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Germans and Magyars disappearing, Roma growing in number

The number of Germans and Magyars in Romania has dropped to a historic low, while the number of Roma has reached a historic high.

According to the 2011 Census, Romanians continue to be the majority in Bucharest and 39 counties, reaching shares of over 90 per cent in the population of 26 of those counties. Their highest share is registered in Bucharest – 96.6 per cent. Magyars are the majority in Harghita (84.8 per cent) and Covasna (73.6 per cent) counties. Their share in the population of the two counties has remained almost unchanged since the 2002 Census (84.6 per cent and 73.8 per cent respectively). According to ‘Adevarul’ daily, the number of persons that declared themselves to be of an ethnicity other than Romanian dropped after 2002 too, as did the overall population. The Roma population is an exception, climbing from 535,140 in 2002 to 619,007 in 2011. The situation is more delicate in what concerns the Roma since the number of people declaring they belong to this ethnicity is far from reflecting reality and one cannot know whether this hike in their population is the result of a hike in the respondents’ willingness to declare that ethnicity or of positive demographic growth within that community. In fact, this is the highest number of Roma registered in the Romanian census history. The lowest number was registered in 1966 when there were only 64,197 Roma. The results however are far from the estimated number of 2 million Romanians of Roma ethnicity. In the 2002 Census the Roma had a share of 2.46 per cent in the total population of 21,680,974. Now the Roma represent 3.2 per cent of the total population as a result of several factors: first of all this ethnicity has a higher fertility, secondly the resident population has dropped and thirdly the number of those no longer fearful of declaring their true ethnicity has grown. At the opposite end, Magyars reached the lowest number in the Romanian census history, dropping from 1.4 million in 1930 and a historic high of 1.7 million in 1977 to 1.2 million persons in 2011. Germans continue the alarming population drop trend. In 1930 there were 633,488 Romanians of German ethnicity, now there are only 36,900, down by approximately 40 per cent since 2002 (59,764), the year they dropped below the 100,000 mark. The big loss was registered immediately after the Revolution when well over half of the Romanians of German ethnicity left the country, their population dropping from 359,109 in 1977 to 119,462 in 1992.

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