Romanian diaspora

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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 and France, see Romanian-French), North America, South America and Australia.[1] 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. It is also unclear if Băsescu counted ethnic minorities such as Jews, Romanis, Hungarians, Germans (Transylvanian and Banat Swabians and Transylvanian Saxons) as Romanians when he made his estimate, as well as third-generation individuals in the United States and Canada.

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.[2]

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, Serbia, 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 Walachian settlers invited by the Ottoman Empire from the early 14th to the late 19th centuries. Over 100,000 ethnic Romanians are living throughout far eastern Russia, thousands of Romanians in villages of the Amur River valley on the Chinese side of the China–Russia border, and about 2,000 Romanian immigrants in Japan since the late 20th century.[3]

The Romanian diaspora has emerged as a powerful political force in elections since 2009.[4][5] 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.[5]

Distribution by country

Romanian diaspora inside the EU between 2008 and 2012
Country Population Year Origin, notes
Italy Italy 1,151,395 2015[6]Immigrants (additional 142,266 Moldovans)
Spain Spain 705,333 2015[7]Immigrants (additional 20,000 Moldovans)
Germany Germany 452,000 2015[8][9]Immigrants
United States United States 518,653 2009[10]
Israel Israel 205,600 2014[11]
France France 200,000 2013[12]
Ukraine Ukraine 150,989 2001[13] Indigenous to Zakarpattia Oblast, Odessa Oblast and Chernivtsi Oblast. (additional 258,619 Moldovans)
United Kingdom United Kingdom 220,000 2015[14][15]
Austria Austria 91,271 2015[16]
Canada Canada 82,995 2011[17]
Immigrants (additional 121,635 of mixed origin and additional 8,050 Moldovans).
Belgium Belgium 65,768 2015[18]
Greece Greece 46,523 2011[19]
Romanian citizen immigrants. (additional 10,391 Moldovans). There are also Aromanian and Megleno speaking people in Greece, however they are not considered an ethnic but a linguistic/cultural minority. In addition to that no Greek census has recorded mother tongue statistics since 1951, so the number of those two Romanian-speaking groups can not be exact. Therefore, this number includes Romanian citizens only.
Portugal Portugal 39,312 2011[20]
Immigrants (additional 13,586 Moldovans)
Hungary Hungary 30,924 2011[21]Indigenous to Eastern Hungary
Serbia Serbia 29,332 2011[22] Indigenous to Vojvodina (Banat), Timočka Krajina and parts of Central Serbia. (additional 35,330 Vlachs)
Cyprus Cyprus 24,376 2011[23]
(excluding Moldovans) Immigrants
Denmark Denmark 22,037 2016[24]Immigrants
Netherlands Netherlands 21,049 2015[25]
Sweden Sweden 21,016 2011[26]
Australia Australia 20,998 2011[27]
Republic of Ireland Ireland 17,995 2011[28]
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 14,666 2009[29][30]
(including Moldovans) Immigrants / Displaced during World War II
Venezuela Venezuela 10,000 [31]
Switzerland Switzerland 21,593 2015[32]
Norway Norway 6,869 2012[33]
Czech Republic Czech Republic 5,069 [34]
United Arab Emirates UAE 5,000 [35]
Slovakia Slovakia 4,941 [36] Immigrants
Brazil Brazil 4,000 [37]
Russia Russia 3,201 2010[38]
Immigrants / Displaced during World War II (additional 156,400 Moldovans)
New Zealand New Zealand3,100 [39]
South Africa South Africa 3,000 [40]
Japan Japan 3,000 [41]
Lithuania Lithuania1,350 [42]
Turkey Turkey 1,304 [43]
Qatar Qatar 1,000 [44]
Bulgaria Bulgaria 891 2011[45] Indigenous to Vidin Province and parts of Northern Bulgaria (additional 3,684 Vlachs)
Luxembourg Luxembourg 500 [46]
Finland Finland 500 [47]
Ethiopia African Union 485 [40]
Mexico Mexico 400 [48]
Chile Chile 389 2002 CensusImmigrants
South Korea South Korea 300 [41]
Colombia Colombia 270 [48]
TOTAL 4 420 863 The estimate is the sum of the countrywide estimates listed.


  1. Preşedintele României
  2. 6-8 Million Romanians Live outside Romania's Borders
  3. Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  4. "REZULTATE ALEGERI 2014 [Results of 2014 election]". Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  5. 1 2 "Romania election surprise as Klaus Iohannis wins presidency". Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  6. "Bilancio demografico nazionale".
  7. Instituto Nacional de Estadística: Population Figures at 1 July 2015 .
  8. Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni - Federal Republic of Germany
  9. "Zensusdatenbank - Ergebnisse des Zensus 2011". Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  10. US Census Bureau Estimate 2009
  11. Statistical Abstract of Israel 2014
  12. români muncesc în străinătate şi unde sunt cei mai mulţi
  13. (Ukrainian) Ukraine 2001 Census results
  14. Statistics Canada, Canada 2001 Census. 2011 Canada National Household Survey - Ethnic Origin
  15. Greek Census
  16. 2011 Portugal foreigners
  17. Hungarian census 2011
  18. 2011 Serbian Census
  19. Preliminary Results of the Census of Population, 2011
  20. "BEF5: Folketal pr 1 januar efter køn, alder og fødeland". Danmark statistik. Danmark statistik. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  21. CBS StatLine 2015
  22. , 2011
  23. Population by ancestry (Australia), 2006 Australian census
  24. Irish Census of 2011: Ireland becoming more Diverse
  25. Ethnic composition, religion and language skills in the Republic of Kazakhstan
  26. Cotidianul
  27. Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  28. Office, Federal Statistical. "Permanent and non permanent resident population by canton, sex, citizenship, country of birth and age, 2014-2015". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  29. Statistics Norway – Persons with immigrant background by immigration category, country background and gender. 1 January 2012 (Corrected 30 April 2012)
  30. Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  31. Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  32. Andrei Luca Popescu (21 December 2015). "HARTA românilor plecaţi în străinătate. Topul ţărilor UE în care românii reprezintă cea mai mare comunitate". Gândul.
  33. Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  34. 2010 Russia Census
  35. 1 2
  36. 1 2 Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  37. 2011 Bulgaria Census
  38. 1 2 Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
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