2%
88.1%
90.6%
89.5%
Hungarians
17.3%
13.4%
8.5%
7.9%
7.1%
6.6%
Germans
7.5%
5.8%
3.9%
1.6%
0.5%
0.3%
Ukrainians
4.7%
3.7%
1.9%
0.5%
0.4%
0.3%
Jews
2.5%
2.3%
2.1%
0.2%
0.2%
0.03%
Bulgarians
1.8%
2.0%
1.2%
0.3%
0.3%
0.04%
Turks
1.6%
1.8%
0.9%
0.2%
0.2%
0.2%
Serbians
0.8%
0.7%
1.0%
0.2%
0.1%
0.1%
Russians
0.6%
0.7%
0.5%
0.1%
0.2%
0.2%
Slovaks
0.5%
0.5%
0.5%
0.1%
0.1%
0.08%
Poles
0.4%
0.4%
0.4%
0.1%
0.1%
0.02%
Greeks
0.1%
0.1%
0.1%
0.1%
0.1%
0.03%
Total inhabitants:
9,686,984
14,876,389
15,976,991
21,560,000
24,100,100
21,464,466

References

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Romania,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1989-1997.