Population size of most Romanian counties decreases over past 10 years

The population size in 39 out of Romania’s 42 counties decreased over the past ten years between two censuses, according to data with the National Institute of Statistics (INS), according to ActMedia.eu.

INS says that the provisional results of the Population and Housing Census round 2021 (RPL2021) show a resident population of Romania of 19.053 million people (19,053,815 people), down 1.1 million from the previous census (October 2011). The majority of the resident population is female (9.808 million, or 51.5%) and lives in an urban setting (9.941 million, or 52.2%).

Ageing intensified, with the average age of the resident population increasing to 42.4 years (as against 40.8 years in 2011). In 2021, the average age of the female population is 44.1 years as against 40.6 years for men. Nord-Est is the region with the youngest population, where the average age is 40.8 years, and at the opposite end is the Sud-Vest Oltenia region, with an average age of 43.7 years.

A young population lives in Ilfov County, with the lowest average age of 38.6 years. The populations of the counties of Iasi (39.2 years) and Suceava (39.9 years) are also under 40 years old. Teleorman County has the oldest population, with an average age of 46.3 years. The populations of Hunedoara (45.5 years) and Braila (45.3 years) counties are over 45 years old.

According to INS, Ilfov County stands out for a particular situation, namely an increase by 153,900 people in its population, mostly migrated from the city of Bucharest. Only two other counties – Bistrita-Nasaud and Suceava – gained 9.8 thousand and 7.7 thousand inhabitants, respectively. The largest population size drops were recorded by the counties of Caras-Severin (-16.6%, or 49,000 fewer people) and Teleorman (-14.9%, or 56,600 fewer people).

The municipalities, cities or towns to gain the largest number of inhabitants between the two censuses, about 30,000 people each, are: the town of Popesti Leordeni, Ilfov County, which reached 53,431 people (31,536 more than in 2011), the small town of Floresti, Cluj County, with a resident population of 52,735 people (up 29,922 people from 2011) and the small town of Chiajna, Ilfov County, with a resident population of 43,584 people (up 29,325 from 2011).

The ranking changes if we consider increases in relative values. Thus, the small town of Chiajna, Ilfov County, and the small town of Valea Lupului, Iasi County tripled in size (305.7% over 2011, reaching a population of 43,584 inhabitants, and 291.2%, to a population of 14,510 inhabitants), while the small towns of Dumbravita and Giroc, both in Timis County, increased in ten years by 266.1% and 265.5%, respectively, to 20,014 and 22,270 inhabitants, respectively.

The biggest drops in population size during the last decade are reported by the small towns of Ciudanovita, Caras-Severin County (444 inhabitants, down 32.4% over the population in 2011) and Valea Salciei and Margaritesti, both in Buzau County (529 inhabitants, down 31.8% and 478 inhabitants down 31.4% from 2011).

The smallest small town in Romania by population size is Batrana, Hunedoara County, with only 88 inhabitants, down from 127 inhabitants in 2011. In the previous census, the smallest was Brebu Nou, Caras-Severin County, with 119 inhabitants, which in the 2021 census increased to 166 inhabitants.

The largest small town in Romania by population size is Floresti, Cluj County, which kept its leading position in both censuses, but within a decade, the resident population of Floresti increased 2.3 times.

The town of Baile Tusnad remained the smallest town in Romania by population size (1,372 inhabitants as against 1,641 inhabitants in 2011). The largest town in 2021 is Popesti Leordeni. Both ten years ago and in 2021, the smallest municipality is Orsova, Mehedinti County, with a population of only 8,506 people, down 1,935 people from 2011.

With the exclusion of Bucharest City, the city of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj County, is now the most populous city in Romania, same as ten years ago, although its population dropped by 37,978 people, down to 286,598 inhabitants. But the drop has to be seen from a broader perspective, taking into account the environs, where the urban population chose to move in houses. Without the environs, the population size of the city of Cluj-Napoca decreased to 88.3% of the population ten years ago; when the environs are added, there was a slight increase (101.8%).

According to INS, ethnicity, mother tongue and religion in the 2021 census was recorded based on what the people claimed. As a result, the composition below for the three ethno-cultural features are calculated based on the total number of people who claimed their ethnicity, mother tongue and religion and not based on the total number of the resident population.

Information on ethnicity was available for 16,568 million people (out of a total of 19,053 million people making up the resident population of Romania). As many as 14.801 million people (89.3%) claimed to be Romanian. The ethnic Hungarian population was 1.002 million people (6.0%), and the number of those who claimed to be Roma was 569,500 people (3.4%). The ethnic groups for which more than 20,000 people were registered are: Ukrainians (45,800 people), Germans (22,900 people) and Turks (20,900 people).

According to the claims of the 16,551 million people who stated their mother tongue, the composition of the population by mother tongue is as follows: for 91.6%, Romanian is the first language usually spoken in the family during childhood, and in the case of 6.3 % Hungarian is their mother tongue; the Romanian language is the mother tongue for 1.2%, and the Ukrainian language for 0.2% of the total resident population for which this information was available.

As many as 16.397 million people from the total resident population picked a religious affiliation, which shows that 85.3% of them are Christian Orthodox; 4.5% Roman Catholic, and 3.0% Reformed.

Romania’s economically active population is 8.185 million people, consisting of 7.689 million employed people and 495,800 unemployed.

The economically inactive population includes 10.868 million people, of whom pensioners and social aid beneficiaries make up two fifths (39.5%), and pupils and students almost a third (32.0%).

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