Tourism contributes significantly to the Romanian economy, accounting for about 5% of GDP. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, Romania is expected to have the world’s fourth fastest increasing travel and tourism overall demand, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 8% from 2007 to 2016. Tourist numbers have been continuously increasing, hitting 3.5 million in the first half of 2014. In 2005, tourism in Romania received €400 million in investment.
In 2007, other EU nations accounted for more than 60% of all international tourists. In 2009, 1.3 million visitors visited Mamaia and other Black Sea resorts throughout the summer. The most prominent ski resorts are located along the Valea Prahovei and near Poiana Brașov. Castles in Transylvanian towns like as Sibiu, Brașov, and Sighişoara are also popular tourist destinations. Bran Castle, in Brașov, is one of Romania’s most renowned tourist sites, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year because it is often marketed as Dracula’s Castle.
Rural tourism, concentrating on folklore and customs, has emerged as a significant alternative, with the goal of promoting places like as Bran and Dracula’s Castle, the Painted churches of Northern Moldavia, and the Wooden churches of Maramureş. Other attractions include the Danube Delta and Constantin Brâncuși’s Sculptural Ensemble in Târgu Jiu.
In 2014, Romania had 32,500 hotel and restaurant businesses with a total sales of EUR 2.6 billion. More than 1.9 million international visitors visited Romania in 2014, a 12% increase over 2013. According to the country’s National Statistics Institute, about 77% came from Europe (especially Germany, Italy, and France), 13% from Asia, and fewer than 7% from North America.
Romania is the biggest nation in Southeastern Europe and the twelfth-largest in Europe, with an area of 238,391 square kilometers (92,043 square miles). It is located between the latitudes of 43° and 49° N, and the longitudes of 20° and 30° E.
The landscape is approximately evenly divided between mountains, hills, and plains.
The Carpathian Mountains dominate the center of Romania, with 14 mountain ranges rising over 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) and the highest peak at Moldoveanu Peak (2,544 m or 8,346 ft, pictured right). The Moldavian and Transylvanian plateaus, as well as the Carpathian Basin and Wallachian lowlands, surround them.
Natural and semi-natural habitats cover 47 percent of the country’s geographical area. In Romania, protected areas span about 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) (approximately 5% of the total area), including 13 national parks and three biosphere reserves.
The Danube river runs into the Black Sea, creating the Danube Delta, Europe’s second-largest and best-preserved delta, as well as a biosphere reserve and a biodiversity World Heritage Site. The Danube Delta is Europe’s biggest continuous wetland, covering 5,800 km2 (2,200 sq mi), and home to 1,688 distinct plant species.
Romania has one of the biggest expanses of untouched forest in Europe, accounting for almost 27 percent of the country’s total land area. There are about 3,700 plant species known in the nation, of which 23 have been designated as natural monuments, 74 are missing, 39 are endangered, 171 are vulnerable, and 1,253 are uncommon.
The fauna includes 33,792 animal species, 33,085 invertebrate and 707 vertebrate, with over 400 distinct species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, including approximately 50% of Europe’s (excluding Russia) brown bears and 20% of its wolves.
Romania has a moderate and continental climate, with four distinct seasons, due to its distance from the open sea and location on the southeastern part of the European continent. The average yearly temperature in the south is 11 °C (52 °F) and 8 °C (46 °F) in the north. In the summer, typical maximum temperatures in Bucharest reach 28 °C (82 °F), with temperatures exceeding 35 °C (95 °F) quite frequent in the country’s lower-lying regions. The average maximum temperature in winter is less than 2 °C (36 °F). Precipitation is typical, with above 750 mm (30 in) per year only in the highest western highlands, while it decreases to about 600 mm near Bucharest (24 in). There are minor geographical differences: the climate in the western sections of the nation (such as Banat) is warmer and has some Mediterranean influences, while the climate in the eastern half of the country is more pronounced continental. The Black Sea has an impact on the climate of Dobruja as well.
Romania has a population of 20,121,641 people, according to the 2011 census. Its population, like that of other nations in the area, is projected to progressively decrease in the future years as a consequence of sub-replacement fertility rates and a negative net migration rate. Romanians made up 88.9 percent of the population in October 2011. The biggest ethnic minorities are Hungarians, who make up 6.5 percent of the population, and Roma, who make up 3.3 percent of the population. In the counties of Harghita and Covasna, Hungarians are the majority. Ukrainians, Germans, Turks, Lipovans, Aromanians, Tatars, and Serbs are among the other minorities. There were 745,421 Germans in Romania in 1930, but just around 36,000 remain now. In 2009, there were about 133,000 immigrants in Romania, the majority of them were from Moldova and China.
In 2015, the total fertility rate (TFR) was projected to be 1.33 children born per woman, which is lower than the replacement rate of 2.1 and among the lowest in the world. Unmarried women accounted for 31.2 percent of births in 2014. The birth rate (9.49, 2012) is much lower than the death rate (11.84, 2012), resulting in a decreasing (0.26% per year, 2012) and aging population (median age: 39.1, 2012), with about 14.9 percent of the total population aged 65 and above. In 2015, the average life expectancy was projected to be 74.92 years (71.46 years male, 78.59 years female).
The number of Romanians and people with Romanian ancestry living abroad is believed to be about 12 million. Following the 1989 Romanian Revolution, a large number of Romanians moved to other European nations, North America, or Australia. In 1990, for example, there were 96,919 Romanians who had permanently relocated overseas.
Romania is a secular state with no official religion. The vast majority of the people considers themselves to be Christians. According to the 2011 census, 81.0 percent of respondents identified as Orthodox Christians affiliated with the Romanian Orthodox Church. Other denominations include Protestantism (4.8%), Roman Catholicism (4.3%), and Greek Catholicism (4.3%). (0.8 percent ). Other Christian groups or religions account for 195,569 of the total population, which includes 64,337 Muslims (primarily of Turkish and Tatar origin) and 3,519 Jews. Furthermore, 39,660 individuals have no religion or are atheists, while the religion of the remaining population is unknown.
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church in full communion with the other Orthodox churches, led by a Patriarch. It is the only Orthodox church that uses a Romance language and the second-largest after the Russian Orthodox Church in terms of size. Its authority extends beyond Romania’s borders, with dioceses serving Romanians in neighboring Moldova, Serbia, and Hungary, as well as diaspora populations in Central and Western Europe, North America, and Oceania.
Romania had a GDP (PPP) of approximately $414 billion in 2015, with a GDP per capita (PPP) of $20,787. According to the CIA’s The World Factbook, Romania’s economy is upper-middle income. According to Eurostat, Romania’s GDP per capita (PPS) in 2015 was 57 percent of the EU average, up from 41 percent in 2007 (the year Romania joined the EU), making Romania one of the EU’s fastest growing economies.
Following 1989, the nation suffered a decade of economic insecurity and decline, owing in part to an outdated industrial base and a lack of structural change. However, beginning in 2000, the Romanian economy was converted into one of relative macroeconomic stability, with strong growth, low unemployment, and decreasing inflation. According to the Romanian Statistics Office, real GDP growth in 2006 was 7.7 percent, one of the highest rates in Europe. However, the recession that followed the global financial crisis of 2008–2009 compelled the government to borrow from other sources, including an IMF rescue package of €20 billion. Since then, GDP has increased by more than 2% each year. According to the International Monetary Fund, GDP per capita purchasing power parity increased from $14,875 in 2007 to an estimated $19,397 in 2014. Romania still has one of the lowest net average monthly wages in the EU, at €540 in 2012, and 3.7 percent inflation in 2013. In 2012, Romania’s unemployment rate was 7%, which is extremely low when compared to other EU nations.
In February 2013, industrial production increased by 6.5 percent year on year, the highest rate in the EU-27. Automobile Dacia is the biggest local company, followed by Petrom, Rompetrol, Ford Romania, Electrica, Romgaz, RCS & RDS, and Banca Transilvania. Exports have grown significantly in recent years, with a 13 percent annual growth in exports in 2010. Cars, software, clothes and textiles, industrial machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, metallurgic goods, raw materials, military equipment, medicines, fine chemicals, and agricultural products are Romania’s major exports (fruits, vegetables, and flowers). Trade is mostly focused on European Union member nations, with Germany and Italy being the country’s two biggest trade partners. In 2012, the account balance was projected to be 4.52 percent of GDP.
Following a series of privatizations and reforms in the late 1990s and early 2000s, government involvement in the Romanian economy has been reduced relative to other European countries. In 2005, the government replaced Romania’s progressive tax system with a flat tax of 16% on both personal income and business profits, which is one of the lowest rates in the European Union. The economy is mostly centered on services, which account for 51 percent of GDP, but industry and agriculture also play important roles, accounting for 36 percent and 13 percent of GDP, respectively. Furthermore, agriculture and primary production employed 30% of the Romanian population in 2006, one of the highest percentages in Europe.
Romania has drawn growing quantities of foreign investment since 2000, being the single biggest investment destination in Southeastern and Central Europe. In 2006, foreign direct investment was worth €8.3 billion. According to a 2011 World Bank study, Romania now ranks 72nd out of 175 economies in terms of ease of doing business, behind other nations in the area such as the Czech Republic. Furthermore, according to a 2006 research, it is the world’s second-fastest economic reformer (after Georgia).
Since 1867, the national currency has been the Romanian leu (“lion”), which has been pegged at €0.2–0.3 since a denomination in 2005. Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, is projected to adopt the euro around 2020.
Romania’s foreign debt was at €90.59 billion as of July 1, 2015.
Concerns regarding stability arose after the departure of the administration of Victor Ponta on November 4, 2015. The consequences of the present political instability on the economy, however, would depend on how soon a new Cabinet is established and the actions it takes, according to central bank governor Mugur Isarescu on November 5, 2015; the nation is macroeconomically stable, he said. According to the European Commission’s (EC) November 5, 2015 projection, Romania’s economic growth for the current year is expected to be 3.5 percent.