Minorities of Romania

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Ethnic map of Romania in 2011 Romania harta etnica 2011.PNG
Ethnic map of Romania in 2011
Ethnic map of the Romanian counties (2011 census) Ethnic-map-of-Romania-2011.png
Ethnic map of the Romanian counties (2011 census)
Lesser minorities of Romania (under 100,000 members) RO Minor.png
Lesser minorities of Romania (under 100,000 members)
Ethnicity in Romania by county (inhabitants) based on the 2002 census data RoCensus2002Inhab.png
Ethnicity in Romania by county (inhabitants) based on the 2002 census data
Ethnicity in Romania by county (%) based on 2002 census data RoCensus2002Proc.png
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, or Suceava) 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):

MinorityPopulation (2002)Percentage of the
total population (2002)
Population (2011)Percentage of the
total population (2011)
Hungarians (incl. Szeklers and Csangos)1,431,807 Steady2.svg6.60% Steady2.svg1,227,623 Decrease2.svg6.10% Decrease2.svgMainly Transylvania, but also Bucharest
Roma 535,140 Steady2.svg2.46% Steady2.svg621,573 Increase2.svg3.08% Increase2.svg Mureș, Călărași
Ukrainians (incl. Hutsuls and Rusyns)61,091 Steady2.svg0.28% Steady2.svg50,920 Decrease2.svg0.25% Decrease2.svg Maramureș, Timiș, Suceava
Germans [1] 59,764 Steady2.svg0.28% Steady2.svg36,042 Decrease2.svg0.17% Decrease2.svg Timiș, Sibiu, Satu Mare, Caraș-Severin, Brașov, Mureș, Maramureș, Hunedoara, Alba, Bihor, Suceava, Bistrița-Năsăud, Transylvania
Russians (incl. Lipovans)35,791 Steady2.svg0.17% Steady2.svg23,487 Decrease2.svg0.11% Decrease2.svg Tulcea, Constanța, Iași, Suceava
Turks 32,098 Steady2.svg0.15% Steady2.svg27,698 Decrease2.svg0.13% Decrease2.svg Constanța
Crimean Tatars 23,935 Steady2.svg0.11% Steady2.svg20,282 Decrease2.svg0.10% Decrease2.svg Constanța
Serbs 22,518 Steady2.svg0.10% Steady2.svg18,076 Decrease2.svg0.08% Decrease2.svg Timiș, Arad, Caraș-Severin, Mehedinți
Slovaks 17,199 Steady2.svg0.08% Steady2.svg13,654 Decrease2.svg0.06% Decrease2.svg Sălaj, Arad, Bihor, Suceava
Bulgarians 8,025 Steady2.svg0.04% Steady2.svg7,336 Decrease2.svg0.04% Steady2.svg Timiș
Croats (incl. Krašovani)6,786 Steady2.svg0.03% Steady2.svg5,408 Decrease2.svg0.03% Steady2.svg Caraș-Severin
Greeks 6,472 Steady2.svg0.03% Steady2.svg3,668 Decrease2.svg0.02% Decrease2.svg Constanța, Brăila, Transylvania
Jews 5,785 Steady2.svg0.03% Steady2.svg3,271 Decrease2.svg0.02% Decrease2.svg Bucharest
Czechs 3,938 Steady2.svg0.02% Steady2.svg2,477 Decrease2.svg0.01% Decrease2.svg Caraș-Severin, Mehedinți, Suceava
Poles 3,559 Steady2.svg0.02% Steady2.svg2,543 Decrease2.svg0.01% Decrease2.svg Suceava, Bucharest
Italians 3,288 Steady2.svg0.02% Steady2.svg3,203 Decrease2.svg0.02% Steady2.svg Bucharest, Constanța, Timiș
Chinese 2,243 Steady2.svg0.01% Steady2.svg2,017 Decrease2.svg0.01% Steady2.svg Bucharest
Armenians 1,780 Steady2.svg0.01% Steady2.svg1,361 Decrease2.svg>0.01% Decrease2.svg Cluj (city of Gherla)
Csángós 1,266 Steady2.svg0.01% Steady2.svg1,536 Increase2.svg>0.01% Increase2.svg Bacău
Other lesser minorities and/or recent immigrants:13,653 Steady2.svg0.06% Steady2.svg18,524 Increase2.svg0.10% Increase2.svgAll counties of Romania

Hungarian minority in Romania

Map of Romanian counties with the Hungarian population highlighted. Hungarians in Romania.png
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.

Greek community

Eastern Orthodox Church Metamorphosis in Constanta, with service occasionally held in Greek Constanta Griechische Kirche.JPG
Eastern Orthodox Church Metamorphosis in Constanța, with service occasionally held in Greek

Among the towns and communes in Romania with the highest proportions of Greeks as of 2011 are Izvoarele (Greek : Ιζβοάρελε; 43.82%) and Sulina (Greek : Σουλινάς; 1.69%), both in Tulcea County.

According to the Romanian census of 2002, the Greek community numbered 6,472 persons, most of whom live in Bucharest and its surrounding area. Next in line come the Dobruja counties of Tulcea and Constanța, and the Danube-facing ones of Brăila and Galați. The 1992 census however found 19,594 Greeks; [3] this shows the tendency of assimilation. According to the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad (a dependency of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs) the Greek community in Romania numbers 14,000. [4]

The Hellenic Union of Romania, founded in 1990, represents the political and cultural preservation interests of the community, notably by providing its representatives in the Chamber of Deputies of Romania.

See also

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Transylvania Historical region of Romania

Transylvania is a historical region that is located in central Romania. Bound on the east and south by its natural borders, the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended westward to the Apuseni Mountains. The term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also parts of the historical regions of Crișana and Maramureș, and occasionally the Romanian part of Banat.

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Banat Historical region of eastern-central Europe now part of Romania, Serbia, and Hungary

Banat is a geographical and historical region straddling between Central and Eastern Europe that is currently divided among three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania ; the western part in northeastern Serbia ; and a small northern part lies within southeastern Hungary.

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The Székelys, sometimes also referred to as Szeklers are a subgroup of the Hungarian people living mostly in the Székely Land in Romania. A significant population descending from the Székelys of Bukovina lives in Tolna and Baranya counties in Hungary and in certain districts of Vojvodina, Serbia.

Magyar Autonomous Region

The Magyar Autonomous Region (1952–1960) and Mureș-Magyar Autonomous Region (1960–1968) were autonomous regions in the People's Republic of Romania.

Ethnic groups in Vojvodina

Vojvodina is a province in Republic of Serbia and one of the most ethnically diverse regions in Europe, home to 25 different ethnicities.

Székely Land

The Székely Land or Szeklerland is a historic and ethnographic area in Romania, inhabited mainly by Székelys. Its cultural centre is the city of Târgu Mureș (Marosvásárhely), the largest settlement in the region.

Danube Swabians historical ethnic group centered around the Danube river valley in southeastern Europe

The Danube Swabians is a collective term for the ethnic German-speaking population who lived in various countries of southeastern Europe, especially in the Danube River valley, first in the 12th century, and in greater numbers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Most were descended from late 18th-century settlers recruited by Austria-Hungary to repopulate the area and restore agriculture after the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire. They were able to keep their language and religion and initially developed strongly German communities in the region.

In Romania there are several spoken languages. Beside Romanian, the countrywide official language, other spoken languages are spoken and sometimes co-official at a local level. These languages include Hungarian, Romani, Ukrainian, German, Russian, Turkish, Tatar, Serbian, Slovak, Bulgarian, and Croatian.

Germans of Romania Ethnic minority in Romania

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The Banat Swabians are an ethnic German population in Central-Southeast Europe, part of the Danube Swabians. They emigrated in the 18th century to what was then the Austrian Empire's Banat of Temeswar province, later included in the Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary, a province which had been left sparsely populated by the wars with Turkey. At the end of World War I in 1918, the Swabian minority worked to establish an independent multi-ethnic Banat Republic; however, the province was divided by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, and the Treaty of Trianon of 1920. The greater part was annexed by Romania, a smaller part by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and a small region around Szeged remained part of Hungary.

Armorial of Romania

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Union of Transylvania with Romania

The Union of Transylvania with Romania was declared on 1 December 1918 by the assembly of the delegates of ethnic Romanians held in Alba Iulia. The Great Union Day, celebrated on 1 December, is a national holiday in Romania that commemorates this event. The holiday was established after the Romanian Revolution, and commemorates the unification not only of Transylvania, but also of Bessarabia and Bukovina and parts of Banat, Crișana and Maramureș with the Romanian Kingdom. Bessarabia and Bukovina had joined with the Kingdom of Romania earlier in 1918.

Languages of Hungary

The languages spoken in Hungary include Hungarian, recognized minority languages and other languages.

Hungarians in Romania

The Hungarian minority of Romania 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.

In the NUTS codes of Romania (RO), the three levels are:


  1. Including Transylvanian Saxons, Transylvanian Landlers, Banat Swabians, Bukovina Germans, Sathmar Swabians, Regat Germans, Zipser Germans, and Dobrujan Germans.
  2. "The Euromosaic study Hungarian in Romania - General information". European Commission. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  3. Greeks in Romania Archived 2006-01-04 at the Wayback Machine , eurominority.org. Accessed 15 December 2006.
  4. (in Greek) ΓΕΝΙΚΑ ΣΤΟΙΧΕΙΑ ΔΙΑΣΠΟΡΑΣ Archived 2008-07-16 at the Wayback Machine , ggae.gr. Accessed 15 December 2006.