Countries with significant Romanian population and descendants (as of 2020).
  + 1,000,000
  + 100,000
  + 10,000
  + 1,000

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, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria. 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 respectively 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 various ethnic-minorities from Romania. As of 2015/16, over 97% of Romanian emigrants resided in OECD countries; and about 90% of Romanian emigrants in OECD countries lived in Europe, with the most common country of residence being Italy.[1] The vast majority of Romanian emigrants are based in just ten countries, with the most common countries being Italy, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Hungary, France and Canada.[1]

Over one million Romanians live in Italy. Large Romanian populations exist in Spain, the UK and Germany, with the latter including many Germans of Romania.

After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, emigration was liberalized and during the 1990s the main destination countries for Romanian emigrants were Germany, Hungary, Israel, the United States and Canada.[1] After further liberalization in 1999, 2002 and especially after Romania entered the European Union in 2007, Italy, Spain, the UK and other EU countries became major destinations.[1][2]

Size of the Romanian diaspora

Italy is the most common destination for Romanian emigrants, with over one million Romanians living there.

In 2006, the Romanian diaspora was estimated at about 8 million people by then President of Romania, Traian Băsescu, most of them living in the former USSR, Western Europe (esp. Italy, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, France, and Austria), North America (Canada and the United States), South America, and Australia.[3] Nonetheless, it is unclear if Băsescu included the indigenous Romanians living in the immediate surroundings of the Romanian state, which are those in Moldova, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine.

In December 2013, Cristian David, the government minister for the Department for 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.[4]

Furthermore, the Romanian diaspora emerged as a powerful political force in elections since 2009.[5][6] 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.[6] 5 years later, in the 2019 presidential election, then center-right candidate and incumbent President Klaus Iohannis was once again overwhelmingly voted by the Romanian diaspora from all over the world.

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 Wallachian settlers invited by the Ottoman Empire from the early fourteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. Furthermore, there are about 2,000 Romanian immigrants in Japan since the late twentieth century.[7]

Distribution by country

Romanian diaspora inside the EU between 2008 and 2012
Country Year Population Origin, notes
 Italy 2022 1,083,771[8] Citizens (additional 122,667 Moldovans)
 Spain 2022 1,079,726 (including naturalized)[9]
627.478 (Romanian citizens)[10] 539,418 (residents of Spain who were born in Romania as of 2022)[11]
Immigrants and Romanian citizens of all ethnic groups. The first number includes all Romanians in Spain, thus taking into account second and third generation Romanians or nationalized ones that count as Spanish in the census. The second number takes into account just Romanian citizens. The third number represents Romanian born residents in Spain. (additional 17,868 Moldovans)
 Germany 2022 883,670[12] Citizens According to German statistics, in 2022, the number of Romanian citizens in Germany was 883,670. [13] The number of people with Romanian ancestry in 2022 (defined as all persons who migrated to the present area of the Federal Republic of Germany after 1949, plus all foreign nationals born in Germany and all persons born in Germany as German nationals with at least one parent who migrated to Germany or was born in Germany as a foreign national) was 1,096,000.[14] (the overall number of people with Romanian ancestry in Germany includes many Romanian-Germans as well)
 United Kingdom 2021 539,000 people in England and Wales were born in Romania in 2021;[15] additional Romanians in Scotland and Northern Ireland; there are also naturalized second and third generation Romanians in the UK Immigrants (additional 18,000 Moldovans)[citation needed]
United States United States 2010 447,293[16] (ancestry)

165,199 (born in Romania)

 Canada 2021 215,885[17] According to the 2021 Census, there were 215,885 Canadian residents declaring themselves of Romanian origin;[18] Romanian language was the mother tongue of 93,160 of Canadian residents.[19] There were 86,770 Canadian residents who were born in Romania.[20]
 Ukraine 2001 150,989[21] Indigenous to Zakarpattia Oblast, Odesa Oblast, and Chernivtsi Oblast (additional 258,619 Moldovans)
 France 2019 133,000[22] Immigrants
 Austria 2021 132,000[23] Immigrants, of whom 36,000 live in Vienna[24]
 Belgium 2020 105,358[25] Immigrants
 Israel 2020 86,200[26] Immigrants (mostly Romanian Jews)
 Netherlands 2022 48,563[27] Immigrants (additional 986 Moldovans)
 Greece 2020 44,600 [28] Immigrants (additional 10,391 Moldovans). There are also 209,000 Aromanians[29] and 3,000 Megleno-Romanians[30] in Greece; however, they are not considered an ethnic but a linguistic/cultural minority.
 Denmark 2022 43,312[31] Immigrants (additional 2,236 Moldovans)
 Ireland 2022 42,460[32] Immigrants
 Sweden 2023 36,738[33] Immigrants (additional 1,573 Moldovans)
 Hungary 2011 30,924[34] Indigenous and immigrants
  Switzerland 2022 27,299[35] Immigrants
 Cyprus 2011 24,376[36] Immigrants
 Portugal 2023 23,393[37] There are 23,393 Romanian citizens in Portugal as of 2023.[38] According to Eurostat as many as 7,000 Romanians have acquired Portuguese citizenship since 2008, thus are excluded from the number of Romanian nationals in Portugal.[39][40] (additional 5,243 Moldovan foreigners as of 2022; since 2008 more than 20,000 Moldovans became Portuguese citizens)[40]
 Serbia 2022 23,044[41] Indigenous to Vojvodina and the Timok Valley (additional 21,013 Vlachs and 327 Aromanians)
 Norway 2022 18,877[42] Immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents
 Australia 2021 15,268 (by birth)

28,103 (by ancestry)

According to ABS (2021 census) figures, there are 15,268 people in Australia who were born in Romania[43] and 28,103 people with Romanian ancestry in Australia.[44]
 Czechia 2018 14,684[45] Immigrants (additionally 5,811 Moldovans)
 Kazakhstan 2009 14,666[46] Displaced and deported during World War II (including Moldovans)
 Turkey 14,000[47] Immigrants
 Japan 10,000[48] Immigrants
 Slovakia 2017 8,474[49] Immigrants
 Brazil 7,393[50] Immigrants and Brazilians with Romanian ancestry
 United Arab Emirates 6,444[51] Immigrants
 Finland 2021 5,628[52] Immigrants (additional 778 Moldovans)
 Luxembourg 2019 5,209[53] Immigrants
 Jordan 4,000[51] Immigrants
 Russia 2010 3,201[54] Immigrants/displaced during World War II (additional 586,122 Moldovans)
 South Africa 3,000 Immigrants
 Iceland 2022 2,505[55] Immigrants
 Qatar 2,000[51] Immigrants
 New Zealand 2018 1,485[56] Immigrants
 China 1,320[51] Immigrants
 Malta 2016 1,262[57] Immigrants
 Argentina 1,000[51] Immigrants
 Chile 1,000[51] Immigrants
 Bulgaria 2011 891[58] Indigenous to Vidin Province and parts of northern Bulgaria (additional 3,684 "Vlachs")
 Palestine 850[51] Immigrants
 Kuwait 696[51] Immigrants
 South Korea 634[51] Immigrants
 Mexico 600[51] Immigrants
 Ethiopia 485 Immigrants
 Egypt 420[51] Immigrants
 India 400[51] Immigrants
 Singapore 400[51] Immigrants
 Paraguay 398[51] Immigrants
 Oman 382[51] Immigrants
 Colombia 350[51] Immigrants
 San Marino 2018 283[59] Immigrants
 Monaco 250[51] Immigrants
 Philippines 2019 209[60] Immigrants
 Uruguay 200[51] Immigrants
 Peru 174[51] Immigrants
 Indonesia 155[51] Immigrants
 Venezuela 2020 150[51] Immigrants
 Thailand 106[51] Immigrants
 Cuba 100[51] Immigrants
 North Macedonia 100[51] Immigrants (additional 9,900 Aromanians[61] and 2,100 Megleno-Romanians)[62]
 Vietnam 100[51] Immigrants
 Lithuania 2011 77[63] Immigrants
 Pakistan 75[51] Immigrants
 Latvia 2011 63[64] Immigrants (additional 1,919 Moldovans)
 Dominican Republic 30[51] Immigrants
 Liechtenstein 15[51] Immigrants
 Albania There live up to 300,000 indigenous Aromanians, but Albanian authorities do not recognize them as Romanian minority.[65]
Total 4,321,496 The estimate is the sum of the countrywide estimates listed. To this are added 1,618,650 people belonging to ethnic groups Romanian authorities claim to be part of the Romanian population (e.g., Moldovans, Aromanians, Megleno-Romanians, Istro-Romanians). The total estimate is roughly 5.9 million.

See also


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1. Păstrarea identității culturale românești în diaspora: un ghid practic