Romanians in the United Kingdom

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Romanians in the United Kingdom
Total population
Romanian-born residents
7,631 (2001 Census)
220,000 (2015 ONS estimate)
Regions with significant populations
London (Mostly Northern boroughs such as London Borough of Brent)[citation needed]
English, Romanian
Romanian Orthodox Church, Conscious Atheism, None

Romanians in the United Kingdom refers to the phenomenon of Romanian people moving to the United Kingdom as citizens or non-citizen immigrants, along with British citizens of Romanian descent. The opportunities for Romanians to migrate to the UK increased when Romania joined the European Union in 2007, and a transitional cap on migration from Romania and Bulgaria expired on 1 January 2014, which saw thousands move to the UK.

History, population and settlement[edit]

The small number of Romanians that first arrived in Britain were primarily Jews fleeing persecution during the Second World War.[citation needed] The activities of the Romanian exiles started in 1941, through the effort of individuals such as Ambassador Viorel Tilea, Major George-Emil Iliescu, and legal counselor Ecaterina Iliescu. They founded the Anglo-Romanian Refugee Committee in 1948. The Free Romanian Orthodox Church is active, in parallel, between 1950–55, under the leadership of Father Gildau, with a Parish Committee chaired by Mihai Carciog. This, then, is transformed into the 'Romanian Orthodox Women's Association in the UK', which, in turn, becomes in 1965 the British-Romanian Association - also known under its Romanian name of ACARDA ("Asociatia Culturala a Romanilor din Anglia") - through the initiative of a representative group of individuals from the small Romanian community, including Ion Ratiu, Horia Georgescu, George Ross and Leonard Kirschen, Marie-Jeanne MacDonald, Gladys Wilson, Sanda Carciog and Mihai Carciog.[citation needed] Ion Ratiu is the President of the British-Romanian Association between 1965 - 1985, followed by Iolanda Stranescu Costide between 1985 until its closure in 1996, the organisation having fulfilled its aim to restore a democratic regime in Romania.

At the time of the 2001 Census, 7,631 Romanian-born people were residing in the UK.[1] When Romania joined the European Union in January 2007, the British government placed transitional restrictions on the rights of Romanians to work in the UK, which expired on 1 January 2014.[2] The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that, in 2012, 101,000 Romanian-born people were resident in the UK.[3] By 2015, this estimate had risen to 220,000.[4]


Most Romanians belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church religion and there are several Romanian Orthodox churches throughout the UK, such as those in Aberdeen, Ballymena, Birmingham, Boston, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Caterham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Luton, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford or Poole.[5]

Famous Britons of Romanian descent[edit]

See also[edit]