Economy of Romania
The Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry[1]
CurrencyLeu (RON, L)
Calendar year
Trade organisations
Country group
Population19,722,097Increase (1 Feb 2024 est.)[8]
  • Increase $350.41 billion (nominal, 2023 est.)[9]
  • Increase $780.8 billion (PPP, 2023 est.)[9]
GDP rank
GDP growth
  • −3.7% (2020)[9]
  • 5.9% (2021)[9]
  • 4.8% (2022)[9]
  • 2.2% (2023)[9]
GDP per capita
  • Increase $18,410 (nominal, 2023 est.)[9]
  • Increase $41,030 (PPP, 2023 est.)[9]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
10.7% (2023)[9]
Population below poverty line
Steady 17% (OECD, 2022)[11][12] -- set at 50% of the national median household income.
Population at risk of poverty
  • Positive decrease 21.2% (Eurostat, 2022)[13] -- set at 60% of the national median disposable income.
Positive decrease 32.0 medium (2022)[14]
Increase 46 more corrupt CPI (63rd) (2022)[17]
Labour force
  • Increase 8214.7 thousand (2021)[18]
  • Increase 61.9% employment rate (2021)[19]
Labour force by occupation
UnemploymentPositive decrease 5.5% (2022)[9]
Average gross salary
RON 8,301 / €1,670 / $1,824 monthly (December, 2023)[21]
RON 5,079 / € 1,022 / $1,116 monthly (December, 2023)[22]
Main industries
Electric machinery and equipment, auto assembly, textiles and footwear, light machinery, metallurgy, chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining, mining, timber, construction materials.[7]
  • Increase $88.3 billion (2021)[23]
  • Decrease $73 billion (2020)[24]
  • Decrease $81.1 billion (2019)[25]
Export goods
Electrical machines and equipment; transport vehicles and materials; Metals and metal articles; Plastic and rubber materials; Vegetable products; Footwear, textiles and hats; Food products, drinks and tobacco; Optical, photographic, cinematographic and surgical devices; Chemical and mineral products; Wood products (furniture); Livestock and animal products; Paper; Stone, plaster and ceramic articles; Leather, furs, fats and oils; Refined petroleum; Other.[7][26][27]
Main export partners
  • Increase $116.4 billion (2021)[23]
  • Decrease $90.2 billion (2020)[24]
  • Decrease $94.9 billion (2019)[29]
Import goods
Electrical machines and equipment; Mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers, and parts thereof; Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts & accessories thereof; Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; Plastics and articles thereof; Pharmaceutical products; Iron, steel & articles thereof; Optical, photographic, cinematographic instruments and apparatus; Miscellaneous chemical products; Crude petroleum; Others.[7][30][31]
Main import partners
FDI stock
  • Increase €100.288 / $114.068 billion (31 Dec 2021)[33]
  • Increase Abroad: €2.793 / $3.177 billion (31 Dec 2021)[34]
  • −8.44% of GDP (2022e)[9]
  • −$25.310 billion (2022e)[9]
Negative increase €137.2 / $143.8 billion (30 June 2022)[35]
Public finances
  • Neutral increase 50.0% of GDP (May 2022)[36]
  • Neutral increase RON 614.3 billion (May 2022)
  • −5.84% of GDP (2022e)[9]
  • RON −81.718 billion (2022e)
  • Increase 31.16% of GDP (2022e)[9]
  • Increase RON 437.687 billion (2022e)
  • Increase 37.57% of GDP (2022e)[9]
  • Increase RON 527.807 billion (2022e)
Increase €65.117 / $68.419 billion (30 Sep 2023)[45]

All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

The economy of Romania is a complex[46] high-income economy[6] with a skilled labour force,[47] ranked 12th in the European Union by total nominal GDP[48] and 7th largest when adjusted by purchasing power parity.[49] The World Bank notes that Romania's efforts are focused on accelerating structural reforms and strengthening institutions in order to further converge with the European Union. The country's economic growth has been one of the highest in the EU since 2010, with 2022 seeing a better-than-expected 4.8% increase.[50][51]

In recent years, it witnessed growth rates such as: 4.8% in 2016, 7.1% in 2017, 4.4% in 2018 and 4.1% in 2019.[52] In 2020, its GDP per capita in purchasing power standards reached 72% of the European Union average, up from 44% in 2007, the highest growth rate in the EU27.[53] Romania's economy ranks 35th in the world by its total GDP (PPP), with a Int$784 billion annual output (2023 est.).[9]

The country is a leading destination in Central and Eastern Europe for foreign direct investment: the cumulative FDI since 1989 totals more than $170 billion.[54] Romania is the largest electronics producer in the region.[55] In the past 20 years Romania has also grown into a major center for mobile technology, information security, and related hardware research. The country is a regional leader in fields such as IT and motor vehicle production.[56][57][58] Bucharest, the capital city, is one of the leading financial and industrial centres in Eastern Europe.

The top 10 exports of Romania are vehicles, machinery, chemical goods, electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment, basic metals, food products, and rubber and plastics. Imports of goods and services increased 9.3%, while exports grew 7.6% in 2016, as compared to 2015.[59] Exports of goods and services were expected to grow by 5.6% in 2017, while imports were seen increasing by 8.5%, according to the latest CNP (National Prognosis Commission) projections.[60]

The industry in Romania generated 33.6% of the local gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of 2018.[61]


Before World War II

The economy of Romania entered modernity with the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829, ending centuries of Turkish control. Economic growth was stimulated by several milestones: the discovery and industrial exploitation of oil in 1857, the political union between Wallachia and Moldavia in 1859, land reforms, adoption of a local currency, the leu (1867), the state independence (1877), as well as the building of an extensive rail-road system under king Carol I.

After the dissolution of neighbouring Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires following World War I, several Romanian-speaking provinces (Transylvania, Bessarabia, Banat, Bukovina) united with the Kingdom of Romania, forming the Romanian state in its modern form. The application of radical agricultural reforms and the passing of a new constitution created a democratic framework and allowed for quick economic growth (industrial production doubled between 1923 and 1938, despite the effects of the Great Depression in Romania).

Until World War II, Romania was Europe's second-largest oil and food producer.[62]

Communist period

Main article: Economy of the Socialist Republic of Romania

After 1945, Soviet-occupied Romania became a member of the Eastern Bloc and switched to a Soviet-style command economy. During this period the country experienced rapid industrialisation in an attempt to create a "multilaterally developed socialist society". Economic growth was further fuelled by foreign credits in the 1970s, eventually leading to a growing foreign debt, which peaked at $11–12 billion.[63]

Romania's debt was completely paid off during the 1980s by implementing severe austerity measures which deprived Romanians of basic consumer goods. In 1989, before the Romanian Revolution, Romania had a GDP of about 800 billion lei, or $53.6 billion.[64] Around 58% of the country's gross national income came from industry, and another 15% came from agriculture.[64] The minimum wage was 2,000 lei, or aprox. $57.[64]

Free market transition

The end of the communist period marked the beginning of a sharp economic downturn. Romania's weight in the global economy dropped to 0,3% in 1993 down from 0,8% in 1983.

Privatisation of industry started with the 1992 transfer of 30% of the shares of some 6,000 state-owned enterprises to five private ownership funds, in which each adult citizen received certificates of ownership. The remaining 70% ownership of the enterprises was transferred to a state ownership fund, with a mandate to sell off its shares at the rate of at least 10% per year. The privatisation law also called for direct sale of some 30 specially selected enterprises and the sale of "assets" (i.e., commercially viable component units) of larger enterprises.

As of 2008, inflation stood at 7.8%, up from 4.8% in 2007[54] estimated by the BNR at coming within 6% for the year 2006 (the year-on-year CPI, published in March 2007, is 3.66%). Also, since 2001, the economy has grown steadily at around 6–8%. Therefore, the PPP per capita GDP of Romania in 2008 was estimated to be between $12,200[65] and $14,064.[66]

Romania was the largest U.S. trading partner in Central-Eastern Europe until Nicolae Ceaușescu's 1988 renunciation of Most Favored Nation (non-discriminatory) trading status, which resulted in higher U.S. tariffs on Romanian products. Congress approved restoration of the MFN status effective 8 November 1993, as part of a new bilateral trade agreement. Tariffs on most Romanian products dropped to zero in February 1994 with the inclusion of Romania in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Major Romanian exports to the U.S. include shoes and clothing, steel, and chemicals.

Romania signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 1992 and a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 1993, codifying Romania's access to European markets and creating the basic framework for further economic integration. Romania formally joined the EU in 2007.

During the later part of the Ceauşescu period, Romania had earned significant contracts from several developing countries, notably Iraq, for oil-related projects. In August 2005 Romania agreed to forgive 43% of the US$1.7 billion debt owed by an Iraq still largely occupied by the military forces of the U.S.-led "Coalition of the Willing", making Romania the first country outside of the Paris Club of wealthy creditor nations to forgive Iraqi debts.[67]

Growth in 2000–07 was supported by exports to the EU, primarily to Italy and Germany, and a strong recovery of foreign and domestic investment. Domestic demand is playing an ever more important role in underpinning growth as interest rates drop and the availability of credit cards and mortgages increases. Current account deficits of around 2% of GDP are beginning to decline[citation needed] as demand for Romanian products in the European Union increases. Accession to the EU gives further impetus and direction to structural reform.

In early 2004 the government passed increases in the value-added tax (VAT) and tightened eligibility for social benefits with the intention to bring the public finance gap down to 4% of GDP by 2006, but more difficult pension and healthcare reforms will have to wait until after the next elections. Privatisation of the state-owned bank Banca Comercială Română took place in 2005. Intensified restructuring among large enterprises, improvements in the financial sector, and effective use of available EU funds is expected to accelerate economic growth. However, the Romanian economy was affected by the financial crisis of 2007–08 and contracted in 2009.[68]

After communism, Romania needed capital infusion, entrepreneurial and managerial skills, the fastest way to obtain that was through foreign direct investment (FDI).[69] As of 2018, total FDI in Romania was 81 billion EUR, 63% of total (51 billion) are greenfield investments. Top ten FDI stock by country of origin in 2018 were: Netherlands (23.9%), Germany (12.7%), Austria (12.2%), Italy (9.5%), Cyprus (6.2%), France (6%), Switzerland (4.5%), Luxembourg (4.2%), Belgium (2.2%) and United Kingdom (2.1%).[70]

Investments in Romania

The level of investment remains above EU average. Investment accounts for almost 25% of GDP in Romania as opposed to 19% of GDP in the EU, in 2016.[71]

Locally, UniCredit, one of the region's leading banking firms, announced in October 2023 that it will merge its Romanian affiliate with the recently purchased Alpha bank in Romania (for €300 million), creating Romania's third-largest lender.[72]

EU membership (2007)

Main article: Romania and the euro

Eurozone participation
European Union member states
  20 in the eurozone
  1 in ERM II, without an opt-out (Bulgaria)
  1 in ERM II, with an opt-out (Denmark)
  5 not in ERM II, but obliged to join the eurozone on meeting the convergence criteria (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden)
Non–EU member states
  4 using the euro with a monetary agreement (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City)
  2 using the euro unilaterally (Kosovo and Montenegro)

On 1 January 2007 Romania and Bulgaria entered the EU, giving the Union access to the Black Sea. This led to some immediate international trade liberalisation. Romania is part of the European single market which represents more than 447 million consumers. Several domestic commercial policies are determined by agreements among European Union members and by EU legislation. This is to be contrasted with enormous current account deficits. Low interest rates guarantee availability of funds for investment and consumption. For example, a boom in the real estate market started around 2000 and has not subsided yet. At the same time annual inflation in the economy is variable and during the mid-2000s (2003–2008) has seen a low of 2.3% and high of 7.8%.

Romania adopted 1 January 2005 a flat tax of 16% to improve tax collection rates. Romania subsequently enjoyed the lowest fiscal burden in the European Union, until Bulgaria also switched to a flat tax of 10% in 2007. Since 2018 the flat rate was lowered to 10%.

Romania posted 6% economic growth in 2016, the highest among European Union member states. According to Bloomberg, the country's economic growth advanced at the fastest pace since 2008.[73] It is now considered the next tech-startup hub country in EU. Nowadays, that Romania's digital infrastructure ranks higher than other eastern and central European countries makes it an attractive place to start a tech business.[74]



IMF for 2022 (October) published the following data:[75]

Year 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
$/per capita (PPP) 38 40,673 43,100 45,445 47,940 50,573
$/per capita (Nominal) 15 16,228 17,566 18,935 20,263 21,665

In the Romanian press the economy has been referred to as the "Tiger of the East" during the 2000s.[76] Romania is a country of considerable economic potential: over 10 million hectares of agricultural land, diverse energy sources (coal, oil, natural gas, hydro, nuclear, and wind), a substantial, if aging, manufacturing base and opportunities for expanded development in tourism on the Black Sea and in the mountains.


Net investments in Romania's economy totaled RON 33.6 billion (EUR 7.2 billion) in the first half of 2018, up by 5.8% compared to the same period of 2017, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS).[77]

In the same year (2018) foreign direct investment (FDI) was 81 billion, 63% (51 billion) being "green field"


The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2022 (with IMF staff estimates in 2023–2028). Inflation under 5% is in green.[78]

Year GDP
(in Bil. US$ PPP)
GDP per capita
(in US$ PPP)
(in Bil. Bil. US$nominal)
GDP per capita
(in US$ nominal)
GDP growth
Inflation rate
(in Percent)
(in Percent)
Government debt
(in % of GDP)
1980 114.1 5,087 46.1 2,052 Increase3.3% Increase1.5%
1981 Increase125.1 Increase5,541 Increase55.3 Increase2,450 Increase0.1% Increase2.2%
1982 Increase138.0 Increase6,084 Increase55.4 Decrease2,441 Increase3.9% Negative increase16.9%
1983 Increase152.0 Increase6,674 Decrease48.4 Decrease2,125 Increase6.0% Increase4.7%
1984 Increase167.0 Increase7,300 Decrease39.1 Decrease1,710 Increase6.0% Positive decrease−0.3%
1985 Increase172.0 Increase7,490 Increase48.3 Increase2,101 Decrease−0.1% Positive decrease−0.2% 4.0%
1986 Increase179.7 Increase7,783 Increase52.3 Increase2,264 Increase2.4% Increase0.7% Positive decrease3.9%
1987 Increase185.7 Increase7,994 Increase58.5 Increase2,517 Increase0.8% Increase1.1% Positive decrease3.7%
1988 Increase191.2 Increase8,191 Increase60.5 Increase2,593 Decrease−0.5% Increase2.6% Steady3.7%
1989 Decrease187.2 Decrease7,990 Decrease54.2 Decrease2,314 Decrease−5.8% Increase0.9% Positive decrease3.4%
1990 Decrease183.3 Decrease7,814 Decrease38.5 Decrease1,641 Decrease−5.6% Negative increase127.9% Steady3.4%
1991 Decrease165.0 Decrease7,045 Decrease29.1 Decrease1,241 Decrease−12.9% Negative increase161.1% Negative increase3.5%
1992 Decrease154.0 Decrease6,599 Decrease19.8 Decrease847 Decrease−8.8% Negative increase210.4% Negative increase5.4%
1993 Increase160.0 Increase6,896 Increase26.6 Increase1,147 Increase1.5% Negative increase256.1% Negative increase9.2%
1994 Increase169.9 Increase7,365 Increase30.4 Increase1,317 Increase3.9% Negative increase136.7% Negative increase11.0%
1995 Increase185.8 Increase8,105 Increase35.8 Increase1,563 Increase7.1% Negative increase32.3% Positive decrease9.9%
1996 Increase196.7 Increase8,627 Decrease35.7 Increase1,565 Increase3.9% Negative increase38.8% Positive decrease7.3%
1997 Decrease188.0 Decrease8,289 Decrease35.6 Increase1,571 Decrease−6.1% Negative increase154.8% Negative increase7.9%
1998 Decrease180.9 Decrease8,018 Increase42.6 Increase1,885 Decrease−4.8% Negative increase59.1% Negative increase9.6%
1999 Increase181.4 Increase8,076 Decrease36.0 Decrease1,600 Decrease−1.2% Negative increase45.8% Positive decrease7.2%
2000 Increase190.9 Increase8,501 Increase37.4 Increase1,667 Increase2.9% Negative increase45.7% Negative increase7.6% 29.5%
2001 Increase205.1 Increase9,145 Increase40.4 Increase1,800 Increase5.1% Negative increase34.5% Positive decrease7.4% Positive decrease27.4%
2002 Increase220.2 Increase10,083 Increase46.0 Increase2,108 Increase5.7% Negative increase22.5% Negative increase8.3% Positive decrease27.3%
2003 Increase229.7 Increase10,620 Increase57.8 Increase2,672 Increase2.3% Negative increase15.4% Positive decrease7.8% Positive decrease24.9%
2004 Increase260.1 Increase12,091 Increase75.1 Increase3,487 Increase10.3% Negative increase11.9% Negative increase8.0% Positive decrease21.3%
2005 Increase280.1 Increase13,140 Increase98.5 Increase4,608 Increase4.7% Negative increase9.0% Positive decrease7.1% Positive decrease17.8%
2006 Increase312.9 Increase14,718 Increase122.1 Increase5,744 Increase8.0% Negative increase6.6% Negative increase7.2% Positive decrease12.7%
2007 Increase344.5 Increase16,301 Increase174.8 Increase8,273 Increase7.2% Increase4.8% Positive decrease6.3% Negative increase12.4%
2008 Increase384.1 Increase18,613 Increase215.6 Increase10,446 Increase9.4% Negative increase7.8% Positive decrease5.6% Negative increase13.0%
2009 Decrease365.1 Decrease17,861 Decrease174.6 Decrease8,540 Decrease−5.5% Negative increase5.6% Negative increase8.4% Negative increase22.5%
2010 Decrease355.0 Decrease17,493 Decrease170.3 Decrease8,391 Decrease−3.9% Negative increase6.1% Negative increase9.0% Negative increase30.2%
2011 Increase378.8 Increase18,754 Increase192.8 Increase9,546 Increase4.5% Negative increase5.8% Negative increase9.1% Negative increase32.6%
2012 Increase397.3 Increase19,771 Decrease179.2 Decrease8,919 Increase1.9% Increase3.3% Positive decrease8.7% Negative increase36.2%
2013 Decrease393.2 Decrease19,641 Increase189.8 Increase9,481 Increase0.2% Increase4.0% Negative increase9.0% Negative increase39.2%
2014 Increase410.8 Increase20,592 Increase200.0 Increase10,025 Increase4.1% Increase1.1% Positive decrease8.6% Negative increase40.5%
2015 Increase428.6 Increase21,570 Decrease177.9 Decrease8,951 Increase3.2% Positive decrease−0.6% Positive decrease8.4% Positive decrease39.4%
2016 Increase470.9 Increase23,831 Increase185.3 Increase9,378 Increase2.9% Positive decrease−1.6% Positive decrease7.2% Negative increase39.5%
2017 Increase530.8 Increase27,020 Increase210.5 Increase10,717 Increase8.2% Increase1.3% Positive decrease6.1% Positive decrease37.1%
2018 Increase576.3 Increase29,504 Increase243.5 Increase12,465 Increase6.0% Increase4.6% Positive decrease5.2% Positive decrease36.2%
2019 Increase609.2 Increase31,379 Increase251.0 Increase12,928 Increase3.8% Increase3.8% Positive decrease4.9% Negative increase36.6%
2020 Decrease594.4 Decrease30,751 Increase251.7 Increase13,021 Decrease−3.7% Increase2.6% Negative increase6.1% Negative increase49.4%
2021 Increase657.5 Increase34,245 Increase285.6 Increase14,874 Increase5.9% Negative increase5.0% Positive decrease5.6% Negative increase51.1%
2022 Increase737.3 Increase38,721 Increase301.8 Increase15,851 Increase4.8% Negative increase13.8% Steady5.6% Positive decrease48.7%
2023 Increase783.9 Increase41,633 Increase348.9 Increase18,530 Increase2.4% Negative increase10.5% Steady5.6% Positive decrease48.3%
2024 Increase830.5 Increase44,484 Increase376.7 Increase20,175 Increase3.6% Negative increase5.8% Positive decrease5.4% Negative increase49.3%
2025 Increase878.0 Increase47,441 Increase405.2 Increase21,893 Increase3.7% Increase4.2% Positive decrease5.3% Negative increase50.3%
2026 Increase927.5 Increase50,509 Increase429.7 Increase23,398 Increase3.7% Increase3.0% Positive decrease5.2% Negative increase51.4%
2027 Increase978.1 Increase53,684 Increase450.9 Increase24,749 Increase3.6% Increase2.6% Positive decrease5.1% Negative increase52.8%
2028 Increase1,031.9 Increase57,075 Increase469.6 Increase25,974 Increase3.5% Increase2.5% Positive decrease5.0% Negative increase54.2%

National budget

The planned national budget for 2017 is 422 billion lei ($103 billion), with an estimated budget deficit to GDP of 1.1%.

Growing middle class

Romania has a growing middle and upper classes with relatively high per-capita income. World Bank estimated that in 2002 99% of the urban and 94% of the rural population had access to electricity. In 2004, 91% of the urban and only 16% of the rural population had access to improved water supply and 94% of the urban population had access to improved sanitation.[79] In 2017 there were about 22.5 million mobile phone users in Romania and about 18 million with internet access.

In March 2017, the gross average monthly wage was RON 3,256 (€716), and the net average monthly wage was RON 2,342 (€515).[80]


Countries tend to benefit from sharing borders with developed markets as this facilitates trade and development. Below is a table of Romania's neighbouring countries, their GDP per capita, and trade values between the pairs. In 2017, 11.58% of Romanian exports went to its neighbours; while 12.95% of imports came from these five countries. For comparison, Germany alone accounted for 23% of Romania's exports and 20.1% of its imports.[81]

Country GDP per capita,
(current US$) 2022[82]
in %
Hungary 18,390 +16.5
Romania 15,786
Bulgaria 13,974 −11.5
Serbia 9,537 −39.6
Moldova 5,714 −63.8
Ukraine 4,534 −71.3


In 2021, the economically active population was of 8214.7 thousand persons, of which 7755.5 thousand were employed persons and 459.2 thousand unemployed.[83]

The employment rate of working age population (15-64 years) was 61.9%, having higher values for men (71.1%, as against 52.5% for women) and urban area (67.2% in urban area, as against 55.5% in rural area). 21.2% of young people (aged 15-24 years) and 43.8% of elderly people (aged 55-64 years) were employed. The employment rate for persons aged 15-64 was higher for those with superior level of education (88.4%) than for those with medium level (64.3%) and those with low education (34.7%). The employment rate for the population aged 20-64 years was 67.1%. Employment rate had higher values for men (77.0% as against only 56.9% for women) and for persons in urban area (72.2% as against 60.8% for persons in rural area).[84]

The unemployment rate was 5.6%. By gender, the gap between the two rates was 1.0 percentage point (6.0% for men as against 5.0% for women), while by residential area it was 5.2 percentage points (8.6% for rural area as compared to 3.4% for urban area). The unemployment rate had the highest level (21.0%) among young people (aged 15-24 years). The unemployment affects to a greater extent the graduates of medium and low level of education, for which the unemployment rate was 5.1%, respectively 13.6% higher as compared with the rate registered for unemployed with superior level of education (2.1%).[83]

Note: Counties highlighted in purple on the map had unemployment rates below 3% in March 2023, those in blue fell within the range of 3% to 5%, counties in orange fell within the range of 5% to 7%, and counties in red had unemployment rates of 7% and above.[85]

According to the latest monthly report of the National Institute of Statistics in Romania, the average monthly salary in January 2023 was 6,831 lei (1,386 euros) gross or 4,254 lei (863 euros) net.[86]

Note: Counties highlighted in purple on the map had an average net monthly salary (after tax) of €800 and above in January 2023, those in blue fell within the range of €799 to €700, and counties in orange had average net monthly salaries below €700.[87]

Minimum wage in Romania

The minimum gross wage in the Romanian economy amounts to RON 3300 (≈EUR 660) from 1 October 2023. The same minimum wage applies to employees with a seniority of over 15 years.[88]

Wealth per adult

In 2021, the median wealth per adult in Romania was estimated by Credit Suisse at USD 20,389. Average wealth per adult was USD 42,351.[89]

35% of the 15.1 million Romanian adults had a wealth of less than USD 10,000. This is an improvement from 40% in 2018.[89]


Main article: Tourism in Romania

Romania is a popular tourist destination, with more than 15.7 million domestic and foreign tourists in 2018.

Romania's tourism took a great hit during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, with a drop of as much as 68.7% of foreign visitors in 2020, but it's beginning to recover in 2022.[90]

Romania has cities of great cultural interest (Bucharest, Constanța, Brașov, Iași, Timișoara, Cluj-Napoca or Alba Iulia), beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and well-preserved rural regions appreciated for their beauty and tranquillity. Romania is the destination of many religious pilgrimages,[citation needed] hosting several thousands visitors each year.


Main articles: Romanian leu and Romania and the euro

One new leu bank-note

The leu (pronounced [ˈlew]), plural: lei ([ˈlej]); (ISO 4217 code RON; numeric code 946), "leo" (lion) in English is the currency of Romania. It is subdivided into 100 bani (singular: ban). On 1 July 2005, Romania underwent a currency reform, switching from the previous leu (ROL) to a new leu (RON). 1 RON is equal to 10,000 ROL. Romania joined the European Union on 1 January 2007 and initially hoped to adopt the euro in 2014,[91] but with the deepening of the Euro crisis and with its own problems, such as a low workforce productivity, postponed its adoption plans indefinitely.[92]

As of February 2021, 1 RON is worth about 0.2045 EUR and US$0.2483.[93] Romania is expected to adopt the euro in 2026.[94]

Fulfillment of the Maastricht criteria

Romania, as a member state of the European Union, is required to adopt the common European currency, the Euro. For this reason Romania must fulfil the five Maastricht criteria, of which it met none as of June 2020.

Convergence criteria
Assessment month Country HICP inflation rate[95][nb 1] Excessive deficit procedure[96] Exchange rate Long-term interest rate[97][nb 2] Compatibility of legislation
Budget deficit to GDP[98] Debt-to-GDP ratio[99] ERM II member[100] Change in rate[101][102][nb 3]
2022 ECB Report[nb 4] Reference values Max. 4.9%[nb 5]
(as of April 2022)
None open (as of 25 May 2022) Min. 2 years Max. ±15%[nb 6]
(for 2021)
Max. 2.6%[nb 5]
(as of April 2022)
(as of 25 March 2022)
Max. 3.0%
(Fiscal year 2021)[103]
Max. 60%
(Fiscal year 2021)[103]
 Romania 6.4% Open No -1.7% 4.7% No
7.1% 48.8%
  Criterion fulfilled
  Criterion potentially fulfilled: If the budget deficit exceeds the 3% limit, but is "close" to this value (the European Commission has deemed 3.5% to be close by in the past),[105] then the criteria can still potentially be fulfilled if either the deficits in the previous two years are significantly declining towards the 3% limit, or if the excessive deficit is the result of exceptional circumstances which are temporary in nature (i.e. one-off expenditures triggered by a significant economic downturn, or by the implementation of economic reforms that are expected to deliver a significant positive impact on the government's future fiscal budgets). However, even if such "special circumstances" are found to exist, additional criteria must also be met to comply with the fiscal budget criterion.[106][107] Additionally, if the debt-to-GDP ratio exceeds 60% but is "sufficiently diminishing and approaching the reference value at a satisfactory pace" it can be deemed to be in compliance.[107]
  Criterion not fulfilled
  1. ^ The rate of increase of the 12-month average HICP over the prior 12-month average must be no more than 1.5% larger than the unweighted arithmetic average of the similar HICP inflation rates in the 3 EU member states with the lowest HICP inflation. If any of these 3 states have a HICP rate significantly below the similarly averaged HICP rate for the eurozone (which according to ECB practice means more than 2% below), and if this low HICP rate has been primarily caused by exceptional circumstances (i.e. severe wage cuts or a strong recession), then such a state is not included in the calculation of the reference value and is replaced by the EU state with the fourth lowest HICP rate.
  2. ^ The arithmetic average of the annual yield of 10-year government bonds as of the end of the past 12 months must be no more than 2.0% larger than the unweighted arithmetic average of the bond yields in the 3 EU member states with the lowest HICP inflation. If any of these states have bond yields which are significantly larger than the similarly averaged yield for the eurozone (which according to previous ECB reports means more than 2% above) and at the same time does not have complete funding access to financial markets (which is the case for as long as a government receives bailout funds), then such a state is not be included in the calculation of the reference value.
  3. ^ The change in the annual average exchange rate against the euro.
  4. ^ Reference values from the Convergence Report of June 2022.[103]
  5. ^ a b France, Finland, and Greece were the reference states.[103]
  6. ^ The maximum allowed change in rate is ± 2.25% for Denmark.

Natural resources

Main article: Mining industry in Romania

Romania is an oil and gas producer. The pipeline network in Romania included 2,427 km for crude oil, 3,850 km for petroleum products, and 3,508 km for natural gas in 2006. Several major new pipelines are planned, especially the Nabucco Pipeline for Caspian oilfields, the longest one in the world. Romania could cash in four billion dollars from the Constanta-Trieste pipeline.[108]

Romania has considerable[vague] natural resources for a country of its size, including coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, uranium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestine (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land and hydropower.[54]

Energy needs are also met by importing bituminous and anthracite coal and crude petroleum. In 2019 over 21 million metric tonnes of coal, an estimated 1300 tonnes of zinc, 460,000 tonnes of alumina and 3.4 million tonnes of crude steel were mined. Lesser amounts of copper, lead, gold, silver and kaolin were also mined.[109]


Main article: Energy industry in Romania

The Iron Gate I Hydro Power Plant, a joint venture between Romania and Serbia

The energy sector is dominated by state-owned companies such as Termoelectrica, Hidroelectrica and Nuclearelectrica. Fossil fuels are the country's primary source of energy, followed by hydroelectric power.

Nuclear energy in Romania

Due to dependency on oil and gas imports from Russia, the country has placed an increasingly heavy emphasis on nuclear energy since the 1980s. The Cernavodă Nuclear Power Plant is the only one of its kind in Romania, although there are plans to build a second one in Transylvania, possibly after 2020.[110]

For domestic heating and cooking 48% of rural and small-town households use directly burned solid fuel (almost exclusively domestically produced wood) as the main energy source.[111]

Wind power had an installed capacity of 76 MW in 2008,[112] and 3028 MW in 2016.[113] The country has the largest wind power potential in Southeast Europe, with Dobruja listed as the second-best place in Europe to construct wind farms.[114] As a result, there are currently[when?] investor connection requests for over 12,000 MW.[115] There are also plans to build a number of solar power stations, such as the Covaci Solar Park, which will be one of the largest in the world.[116][117]

Physical infrastructure

A1 motorway near Orăștie

Main articles: Transport in Romania and Highways in Romania

The volume of traffic in Romania, especially goods transportation, has increased in recent years due to its strategic location in South-East Europe. In the past few decades, much of the freight traffic shifted from rail to road. A further strong increase of traffic is expected in the future.

As of December 2023, 1,065.9 km (662.3 mi)[118] of motorways are in use with a small portion of Lugoj-Deva (between Margina and Holdea) to be finished while Sibiu-Pitești is still tendering. The railway network, which was significantly expanded during the Communist years, is the fourth largest in Europe.[119]

Bucharest is the only city in Romania which has an underground railway system, comprising both the Bucharest Metro and the light rail system managed by Regia Autonomă de Transport București. Although construction was planned to begin in 1941, due to geo-political factors, the Bucharest Metro was only opened in 1979. Now it is one of the most accessed systems of the Bucharest public transport network with an average ridership of 800,000 passengers during the workweek.[120] In total, the network is 71 km long and has 53 stations.[121]

Sectors of the economy

In 2022, the sector with the highest number of companies registered in Romania is Services with 351,621 companies followed by Retail Trade with 239,404 companies.[122]

Gas and natural resources

Romania has become a natural gas exporter.[123] Romanian Scientist, Lazar Edeleanu, had managed, for the first time in the world, to refine oil based products with sulphur dioxide, in other words separation from the oil of some hydrocarbon groups, without their chemical alteration.[124]


Main article: Agriculture in Romania

Agriculture employs about 26% of the population (one of the highest rates in Europe) and contributes about 4.3% of GDP.[125][126] The Bărăgan is characterized by large wheat farms. Dairy products, pork, poultry, and apple production are concentrated in the western region.

Beef production is located in central Romania, while the production of fruits, vegetables, and wine ranges from central to southern Romania. Romania is a large producer of many agricultural products and is currently expanding its forestry and fishery industries. The implementation of the reforms and the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) have resulted in reforms in the agricultural sector of the economy.


Fishing is an economic mainstay in parts of eastern Romania and along the Black Sea coast, with important fish markets in places such as Constanta, Galați and Tulcea. Fish such as European anchovy, sprat, pontic shad, mullet, goby, whiting, garfish, Black-Sea Turbot or horse mackerel are landed at ports such as Constanta.

There has been a large scale decrease in employment in the fishing industry within Romania due to the EU's Common Fisheries Policy, which places restrictions on the total tonnage of catch that can be landed, caused by overfishing in the Black Sea. Along with the decline of sea-fishing, commercial fish farms – especially in salmon, have increased in prominence in the rivers and lochs of the east of Romania. Inland waters are rich in fresh water fish such as salmon, trout, and in particular, carp which traditionally has been the most popular fish, including its eggs (icre), fresh or canned.


Main article: Industry of Romania

See also: Industrial development in the Principality of Wallachia

Car industry

Main article: Automotive industry in Romania

2018 Dacia Duster

IT and other Industry

Romania has been successful in developing its industrial sector in recent years. Industry and construction accounted for 32% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2003, a comparatively large share even without taking into account related services. The sector employed 26.4% of the workforce. Romania excels in the production of automobiles, machine tools, and chemicals. In 2013, some 410,997 automobiles were produced in Romania, up from 78,165 in 2000. As of 2018, the turnover generated by Romania's automobile industry was estimated at 28 billion Euros, with 230,000 Romanians employed in the sector.[127]

In 2004 Romania enjoyed one of the largest world market share in machine tools (5.3%).[citation needed] Romanian-based companies such as Dacia, Petrom, Rompetrol, Bitdefender, Romstal and Mobexpert have expanded operations throughout the region. However, small- to medium-sized manufacturing firms form the bulk of Romania's industrial sector.

Industrial output growth was 6.9% year-on-year in December 2009, making it the highest in the EU-27 zone which averaged −1.9%.[128]

Romania has the third-highest percentage of women working in information and communications technologies (ICT) in Europe. 29% of their workforce is made up of women.[74]


Main article: Services in Romania

In 2003 the service sector constituted 55% of gross domestic product (GDP), and employed 51.3% of the workforce. The subcomponents of services are financial, renting, and business activities (20.5%); trade, hotels and restaurants, and transport (18%); and other service activities (21.7%). The service sector in Romania has expanded in recent years, employing some 47% of Romanians and accounting for slightly more than half of GDP.

The largest employer is the retail sector, employing almost 12% of Romanians. The retail industry is mainly concentrated in a relatively small number of chain stores clustered together in shopping malls. In recent years the rise of big-box stores, such as Cora (hypermarket) (of France) and Carrefour (a French subsidiary), have led to fewer workers in this sector and a migration of retail jobs to the suburbs.

Biotechnology industry

Romania is aggressively promoting and developing its biotechnology industry. Hundred of millions of dollars were invested into the sector to build up infrastructure, fund research and development and to recruit top international scientists to Romania. Romania features one of the world's newest competitive bio-industries, in key areas as pharmacogenomics, protein engineering, glyco-engineering, tissue engineering, bio-informatics, genome medicine and preventive medicine. Romania is devoting substantial resources to developing universities and R&D facilities, increasing bioventure startups, growing bio-clusters (communities of biotechnology companies and institutions) and developing human resources, all with the goal of making it one of the world's most advanced biotechnology regions.[citation needed]

Regional variation

The strength of the Romanian economy varies from region to region. PPP, and GDP per capita is the highest in Bucharest. The following table shows the highest GDP per capita of the other 4 counties, with data supplied by CNP.[129][citation needed]

Rank County GDP per capita (2022)[130]
1 Bucharest 57,189
2 Timiș 29,996
3 Constanța 27,608
4 Cluj 25,682
5 Brașov 23,908
6 Arad 21,000

The highest GDP per capita is found in Bucharest and surrounding Ilfov County. Values well above the national average are found in Timiș, Argeș, Brașov, Cluj, Constanța, Arad, Sibiu and Prahova. Values well below the national average are found in: Vaslui, Botoșani, Călărași, Neamț, Vrancea, Suceava, Giurgiu, Mehedinți, Olt and Teleorman.[129]

Skyscrapers in Bucharest

Foreign trade

Main article: Foreign trade of Romania

In 2017, Romania's largest trading partner was Germany, followed by Italy. Romania's main imports and exports are electrical machinery, motor vehicles & parts and industrial machinery.[81] While Romania imports substantial quantities of grain, it is largely self-sufficient in other agricultural products and food stuffs, due to the fact that food must be regulated for sale in the Romania retail market, and hence imports almost no food products from other countries.[131]

Romania imported in 2006 food products of 2.4 billion euros, up almost 20% versus 2005, when the imports were worth slightly more than 2 billion euros. The EU is Romania's main partner in the trade with agri-food products. The exports to this destination represent 64%, and the imports from the EU countries represent 54%. Other important partners are the CEFTA countries, Turkey, Republic of Moldova and the USA.[131] Despite a decline of the arms industry in the post-communist era, Romania is a significant exporter of military equipment, accounting for 3–4% of the world total in 2007. EU members are represented by a single official at the World Trade Organization.

During the first trimester of 2010, Romanian exports increased by 21%, one of the largest rates in the European Union. The trade deficit stood at roughly 2 billion EUR, the eighth largest in the EU.[132] The annual trade deficit has widened every year since 2014, standing at about EUR 18.77B in 2020.[133]

Miscellaneous data

Households with access to fixed and mobile telephone access[134]

Broadband penetration rate

Individuals using computer and internet[134]

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