The World Factbook (1990)/Romania


World Factbook (1990) Romania.jpg

See regional map V


Total area: 237,500 km²; land area: 230,340 km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Oregon

Land boundaries: 2,904 km total; Bulgaria 608 km, Hungary 443 km, USSR 1,307 km, Yugoslavia 546 km

Coastline: 225 km

Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: Transylvania question with Hungary; Bessarabia question with USSR

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

Natural resources: crude oil (reserves being exhausted), timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt

Land use: 43% arable land; 3% permanent crops; 19% meadows and pastures; 28% forest and woodland; 7% other; includes 11% irrigated

Environment: frequent earthquakes most severe in south and southwest; geologic structure and climate promote landslides, air pollution in south

Note: controls most easily traversable land route between the Balkans and western USSR


Population: 23,273,285 (July 1990), growth rate 0.5% (1990)

Birth rate: 16 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 10 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -1 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 19 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 69 years male, 75 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.2 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Romanian(s); adjective—Romanian

Ethnic divisions: 89.1% Romanian; 7.8% Hungarian; 1.5% German; 1.6% Ukrainian, Serb, Croat, Russian, Turk, and Gypsy

Religion: 80% Romanian Orthodox; 6% Roman Catholic; 4% Calvinist, Lutheran, Jewish, Baptist

Language: Romanian, Hungarian, German

Literacy: 98%

Labor force: 10,690,000; 34% industry, 28% agriculture, 38% other (1987)

Organized labor: until December 1989, a single trade union system organized by the General Confederation of Romanian Trade Unions (UGSR) under control of the Communist Party; since Ceauşescu's overthrow, newly-created trade and professional trade unions are joining two rival umbrella organizations—Organization of Free Trade Unions and Fratia (Brotherhood)


Long-form name: none

Type: former Communist state; current multiparty provisional government has scheduled a general democratic election for 20 May 1990

Capital: Bucharest

Administrative divisions: 40 counties (judeţe, singular—judeţ) and 1 municipality* (municipiu); Alba, Arad, Argeş, Bacǎu, Bihor, Bistriţa-Nǎsǎud, Botoşani, Brǎila, Braşov, Bucureşti*, Buzǎu, Cǎlǎraşi, Caraş-Severin, Cluj, Constanţa, Covasna, Dîmbovita, Dolj, Galaţi, Gorj, Giurgiu, Harghita, Hunedoara, Ialomiţa, Iaşi, Maramureş, Mehedinţi, Mureş, Neamţ, Olt, Prahova, Sǎlaj, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Teleorman, Timiş, Tulcea, Vaslui, Vîlcea, Vrancea

Independence: 1881 (from Turkey); republic proclaimed 30 December 1947

Constitution: 21 August 1965; new constitution being drafted

Legal system: former mixture of civil law system and Communist legal theory that increasingly reflected Romanian traditions is being revised; Communist regime had not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; Provisional Council of National Unity will probably accept ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Liberation Day, 23 August (1944); new national day to commemorate popular anti-Ceauşescu uprising under discussion

Executive branch: president, vice president, prime minister, and Council of Ministers (cabinet) appointed by provisional government

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of an upper house or Senate (Senat) and a lower house or House of Deputies (Adunarea Deputaţilor)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice

Leaders: Chief of State—President of Provisional Council of National Unity Ion ILIESCU (since 23 December 1989);

Head of Government—Prime Minister of Council of Ministers Petre ROMAN (since 23 December 1989)

Political parties and leaders: Social Democratic Party, Sergiu Cunescu; National Liberal Party, Radu Cimpeanu; National Christian Peasants Party, Corneliu Coposu; Free Democratic Social Justice Party, Gheorghe Susana; several others being formed; Communist Party has ceased to exist; formation of left-wing parties is uncertain

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: Senate—elections for the new upper house to be held 20 May 1990;

House of Deputies—elections for the new lower house to be held 20 May 1990

Communists: 3,400,000 (November 1984); Communist Party has ceased to exist


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Virgil CONSTANTINESCU; Chancery at 1607 23rd Street NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 232-4747; US—Ambassador Alan GREEN, Jr.; Embassy at Strada Tudor Arghezi 7-9, Bucharest (mailing address is APO New York 09213); telephone [40](0) 10-40-40

Flag: 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 flags of Andorra and Chad


Overview: Industry, which accounts for one-third of the labor force and generates over half the GNP, suffers from an aging capital plant and persistent shortages of energy. In recent years the agricultural sector has had to contend with drought, mismanagement, and shortages of inputs. Favorable weather in 1989 helped produce a good harvest, although far below government claims. The new government is slowly loosening the tight central controls of Ceauşescu's command economy. It has instituted moderate land reforms, with close to one-third of cropland now in private hands, and it has allowed changes in prices for private agricultural output. Also, the new regime is permitting the establishment of private enterprises of 20 or fewer employees in services, handicrafts, and small-scale industry. Furthermore, the government has halted the old policy of diverting food from domestic consumption to hard currency export markets. So far, the government does not seem willing to adopt a thorough-going market system.

GNP: $79.8 billion, per capita $3,445; real growth rate -1.5% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0% (1987)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $26 billion; expenditures $21.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $13.6 billion (1987)

Exports: $1 1.5 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—machinery and equipment 34.7%, fuels, minerals and metals 24.7%, manufactured consumer goods 16.9%, agricultural materials and forestry products 11.9%, other 11.6% (1986); partners—USSR 27%, Eastern Europe 23%, EC 15%, US 5%, China 4% (1987)

Imports: $8.75 billion (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—fuels, minerals, and metals 51.0%, machinery and equipment 26.7%, agricultural and forestry products 11.0%, manufactured consumer goods 4.2% (1986); partners—Communist countries 60%, non-Communist countries 40% (1987)

External debt: none (mid-1989)

Industrial production: growth rate 3.6% (1988)

Electricity: 22,640,000 kW capacity; 80,000 million kWh produced, 3,440 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: mining, timber, construction materials, metallurgy, chemicals, machine building, food processing, petroleum

Agriculture: accounts for 15% of GNP and 28% of labor force; major wheat and corn producer; other products—sugar beets, sunflower seed, potatoes, milk, eggs, meat, grapes

Aid: donor—$4.3 billion in bilateral aid to non-Communist less developed countries (1956-88)

Currency: leu (plural—lei); 1 leu (L) = 100 bani

Exchange rates: lei (L) per US$1—20.96 (February 1990), 14.922 (1989), 14.277 (1988), 14.557 (1987), 16.153 (1986), 17.141 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 11,221 km total; 10,755 km 1.435-meter standard gauge, 421 km narrow gauge, 45 km broad gauge; 3,328 km electrified, 3,060 km double track; government owned (1986)

Highways: 72,799 km total; 15,762 km concrete, asphalt, stone block; 20,208 km asphalt treated; 27,729 km gravel, crushed stone, and other paved surfaces; 9,100 km unpaved roads (1985)

Inland waterways: 1,724 km (1984)

Pipelines: 2,800 km crude oil; 1,429 km refined products; 6,400 km natural gas

Ports: Constanta, Galati, Braila, Mangalia; inland ports are Giurgiu, Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Orsova

Merchant marine: 282 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 3,313,320 GRT/5,134,335 DWT; includes 1 passenger-cargo, 184 cargo, 1 container, 1 rail-car carrier, 14 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 2 livestock carrier, 10 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 69 bulk

Civil air: 70 major transport aircraft

Airports: 165 total, 165 usable; 25 with permanent-surface runways; 15 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 15 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: stations—39 AM, 30 FM, 38 TV; 3,910,000 TV sets; 3,225,000 radio receivers; satellite earth stations—1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT and 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT

Defense Forces

Branches: Romanian Army, Security Troops, Air and Air Defense Forces, Romanian Navy

Military manpower: males 15-49, 5,736,783; 4,860,427 fit for military service; 193,537 reach military age (20) annually

Defense expenditures: 11.8 billion lei, 2.8% of total budget (1989); note—conversion of the military budget into US dollars using the official administratively set exchange rate would produce misleading results