Romanian diaspora

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 and Serbia. 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/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 ethnic-minorities from Romania.

Countries with significant Romanian population and descendants.
  + 1,000,000
  + 100,000
  + 10,000
  + 1,000

In 2006, the Romanian diaspora was estimated at about 8 million people by the president of Romania, Traian Băsescu, most of them living in the former USSR, Western Europe (esp. Italy, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, and France), North America, South America, and Australia.[1] It is unclear if Băsescu included the indigenous Romanians living in the immediate surroundings of the Romanian state such as those in Moldova, Ukraine, or Serbia.

In December 2013, Cristian David, the government minister for the Department of 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.[2]

The Romanian diaspora has emerged as a powerful political force in elections since 2009.[3][4] 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.[4]

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 (including Chernivtsi Oblast), Serbia (including Vlachs), 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. There are about 2,000 Romanian immigrants in Japan since the late twentieth century.[5]

Distribution by country

Romanian diaspora inside the EU between 2008 and 2012
CountryYearPopulationOrigin, notes
 Italy20201,145,718[6]Immigrants (additional 118,516 Moldovans)
 Germany2019722,404[7]Immigrants (additional 14,815 Moldovans)[8] (the overall number of people with Romanian ancestry in Germany includes many Romanian-Germans as well)
 Spain2020593,532 / 671,985 (2020)[lower-alpha 1]Immigrants (additional 17,868 Moldovans)
United States2015468,994[12] (ancestry)

165,199 (born in Romania)

 United Kingdom2019450,000[13]Immigrants (additional 18,000 Moldovans)
 Canada2016238,050[14]Immigrants (additional 14,915 Moldovans)
 Ukraine2001150,989[15]Indigenous to Zakarpattia Oblast, Odessa Oblast and Chernivtsi Oblast (additional 258,619 Moldovans)
 Austria2020123,461[16]Immigrants, of whom 36,000 live in Vienna[17]
 Israel202086,200[20]Immigrants (mostly Romanian Jews)
 Greece201146,523[21]Immigrants (additional 10,391 Moldovans). There are also 209,000 Aromanian[22] and 3,000 Megleno-Romanian[23] speaking people in Greece; however, they are not considered an ethnic but a linguistic/cultural minority.
 Netherlands201934,185[24]Immigrants (additional 986 Moldovans)
 Sweden201932,294[25]Immigrants (additional 938 Moldovans)
 Portugal201830,504[26]Immigrants (additional 8,460 Moldovans)
 Hungary201130,924[27]Indigenous to Eastern Hungary; Immigrants
 Serbia201129,332[28]Indigenous to Vojvodina and the Timok Valley (additional 35,330 Vlachs and 243 Cincars)
 Denmark201724,422[30]Immigrants (additional 686 Moldovans)
 Czechia201814,684[35]Immigrants (additionally 5,811 Moldovans)
 Kazakhstan200914,666[36]Displaced and deported during World War II (including Moldovans)
 Brazil7,393[40]Immigrants and Brazilians with Romanian ancestry
 United Arab Emirates6,444[41]Immigrants
 Russia20103,201[43]Immigrants/Displaced during World War II (additional 586,122 Moldovans)
 New Zealand3,100Immigrants
 South Africa3,000Immigrants
 Bulgaria2011891[45]Indigenous to Vidin Province and parts of Northern Bulgaria (additional 3,684 Vlachs)
 South Korea634[41]Immigrants
 San Marino2018283[46]Immigrants
 North Macedonia100[41]Immigrants (additional 9,900 Aromanians[48] and 2,100 Megleno-Romanians)[49]
 Latvia201163[51]Immigrants (additional 1,919 Moldovans)
 Dominican Republic30[41]Immigrants
 AlbaniaThere live up to 300,000 Aromanians, but Albanian authorities do not recognize them as Romanian minority.[52]
Total4,364,496The 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


  1. 593,532 is the size of the population in Spain born in Romania (including those with Spanish citizenship). 671,985 is the size of the foreign population (thus, with no Spanish citizenship) in Spain with Romanian citizenship.[9][10][11]


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