Romanian diaspora

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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.

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 and France, see Romanian-French), 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. It is also unclear if Băsescu counted religious minorities such as Jews ethnic Romanis, ethnic Hungarians who are native to Northern Romania, also known as Csángó or Szeklers and Transylvanian Saxons of ethnic German origins as Romanians when he made his estimate, as well as third-generation individuals in the United States and Canada.

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]

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 Walachian settlers invited by the Ottoman Empire from the early 14th to the late 19th centuries. Over 100,000 ethnic Romanians are living throughout far eastern Russia, thousands of Romanians in villages of the Amur River valley on the Chinese Manchurian side of that river, and about 2,000 Romanian immigrants in Japan since the late 20th century.[3]

Distribution by country[edit]

Country Population Year Origin, notes
Italy Italy 997,000 2011[4] Immigrants (additional 142,583 Moldovans)
Spain Spain 798,104 2012[5] Immigrants (additional 20,000 Moldovans)
United States United States 518,653 2009[6]
Germany Germany 205 026 2013[7][8] Immigrants
Israel Israel 208,400 2013 [9]
Ukraine Ukraine 150,989 2001[10] (additional 258,619 Moldovans) Indigenous to Zakarpattia Oblast, Odessa Oblast and Chernivtsi Oblast.
United Kingdom United Kingdom 101,000 2012[11]
Canada Canada 82,995 2011[12]
(additional 121,635 of mixed origin and additional 8,050 Moldovans). Immigrants
Austria Austria 75,000 2012[13]
France France 50,000 [14]
Greece Greece 46,523 2011[15]
Romanian citizens. Immigrants (additional 10,391 Moldovans). There are also some Aromanian and Megleno speaking populations but they are not considered an ethnic but a linguistic/cultural minority, since the majority of them express an ethnic Greek identity.[16][17][18][19] In addition to that no Greek census has recorded mother tongue statistics since 1951, so the number of those two Romanian-speaking groups can not be exact. Therefore this number includes Romanian citizens only.
Belgium Belgium 45,877 2012[20]
Portugal Portugal 39,312 2011[21]
Immigrants (additional 13,586 Moldovans)
Serbia Serbia 29,332 2011 [22] (additional 35,330 Vlachs). Indigenous to Vojvodina (Banat), Timočka Krajina and parts of Central Serbia.
Hungary Hungary 26,345 2011[23] Indigenous to Eastern Hungary
Cyprus Cyprus 24,376 2011[24]
(excluding Moldovans) Immigrants
Sweden Sweden 21,016 2011[25]
Australia Australia 20,998 2011[26]
Republic of Ireland Ireland 17,995 2011 [27]
Netherlands Netherlands 16,987 2012[28]
Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 14,666 2009[29][30]
(including Moldovans) Immigrants / Displaced during World War II
Denmark Denmark 10,732 [31] Immigrants
Argentina Argentina 10,000 [32]
Venezuela Venezuela 10,000 [33]
Norway Norway 5,500 [34]
Czech Republic Czech Republic 5,069 [35]
United Arab Emirates UAE 5,000 [36]
Brazil Brazil 4,000 [37]
Russia Russia 3,201 2010[38]
(additional 156,400 Moldovans). Immigrants / Displaced during World War II
New Zealand New Zealand 3,100 [39]
South Africa South Africa 3,000 [40]
Japan Japan 3,000 [41]
Lithuania Lithuania 1,350 [42]
Turkey Turkey 1,304 [43]
Bulgaria Bulgaria 891 2011[44] (additional 3,684 Vlachs) Indigenous to Vidin Province and parts of Northern Bulgaria
Luxembourg Luxembourg 500 [45]
Finland Finland 500 [46]
Ethiopia African Union 485 [40]
Mexico Mexico 400 [47]
Chile Chile 389 2002 Census Immigrants
South Korea South Korea 300 [41]
Colombia Colombia 270 [47]
TOTAL 4 414 913 The estimate is the sum of the countrywide estimates listed.


  1. ^ Preşedintele României
  2. ^ 6-8 Million Romanians Live outside Romania's Borders
  3. ^ Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  4. ^ ISTAT - Istituto Nazionale di Statistica Indicatori demografici (1° gennaio 2011)
  5. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística: Population and Housing Censuses 2011 Spain [1].
  6. ^ US Census Bureau Estimate 2009
  7. ^ Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni - Federal Republic of Germany
  8. ^, May 2013 German Statistical Office. The number for Germany does not count more than one million Swabians and Saxons whose families historically lived in Banat and Transylvania, and who migrated to Germany at various times in the 20th century. This group of people still speaks Romanian.
  9. ^ Statistical Abstract of Israel 2013
  10. ^ (Ukrainian) Ukraine 2001 Census results
  11. ^ UK Migration Statistics Quarterly Aug 2013
  12. ^ Statistics Canada, Canada 2001 Census. 2011 Canada National Household Survey - Ethnic Origin
  13. ^ [2]
  14. ^ Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  15. ^ [3] Greek Census
  16. ^ Viktor Meier. Yugoslavia: a history of its demise. Routledge, 1999 ISBN 978-0-415-18596-7, p. 184: "They both consider themselves Greeks."
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Spyros Ergolabos, "The Zagori villages in the beginning of the 20th century: 2 precious documents", Epirus Publications, Ioannina 1993
  20. ^ Non-Profit Data
  21. ^ 2011 Portugal foreigners
  22. ^ 2011 Serbian Census
  23. ^ Hungarian census 2011
  24. ^ Preliminary Results of the Census of Population, 2011
  25. ^ [4], 2011
  26. ^ Population by ancestry (Australia), 2006 Australian census
  27. ^ Irish Census of 2011: Ireland becoming more Diverse
  28. ^ CBS StatLine 2012
  29. ^ Ethnic composition, religion and language skills in the Republic of Kazakhstan
  30. ^ Cotidianul [5]
  31. ^ "BEF5: Folketal pr 1 januar efter køn, alder og fødeland". Danmark statistik. Danmark statistik. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  32. ^ [6]
  33. ^ Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  34. ^ Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  35. ^ Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  36. ^ Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  37. ^ Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  38. ^ 2010 Russia Census
  39. ^ [7]
  40. ^ a b [8]
  41. ^ a b Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni
  42. ^ [9]
  43. ^ [10]
  44. ^ 2011 Bulgaria Census
  45. ^ [11]
  46. ^ [12]
  47. ^ a b Departamentul Românilor de Pretutindeni