Minorities of Romania

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Ethnic map of Romania in 2011
Ethnic map of the Romanian counties (2011 census)
Lesser minorities of Romania (under 100,000 members)
Ethnicity in Romania by county (inhabitants) based on the 2002 census data
Ethnicity in Romania by county (%) based on 2002 census data

About 10.5% of Romania's population is represented by minorities (the rest of 89.5% being Romanians). The principal minorities in Romania are Hungarians (Szeklers, Csangos, and Magyars; especially in Harghita, Covasna, and Mureș counties) and Romani people, with a declining German population (in Timiș, Sibiu, Brașov) and smaller numbers of Poles in Bukovina (Austria-Hungary attracted Polish miners, who settled there from the Kraków region in contemporary Poland during the 19th century), Serbs, Croats, Slovaks and Banat Bulgarians (in Banat), Ukrainians (in Maramureș and Bukovina), Greeks (Brăila, Constanța), Jews (Wallachia, Bucharest), Turks and Tatars (in Constanța), Armenians, Russians (Lippovans, in Tulcea), Afro-Romanians and others.

To this day, minority populations are greatest in Transylvania and the Banat, historical regions situated in the north and west of the country which were former territorial possessions of either the Kingdom of Hungary, the Habsburgs, or the Austrian Empire (since 1867 the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary until World War I).

Before World War II, minorities represented more than 28% of the total population. During the war that percentage was halved, largely by the loss of the border areas of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina (to the former Soviet Union, now Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), Black Sea islands (to the former Soviet Union, now Ukraine), and southern Dobrudja (to Bulgaria), as well as by the postwar flight or deportation of ethnic Germans.

In the Romanian election law, government-recognized ethnic minorities in Romania are subject to a significantly lower threshold and have consequently won seats in the Chamber of Deputies since the fall of the Nicolae Ceauşescu regime.


In the table below are enlisted all minority ethnic groups from Romania with more than 1,000 persons (based on the 2011 Romanian census):

Minority Population (2002) Percentage of the
total population (2002)
Population (2011) Percentage of the
total population (2011)
Hungarians (incl. Szeklers) 1,431,807 Steady 6.60% Steady 1,227,623 Decrease 6.10% Decrease Mainly Transylvania, but also Bucharest
Roma 535,140 Steady 2.46% Steady 621,573 Increase 3.08% Increase Mureș, Călărași
Ukrainians (incl. Hutsuls and Rusyns) 61,091 Steady 0.28% Steady 50,920 Decrease 0.25% Decrease Maramureș, Timiș, Suceava
Germans[1] 59,764 Steady 0.28% Steady 36,042 Decrease 0.17% Decrease Timiș, Sibiu, Satu Mare, Caraș-Severin, Brașov, Mureș, Maramureș, Hunedoara, Alba, Bihor, Suceava, Bistrița-Năsăud, Prahova
Russians (incl. Lipovans) 35,791 Steady 0.17% Steady 23,487 Decrease 0.11% Decrease Tulcea, Constanța, Iași, Suceava
Turks 32,098 Steady 0.15% Steady 27,698 Decrease 0.13% Decrease Constanța
Crimean Tatars 23,935 Steady 0.11% Steady 20,282 Decrease 0.10% Decrease Constanța
Serbs 22,518 Steady 0.10% Steady 18,076 Decrease 0.08% Decrease Timiș, Arad, Caraș-Severin, Mehedinți
Slovaks 17,199 Steady 0.08% Steady 13,654 Decrease 0.06% Decrease Sălaj, Arad, Bihor, Suceava
Bulgarians 8,025 Steady 0.04% Steady 7,336 Decrease 0.04% Steady Timiș
Croats (incl. Krašovani) 6,786 Steady 0.03% Steady 5,408 Decrease 0.03% Steady Caraș-Severin
Greeks 6,472 Steady 0.03% Steady 3,668 Decrease 0.02% Decrease Constanța, Brăila
Jews 5,785 Steady 0.03% Steady 3,271 Decrease 0.02% Decrease Bucharest
Czechs 3,938 Steady 0.02% Steady 2,477 Decrease 0.01% Decrease Caraș-Severin, Mehedinți, Suceava
Poles 3,559 Steady 0.02% Steady 2,543 Decrease 0.01% Decrease Suceava, Bucharest
Italians 3,288 Steady 0.02% Steady 3,203 Decrease 0.02% Steady Bucharest, Constanța, Timiș
Chinese 2,243 Steady 0.01% Steady 2,017 Decrease 0.01% Steady Bucharest
Armenians 1,780 Steady 0.01% Steady 1,361 Decrease >0.01% Decrease Cluj (city of Gherla)
Csángós 1,266 Steady 0.01% Steady 1,536 Increase >0.01% Increase Bacău
Other lesser minorities and/or recent immigrants: 13,653 Steady 0.06% Steady 18,524 Increase 0.10% Increase All counties of Romania
Total: 2,276,138 Steady 10.49% Steady 2,091,963Decrease 10.39% Decrease Romania

Hungarian minority in Romania[edit]

Map of Romanian counties with the Hungarian population highlighted.

The Hungarian minority in Romania consists of 6.1% of the total population (1,227,623 citizens as per the 2011 census), being thus the largest ethnic minority of the country.[2]

Most ethnic Hungarians live in what is today known as Transylvania (where they make up about 16.79% of the population), an area that includes the historic regions of Banat, Crișana, and Maramureș. They form a large majority of the population only in Harghita and Covasna counties and a large percentage in the Mureș county.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Including Transylvanian Saxons, Transylvanian Landlers, Banat Swabians, Bukovina Swabians, Sathmar Swabians, Regat Germans, Zipser Germans, and Dobrujan Germans.
  2. ^ "The Euromosaic study Hungarian in Romania - General information". European Commission. Retrieved 2012-07-12.

External links[edit]