Republic of Moldova
Located in southeastern Europe and bordered on the west by Romania and on all other sides by Ukraine, landlocked Moldova has an area of 33,843 square kilometers (13,067 square miles), making it slightly larger than Maryland. Moldova's border totals 1,389 kilometers (864 miles). The capital, Chişina˘u, is situated in its central part.
The portion of the country that lays east of the Nistru River is known as the Transnistria. Populated primarily by Slavs and economically and culturally oriented toward the Ukraine, the Transnistria has been in revolt against the Moldovan majority in the country (see below).
The population of Moldova was 4,430,654 in 2000 and its average density was 129.1 inhabitants per square kilometer (334 per square mile) in 1994. In 2000, the birth rate was 12.86 per 1,000 population, while the death rate equaled 12.58 per 1,000. With a net migration rate of-0.31 per 1,000 and a fertility rate of 1.63 children born per woman, the population growth rate was about zero in 2000. Over the 1990s, the population declined because of net economic emigration .
Moldova's population is youthful by European standards, with 23 percent below the age of 14 and 10 percent older than 65. Ethnic Moldovans (Romanians) account for 64.5 percent of the population, Ukrainians for 13.8 percent, Russians for 13 percent, Gagauz (a Turkic-speaking people of Christian faith) for 3.5 percent, Bulgarians for 2 percent, Jews for 1.5 percent, and other groups for 1.7 percent, according to 1989 estimates. In the early 1990s, interethnic violence occurred between the Moldovans and the Slavic majority in the Transnistria region (east of the Nistru [Dniester] River, with a population of 750,000) and the Gagauz in the country's south. The official language is Moldovan (Romanian) but Russian is widely spoken and is the second official language in Transnistria. About 98.5 percent of the population belong to the Orthodox Church. Moldova is predominantly rural, with about 54 percent of the population living mostly in large villages in 1999. The population in the capital of Chişina˘u was 667,000 in 1992; other major cities include Tiraspol and Tighina (Bender) in the east, and Balti in the north.
Moldova has no territories or colonies.
Dawisha, Karen, and Bruce Parrott, eds. Democratic Changes and Authoritarian Reactions in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Economist Intelligence Unit. Country Profile: Moldova. London: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2001.
Fedor, Helen, editor. Belarus and Moldova: Country Studies. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1996.
Republic of Moldova. <http://www.moldova.md> . Accessed August 2001.
Republic of Moldova Site. <http://www.moldova.org> . Accessed August 2001.
United Nations Development Program. Human Development Report, Republic of Moldova. New York, 2000.
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. World Factbook 2000. <http:// www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html> . Accessed August 2001.
U.S. Department of State. FY 2001 Country Commercial Guide: Moldova. <http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/business/com_guides/index.html> . Accessed August 2001.
Moldovan leu (MDL; plural lei). One leu equals 100 bani. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 bani, and notes of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 lei.
Foodstuffs, wine, and tobacco (66 percent); textiles and footwear, machinery.
Mineral products and fuel (31 percent); machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles.
US$9.7 billion (1999 est.).
Exports: US$470 million (f.o.b., 1999). Imports: US$560 million (f.o.b., 1999).