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Romania records population decrease of almost 4 million people in the last 30 years

Romania recorded a population decrease of 4 million people in the last 30 years, and in 2021 its level was similar to that of 1966, the president of the National Institute of Statistics (INS) Tudorel Andrei told on Friday a conference titled "Aging of the resident population, a phenomenon difficult to stop".

"We notice that during the last 30 years we have a population decrease of almost 4 million, and if we compare with 1966, Romania's population in 2021 is at the level of 1966. The age pyramid is a very important tool to see not only the structure by the two age groups, but what the impact of political decisions, political changes or important moments in the history of a country is. And practically what should we observe here? First of all, that we have two pyramids. We have the age pyramid from the last two censuses and what we notice. We notice a decrease in the base, so basically a decrease in the young resident population both in the 2011 census and in the 2021 census. Here I would make an observation. It can be noted that in the 2021 census the base is even smaller and we have an 18 percent decrease in the under-one-year-old population. This cohort may grow in the next period as you will see something. The effect of international migration, at least from the period 2002 - 2013, 2014 is a peak period, is reflected in this period in the number of children born abroad and registered in Romania after a certain period. And you will see that this base might be improved in the next period because children who were born in 2021 can be registered and can remain in the resident population, because here too, there are two categories: you register them but they leave and then they are considered persons who migrate or are registered and stay and then there are people who remain in the resident population," said Tudorel Andrei.

He said that in 1967 more than 527,000 children were born, twice as many as those born in the following period. The increase is related to the legislative decision that almost completely banned abortions in Romania. For a short period of a year or two, families could not adapt, but over a period of several years the number of new births began to decrease. Another tightening of the legislation occurred in 1973, as well as another throughout the 1980s.

Tudorel Andrei mentioned that in 1990 the population reached 23 million inhabitants, and the "dream" was to reach a population of 30 million people by 2000.

The INS president also specified that the resident population in 2021 decreased by 5.3 percent compared to 2011, and compared to 2002 it decreased by 12.1 percent. The decrease rate of the resident population has slowed down, but it stands at a significant value. The phenomenon is present in the countries of Eastern Europe. Both Bulgaria and Croatia had a population contraction between the two censuses of over 11 percent. In Poland the contraction was below 1 percent, and the Czech Republic had an increase.

"The reduction of the resident population is the result of at least two categories of factors. On the one hand, there is the demographic transition, which is specific to any country. An attempt was made to reduce it in 1966 and in 1990 it was automatically resumed. And the second factor is that of international migration, in the two categories: economic factors and the possibility of people's mobility and problems related to cultural aspects. I say it with all conviction, the problem is not primarily the reduction of the resident population of a country. The problem is ensuring the balance in the three large age categories. The problem is the extent to which the demographic aging index is getting worse and the extent to which the demographic dependency ratio is getting worse again following the this population's decrease. Practically as long as you don't ensure the balance between people over 65 years and young people and between what we have in the age group and dependents imbalances can occur here both in the short term and in the long term. In our country, the demographic aging index has worsened. If in 2011 it was just over 100, it reached over 120 in the 2021 census," said Tudorel Andrei.

The resident population of Romania was 19.05 million people, of whom 9.8 million were women, accounting for 51.5 percent, according to the first provisional data of the Population and Housing Census, the 2021 stage, announced at the end of December of last year, the National Institute of Statistics (INS).

As many as 9.941 million people live in the urban environment, representing 52.2 percent of the total population.

The INS mentions that the demographic aging process has deepened, compared to 10 years ago (2011 census - RPL2011), noting the increase in the share of the elderly population (65 years and over).

The demographic aging index decreased by almost 20 percentage points, up to 121.2 elderly persons per 100 young persons (RPL 2021) compared to 101.8 (RPL2011).