The Romanians (Romanian: români pronounced [roˈmɨnʲ] or—historically, but now a seldom-used regionalism—rumâni; dated exonym: Vlachs) are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to Romania, that share a common Romanian culture, ancestry, and speak the Romanian language, the most widespread spoken Eastern Romance language which is descended from the Latin language. According to the 2011 Romanian census, just under 89% of Romania's citizens identified themselves as ethnic Romanians.
In one interpretation of the census results in Moldova, the Moldovans are counted as Romanians, which would mean that the latter form part of the majority in that country as well. Romanians are also an ethnic minority in several nearby countries situated in Central, respectively Eastern Europe, particularly in Hungary, Czech Republic, Ukraine (including Moldovans), Serbia, and Bulgaria.
Today, estimates of the number of Romanian people worldwide vary from 26 to 30 million according to various sources, evidently depending on the definition of the term 'Romanian', Romanians native to Romania and Republic of Moldova and their afferent diasporas, native speakers of Romanian, as well as other Eastern Romance-speaking groups considered by most scholars and the Romanian Academy as a constituent part of the broader Romanian people, specifically Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, Istro-Romanians, and Vlachs in Serbia (including medieval Vlachs), in Croatia, in Bulgaria, or in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
|c. 24—30 million|
(Including Moldovans as a subgroup, which is a matter of ethnic and linguistic scholarly debate)
|Regions with significant populations|
| Romania 16,792,868 (2011 Romanian census)|
Moldova 192,800 (2014 Moldovan census)
(additional 2,068,058 Moldovans)
|Predominantly † Orthodox Christianity|
(Romanian Orthodox Church),
also Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, and Protestant
|Related ethnic groups|
|All Romance-speaking peoples;|
See also: Vlachs, Moldovans, Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, Istro-Romanians
1 The number of the citizens of Romania is indicated in the countries Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Turkey, and the number of the citizens of Moldova in the additional figure in the same countries.
Inhabited by the ancient Dacians, part of today's territory of Romania was conquered by the Roman Empire in 106, when Trajan's army defeated the army of Dacia's ruler Decebalus (see Dacian Wars). The Roman administration withdrew two centuries later, under the pressure of the Goths and Carpi.
Two theories account for the origin of the Romanian people. One, known as the Daco-Roman continuity theory, posits that they are descendants of Romans and Romanized indigenous peoples living in the Roman Province of Dacia, while the other posits that the Romanians are descendants of Romans and Romanized indigenous populations of the former Roman provinces of Illyria, Moesia, Thrace, and Macedon, and the ancestors of Romanians later migrated from these Roman provinces south of the Danube into the area which they inhabit today.
According to the first theory, the Romanians are descended from indigenous populations that inhabited what is now Romania and its immediate environs: Thracians (Dacians, Getae) and Roman legionnaires and colonists. In the course of the two wars with the Roman legions, between AD 101–102 and AD 105–106 respectively, the emperor Trajan succeeded in defeating the Dacians and the greatest part of Dacia became a Roman province.
The colonisation with Roman or Romanized elements, the use of the Latin language and the assimilation of Roman civilisation as well as the intense development of urban centres led to the Romanization of part of the autochthonous population in Dacia. This process was probably concluded by the 10th century when the assimilation of the Slavs by the Daco-Romanians was completed.
According to the south-of-the-Danube origin theory, the Romanians' ancestors, a combination of Romans and Romanized peoples of Illyria, Moesia and Thrace, moved northward across the Danube river into modern-day Romania. Small population groups speaking several versions of Romanian (Megleno-Romanian, Istro-Romanian, and Aromanian) still exist south of the Danube in Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Serbia, but it is not known whether they themselves migrated from more northern parts of the Balkans, including Dacia. The south-of-the Danube theory usually favours northern Albania and/or Moesia (modern day Serbia and Northern Bulgaria) as the more specific places of Romanian ethnogenesis.
Small genetic differences were reportedly found among Southeastern European (Greece, Albania) populations and especially those of the Dniester–Carpathian (Romania, Moldova, Ukraine) region. Despite this low level of differentiation between them, tree reconstruction and principal component analyses allowed a distinction between Balkan–Carpathian (Romanians, Moldovans, Ukrainians, Macedonians and Gagauzes) and Balkan Mediterranean (Greeks, Albanians, Turks) population groups. The genetic affinities among Dniester–Carpathian and southeastern European populations do not reflect their linguistic relationships. According to the report, the results indicate that the ethnic and genetic differentiations occurred in these regions to a considerable extent independently of each other.
During the Middle Ages Romanians were mostly known as Vlachs, a blanket term ultimately of Germanic origin, from the word Walha, used by ancient Germanic peoples to refer to Romance-speaking and Celtic neighbours. Besides the separation of some groups (Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, and Istro-Romanians) during the Age of Migration, many Vlachs could be found all over the Balkans, in Transylvania, across Carpathian Mountains as far north as Poland and as far west as the regions of Moravia (part of the modern Czech Republic), some went as far east as Volhynia of western Ukraine, and the present-day Croatia where the Morlachs gradually disappeared, while the Catholic and Orthodox Vlachs took Croat and Serb national identity.
Because of the migrations that followed – such as those of Slavs, Bulgars, Hungarians, and Tatars – the Romanians were organised in agricultural communes (obști), developing large centralised states only in the 14th century, when the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia emerged to fight the Ottoman Empire.
During the late Middle Ages, prominent medieval Romanian monarchs such as Bogdan of Moldavia, Stephen the Great, Mircea the Elder, Michael the Brave, or Vlad the Impaler took part actively in the history of Central Europe by waging tumultuous wars and leading noteworthy crusades against the then continuously expanding Ottoman Empire, at times allied with either the Kingdom of Poland or the Kingdom of Hungary in these causes.
Eventually the entire Balkan peninsula was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. However, Moldavia and Wallachia (extending to Dobruja and Bulgaria) were not entirely subdued by the Ottomans as both principalities became autonomous (which was not the case of other Ottoman territorial possessions in Europe). Transylvania, a third region inhabited by an important majority of Romanian speakers, was a vassal state of the Ottomans until 1687, when the principality became part of the Habsburg possessions. The three principalities were united for several months in 1600 under the authority of Wallachian Prince Michael the Brave.
Additionally, in medieval times there were other lands known by the name 'Vlach' (such as Great Vlachia, situated between Thessaly and the western Pindus mountains, originally within the Byzantine Empire, but after the 13th century autonomous or semi-independent; White Wallachia, a Byzantine denomination for the region between the Danube River and the Balkans; Moravian Wallachia, a region in south-eastern Czech Republic).
Up until 1541, Transylvania was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, later (due to the conquest of Hungary by the Ottoman Empire) was a self-governed Principality governed by the Hungarian nobility. In 1699 it became a part of the Habsburg lands. By the 19th century, the Austrian Empire was awarded by the Ottomans with the region of Bukovina and, in 1812, the Russians occupied the eastern half of Moldavia, known as Bessarabia.
In the context of the 1848 Romanticist and liberal revolutions across Europe, the events that took place in the Grand Principality of Transylvania were the first of their kind to unfold in the Romanian-speaking territories. On the one hand, the Transylvanian Saxons and the Transylvanian Romanians (with consistent support on behalf of the Austrian Empire) successfully managed to oppose the goals of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, with the two noteworthy historical figures leading the common Romanian-Saxon side at the time being Avram Iancu and Stephan Ludwig Roth.
On the other hand, the Wallachian revolutions of 1821 and 1848 as well as the Moldavian Revolution of 1848, which aimed for independence from Ottoman and Russian foreign rulership, represented important impacts in the process of spreading the liberal ideology in the eastern and southern Romanian lands, in spite of the fact that all three eventually failed. Nonetheless, in 1859, Moldavia and Wallachia elected the same ruler, namely Alexander John Cuza (who reigned as Domnitor) and were thus unified de facto, resulting in the United Romanian Principalities for the period between 1859 and 1881.
During the 1870s, the United Romanian Principalities (then led by Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen Domnitor Carol I) fought a War of Independence against the Ottomans, with Romania's independence being formally recognised in 1878 at the Treaty of Berlin. Although the newly founded Kingdom of Romania initially allied with Austria-Hungary, Romania refused to enter World War I on the side of the Central Powers, because it was obliged to wage war only if Austria-Hungary was attacked. In 1916, Romania joined the war on the side of the Triple Entente.
As a result, at the end of the war, Transylvania, Bessarabia, and Bukovina were awarded to Romania, through a series of international peace treaties, resulting in an enlarged and far more powerful kingdom under King Ferdinand I. As of 1920, the Romanian people was believed to number over 15 million solely in the region of the Romanian kingdom, a figure larger than the populations of Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands combined.
During the interwar period, two additional monarchs came to the Romanian throne, namely Carol II and Michael I. This short-lived period was marked, at times, by political instabilities and efforts of maintaining a constitutional monarchy in favour of other, totalitarian regimes such as an absolute monarchy or a military dictatorship.
During World War II, the Kingdom of Romania lost territory both to the east and west, as Northern Transylvania became part of Hungary through the Second Vienna Award, while Bessarabia and northern Bukovina were taken by the Soviets and included in the Moldavian SSR, respectively Ukrainian SSR. The eastern territory losses were facilitated by the Molotov-Ribbentrop German-Soviet non-aggression pact.
After the end of the war, the Romanian Kingdom managed to regain territories lost westward but was nonetheless not given Bessarabia and northern Bukovina, the aforementioned regions being forcefully incorporated into the Soviet Union. Subsequently, the Soviet Union imposed a Communist government and King Michael was forced to abdicate and leave for exile. Nicolae Ceaușescu became the head of the Romanian Communist Party in 1965 and his draconian rule of the 1980s was ended by the Romanian Revolution of 1989.
The 1989 revolution brought to power the dissident communist Ion Iliescu. He remained in power as head of state until 1996, when he was defeated by CDR-supported Emil Constantinescu at the 1996 general elections, the first in post-Communist Romania that saw a peaceful transition of power. Following Constantinescu's only term as president from 1996 to 2000, Iliescu was re-elected in late 2000 for another term of four years. In 2004, Traian Băsescu, the PNL-PD candidate, was elected president. Five years later, Băsescu was narrowly re-elected for a second term at the 2009 presidential elections.
In 2014, the PNL-PDL candidate Klaus Johannis won a surprise victory over former prime minister and PSD-supported contender Victor Ponta in the second round of the 2014 presidential elections. Thus, Johannis became the first Romanian president stemming from an ethnic minority (as he belongs to the Romanian-German community, being a Transylvanian Saxon).
In the meantime, Romania's major foreign policy achievements were the alignment with Western Europe and the United States by joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004 and the European Union three years later, in 2007.
The prevailing element in Wallachia (Ploiești, Dolj), Moldavia (Piatra Neamț, Buhuși), Dobruja (Constanța), and northern Republic of Moldova is recorded to be Haplogroup I, while the gene pool of Transylvania is often untypical and diverse.
According to self-published data, the Y-DNA haplogroup frequencies of 962 Romanians (and unknown part of Moldovans) are as follows: 28% I2, 18% R1a, 15% R1b, 14% E1b1b, 14% J2, 4% I1, 3% G2a, 2% N1c, 1% J1, 1% T and Q. On the basis of 361 samples, Haplogroup I occurs at 32% in Romanians. The highest frequency of I2a1 (I-P37) in the Balkans today was present before the Slavic expansion and is owed to indigenous tribes, and is particularly suggested to have been common among the ancient Thracians in Romania.
According to 335 sampled Romanians, 15% of them belong to R1a. Haplogroup R1a among Romanians is entirely from the Eastern European variety Z282 and may be a result of Baltic, Thracian or Slavic descent. R1a-Z280 outnumbers R1a-M458 among Romanians, the opposite phenomena is typical for Poles, Czechs and Bulgarians. 12% of the Romanians belong to R1b, the Alpino-Italic branch R1b-U152 is at 2% per 330 samples, a lower frequency recorded than other Balkan peoples.
The branches R1b-U106, R1b-DF27 and R1b-L21 make up 1% respectively. The eastern branches R1b-M269* and L23* (Z2103) make up 7% and outnumber the Atlantic branches, they prevail in parts of east, central Europe and as a result of Greek colonisation – in parts of Sicily as well. 8% of the Romanians belong to E1b1b1a1 (E-M78) per 265 samples.
From a group of 178 males from 9 Romanian counties, mainly from Transylvania, most of them belong to the Paleolithic European lineage I2a (17% I2a1b, 2% I2a2, 3% I2*), to R1a (20%) and to E1b1b1a1b (19%). Haplogroup J2 is represented at 16% among them, unlike the structure in the Apennine Peninsula, among Romanians the J2b clade prevails. About 10% of these belong to Haplogroup R1b in all counties. R1b-U152, the specific Alpino-Italic clade, is represented at 3% among them, the prevailing branches are eastern, except for Brașov where Germanic U106 is most frequent. U106 is also prevalent clade of R1b in Buhuși and Piatra Neamț. In Brașov and Dolj I2 prevails, in Cluj – R1a. Another 6% of these belong to I1 and 2% to G2a. T, N, Q are also represented by frequencies of less than a percent.
Despite negligible Roman genetic traits in general, one study of 219 Romanians found strong indications in other parts of Transylvania, in the region corresponding to Roman Dacia. The highest frequency of R1b (31–32%) in Eastern Europe only behind Trebic in the Czech Republic (32.7%) was found in the Romanian counties Arad and Alba, that experienced Celtic settlement, the heaviest and only Roman colonisation with a significant number of colonists from Noricum and West Pannonia, and later German settlement.
The subclade of R1b was not revealed in the case, but no similar high or prevailing frequency of Eastern subclades of R1b has ever been found in Europe. Three of the ten towns that were almost exclusively populated by Roman citizens (Apulum, Ampelum and Potaissa) were in present Alba Iulia county, not far from the Roman capital Sarmizegetusa. Genetic isolate due to migration from unattested migration from the Middle East would not be a plausible historic-geographical event as even the eastern branch of R1b in Europe is different than these in the Middle East. The only ethnic groups with higher frequencies of R1b in the East are the Aromanians due to their main ancestry from the Roman West. In some occasions the U106 branch, which is minimal among Romanians, rises to the prevailing clade in some cities, but still at a low frequency. The high frequency of R1b was found in other places in Transylvania – 25% in Maramureș and Harghita, 20% in Mehedinți, 14% in Bihor, 11% in Vrancea, 0% in Neamț. Excluding Arad and Alba Iulia, Haplogroup I+G was found as most frequent in all, except Maramureș, where Haplogroup J was found to be prevalent.
According to an autosomal analysis of eastern Europeans and adjacent peoples, the group of Bulgarians and Macedonians is located together with Romanians. Most West Slavs, Hungarians, and Austrians tend to share as many identical by-descent segments with South Slavs as with Romanians, Torbeshi and Gagauzes.
Showing the importance of geography, a 2017 paper, concentrating on the mtDNA, signalling how Romania has been "a major crossroads between Asia and Europe" and thus "experienced continuous migration and invasion episodes", while precising that "previous studies" show Romanians "exhibit genetic similarity with other Europeans" or that "another study pointed to possible segregation within the Middle East populations", also mentions how "signals of Asian maternal lineages were observed in all Romanian historical provinces, indicating gene flow along the migration routes through East Asia and Europe, during different time periods, namely, the Upper Paleolithic period and/or, with a likely greater preponderance, the Middle Ages", and concludes that "our current findings based on the mtDNA analysis of populations in historical provinces of Romania suggest similarity between populations in Transylvania and Central Europe," on one hand, as well between Wallachia, Moldavia, and Dobrudja with the Balkans, on the another, "supported both by the observed clines in haplogroup frequencies for several European and Asian maternal lineages and MDS analyses."
The origins of the Romanian language, a Romance language, can be traced back to the Roman colonisation of the region. The basic vocabulary is of Latin origin, although there are some substratum words that are sometimes assumed to be of Dacian origin. Romanian language has retained the inflected structure of Latin grammar.
During the Middle Ages, Romanian was isolated from the other Romance languages, and borrowed words from the nearby Slavic languages (see Slavic influence on Romanian). Later on, it borrowed a number of words from German, Hungarian, and Turkish. During the modern era, most neologisms were borrowed from French and Italian, though the language has increasingly begun to adopt English borrowings.
The Moldovan language, in its official form, is practically identical to Romanian, although there are some differences in colloquial speech. In the de facto independent (but internationally unrecognised) region of Transnistria, the official script used to write Moldovan is Cyrillic.
As of 2017, an Ethnologue estimation puts the (worldwide) number of Romanian speakers at approximately 24.15 million. The 24.15 million, however, represent only speakers of Romanian, not all of whom are necessarily ethnic Romanians. Also, this number does not include ethnic-Romanians who no longer speak the Romanian language.
Many Romanian surnames have the suffix -escu or (less commonly) -așcu or -ăscu which corresponds to the Latin suffix -iscus and means "belonging to the people". For example, Petrescu used to be Petre's keen. Similar suffixes such as -asco, -asgo, -esque, -ez, etc. are present in other Latin-derived languages. Many Romanians in France changed this ending of their surnames to -esco, because the way it is pronounced in French better approximates the Romanian pronunciation of -escu.
Another widespread suffix of Romanian surnames is -eanu (or -an, -anu), which indicates the geographical origin. Here some examples: Moldoveanu/Moldovan/Moldovanu, from the region of Moldavia or from river Moldova, Munteanu "from mountains", Jianu "from Jiu river region", Pruteanu, meaning from the Prut river, Mureșanu, meaning from the Mureș river, Petreanu (meaning the son of Petre) etc..
Other suffixes are -aru (or -oru, -ar, -or), which indicates an occupation (like Feraru "smith", Morar "miller"), and -ei, usually preceded by A- in front of a female name, which is a Latin inherited female genitive, like in Amariei "of Maria", Aelenei "of Elena". These matrilineal-rooted surnames are common in the historical region of Moldavia.
The most common surnames are Pop / Popa ("the priest")—almost 200,000 Romanians have this surname—Popescu ("son of the priest") —almost 150,000 have this name— and Ionescu ("John's (Ion's) son").
In English, Romanians are usually called Romanians, Rumanians, or Roumanians except in some historical texts, where they are called Roumans or Vlachs.
From the Middle Ages, Romanians bore two names, the exonym (one given to them by foreigners) Wallachians or Vlachs, under its various forms (vlah, valah, valach, voloh, blac, olăh, vlas, ilac, ulah, etc.), and the endonym (the name they used for themselves) Romanians (Rumâni/Români).
The name "Romanian" is derived from Latin "Romanus". Under regular phonetical changes that are typical to the Romanian languages, the name romanus over the centuries transformed into "rumân" [ruˈmɨn]. An older form of "român" was still in use in some regions. Socio-linguistic evolutions in the late 18th century led to a gradual preponderance of the "român" spelling form, which was then generalised during the National awakening of Romania of early 19th century.
Until the 19th century, the term Romanian denoted the speakers of the Daco-Romanian dialect of the Romanian language, thus being a much more distinct concept than that of Romania, the country of the Romanians. Prior to 1867, the (Daco-)Romanians were part of different statal entities: with the Moldavians and the Wallachians being split off and having shaped separate political identities, possessing states of their own, and with the rest of Romanians being part of other states. However, they retained their Romanian cultural and ethnic identity.
To distinguish Romanians from the other Romanic peoples of the Balkans (Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, and Istro-Romanians), the term Daco-Romanian is sometimes used to refer to those who speak the standard Romanian language and live in the territory of ancient Dacia (today comprising mostly Romania and Moldova), although some Daco-Romanians can be found in the eastern part of Central Serbia (which was part of ancient Moesia).
The name of "Vlachs" is an exonym that was used by Slavs to refer to all Romanized natives of the Balkans. It holds its origin from ancient Germanic—being a cognate to "Welsh" and "Walloon"—and perhaps even further back in time, from the Roman name Volcae, which was originally a Celtic tribe. From the Slavs, it was passed on to other peoples, such as the Hungarians (Oláh) and Greeks (Vlachoi) (see the Etymology section of Vlachs). Wallachia, the Southern region of Romania, takes its name from the same source.
These are family names that have been derived from either Vlach or Romanian. Most of these names have been given when a Romanian settled in a non-Romanian region. Examples: Oláh (37,147 Hungarians have this name), Vlach, Vlahuta, Vlasa, Vlasi, Vlašic, Vlasceanu, Vlachopoulos, Voloh, Volyh, Vlack, Flack and Vlax.
Most Romanians live in Romania, where they constitute a majority; Romanians also constitute a minority in the countries that neighbour Romania. Romanians can also be found in many countries, notably in the other EU countries, particularly in Italy, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and France; in North America in the United States and Canada; in Israel; as well as in Brazil, Australia, Argentina, and New Zealand among many other countries. Italy and Spain have been popular emigration destinations, due to a relatively low language barrier, and both are each now home to about a million Romanians. With respect to geopolitical identity, many individuals of Romanian ethnicity in Moldova prefer to identify themselves as Moldovans.
The contemporary total population of ethnic Romanians cannot be stated with any degree of certainty. A disparity can be observed between official sources (such as census counts) where they exist, and estimates which come from non-official sources and interested groups. Several inhibiting factors (not unique to this particular case) contribute towards this uncertainty, which may include:
For example, the decennial US Census of 2000 calculated (based on a statistical sampling of household data) that there were 367,310 respondents indicating Romanian ancestry (roughly 0.1% of the total population).
The actual total recorded number of foreign-born Romanians was only 136,000 Migration Information Source However, some non-specialist organisations have produced estimates which are considerably higher: a 2002 study by the Romanian-American Network Inc. mentions an estimated figure of 1,200,000 for the number of Romanian-Americans.
This estimate notes however that "...other immigrants of Romanian national minority groups have been included such as: Armenians, Germans, Gypsies, Hungarians, Jews, and Ukrainians". It also includes an unspecified allowance for second- and third-generation Romanians, and an indeterminate number living in Canada. An error range for the estimate is not provided. For the United States 2000 Census figures, almost 20% of the total population did not classify or report an ancestry, and the census is also subject to undercounting, an incomplete (67%) response rate, and sampling error in general.
In the history of aviation, Traian Vuia and Aurel Vlaicu built and tested some of the earliest aircraft designs, while Henri Coandă discovered the Coandă effect of fluidics. Victor Babeș discovered more than 50 germs and a cure for a disease named after him, babesiosis; biologist Nicolae Paulescu discovered insulin. Another biologist, Emil Palade, received the Nobel Prize for his contributions to cell biology. George Constantinescu created the theory of sonics, while mathematician Ștefan Odobleja is regarded as the ideological father behind cybernetics – his work The Consonantist Psychology (Paris, 1938) was the main source of inspiration for N. Wiener's Cybernetics (Paris, 1948). Lazăr Edeleanu was the first chemist to synthesize amphetamine and also invented the modern method of refining crude oil.
In the arts and culture, prominent figures were George Enescu (music composer, violinist, professor of Sir Yehudi Menuhin), Constantin Brâncuși (sculptor), Eugène Ionesco (playwright), Mircea Eliade (historian of religion and novelist), Emil Cioran (essayist, Prix de l'Institut Francais for stylism) and Angela Gheorghiu (soprano). More recently, filmmakers such as Cristi Puiu and Cristian Mungiu have attracted international acclaim, as has fashion designer Ioana Ciolacu.
In sports, Romanians have excelled in a variety of fields, such as football (Gheorghe Hagi), gymnastics (Nadia Comăneci, Lavinia Miloșovici etc.), tennis (Ilie Năstase, Ion Țiriac, Simona Halep), canoe racing (Ivan Patzaichin) and handball (four times men's World Cup winners). Count Dracula is a worldwide icon of Romania. This character was created by the Irish fiction writer Bram Stoker, based on some stories spread in the late Middle Ages by the frustrated German trademen of Kronstadt (Brașov) and on some Vampire folk tales about the historic Romanian figure of Prince Vlad Țepeș.
Almost 90% of all Romanians consider themselves religious. The vast majority are Eastern Orthodox Christians, belonging to the Romanian Orthodox Church (a branch of Eastern Orthodoxy, or Eastern Orthodox Church, together with the Greek Orthodox, Orthodox Church of Georgia and Russian Orthodox Churches, among others).
According to the 2011 census, 93.6% of ethnic Romanians in Romania identified themselves as Romanian Orthodox (in comparison to 86.8% of Romania's total population, including other ethnic groups). However, the actual rate of church attendance is significantly lower and many Romanians are only nominally believers. For example, according to a 2006 Eurobarometer poll, only 23% of Romanians attend church once a week or more. A 2006 poll conducted by the Open Society Foundation found that only 33% of Romanians attended church once a month or more.
Romanian Catholics are present in Transylvania, Banat, Bukovina, Bucharest, and parts of Moldavia, belonging to both the Roman Catholic Church (297,246 members) and the Romanian Greek-Catholic Catholic Church (124,563 members). According to the 2011 census, 2.5% of ethnic Romanians in Romania identified themselves as Catholic (in comparison to 4.3% of Romania's total population, including other ethnic groups). Around 1.6% of ethnic Romanians in Romania identify themselves as Pentecostal, with the population numbering 276,678 members. Smaller percentages are Protestant, Jews, Muslims, agnostic, atheist, or practice a traditional religion.
There are no official dates for the adoption of religions by the Romanians. Based on linguistic and archaeological findings, historians suggest that the Romanians' ancestors acquired polytheistic religions in the Roman era, later adopting Christianity, certainly by the 4th century CE when decreed by Emperor Constantine as the official religion of the Roman Empire. Like in all other Romance languages, the basic Romanian words related to Christianity are inherited from Latin, such as God ("Dumnezeu" < Domine Deus), church ("biserică" < basilica), cross ("cruce" < crux, -cis), angel ("înger" < angelus), saint (regional: "sfân(t)" < sanctus), Christmas ("Crăciun" < creatio, -onis), Christian ("creștin" < christianus), Easter ("paște" < paschae), sin ("păcat" < peccatum), to baptise ("a boteza" < batizare), priest ("preot" < presbiterum), to pray ("a ruga" < rogare), faith ( "credință" < credentia ), and so on.
After the Great Schism, there existed a Catholic Bishopric of Cumania (later, separate bishoprics in both Wallachia and Moldavia). However, this seems to be the exception, rather than the rule, as in both Wallachia and Moldavia the state religion was Eastern Orthodox. Until the 17th century, the official language of the liturgy was Old Church Slavonic. Then, it gradually changed to Romanian.
According to a survey that took place in 2011, despite 94% of respondents answered positively for believing in God, 42% support the vision of Christian dogma that there is a God incarnated into a human being. While 34% of respondents said that there is only one true religion, 38% believe that there is one true religion and that other religions contain some basic truths, according to 18% there is one true religion and all major world religions contain some fundamental truths. 88% of Romanians believe in the existence of a soul, 87% believe in sin and the existence of heaven, 60% believe in an "evil eye", 25% believe in horoscopes and 23% in aliens. According to a 2004 survey, 80% consider themselves not superstitious and the same amount believe in angels, about 40% believe they have had dreams that became deja vu and 19% believe in ghosts.
In addition to the colours of the Romanian flag, each historical province of Romania has its own characteristic symbol:
The Coat of Arms of Romania combines these together.
The closest ethnic groups to the Romanians are the other Romanic peoples of Southeastern Europe: the Aromanians (Macedo-Romanians), the Megleno-Romanians, and the Istro-Romanians. The Istro-Romanians are the closest ethnic group to the Romanians, and it is believed they left Maramureș, Transylvania about a thousand years ago and settled in Istria, Croatia. Numbering about 500 people still living in the original villages of Istria while the majority left for other countries after World War II (mainly to Italy, United States, Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, and Australia), they speak the Istro-Romanian language, the closest living relative of Romanian.
The Aromanians and the Megleno-Romanians are Romanic peoples who live south of the Danube, mainly in Greece, Albania and the Republic of Macedonia, although some of them migrated to Romania in the 20th century. It is believed that they diverged from the Romanians in the 7th to 9th century, and currently speak the Aromanian language and Megleno-Romanian language, both of which are Eastern Romance languages, like Romanian, and are sometimes considered by traditional Romanian linguists to be dialects of Romanian.
Romance (Latin) nations...
Anti-Romanian sentiment or Romanophobia (Romanian: antiromânism, românofobie) is hostility toward or prejudice against Romanians as an ethnic, linguistic, religious, or perceived racial group, and can range from individual hatred to institutionalized, violent persecution.
Anti-Romanian discrimination and sentiment has been present in various degrees among the peoples and/or governments of countries bordering on Romania, either toward Romania itself or towards Romanian ethnic minorities residing in these countries. Similar patterns have existed toward other groups both in the region and elsewhere in the world, especially where political borders do not coincide with the patterns of ethnic population.Aromanians
The Aromanians (Aromanian: Rrãmãnj, Armãnj) are a Romance ethnic group native to the Balkans, traditionally living in northern and central Greece, central and southern Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Kosovo and south-western Bulgaria. The term Vlachs is used in Greece to refer to Aromanians, but this term is internationally used to encompass all Romance-speaking peoples of the Balkans and Tatra Mountains regions.Aromanians speak the Aromanian language, a Latin-derived vernacular similar to Romanian, and has many slightly varying dialects of its own. It descends from the Vulgar Latin spoken by the Paleo-Balkan peoples subsequent to their Romanization. Aromanian is a mix of domestic and Latin language with additional influences from other surrounding languages of the Balkans, mainly Greek, Albanian, Macedonian and Bulgarian.Bukovina
Bukovina (Romanian: Bucovina; German: Bukowina/Buchenland; Polish: Bukowina; Hungarian: Bukovina, Ukrainian: Буковина Bukovyna; see also other languages) is a historical region, variously described as in Central or Eastern Europe. The region is located on the northern slopes of the central Eastern Carpathians and the adjoining plains, today divided between Romania and Ukraine.
A region of Moldavia during the Middle Ages, the territory of what became known as Bukovina was, from 1774 to 1918, an administrative division of the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire, and Austria-Hungary. After World War I, Romania established its control over Bukovina. In 1940, the northern half of Bukovina was annexed by the Soviet Union in violation of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, and currently is part of Ukraine.Chernivtsi Oblast
Chernivtsi Oblast (Ukrainian: Чернівецька область, Černivećka oblasť, Romanian: Regiunea Cernăuți) is an oblast (province) in western Ukraine, consisting of the northern parts of the regions of Bukovina and Bessarabia. It has an international border with Romania and Moldova. The oblast is also the smallest in Ukraine.
The oblast has a large variety of landforms: the Carpathian Mountains and picturesque hills at the foot of the mountains gradually change to a broad partly forested plain situated between the Dniester and Prut rivers. Its capital is the city Chernivtsi. The region spans 8,100 km². Population: 909,893 (2015 est.)Hungarians in Romania
The Hungarian minority of Romania (Hungarian: Magyarok Romániában, Romanian: Maghiarii din România) is the largest ethnic minority in Romania, consisting of 1,227,623 people and making up 6.1% of the total population, according to the 2011 census.Most ethnic Hungarians of Romania live in areas that were, before the 1920 Treaty of Trianon, parts of Hungary. Encompassed in a region known as Transylvania, the most prominent of these areas is known generally as Székely Land (Ținutul Secuiesc, Szekelyföld), where Hungarians comprise the majority of the population, comprising Harghita and Covasna counties and parts of Mureș county. Transylvania also includes the historic regions of Banat, Crișana and Maramureș. There are forty-one counties of Romania; Hungarians form a large majority of the population in the counties of Harghita (85.21%) and Covasna (73.74%), and a large percentage in Mureș (38.09%), Satu Mare (34.65%), Bihor (25.27%), Sălaj (23.35%) and Cluj (15.93%) counties.King of the Romanians
The King of the Romanians (Romanian: Regele Românilor) or King of Romania (Romanian: Regele României), was the title of the monarch of the Kingdom of Romania from 1881 until 1947, when the Romanian Workers' Party proclaimed the Romanian People's Republic following Michael I's forced abdication.List of political parties in Serbia
This is a list of political parties in Serbia. Serbia has a multi-party system with numerous parties, in which no party often has a chance of gaining power alone. Parties must cooperate to form coalition governments.Megleno-Romanians
The Megleno-Romanians (Romanian: Meglenoromâni), Moglenite Vlachs (Greek: Βλαχομογλενίτες, Vlachomoglenítes) or simply Meglenites (Romanian: Megleniţi, Megleno-Romanian: Miglinits) or Vlachs (Megleno-Romanian: Vlaș ; Romanian: Vlaşi. Macedonian: Власи) are a small Eastern Romance people, originally inhabiting seven villages in the Moglena region spanning the Pella and Kilkis regional units of Central Macedonia, Greece, and one village, Huma, across the border in North Macedonia. This people lives in an area of approximately 300 km2 in size. Unlike the Aromanian Vlachs, the other Romance speaking population in the same historic region, the Meglen Vlachs are traditionally sedentary agriculturalists, and not traditionally transhumants.
They speak a Romance language most often called by linguists Megleno-Romanian or Meglenitic in English, and βλαχομογλενίτικα (vlachomoglenítika) or simply μογλενίτικα (moglenítika) in Greek. The people themselves call their language vlahește, but the Megleno-Romanian diaspora in Romania also uses the term meglenoromână.
Unlike the other Eastern Romance populations, over time Megleno-Romanians have laid aside a name for themselves which originates in the Latin Romanus, and instead have adopted the term Vlasi or Vlashi, derived from "Vlachs", a general term by which, in the Middle Ages, non-Romance peoples designated Romance peoples and shepherds. The term Megleno-Romanians was given to them in the 19th century by the scholars who studied their language and customs, based on the region in which they live.
Their number is estimated between 5,213 (P. Atanasov, most recent estimate), and 20,000 (P. Papahagi, c. 1900). There is a larger Megleno-Romanian diaspora in Romania (c. 1,500 people), and a smaller one in Turkey (c. 500 people). Greece does not recognize national minorities, thus this approximately 4,000-strong community does not have any official recognition from Greece. Another 1,000 Megleno-Romanians live in North Macedonia. It is believed, however, that there are up to 20,000 people of Megleno-Romanian descent worldwide (including those assimilated into the basic populations of these countries).Moldovans
Moldovans or Moldavians (Romanian: moldoveni, pronounced [moldoˈvenʲ]; Moldovan Cyrillic: Молдовень) are the largest ethnic group of the Republic of Moldova (75.1% of the population, as of 2014), and a significant minority in Ukraine and Russia. Under the variant Moldavians, the term may also be used to refer to all inhabitants of the territory of historical Principality of Moldavia, currently divided among Romania (47.5%), Moldova (30.5%) and Ukraine (22%), regardless of ethnic identity.
This article refers to the Moldovan/Romanian language-speaking population native to the Republic of Moldova, the historical Bessarabia and diaspora originating from these regions, self-identified as Moldovans (in Moldova, another 7% of the Moldovan/Romanian language-speaking native population self-identified as Romanians).Origin of the Romanians
Several theories address the issue of the origin of the Romanians. The Romanian language descends from the Vulgar Latin dialects spoken in the Roman provinces north of the "Jireček Line" (a proposed notional line separating the predominantly Latin-speaking territories from the Greek-speaking lands in Southeastern Europe) in Late Antiquity. The theory of Daco-Roman continuity argues that the Romanians are mainly descended from the Daco-Romans, a people developing through the cohabitation of the native Dacians and the Roman colonists in the province of Dacia Traiana (primarily in present-day Romania) north of the river Danube. The competing immigrationist theory states that the Romanians' ethnogenesis commenced in the provinces south of the river with Romanized local populations (known as Vlachs in the Middle Ages) spreading through mountain refuges, both south to Greece and north through the Carpathian Mountains. According to the "admigration theory", migrations from the Balkan Peninsula to the lands north of the Danube contributed to the survival of a Romance-speaking population in those territories.
Political motivations—the Transylvanian Romanians' efforts to achieve their emancipation, Austro-Hungarian and Romanian expansionism, and Hungarian irredentism—influenced the development of the theories, and "national passions" still color the debates. In 2013, authors of The Cambridge History of the Romance Languages came to the conclusion that the "historical, archaeological and linguistic data available do not seem adequate to give a definitive answer" in the debate. Their view was accepted by scholars contributing to The Oxford Guide to the Romance Languages, published in 2016, which concludes that "the location and extent of the territory where "Daco-Romance" originated" is uncertain.Romanian Americans
Romanian Americans (Romanian: Români americani) are Americans who have Romanian ancestry. According to the 2017 American Community Survey, 478,278 Americans indicated Romanian as their first or second ancestry.
Other sources provide higher estimates for the numbers of Romanian Americans in the contemporary US; for example, the Romanian-American Network Inc. supplies a rough estimate of 1.1 million who are fully or partially of Romanian ethnicity. There is also a significant number of persons of Romanian Jewish ancestry, estimated at about 225,000.Romanian Australians
Romanian Australians may include those who have immigrated to Australia from Romania, and Australian-born citizens of Romanian descent. According to ABS (2006 census) figures, there are 18,320 people with Romanian ancestry in Australia.Romanians were registered in Australia for the first time more than 80 years ago having emigrated for work seeking a more prosperous economic status, or as missionaries. But the first wave of Romanian emigrants to Australia came after World War II, when Romania was experiencing severe economic and political problems. The Romanians who were then emigrating to Australia principally settled in areas around Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The number of Romanians who came to Australia at the time is estimated to be around 2,000 people.The second wave of Romanian emigration to the Australian continent began after the Romanian Revolution of 1989, when the Communist regime fell and citizens received the right to leave Romania. They came in large numbers for the same reasons as the first-wave immigrants.Romanian Canadians
Romanian Canadians are Canadian citizens of Romanian descent or Romania-born people who reside in Canada.
According to the Canadian Census data of 2016, there are approximately 240,000 Romanian-Canadians. Some sources estimates that this number might be as high as cca. 400,000 Canadians who are fully or partially of Romanian ancestry.Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church (Romanian: Biserica Ortodoxă Română) is an autocephalous Orthodox Church in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox Christian Churches, one of the nine Patriarchates in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since 1925, the Church's Primate bears the title of Patriarch. Its jurisdiction covers the territories of Romania and Moldova, with additional dioceses for Romanians living in nearby Serbia and Hungary, as well as for diaspora communities in Central and Western Europe, North America and Oceania.
Currently it is the only autocephalous Church within Orthodoxy to have a Romance language for liturgical use. The majority of Romania's population (16,367,267, or 85.9% of those for whom data were available, according to the 2011 census data), as well as some 720,000 Moldovans, belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Members of the Romanian Orthodox Church sometimes refer to Orthodox Christian doctrine as Dreapta credință ("right/correct belief" or "true faith"; compare to Greek ὀρθὴ δόξα, "straight/correct belief").Romanian diaspora
The Romanian diaspora is the ethnically Romanian population outside Romania and Moldova. The concept does not usually include the ethnic Romanians who live as natives in nearby states, chiefly those Romanians who live in Ukraine and Serbia. Therefore, the number of all Romanians abroad is estimated at about 4–12 million people, depending on one's definition of the term "Romanian" as well as the inclusion/exclusion of ethnic Romanians living in nearby countries where they are indigenous. The definition of "who is a Romanian?" may range from rigorous conservative estimates based on self-identification and official statistics to estimates that include people of Romanian ancestry born in their respective countries as well as people born to ethnic-minorities from Romania.
In 2006, the Romanian diaspora was estimated at about 8 million people by the president of Romania, Traian Băsescu, most of them living in the former USSR, Western Europe (esp. Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, and France), North America, South America and Australia. It is unclear if Băsescu included the indigenous Romanians living in the immediate surroundings of the Romanian state such as those in Moldova, Ukraine, or Serbia.
In December 2013, Cristian David, the government minister for the Department of Romanians Everywhere, declared that a new reality illustrates that between 6–8 million Romanians live outside Romania's borders. This includes 2–3 million indigenous Romanians living in neighbouring states such as Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, the Balkans and especially the Republic of Moldova. The number also includes circa 2.7–3.5 million Romanians in Western Europe.The Romanian diaspora has emerged as a powerful political force in elections since 2009. For the 2014 presidential election, voting in the diaspora was poorly organized and resulted in protests in several major European cities. The diaspora vote played a key role in the final result.Below is a list of self-declared ethnic Romanians in the countries where they live, excluding those who live in Romania and Moldova but including those who live in Ukraine (including Chernivtsi Oblast), Serbia (including Vlachs), Hungary, and Bulgaria.
The numbers are based on official statistical data in the respective states where such Romanians reside or – wherever such data is unavailable – based on official estimates made by the Romanian department for Romanians abroad (figures for Spain, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Portugal, and Turkey are for Romanian citizens, and may include individuals of any ethnicity).
Ethnic Romanians are primarily present in Europe and North America. However, there are ethnic Romanians in Turkey, both in the Asian and European parts of the country, descendants of Wallachian settlers invited by the Ottoman Empire from the early fourteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. There are about 2,000 Romanian immigrants in Japan since the late twentieth century.Romanians of Serbia
Romanians (Romanian: Românii din Serbia, Serbian: Румуни у Србији / Rumuni u Srbiji) are a recognised national minority in Serbia. The total number of declared Romanians according to the 2011 census was 29,332, while 35,330 people declared themselves Vlachs; there are differing views among some of the Vlachs over they should be regarded as Romanians or as members of a distinctive nationality. Declared Romanians are mostly concentrated in Banat, while declared Vlachs are mostly concentrated in Eastern Serbia.Southern Dobruja
Southern Dobruja or South Dobruja (Bulgarian: Южна Добруджа, Yuzhna Dobrudzha or simply Добруджа, Dobrudzha) is an area of northeastern Bulgaria comprising the administrative districts named for its two principal cities of Dobrich and Silistra. It has an area of 7,565 km² and a population of 358,000. When it was a part of Romania from 1913 to 1940 it was known in Romanian as Dobrogea de sud, the Cadrilater ("Quadrilateral"), or Dobrogea Nouă ("New Dobruja").
At the beginning of the modern era, Southern Dobruja had a mixed population of Bulgarians and Turks with several smaller minorities, including Gagauz, Crimean Tatars and Romanians. In 1910, of the 282,007 inhabitants of Southern Dobruja, 134,355 (47.6%) were Bulgarians, 106,568 (37.8%) Turks, 12,192 (4.3%) Gypsies, 11,718 (4.1%) Tatars, and 6,484 (2.4%) Romanians.Southern Dobruja was part of the autonomous Bulgarian principality from 1878 and part of the independent Bulgarian state from 1908 until Bulgaria's defeat in the Second Balkan War, when the region was ceded to Romania under the Treaty of Bucharest (1913).
In 1914, Romania demanded all landowners prove their property and surrender to the Romanian state one third of the land they claimed or pay an equivalent of its value. This was similar to the agrarian reforms in Romania which occurred the previous century, in which the landlords had to give up two-thirds of their land, which was then handed over to the peasants. In Southern Dobruja, many of the peasants who received the land were settlers, including tens of thousands of Aromanians from Macedonia, as well as Romanians from Wallachia, which led to claims that the reforms had a nationalist purpose.On 7 September 1940 Southern Dobruja was restored to Bulgaria under the Treaty of Craiova. The treaty was followed by a mandatory population exchange: about 110,000 Romanians (almost 95% of which settled there after 1913) were forced to leave Southern Dobruja, whereas 77,000 Bulgarians had to leave Northern Dobruja. Only a few hundred Romanians and Aromanians are now left in the region.In 1913–1940, during the Kingdom of Romania, the region covered two counties: Durostor and Caliacra. Nowadays, the territory of Southern Dobruja forms the provinces of Silistra and Dobrich.Soviet deportations from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina
The Soviet deportations from Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina took place between late 1940 and 1951 and were part of Joseph Stalin's policy of political repression of the potential opposition to the Soviet power (see Population transfer in the Soviet Union). The deported were typically moved to so-called "special settlements" (спецпоселения) (see Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union).
The deportations began after the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina, which occurred in June 1940. According to a secret Soviet ministry of interior report dated December 1965, 46,000 people were deported from Moldavia for the period 1940—1953.Vlachs
Vlachs (English: or , or rarely ), also Wallachians (and many other variants), is a historical term from the Middle Ages that designates an exonym—a name that foreigners use—mostly for the Romanians who lived north and south of the Danube.As a contemporary term, in the English language, the Vlachs are the Eastern Romance-speaking peoples who live south of the Danube in what are now eastern Serbia, southern Albania, northern Greece, the Republic of North Macedonia, and southwestern Bulgaria, as indigenous ethnic groups, such as the Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians (Macedoromanians), and Macedo-Vlachs. In Polish and Hungarian, derivations of the term were also applied to Italians. The term also became a synonym in the Balkans for the social category of shepherds, and was also used for non-Romance-speaking peoples, in recent times in the western Balkans derogatively. There is also a Vlach diaspora in other European countries, especially Romania, as well as in North America and Australia."Vlachs" were initially identified and described during the 11th century by George Kedrenos. According to one origin theory, modern Romanians, Moldovans and Aromanians originated from Dacians. According to some linguists and scholars, the Eastern Romance languages prove the survival of the Thraco-Romans in the lower Danube basin during the Migration Period and western Balkan populations known as "Vlachs" also have had Romanized Illyrian origins.Nowadays, Eastern Romance-speaking communities are estimated at 26–30 million people worldwide (including the Romanian diaspora and Moldovan diaspora). All Balkan countries have indigenous Romance-speaking minorities.