Romanian American

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Romanian American
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Total population
518,653 (2000 census)[1]
1.1 million (estimated)[2]
Regions with significant populations
Illinois, Southwest, New York, Ohio
American English, Romanian
Predominantly Romanian Orthodoxy
Catholicism, Romanian Greek Catholicism, and smaller Protestantism and Judaism
Related ethnic groups

Romanian Americans (Romanian: român american) are Americans who have Romanian ancestry. For the 2000 US Census, 367,310 Americans indicated Romanian as their first ancestry,[3] while 518,653 persons declared to have Romanian ancestry.[1] Other sources provide higher estimates for the numbers of Romanian Americans in the contemporary US; for example, the Romanian-American Network Inc. supplies a rough estimate of 1.1 million which includes third generation descendants, Romanian Canadians as well as the descendants of other ethnic minorities originating from Romania.[4] There is also a significant number of persons of Romanian Jewish ancestry, estimated at about 225,000.[5]


Romanian migrants in New York. 1891

The migration of Romanians to the US started in the second half of the 19th century. They came mostly from the territories that were under Austro-Hungarian rule: Transylvania, Banat, Bucovina, Crişana and Maramureş. Some of them came with the intention to work for some years and to return after raising money, while others decided to remain. Those Romanians migrated mostly in the industrial centers in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and around the Great Lakes (Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit etc.) as well. There were also some immigrants from Romanian Old Kingdom. For example, in 1905, 7,818 Romanians migrated to the US, including 7,261 from Austria-Hungary, 423 from the Romanian Old Kingdom, and the rest came from other European countries.[6] The migrants from the Romanian Old Kingdom were mostly Jews and they settled mostly in New York. One of their prominent organizations was the United Rumanian Jews of America. 75,000 Romanian Jews emigrated in the period 1881–1914, mostly to the United States.[7]

During the interwar period, the number of ethnic Romanians who migrated to the US decreased as a consequence of the economic development in Romania, but the number of Jews who migrated to the US increased, mostly after the rise of the fascist Iron Guard.

After the Second World War, the number of Romanians who migrated to the United States increased again. This time, they settled mostly in California, Florida and New York and they came from throughout Romania.

Over 53% of all foreign-born Romanian Americans came to the US after 1980. Some sources supply estimates of particular Romanian American community populations which are considerably higher than the most recently available U.S. census count. The estimated numbers depend on the reliability of the estimation method used and how membership of the Romanian American community is defined.

In the 2000 United States census, 340,000 Americans of age 5 years and older (or 0.11% of the total US population) were identified as speakers of Romanian, ranking it 21st among languages spoken in the US.


Romanian Americans are distributed throughout the U.S., with concentrations found in the east and the northeast of the country, such as in the states of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, New York, and Vermont, while in the Southeast, communities are found in Georgia (Metro Atlanta), Florida (South Florida) and Alabama (Montgomery). There are also significant communities of Romanian Americans in the far west of the United States, particularly in California (Los Angeles and Sacramento) and Arizona (Phoenix and Tucson).

Romanian American culture[edit]

An album of Romanian music issued by Jewish immigrants from Romania in New York at the beginning of the 20th century.

Romanian culture has merged with American culture, characterized by Romanian-born Americans adopting American culture or American-born people having strong Romanian heritage.

The Romanian culture can be seen in many different kinds, like Romanian music, newspapers, churches, cultural organizations and groups, such as the Romanian-American Congress or the Round Table Society NFP. Religion, predominantly within the Romanian Orthodox Church, is an important trace of the Romanian presence in the United States, with churches in almost all bigger cities throughout the country. American children of Romanian origin are often taught both Romanian and English.

One of the best known foods of Romanian origin is Pastrama.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau, 2009 American Community Survey". Retrieved 2011-12-23. 
  2. ^ Alexandru Nemoianu. "Românii de pe continentul nord-american. Pagini de istorie". Romanian-American Heritage Center (in Romanian). 
  3. ^ .2000 U.S. Census, ancestry responses
  4. ^ "Romanian-American Community". Romanian-American Network Inc. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  5. ^ Salute to the Romanian Jews in America and Canada, 1850-2010 By Vladimir F. Wertsman
  6. ^ "Please do not inline Project Gutenberg images". Retrieved 2014-09-13. 
  7. ^ "Sephardic Jewish Community of Romania". Retrieved 2014-09-13. 

External links[edit]