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According to the 2002 census, Romania has a population of 21,680,974 and, similarly to other countries in the region, is expected to gently decline in the coming years as a result of sub-replacement fertility rates. Romanians make up 89.5% of the population. The largest ethnic minorities are Hungarians, who make up 6.6% of the population and Roma, who make up 2% - 9% of the population. By the official census 409,000, by the estimations 1,500,000-2,000,000 Roma live in Romania. Hungarians, who are a sizeable minority in Transylvania, constitute a majority in the counties of Harghita and Covasna. Ukrainians, Germans, Lipovans, Turks, Tatars, Serbs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Greeks, Jews, Czechs, Poles, Italians, Chinese, Armenians, as well as other ethnic groups, account for the remaining 1.4% of the population. The population density of the country as a whole has doubled since 1900 although, in contrast to other central European states, there is still considerable room for further growth. The overall density figures, however, conceal considerable regional variation. Population densities are naturally highest in the towns, with the plains (up to altitudes of some 700 feet) having the next highest density, especially in areas with intensive agriculture or a traditionally high birth rate (e.g., northern Moldavia and the “contact” zone with the Subcarpathians); areas at altitudes of 700 to 2,000 feet, rich in mineral resources, orchards, vineyards, and pastures, support the lowest densities.

The official language of Romania is Romanian, an Eastern Romance language related to French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and Portuguese. Romanian is spoken as a first language by 91% of the population, with Hungarian and Romani being the most important minority languages, spoken by 6.7% and 1.1% of the population, respectively. Until the 1990s, there was also a substantial number of German-speaking Transylvanian Saxons, even though many have since emigrated to Germany, leaving only 45,000 native German speakers in Romania. In localities where a given ethnic minority makes up more than 20% of the population, that minority's language can be used in the public administration and justice system, while native-language education and signage is also provided. English and French are the main foreign languages taught in schools. English is spoken by 5 million Romanians, French is spoken by 4-5 million, and German, Italian and Spanish are each spoken by 1-2 million people. Historically, French was the predominant foreign language spoken in Romania, even though English has since superseded it. Consequently, Romanian English-speakers tend to be younger than Romanian French-speakers. Romania is, however, a full member of La Francophonie, and hosted the Francophonie Summit in 2006. German has been taught predominantly especially in Transylvania, due to traditions tracing back to the Austro-Hungarian rule in this province.[citation needed]

Romania is a secular state, thus having no national religion. The dominant religious body is the Romanian Orthodox Church; its members make up 86.7% of the population according to the 2002 census. Other important religions include Roman Catholicism (4.7%), Protestantism (3.7%), Pentecostal denominations (1.5%) and the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church (0.9%). Romania also has a historically significant Muslim minority concentrated in Dobrogea, who are mostly of Turkish ethnicity and number 67,500 people. Based on the 2002 census data, there are also 6,179 Jews, 23,105 people who are of no religion and/or atheist, and 11,734 who refused to answer. On December 27, 2006, President Traian Basescu approved a new Law on Religion; under the new legislation, religious denominations can only receive official registration if they have at least 20,000 members, or about 0.1 percent of Romania's total population.


The largest Romanian cities are: Bucharest (Bucuresti) with 2,082,334 inhabitants, Iasi with 320,888, Cluj-Napoca with 318,027, Timisoara with 317,660, and Constanta with 310,471.