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Romania

Romania

Summary

After emerging as a democracy following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Romania has struggled for decades to fight corruption and form cooperative governments. This has ultimately slowed down the business privatization process and caused the economy to grow slowly.1 The nation has high poverty rates and many minority groups still face societal and political discrimination. Most of the population traces their roots to the ancient Romans, but there are also a large number of Hungarians and Roma people living within Romania.2 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ro.html
2 https://www.britannica.com/place/Romania

Demographics

Nationality
Romanian
Population
21,790,479 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Explore Romania Subcases

Click and view Romania subcases and learn more about our Romania

Environment
Family
Human Rights
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Animals

Environment

Romania faces significant environmental concerns that have the potential to pose health risks to its citizens because of high levels of pollution, particularly in the air. The country depends largely on fossil fuels for energy which emit large amounts of pollutants that can have negative effects on Romanians’ health. In addition, industrial runoff can end up in the Danube river, which affects the livestock and agricultural lands that depend on this water to be clean.1

Family

Romania has strict divorce laws and regulations. In fact, divorce is not permitted before one year of marriage. Acceptable grounds for divorce include desertion of the home, infidelity, abuse, or existence of a serious incurable disease.1 The fertility rate in Romania is low, with about 1.5 children born to a woman in her lifetime, as compared with the 2.5 world average.2 Domestic abuse is more prevalent in Romania than in most other European nations, and a 2017 report by the European Court for Human Rights found that 60% of Romanians believe that abuse is acceptable in some situations.3

Human Rights

Some of the most pressing human rights concerns in Romania are the mistreatment of citizens at the hands of police and military forces and the societal discrimination of Roma people. The corruption of government and civil service officials at all levels has caused government mistrust to skyrocket.1 Within Romanian society, members of the LGBT community are severely discriminated against.1 Human trafficking is a concern, and each year thousands of Romanians are unknowingly sold into forced labor or sex markets across Europe.2

Education

The government is in the process of reforming its education sector in order to increase the quality and training of teachers.1 The national literacy rate in Romania is at 97% and the primary school enrollment rate is at 94%.2

Poverty

Romania has the highest relative poverty rate in the European Union with 25% of its citizens living below the poverty line. Poverty is most evident in rural regions because of people’s high dependence on agriculture.1

Religion

In Romania, 81% of people are Eastern Orthodox, and the remaining minority are Protestants, Catholics, or non-religious.1 Although the Romanian constitution has religious freedom written into it and in theory those freedoms are respected, there are complaints and instances of minority religious groups facing discrimination.2

Clean Water

The state of water access in Romania has improved significantly in the past decade, and now 100% of the population has access to clean drinking water. However, only 80% have improved sanitation services.1 The European Union has sponsored large water improvement programs in the past to increase water safety and access, but more infrastructure is needed for rural communities to have proper sanitation services.2

Economy

Ever since Romania joined the European Union in 2007, the economy has grown significantly and left behind its previous communist, industrially-based economic plan. The largest contributors to the nation’s GDP are industrial and agricultural exports such as timber, machinery, textiles, and wheat products. The reduction of widespread Romanian poverty and creation of a middle class have been direct results of strong macroeconomic efforts and privatization.1 This growth, however, has not been felt by all Romanians, and the nation still has the highest poverty rate in the European Union. The unemployment rate is near 7%.2

Government

Romania is a parliamentary republic with both a president and a prime minister playing important roles in governance.1 Even though elections have been considered free and fair since 1991, corruption is still prevalent, which hinders the government from functioning efficiently, and there have been recent instances of leaders resigning due to unpopularity.2 There is a long history of mistrust between the public and the government due to consistent corruption and inefficiencies in the judicial system.3

Health

The life expectancy is well below the European Union average, and this can be attributed to the poor health legacy left behind after the collapse of the communist regime. There is a shortage of healthcare professionals as many are lured away to other nations with higher pay, and nearly 25% of Romanians lack sufficient access to essential health care.1 Romania graduates the highest per capita amount of medical professionals each year, but corruption and the lack of modern technology cause few of them to stay.1 The infant mortality rate is 10 deaths for every 1,000 live births, and the leading causes of death among adults are heart disease, stroke, or alcohol related liver problems.2

Children

Care services for children in Romania are limited, especially for rural or impoverished families. More than 70,000 children are living in state run orphanages around the country, and often, funding for these facilities is inadequate and fails to address the underlying causes of child abandonment. Additionally, it is very difficult for children living in orphanages to be considered acceptable to adopt—forcing many to spend their entire childhoods institutionalized.1 Because of lack of care and overcrowded living conditions, there are a large number of children who suffer from mental and physical disabilities.2 After the fall of the brutal communist regime in 1989, hundreds of thousands of children were found to be living in extremely poor conditions in orphanages, and many of these, now adults, suffer Read More from mental health disabilities because of psychosocial deprivation.3 Show Less

Animals

There are many different types of medium sized mammals living in Romania’s abundant forests,such as brown bears, fox, pigs, deer, and wolves.1

Romania

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