Almost 240,000 Romanians left the country in 2018 as migration to wealthier states accelerates

Sorin Melenciuc 29/08/2019 | 10:50

Romania’s population declined by 125,500 in 2018 compared to the previous year, due to demographic decline and large-scale migration to wealthier states.

On January 1, 2019, the resident population in Romania totalled 19.4 million people, official statistics show. A year earlier, on January 1, 2018, the resident population was 19.53 million people.

The main cause of this decrease is the negative natural increase, the number of deceased persons exceeding the number of live births by 75,729 persons.

Also, the long-term temporary international migration balance was negative.

Official data show that 238,926 Romanian residents left the country in 2018, while 181,344 residents in other countries became residents in Romania last year, meaning that the migration balance was negative (-57.582).

These data suggest that migration to wealthier states accelerated last year compared to 2017, when only 219,327 persons from Romania choose residence in other countries.

In the EU, Romania ranks among the countries that registered the biggest decline of population last year, according to Eurostat data.

In 2018, the largest population decrease in the EU was recorded in Latvia (-7.5‰), followed by Bulgaria and Croatia (both -7.1‰), Romania (-6.6‰) and Lithuania (-5.3‰).

The population of the entire EU increased by 1.1 million people (+2.1‰) during 2018.

Experts warn that this trend will have a large impact on economic growth in Romania during the next decade by mitigating potential GDP growth rates.

Around 3.4 million Romanians have gone abroad between 2007 and 2015 to escape poverty and corruption in their country, according to a recent UN International Migration Report.

The EU estimates that Romania’s population will drop to 16.7 million in 2050.

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