Romania Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Romania Country Overview

Where is Romania located? Romania is a country geographically located right in the middle of Central and Southeastern Europe. Romania is a semi-presidential republic. The time zone map of the world divides countries into world time zones along lines of longitude. According to this map, Romania is in “Eastern European Time”, a time zone that has a 2-hour time difference from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2). In the summer months (end of March to the end of October), the time is put forward by one hour, which increases the difference to 3 hours.

Romania National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Romania is 21,302,893, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 21,302,893
Population growth rate -0.37%
Birth rate 8.90 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 74.45 years
Men life expectancy 70.99 years
Women life expectancy 78.13 years
Age structure
0-14 years 14.31%
15-64 years 68.93%
65 years and above 16.76%
Median age 40.20 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.95
Population density 89.36 residents per km²
Urbanization 54.50%
88.9% Romanians, 6.5% Hungarians, 3.3% Roma (S 1.2-2.5 million), 0.3% Ukrainians, 0.2% Germans, 0.1% Turks, 0, 1% Russians, 0.1% Tatars; a total of 20 recognized national minorities – proportion of foreigners 2015: 0.4%
Romanian Orthodox 70%, Catholics (Roman Catholic) 3%, Members of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church 3%, Protestants 6%, Without religious affiliation 18% (2002)
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.816
HDI ranking 52nd out of 194

People in Romania

Almost 20 million people live in Romania. This puts Romania in ninth place in Europe in terms of population size (in terms of area, it ranks twelfth out of 47 countries). Most Romanians live in the Moldova region (in the northeast) and in Great Wallachia (in the south, where the capital Bucharest is also located). The birth rate is 1.4 children per woman. 54 percent of the people, a little more than half, live in the city.

89 percent of the population are Romanians in terms of their ethnicity. The largest minority in the country are the Hungarians with 6.5 percent. Most of them live in the southeast of Transylvania, the historical Szekerland, which is now in the middle of Romania. Hungarians also live on the border with Hungary. The second largest minority are the Roma.

Only 0.2 percent are Romanian Germans, a German-speaking minority in the country that used to be much larger. These are mainly Transylvanian Saxons and Danube Swabians. They live in western Romania, in the Banat region (in the south-west) or in and around Satu Mare (in the north-west).

Ukrainians live with 0.3 percent in the north on the border with Ukraine. In the Dobrutscha, the region on the Black Sea, live 0.2 percent Russian Lipovans, 0.2 percent Turks and 0.1 percent Tatars. In the Banat in southwest Romania live 0.1 percent Slovaks and 0.1 percent Czech.

Who are the Roma?

Roma are groups of people who speak a common language, Romani. The Roma have no land of their own, but are a minority wherever they live.

In German they used to be called “Gypsies”, but this name was always used disparagingly and also includes the meaning “pulling crooks”. Therefore it should not be used. In German today, “Sinti and Roma” are mostly used, whereby Sinti refers to Roma groups living in Central Europe.

In Romania, the Roma make up the second largest minority in the country (after the Hungarians). There are also no small numbers of Roma living in Hungary or Slovakia.

Roma are often worse off economically than other groups in the country, that is, they are poor. They are often socially disadvantaged. They cannot find work because of their Roma membership. So you are being discriminated against. They are more likely than other residents to live in houses without running water and electricity. Some Roma children live as street children.

Who are the Romanian Germans?

The German-speaking residents of Romania are known as Romanian Germans. The two largest groups among them are the Transylvanian Saxons and the Danube Swabians. But there are other groups. Many cities in Transylvania therefore also have German names. Sibiu was founded as Hermannstadt and Brașov as Kronstadt.

After the First World War, Transylvania came to Romania. From the 12th century onwards, German settlers were increasingly recruited there. They should populate the country, but also secure the borders against incursions from the east and stimulate the economy. These German-speaking settlers were called Transylvanian Saxons.

It was similar in the Banat. Here, too, in the triangle between Hungary, Romania and Serbia, German settlers were recruited, but later, between the 17th and 19th centuries. These settlers came mainly from Swabia and settled on the Danube. That is why they were called Danube Swabians.

At the end of the Second World War, many Romanian Germans were resettled or fled. Many emigrated in later years too, because they were often discriminated against. Between 1967 and 1989 around 226,000 Romanian Germans were also ransomed by the German government. The number of Romanian Germans has now decreased to just 0.2 percent of the total population of Romania.

Who are the Lipowans?

Lipovans live in the Danube Delta and thus in Ukraine and Romania. Some also live in Bukovina, in north-eastern Romania. The Lipovans speak Russian, but it is a very old version of Russian. They form a religious community that fled Russia at the end of the 17th century. These are called Old Believers or Old Orthodox. They did not want to participate in reforms of the Russian Orthodox Church and were therefore persecuted. In Romania, the Lipovans still live in a few villages where they have been able to preserve their language and culture.

Languages in Romania

Romanian is spoken in Romania. This is the official language in the country. 91 percent of the population actually speak Romanian. Hungarians and Roma are the next largest ethnic group to live in Romania. They speak their own languages, namely Hungarian and Romany (also called Romani). The small minorities also have their own languages: the Ukrainians speak Ukrainian, the Germans German and the Lipovans speak Russian. In regions where more than 20 percent of the population speak a language other than Romanian, it is officially recognized as a second language.


Romanian is a Romance language and is related to Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian. All Romance languages ​​developed from Latin. Romania was once the Roman province of Dacia and that’s how Latin came here.

Romanian is written in Latin letters (such as German). In addition to the letters you know, there are five special characters: ă, â, î, ș, and ț. However, the letters k, q, w and y only appear in words from other languages.

Romanian spelling has been reformed over and over again. So î and â denote the same sound (in German it sounds similar to the ü in hat). It was then determined when to use which letter: at the beginning and at the end of the word î and in the middle of the word â. So it came to such changes as on the road signs in the photo (sfînt became sfânt).

Incidentally, one speaks the ă like our e in the word mat and a ș like a sh. The ț is pronounced like ts.

Religions in Romania

87 percent of Romanians belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church. So you form the vast majority.

Seven percent of the population are Protestants. Most of them are Hungarians and Germans. Six percent are Catholic. Here too the Hungarians are in the majority. 0.3 percent are Muslims, especially the Turks and Tatars who live in Dobruja.