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Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Rechanneled and deepened Dîmbovita River, one of many 1980s projects transforming the landscape of central Bucharest
    Courtesy Scott Edelman


    Figure 4. Ethnic Hungarian Minority in Romania in the 1980s


    Countryside in Saxon German region of Transylvania
    Courtesy Scott Edelman

    Romania derives much of its ethnic diversity from its geographic position astride major continental migration routes. According to 1987 data, 89.1 percent of the population is Romanian, and more than twenty separate ethnic minorities account for the remaining 12 percent. Although many of these minorities are small groups, the Hungarian minority of about 1.7 million--estimated by some Western experts at 2-2.5 million--represents 7.8 percent of the total population and is the largest national minority in Europe. The next largest component of the population is the ethnic Germans, who constitute up to 1.5 percent of the total population. There are also significant numbers of Ukrainians, Serbs, and Croats, as well as a Jewish minority estimated by Western observers at between 20,000 and 25,000. Although not officially recognized as a distinct ethnic minority, there is a sizable Gypsy population. The 1977 census documented only 230,000, but some Western estimates put the Gypsy element at between 1 million and 2 million, suggesting that Gypsies might be actually the second largest minority after the Hungarians.

    Data as of July 1989

    NOTE: The information regarding Romania on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Romania ETHNIC STRUCTURE information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Romania ETHNIC STRUCTURE should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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