Romania Geography

Romania Geography and Population

Romania – geography

Romania belongs partly to the highlands of Central Europe and partly to the plains of Central and Eastern Europe. The areas to the far west are continuations of the lowlands of Hungary and Vojvodina. They end at the Transylvania Highlands, which make up Transylvania, which flows east and south into the Carpathians. This vast mountain range, which with Moldoveanu, the country’s highest point, reaches 2543 m, stretches through Romania from southeast to north and further into Ukraine; it is accompanied to the south and east by the Carpathian foreland with the low Moldovan Plateau or simply Moldova (Romanian Moldova) between the Eastern Carpathians and the border river Prut as well as Wallachia, which lies south of the Southern Carpathians. Farthest to the east, the Danube Delta extends into The Black Sea. The region of Dobrogea lies along the Black Sea coast and continues into northeastern Bulgaria.

Parts of the country

Romania is characterized by large regional differences. Wallachia between the Danube and the Carpathians is predominantly lowland. The Danube basin has for centuries been a major thoroughfare for travelers, goods, armies and migrations. Here, the capital Bucharest is the center of Romania’s largest urban area. There are a number of larger and smaller towns on the tributaries that run from the Southern Carpathians to the Danube, such as Craiova, Ploeşti and Piteşti.

Norddobrogea is a dry steppe that is cultivated in most places, in the southern parts, however, with irrigation. The capital city of Constanţa is Romania’s second largest city and main port with large exports and a significant industry. The location midway between Istanbul and Odessa has meant a great deal to the business development of Constanta and the area. The climate of the Black Sea coast is almost Mediterranean, and here are a number of important holiday areas, including Mamaia, Constanţa, Eforia on Lake Techirghiol and the port city of Mangalia. For culture and traditions of Romania, please check aparentingblog.

The Danube Delta, which is 4,000 km 2 in size, is intersected by three river arms. Large parts are dammed and cultivated, the rest are water areas, pipe swamps, dunes and drought-prone areas. Here is Eastern Europe’s most important resting area for migratory waterfowl. Ships sail along the northern Danube arm of Chile all the way to Galaţi and Brăila. The capital city of Tulcea is an industrial city and a starting point for excursions to the Danube Delta, which in 1991 was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Moldova is a fertile plateau with a hot and dry climate, where grain and industrial crops are grown. Iaşi, an ancient university and industrial city, is the cultural and economic center of the region. In the southern part is Brăila, whose old town is preserved, as well as the industrial city of Galaţi, which for the most part was built after World War II. At Bicaz in the Carpathians, one of Romania’s largest hydropower plants is located by a large artificial lake. The eastern foothills of the Carpathians are known for their distinctive monasteries and churches.

Transylvania’s southeasternmost highlands are rich in fortified cities and castles, the castle of Bran, attached to the Dracula story; north of Sibiu and Braşov is a strip of fortified churches. Braşov is located by the access roads to the Carpathian Pass as well as tourist and winter sports areas, such as the Prahova Valley, and much of the old town has been preserved. It is a significant industrial city with machinery and metal industry (tractors, trucks). Further west is Sibiu, which at times was the seat of the Habsburg governors of Transylvania. Târgu Mureş is an ancient Hungarian center and stronghold that had great Romanian immigration and Hungarian emigration during the Ceauşescu period. In 1990, there were ethnic conflicts here; today the two population groups are about equal in size.Centrally located on the plateau, Cluj-Napoca is a city of education and hospitals. Here was great Romanian immigration to the new factories after World War II. 1/3 of the population are Hungarians, and the city’s political and cultural center of both communities. The northernmost and in many places hard to reach part of Transylvania, Maramureş, as the only area in Romania was never occupied by the Romans. The traditional way of life is only slowly being affected by changes in the rest of the country. The capital Satu Mare has a large Hungarian population. There are large and polluting mines and smelters in Baia Mare. The capital of the westernmost plain is Timişoara, which has machinery, electronics and food industries as well as chemical industries.


Romania has a continental, predominantly warm, temperate climate. There are large temperature differences between summer and winter. The climate varies greatly from the mountains over the highlands to the lowlands and coasts. While there are long periods of frost in the Carpathians, the average temperature in the highlands in January is −5 °C, in the lowlands −1 °C. The average summer temperature varies from 18 °C to 24 °C. The areas along the Black Sea coast have an annual rainfall of 400 mm, while up to 1400 mm can fall in the Carpathians.


56 percent of the population lives in cities. Growth is low, less than 0.5 percent. Nearly 90 percent of the population are Romanians; 7.1 percent are Hungarians, 1.8 percent Roma and 0.5 percent Germans. Among the 18 recognized national minorities are Ukrainians, Russians, Serbs, Slovaks and Bulgarians. The German population, which has declined sharply, lives mainly in Transylvania, and the Hungarians live predominantly in the westernmost parts of the country. Many Roma, those who live a nomadic life continue to be discriminated against.

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Industry, especially heavy industry and mechanical industry, played a dominant role through many years of communist rule. Energy production, mining and the chemical industry were also promoted. But decades of predation on raw material resources have in many places resulted in violent pollution and environmental damage. Romania initiated fundamental reforms in 1990. They include a much-needed modernization of a dilapidated and obsolete production apparatus, adaptation to changing marketing conditions and a simultaneous shift from a planned economy and communist organization to a market economy, decentralization and private organization. Both modernization and conversion have been cumbersome and have been slow. The 1990’s were marked by unemployment, strikes, energy shortages, high inflation and stagnant or declining production, including food production,

The industry employs 1/3 of the workforce. While the chemical and cement industries are widespread, the iron and steel industry is concentrated in the cities of Hunedoara, Reşiţa and Galaţi, the machinery and transport industries in Bucharest and Braşov, while the petrochemical industry is found near the cities of Ploeşti and Piteşti. Copper smelting is found in Baia Mare, which also produces aluminum, lead, zinc and uranium. The main oil fields lie in a belt along the foot of the Southern Carpathians (Transylvania Alps), from where pipelines lead to Constanţa on the Black Sea. The largest natural gas fields are found in Transylvania. Coal and lignite are mined in several places, especially near Petroşeni, Romania’s most important coal field.

Agricultural occupies almost 2/3 of the area and employing 37 percent of the labor force (1994). Wheat and maize are the main crops, which are grown extensively on the vast plains and plateaus. Other important crops are malting barley, potatoes, sunflowers, flax, soybeans, tobacco and vegetables. In addition, there is a large herd of cattle and sheep. In the Carpathian foreland, fruit is grown: apples, plums and pears as well as grapes used to make high quality wine. Agriculture, formerly state- and collectively-run, however, made room for private plots of land. However, the industry was set back a lot by the “systematization”, ie. Ceauşescuthe regime’s large-scale but failed attempts to increase state-owned agricultural land, gather peasants in cities and assimilate minorities. When this policy was abandoned, it had destroyed entire village communities and been the cause of migration and declining agricultural production.

Other professions. Forestry utilizes more than 1/4 of the area, mainly in the mountains, and is the foundation of timber, paper and wood industry, where manufactured goods such as furniture plays a major role. Fishing, which takes place mainly in the Black Sea and the Danube, is becoming increasingly important for the population’s nutrition. The service industries employ approximately 30 percent, and companies are generally many and small. Tourism plays a major role in the Black Sea and in the Carpathians.


The railways account for the majority of the country’s passenger and freight transport, and the main lines are electrified. A large part of the main roads are good, while many side roads are in poor condition. Bucharest is the center of Romania’s land and air traffic. Constanţa has an international port, and especially the Danube and the canals to the Black Sea are important waterways. The hydropower plants account for approximately 1/6 of the electricity production and can be found by iron gate and Subcarpathia.

Romania Geography