|Form of government||Parliamentary republic|
|Time zone||UTC + 2 OEZUTC + 3 OESZ (March – October)|
|Telephone area code||0040 (Source: ALLCITYCODES)|
The Republic of Romania is located in south-east Europe and, with an area of 238,391 km², is about two thirds the size of Germany. The country borders Ukraine to the north, Moldova to the northeast and east,the Black Sea to the east, Bulgaria to the south, Serbia to the west and Hungary to the west.
The core area of Romania is the hilly highlands of Transylvania (Transylvania), which are crossed by numerous valleys and rivers. The Carpathian Mountains stretch around Transylvania in the northeast, east and south. In the southern part of the Carpathian Mountains (Transilvanian Alps) is the country’s highest peak, the Moldoveanu with 2 543 m. To the east, the Carpathian Mountains are initially connected to mountainous foothills, which in the northern and central part merge into the heavily structured Vltava plateau, in the southern part into the Danube lowland. In the far east is the Dobruudda hills with the Danube Delta. Wallachia is the largest plain in the country in southern Romania.
In the west, the core area of Transylvania borders on the Apuseni Mountains (Western Transylvania Mountains), which reach heights of up to 1,800 m. To the west of it, Romania has a share in the Hungarian Alföld (Great Hungarian Lowlands) and in the Serbian Banat, the Banat Mountains connect to the Southern Carpathians.
Romania’s longest river is the Danube, which flows through the country for a length of about 1 089 km. It marks the border with Bulgaria in the south and Yugoslavia in the southwest. The Danube Delta in the east of the country is the second largest river delta in Europe with a total of 5,640 km². About a fifth of the delta is located on Ukrainian territory. The second largest river in Romania with about 768 km is the Mures, a tributary of the Tisza.
The capital Bucharest (Bucuresti) is located in the southeast of the country in the Danube lowland.
Romania’s climate is moderately continental and is characterized by warm summers and cold winters. The average July temperature in the capital Bucharest in the southeast of the country is 23 °C, in January the average is -2.5 °C. In Cluj Napoca in Transylvania, the average temperatures are slightly lower (July 20 °C, January -3.5 °C). Rainfall is generally lower in the east than in the west of the country. On the Black Sea coast there are around 400 mm annually, up to 650 mm in the west. Up to 2,000 mm can be reached in the mountains. The rainfall is distributed all year round.
Flora and fauna
Almost 30% of Romania’s land area is forested. Beech and oak forests are mainly found in Transylvania, in the Apuseni Mountains and on the slopes of the Carpathians. At higher altitudes from around 1,500 m there are mixed forests, which then merge into coniferous forests (mainly spruce and fir). Grass corridors can be found above around 1,800 m. Most of the forest stands on the plains have been cleared. The floodplain forests along the course of the Danube are an exception, here poplar, ash and willow trees grow, for example. A large number of swamp and reed plants can be found in the Danube Delta. A specialty here are carnivorous plants such as water hose and Wasserhade.
The inaccessible mountain forests offer a suitable habitat for bears, wolves, wild cats, lynxes and deer. Wild boars, foxes, otters and beaver rats live in the Danube Delta. The bird life in the Danube Delta includes pelicans, flamingos, cormorants and herons. Dolphins and monk seals can be found off the coast.
Around 22.31 million people live in Romania, about half of them in cities. By far the largest city is Bucharest with 1.95 million residents. Other cities include Constance (Constanta) on the Black Sea with 315,000 residents, Jassy (Iasi, 325,000) and Temesvar (Timisoara, 320,000). The average population density is 91 people per square kilometer. Alone a tenth of the population lives in the Bucharest region in the Danube lowland, Transylvania and the Banat (southern foothills of the Southern Carpathians) are also densely populated.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 90% of the population are Romanians who are descendants of the Indo-European Dacians. The largest ethnic minority are Hungarians, who have a share of almost 7% of the total population and mostly live in Transylvania. Sinti and Roma still make up an estimated 2% of the population today; other minorities are Ukrainians, Russians, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Turks and around 100,000 ethnic Germans who are descendants of the Germans who immigrated to Transylvania in the 12th century. A total of 18 recognized minorities live in Romania, whose rights are now enshrined in the 1991 constitution.
The official language is Romanian, which is one of the Eastern Romanic languages. The languages of the ethnic minorities are also spoken regionally. Around 87% of the population belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church, religious minorities are Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims.
In Romania there is a comprehensive social insurance system, the healthcare system is well developed and free of charge. The average life expectancy is 75 for women and 68 for men. Population growth is slightly negative. Children aged six and over are required to attend school for nine years. The literacy rate is over 98%.
According to the 1991 constitution, Romania is a presidential republic with a multi-party system, the legal system of which is modeled on that of France. The head of state is the president, elected directly by the people for five years (Traian Besescu since December 2004), who has far-reaching powers in the highly centralized state. The head of the government is the Prime Minister (since May 2012 Victor Ponta), who is appointed by the President and himself calls the ministers into office.
Parliament as a legislative body is made up of two chambers: the Chamber of Deputies with 334 MPs and the Senate with 137 Senators. The members of both chambers are directly elected by the people for a term of four years.
Romania is divided into 41 districts (Judete) and the capital district.
Romania is a highly industrialized country. More than three quarters of its exports are industrial goods or machines. However, a quarter of the population still lives on the poverty line; Administration and the legal system continue to operate inefficiently and are often corrupt. The sharp rise in exports is offset by an increase in imports.
The long-term forecasts for the Romanian economy are nevertheless good: in addition to fertile soils, the country has rich mineral resources (oil, natural gas, coal, iron ores, silver, gold, uranium). The numerous loss-making companies, which are still state-owned, are proving to be an obstacle to an upswing; the government’s reform course also includes extensive privatization.
The agricultural sector in Romania employs about a third of all the workforce and generates 7% of the gross domestic product (GDP). The main crops are corn, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine and sunflowers. Sheep, cattle and pig farming are important in cattle breeding.
Structural change has been taking place in the traditionally dominant industries of mechanical engineering, metallurgy, chemistry, oil industry and petrochemicals for several years. The share of industry in GDP is around 32%.
The main export goods in Romania are industrial primary products, metals, machines and means of transport; the goods are mainly delivered to Germany, Italy and Hungary. Most of the imports (machines and means of transport, fuels and industrial intermediate products) come from these countries.
The road network in Romania covers a total of around 200,000 km, around half of which is paved. Approx. 11,500 km are available on rails. There are eight international airports, the most important of which are the capital Bucharest (Bucuresti) and Temesvar (Timisoara). The most important port on the Black Sea is Constanta. Important inland waterways are the Danube and the Danube-Black Sea Canal.
Currency is the leu (plural: lei; corresponds to 100 bani)