Facts about Moldova

World Facts Index

Formerly part of Romania, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although independent from the USSR since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Dniester River supporting the Slavic majority population, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, who have proclaimed a "Transnistria" republic. One of the poorest nations in Europe, Moldova became the first former Soviet state to elect a Communist as its president in 2001.

Geography of Moldova

Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania
47 00 N, 29 00 E
total: 33,843 sq km
water: 472 sq km
land: 33,371 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly larger than Maryland
Land boundaries:
total: 1,389 km
border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 939 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
moderate winters, warm summers
rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Dniester River 2 m
highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m
Natural resources:
lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone
Natural hazards:
landslides (57 cases in 1998)
Environment current issues:
heavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from poor farming methods
Geography - note:
landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone

Population of Moldova

4,324,450 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20% (male 455,673/female 438,934)
15-64 years: 69.7% (male 1,498,078/female 1,613,489)
65 years and over: 10.3% (male 170,456/female 290,076)
Median age:
32.3 years
Growth rate:
Infant mortality:
38.38 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 65.65 years
male: 61.61 years
female: 69.88 years
Fertility rate:
1.85 children born/woman
noun: Moldovan(s)
adjective: Moldovan
Ethnic groups:
Moldovan/Romanian 78.2%, Ukrainian 8.4%, Russian 5.8%, Gagauz 4.4%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 1.3%
Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5%
Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.6%
female: 98.7% 


Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Moldova
former: Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova; Moldavia
local long form: Republica Moldova
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
9 counties (judetele, singular - judetul), 1 municipality* (municipiul), 1 autonomous territorial unit** (unitate teritoriala autonoma), and 1 territorial unit*** (unitate teritoriala); Balti, Cahul, Chisinau, Chisinau*, Edinet, Gagauzia**, Lapusna, Orhei, Soroca, Stinga Nistrului***, Tighina, Ungheni
27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 27 August (1991)
new constitution adopted 28 July 1994; replaces old Soviet constitution of 1979
Legal system:
based on civil law system; Constitutional Court reviews legality of legislative acts and governmental decisions of resolution; it is unclear if Moldova accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction but accepts many UN and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) documents
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Vladimir VORONIN (since 4 April 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Zinaida GRECEANII (since 31 March 2008); First Deputy Prime Minister Igor DODON (since 31 March 2008)
cabinet: Cabinet selected by president, subject to approval of Parliament
elections: president elected by Parliament for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 4 April 2005; note - prime minister designated by the president upon consultation with Parliament; within 15 days from designation, the prime minister-designate must request a vote of confidence from the Parliament regarding his/her work program and entire cabinet; prime minister designated 21 March 2008; cabinet received a vote of confidence 31 March 2008.
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; parties and electoral blocs elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional judicature)
Political parties and leaders:
Braghis Faction [Dumitru BRAGHIS]; Christian Democratic Popular Party or PPCD [Iurie ROSCA]; Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova or PCRM [Vladimir VORONIN, first chairman]; Democratic Moldova Bloc (comprised of the AMN, Democratic Party, and PSL); Democratic Party [Dumitru DIACOV]; Our Moldova Alliance or AMN [Serafim URECHEANU]; Social Liberal Party or PSL [Oleg SEREBRIAN]


Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe despite recent progress from its small economic base. It enjoys a favorable climate and good farmland but has no major mineral deposits. As a result, the economy depends heavily on agriculture, featuring fruits, vegetables, wine, and tobacco. Moldova must import almost all of its energy supplies. Moldova's dependence on Russian energy was underscored at the end of 2005, when a Russian-owned electrical station in Moldova's separatist Transnistria region cut off power to Moldova and Russia's Gazprom cut off natural gas in disputes over pricing. Russia's decision to ban Moldovan wine and agricultural products, coupled with its decision to double the price Moldova paid for Russian natural gas, slowed GDP growth in 2006. However, in 2007 growth returned to the 6% level Moldova had achieved in 2000-05, boosted by Russia's partial removal of the bans, solid fixed capital investment, and strong domestic demand driven by remittances from abroad. Economic reforms have been slow because of corruption and strong political forces backing government controls. Nevertheless, the government's primary goal of EU integration has resulted in some market-oriented progress. The granting of EU trade preferences and increased exports to Russia will encourage higher growth rates in 2008, but the agreements are unlikely to serve as a panacea, given the extent to which export success depends on higher quality standards and other factors. The economy remains vulnerable to higher fuel prices, poor agricultural weather, and the skepticism of foreign investors. Also, the presence of an illegal separatist regime in Moldova's Transnistria region continues to be a drag on the Moldovan economy.

$9.756 billion (2007 est.)
GDP growth rate:
GDP per capita:
GDP composition by sector:
agriculture: 21.3%
industry: 23.3%
services: 55.5%
Inflation rate:
Labor force:
1.34 million
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 40%, industry 14%, services 46%
8% (roughly 25% of working age Moldovans are employed abroad) 
Electricity production by source:
fossil fuel: 90.6%
hydro: 9.4%
other: 0% 
nuclear: 0%
sugar, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles
vegetables, fruits, wine, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco; beef, milk
foodstuffs, textiles, machinery
Export partners:
Russia 36%, Romania 8.7%, Italy 8%, Germany 7.1%, Ukraine 6.1%, France 6.1%, Belarus 5.5%
mineral products and fuel 32%, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles
Import partners:
Ukraine 19.9%, Russia 14.7%, Germany 10%, Romania 7.8%, Italy 6.3%, France 4.9%, Poland 4.7%
Moldovan leu (MDL)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

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