Bihor County

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Bihor County

Județul Bihor
Oradea (Nagyvarad) - piata Unirii.JPG
Oradea, capital of Bihor County
Actual Bihor county CoA.png
Coat of arms
Bihor in Romania.svg
Location of Bihor County in Romania
CountryFlag of Romania.svg  Romania
Historic region Crișana
Capital city (Reședință de județ) Oradea
  TypeCounty Board
  President of the County BoardSándor Pásztor (UDMR)
  Prefect2Ioan MIhaiu
  Total7,544 km2 (2,913 sq mi)
Area rank 6th in Romania
Highest elevation
1,849 m (6,066 ft)
Lowest elevation
89 m (292 ft)
 (2011 census [1] )
  Rank 11th in Romania
  Density76/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal Code
Area code(s) +40 x59 4
ISO 3166 code RO-BH
Car Plates BH5
GDPUS$4.048 billion (2015)
GDP/capita US$7,037 (2015)
Website County Board
County Prefecture
1The developing regions of Romania have no administrative role. They were formed to attract funds from the European Union [ citation needed ]
2 as of 2007, the Prefect is not a politician, but a civil servant. He (or she) is not allowed to be a member of a political party, and is banned from any political activity in the first six months after the resignation (or firing) from the civil service
3w, x, y, and z are digits that indicate the city, the street, part of the street, or even the building of the address
4x is a digit indicating the operator: 2 for the former national operator, Romtelecom, and 3 for the other ground telephone networks
5used on both the plates of the vehicles that operate only in the county limits (like utility vehicles, ATVs, etc.), and the ones used outside the county

Bihor County (Romanian pronunciation:  [biˈhor] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a county (județ) of Romania, in Crișana. Its capital city is Oradea.



The origin of the name Bihor is uncertain, except that it likely takes its name from an ancient fortress in the current commune of Biharia. It possibly came from vihor, the Serbian and Ukrainian word for "whirlwind" (вихор), or Slavic biela hora, meaning "white mountain." Another theory is that Biharea is of Daco-Thracian etymology (bi meaning "two" and harati "take" or "lead"), possibly meaning two possessions of land in the Duchy of Menumorut. Another theory is that the name comes from bour, the Romanian term for aurochs (from the Latin word bubalus ). The animal once inhabited the lands of northwestern Romania. Under this controversial theory, the name changed from buar to buhar and to Bihar and Bihor. [2]


In 2002, Bihor had a population of 600,246 and the population density was 79.56/km2. 48.6% of its population lives in urban areas, lower than the Romanian average. [3] [4]

On 31 October 2011, Bihor had a population of 575,398 and the population density was 72/km2 (186/sq mi). [5]

By religion

99.4% of the county's population are Christian [6] and of these:

YearCounty population [7]
1956Increase2.svg 574,488
1966Increase2.svg 586,460
1977Increase2.svg 633,094
1992Increase2.svg 634,093
2002Decrease2.svg 600,246
2011Decrease2.svg 575,398


This county has a total area of 7,544 km2 (2,913 sq mi). In the East side of the County there are the Apuseni Mountains with heights up to 1,800 m (5,906 ft). The heights decrease westwards, passing through the hills an ending in the Romanian Western Plain – the eastern side of the Pannonian plain.

The county is mainly the Criș hydrographic basine with the rivers Crișul Repede, Crișul Negru and Barcău the main rivers.



Prior to World War I, the territory of the county belonged to Austria-Hungary and mostly was contained in the Bihar County of the Kingdom of Hungary. The territory of Bihor County was transferred to Romania from Hungary as successor state to Austria-Hungary in 1920 under the Treaty of Trianon. After the administrative unification law in 1925, the name of the county remained as it was, but the territory was reorganized.[ citation needed ]

In 1938, King Carol II promulgated a new Constitution, and subsequently he had the administrative division of the Romanian territory changed. 10 ținuturi (approximate translation: "lands") were created (by merging the counties) to be ruled by rezidenți regali (approximate translation: "Royal Residents") - appointed directly by the King - instead of the prefects. Bihor County became part of Ținutul Crișuri.[ citation needed ]

In 1940, part of the county was transferred back to Hungary with the rest of Northern Transylvania under the Second Vienna Award. Beginning in 1944, Romanian forces with Soviet assistance recaptured the ceded territory and reintegrated it into Romania. Romanian jurisdiction over the entire county per the Treaty of Trianon was reaffirmed in the Paris Peace Treaties, 1947. The county was disestablished by the communist government of Romania in 1950, and re-established in 1968 when Romania restored the county administrative system.[ citation needed ]


Bihor is one of the wealthiest counties in Romania, with a GDP per capita well above the national average. Recently, the economy has been driven by a number of construction projects. Bihor has the lowest unemployment rate in Romania and among the lowest in Europe, with only 2.4% unemployment, compared to Romania's average of 5.1%.

The predominant industries in the county are:

In the west side of the county there are mines for extracting coal and bauxite. Crude oil is also extracted.


The main tourist attractions in the county are:

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of Bihor County was adopted in 1998, and is a quarterly shield featuring a castle (for the Castle of Bihar), five wheat stalks with a ribbon, and a scroll with the text of Deșteaptă-te, române! , covered with a fess featuring three fish. It was subject to redesign in 2013 after it was discovered by a local teacher that the text on the scroll was erroneously written in Greek, rather than Cyrillic (the original alphabet used to write the poem's text) or the Latin alphabet. The county has no significant history with Greece. [8]


The Bihor County Council, elected at the 2016 local government elections, is made up of 35 counselors, with the following party composition: [9]

   PartySeatsCurrent County Council
  National Liberal Party 20                 
  Social Democratic Party 3                 
  Democratic Alliance of Hungarians 4                 
  Alliance of Liberals and Democrats 0                 

Administrative divisions

Oradea Piata Unirii Oradea.jpg
Marghita Reformatus templom Margittan.JPG
Salonta Csonkatorony Arany Palota.jpg
Beius Beius centru din aer.jpg

Bihor County has four municipalities, six towns, and 91 communes.




Historical county

Județul Bihor
County (Județ)
Prefectura Oradea.JPG
The Bihor County Prefecture building from the interwar period used until 1920.
Interbelic Bihor County CoA.png
Coat of arms
Romania 1930 county Bihor.png
Country Flag of Romania.svg Romania
Historic region Crișana
Capital city (Reședință de județ) Oradea
  Total7,467 km2 (2,883 sq mi)
  Density68/km2 (180/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+3 (EEST)


The territory of the county was divided into eleven districts ( plăṣi ) [10]

  1. Plasa Aleşd (comprising 41 villages, headquartered at Aleşd)
  2. Plasa Beiuș (comprising 62 villages, headquartered at Beiuș)
  3. Plasa Beliu (comprising 30 villages, headquartered at Beliu)
  4. Plasa Ceica (comprising 47 villages, headquartered at Ceica)
  5. Plasa Centrală (comprising 40 villages, headquartered at Oradea)
  6. Plasa Marghita (comprising 43 villages, headquartered at Marghita)
  7. Plasa Săcueni (comprising 11 villages, headquartered at Săcueni)
  8. Plasa Sălard (comprising 28 villages, headquartered at Sălard)
  9. Plasa Tileagd (comprising 28 villages, headquartered at Tileagd)
  10. Plasa Tinca (comprising 26 villages, headquartered at Tinca)
  11. Plasă Vașcău (comprising 44 villages, headquartered at Vașcău)

Within Bihor County there were three urban localities: Oradea (also known as Oradea Mare, the county seat) and urban communes Salonta and Beiuş.


According to the 1930 census data, the county population was 510,318, ethnically divided among Romanians (61.6%), Hungarians (30.0%), Jews (4.3%), Czechs and Slovaks (2.2%), as well as other minorities. By language the county was divided among Romanian (61.4%), Hungarian (33.8%), Czech (2.0%), Yiddish (1.5%), as well as other minorities. From the religious point of view, the population consisted of Eastern Orthodox (49.8%), Reformed (21.0%), Greek Catholics (10.7%), Roman Catholics (10.4%), Jews (5.4%), Baptists (2.2%), as well as other minorities. [11]

Urban population

The county's urban population consisted of 102,277 inhabitants, 54.8% Hungarians, 26.4% Romanians, 15.4% Jews, 1% Germans, as well as other minorities. As a mother tongue in the urban population, Hungarian (67.9%) predominated, followed by Romanian (24.9%), Yiddish (4.3%), German (1.2%) as well as other minorities. From the religious point of view, the urban population consisted of 31.5% Reformed, 20.6% Jewish, 19.3% Roman Catholic, 17.5% Eastern Orthodox, 9.1% Greek Catholic, 1.1% Lutheran, as well as other minorities. [11]

Map of Bihor County as constituted in 1938. 1938 map of interwar county Bihor.jpg
Map of Bihor County as constituted in 1938.

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  1. "Population at 20 October 2011" (in Romanian). INSSE. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  2. "Numele Bihorului. Etimologie şi controverse". Oradea Mea. 23 July 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  3. Romanian 2002 Census
  4. National Institute of Statistics, "Populaţia după etnie" Archived 16 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Recensamantul Populatiei si Locuintelor 2011: Populația stabilă după etnie – județe, municipii, orașe, comune
  6. Romania and Bihor County Census, 2002, (in Hungarian)
  7. National Institute of Statistics, "Populația la recensămintele din anii 1948, 1956, 1966, 1977, 1992, 2002 și 2011" Archived 22 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Totorean, Adriana (23 April 2013). "Blazon greşit: Stema judeţului Bihor va fi refăcută, deoarece conţine un detaliu penibil". Ebihoreanul (in Romanian). Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  9. "Mandate de CJ pe judete si competitori" (in Romanian). Biroul Electoral Central. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  10. Portretul României Interbelice - Județul Bihor
  11. 1 2 Recensământul general al populației României din 29 decemvrie 1930, Vol. II, pag. 550-556

Coordinates: 47°04′20″N21°55′16″E / 47.0722°N 21.9211°E / 47.0722; 21.9211