Romania Loses 2.6 Million People in 10 YearsWorld | February 2, 2012, Thursday // 19:51| views
Romanian protesters wave national flags while shouting slogans while facing a strong blizzard during a protest at the University Plaza in Bucharest, Romania, 25 January 2012. EPA/BGNES
Bulgaria's northern neighbor Romania seems to be hit just as hard by a demographic crisis, having lost 2.6 million of its population in the past decade.
Preliminary census results of the Romanian Statistical Institute released Thursday show that Romania's population declined from 21.68 million in 2002 to 19.04 million in 2012.
In comparison, Bulgaria, which completed its last census in February 2011, lost some 600 000 people 2001 and 2011 – with its population declining from 7.9 million to 7.3 million in 10 years.
Both Romania and Bulgaria seem to be suffering from a continued exodus of younger and better educated people, and low birth rates.
According to the data of the Romanian Statistical Institute, 53% of the people in Romania live cities and towns, and 47% in villages.
Romania remains the second poorest EU member state after Bulgaria. In 2009 and 2010, its economy shrank by a total of 8.4%; in 2011, it grew by 2.5%.
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