Nation at a Glance - Romania

History

The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia - for centuries under the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire - secured their autonomy in 1856; they were de facto linked in 1859 and formally united in 1862 under 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.

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

Border Countries: Bulgaria 605 km, Hungary 424 km, Moldova 683 km, Serbia 531 km, Ukraine 601 km

Total Area: 238,391 sq km Land: 229,891 sq km Water: 8,500 sq 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

Land use: Agricultural land: 60.7% arable land 39.1%; permanent crops 1.9%; permanent pasture 19.7% Forest: 28.7% Other: 10.6% (2011 est.)

Ethnic groups: Romanian 83.4%, Hungarian 6.1%, Roma 3.1%, Ukrainian 0.3%, German 0.2%, Other 0.7%, Unspecified 6.1% (2011 est.)

Languages: Romanian (official) 85.4%, Hungarian 6.3%, Romany (Gypsy) 1.2%, Other 1%, Unspecified 6.1% (2011 est.)

Religions: Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 81.9%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformed and Pentecostal) 6.4%, Roman Catholic 4.3%, Other (includes Muslim) 0.9%, None or atheist 0.2%, Unspecified 6.3% (2011 est.)

Population: 21,599,736 (July 2016 est.)

Literacy: 98.8%; Male: 99.1%; Female: 98.5% (2015 est.)

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, Dambovita, Dolj, Galati, Gorj, Giurgiu, Harghita, Hunedoara, Ialomita, Iasi, Ilfov, Maramures, Mehedinti, Mures, Neamt, Olt, Prahova, Salaj, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Teleorman, Timis, Tulcea, Vaslui, Valcea, Vrancea

Economy: Romania, which joined the EU 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. Romania's macroeconomic gains have only recently started to spur cIn the aftermath of the global financial crisis, Romania signed a $26 billion emergency assistance package from the IMF, the EU, and other international lenders, but GDP contracted until 2011. In March 2011, Romania and the IMF/EU/World Bank signed a 24-mEconomic growth rebounded in 2013-16, driven by strong industrial exports and excellent agricultural harvests, and the fiscal deficit was reduced substantially. Industry outperformed other sectors of the economy in 2016. Exports remained an engine of econAn aging population, significant tax evasion, insufficient health care, and an aggressive loosening of the fiscal package jeopardize the low fiscal deficit and public debt and are the economy's top vulnerabilities.

Agriculture - products: Wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, sunflower seed, potatoes, grapes; eggs, sheep

Industries: Electric machinery and equipment, auto assembly, textiles and footwear, light machinery, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining, mining, timber, construction materials

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