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Moldova Historical and Political Profile

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Moldova Index

  • Moldova-Acknowledgments
  • Moldova-Population Characteristics POPULATION AND ETHNIC COMPOSITION
  • Moldova-Labor Force
  • Moldova-Chapter 2 - Moldova
  • Moldova-Chronology of Important Events
  • Moldova-Transportation and Telecommunications
  • Moldova-The Media
  • Moldova-The Armed Forces
  • Moldova-The Judicial System
  • Moldova-Welfare
  • Moldova-Housing
  • Moldova-Parliament
  • Moldova-The West
  • Moldova-The 1994 Elections and Afterwards
  • Moldova-Human Rights
  • Moldova-The Presidency
  • Moldova-Ukraine
  • Moldova-Banking and Finance
  • Moldova-Turkey
  • Moldova-Religion
  • Moldova-Conflict in Transnistria and Gagauzia
  • Moldova-Environmental Concerns
  • Moldova-The Beginning of the Soviet Period
  • Moldova-The Economy in the Soviet Period
  • Moldova-Climate
  • Moldova-Governmental System
  • Moldova-Health
  • Moldova-Ethnic Composition
  • Moldova-Introduction
  • Moldova-Energy and Fuels
  • Moldova-Romania
  • Moldova-Russia
  • Moldova-Preface
  • Moldova-Commonwealth of Independent States
  • Moldova-Local Government
  • Moldova-THE ECONOMY
  • Moldova-Internal Security
  • Moldova-Progress Toward Political Accommodation
  • Moldova-World War II
  • Moldova
  • Moldova-Easing of Tensions
  • Moldova
  • Moldova-Culture
  • Moldova-Industry
  • Moldova-Foreward
  • Moldova-Council of Ministers
  • Moldova
  • Moldova-ECONOMY
  • Moldova-Agriculture
  • Moldova-Independence
  • Moldova
  • Moldova-Postwar Reestablishment of Soviet Control
  • Moldova-Secession of Gagauzia and Transnistria
  • Moldova-Topography and Drainage
  • Moldova-Political Realignment
  • Moldova-MOLDOVA
  • Moldova-Foreign Trade
  • Moldova-Postindependence Privatization and Other Reforms
  • Moldova-Early History
  • Moldova-Crime
  • Moldova-The 1990 Elections
  • Moldova-Increasing Political Self-Expression
  • BackgroundPart of Romania during the interwar period, 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, Vladimir VORONIN, as its president in 2001. VORONIN served as Moldova's president until he resigned in September 2009, following the opposition's victory of a narrow parliamentary majority in July parliamentary elections and the Communist Party's (PCRM) subsequent inability to attract the three-fifths of parliamentary votes required to elect a president. Moldova's four opposition parties formed a new coalition, the Alliance for European Integration (AEI), which will act as Moldova's governing coalition until new parliamentary elections can be held in summer 2010. Moldova experienced significant political uncertainty in 2009, holding two general elections (in April and July) and four presidential ballots in parliament, all of which failed to secure a president.
    LocationEastern Europe, northeast of Romania
    Area(sq km)total: 33,851 sq km
    land: 32,891 sq km
    water: 960 sq km
    Geographic coordinates47 00 N, 29 00 E
    Land boundaries(km)total: 1,390 km
    border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 940 km

    Coastline(km)0 km (landlocked)

    Climatemoderate winters, warm summers

    Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Dniester River 2 m
    highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m
    Natural resourceslignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone
    Land use(%)arable land: 54.52%
    permanent crops: 8.81%
    other: 36.67% (2005)

    Irrigated land(sq km)3,000 sq km (2003)
    Total renewable water resources(cu km)11.7 cu km (1997)
    Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 2.31 cu km/yr (10%/58%/33%)
    per capita: 549 cu m/yr (2000)
    Natural hazardslandslides
    Environment - current issuesheavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from poor farming methods
    Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - notelandlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone
    Population4,320,748 (July 2009 est.)
    Age structure(%)0-14 years: 15.9% (male 353,495/female 334,592)
    15-64 years: 73.3% (male 1,536,263/female 1,629,882)
    65 years and over: 10.8% (male 172,070/female 294,446) (2009 est.)
    Median age(years)total: 34.6 years
    male: 32.7 years
    female: 36.7 years (2009 est.)
    Population growth rate(%)-0.079% (2009 est.)
    Birth rate(births/1,000 population)11.12 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)10.78 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

    Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-1.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
    Urbanization(%)urban population: 42% of total population (2008)
    rate of urbanization: -1.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
    Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.58 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
    Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 13.13 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 14.57 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 11.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 70.8 years
    male: 67.1 years
    female: 74.71 years (2009 est.)

    Total fertility rate(children born/woman)1.27 children born/woman (2009 est.)
    Nationalitynoun: 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% (2004 census)
    note: internal disputes with ethnic Slavs in the Transnistrian region

    Religions(%)Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5% (2000)
    Languages(%)Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)

    Country nameconventional long form: Republic of Moldova
    conventional short form: Moldova
    local long form: Republica Moldova
    local short form: Moldova
    former: Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic
    Government typerepublic
    Capitalname: Chisinau (Kishinev)
    note: pronounced kee-shee-now
    geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 28 51 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    Administrative divisions32 raions (raioane, singular - raionul), 3 municipalities (municipiul), 1 autonomous territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala autonoma), and 1 territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala)
    raions: Anenii Noi, Basarabeasca, Briceni, Cahul, Cantemir, Calarasi, Causeni, Cimislia, Criuleni, Donduseni, Drochia, Dubasari, Edinet, Falesti, Floresti, Glodeni, Hincesti, Ialoveni, Leova, Nisporeni, Ocnita, Orhei, Rezina, Riscani, Singerei, Soldanesti, Soroca, Stefan-Voda, Straseni, Taraclia, Telenesti, Ungheni
    municipalities: Balti, Bender, Chisinau
    autonomous territorial unit: Gagauzia
    territorial unit: Stinga Nistrului (Transnistria)
    Constitutionadopted 29 July 1994; effective 27 August 1994; note - replaced 1979 Soviet constitution

    Legal systembased on civil law system; Constitutional Court reviews legality of legislative acts and governmental decisions of resolution; accepts many UN and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) documents; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage18 years of age; universal
    Executive branchchief of state: Acting President Mihai GHIMPU (since 11 September 2009)
    note: Vladimir VORONIN, president since 4 April 2001, resigned on 11 September 2009; Mihai GHIMPU, the Parliamentary Speaker, is serving as acting president until new elections can be held in 2010; the parliament twice failed to elect a president in 2009 and must now wait until late 2010 to dissolve itself and hold new presidential elections, given that the constitution forbids parliament from being dissolved more than twice in a 12 month period
    head of government: Prime Minister Vladimir FILAT (since 25 September 2009); Deputy Prime Minister Iurie LEANCA (since 25 September 2009)
    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); last successful election held 4 April 2005, most recent (failed) election held 10 December 2009); 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 17 September 2009; cabinet received a vote of confidence 25 September 2009
    election results: Vladimir VORONIN reelected president; parliamentary votes - Vladimir VORONIN 75, Gheorghe DUCA 1; Vladimir FILAT designated prime minister; parliamentary votes of confidence - 53 of 101
    Legislative branchunicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: last held 29 July 2009 (next to be held in 2010); note - this was the second parliamentary election in less than four months; the earlier parliament (elected 5 April 2009) could not agree on a presidential candidate; the current parliament also failed to elect a president, but because of a constitutional provision that says the parliament cannot be dissolved more than once in a 12-month period, new elections will not be held until summer 2010
    election results: percent of vote by party - PCRM 44.7%, PLDM 16.6%, PL 14.7%, PD 12.5%, AMN 7.4%; seats by party - PCRM 48, PLDM 18, PL 15, PD 13, AMN 7

    Judicial branchSupreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional judicature)

    Political pressure groups and leadersNA
    International organization participationBSEC, CE, CEI, CIS, EAEC (observer), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red; emblem in center of flag is of a Roman eagle of gold outlined in black with a red beak and talons carrying a yellow cross in its beak and a green olive branch in its right talons and a yellow scepter in its left talons; on its breast is a shield divided horizontally red over blue with a stylized ox head, star, rose, and crescent all in black-outlined yellow; same color scheme as Romania

    Economy - overviewMoldova 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, and again in January 2009, during a similar dispute. 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 2006-07. However, in 2008 growth exceeded 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, 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. The deteriorating global economic crisis did not seriously effect the Moldovan economy in 2008 due to its low exposure to the international financial system, but a global economic slowdown, particularly in the EU and Russia, could hurt the economy in 2009 as Moldova relies heavily on remittances from Moldovans abroad.
    GDP (purchasing power parity)$10.8 billion (2008 est.)
    $10.07 billion (2007 est.)
    $9.684 billion (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP (official exchange rate)$6.047 billion (2008 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate(%)7.2% (2008 est.)
    4% (2007 est.)
    4.8% (2006 est.)
    GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,500 (2008 est.)
    $2,300 (2007 est.)
    $2,200 (2006 est.)
    note: data are in 2008 US dollars
    GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 19.4%
    industry: 20%
    services: 60.6% (2008 est.)
    Labor force1.327 million (2008 est.)

    Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 40.6%
    industry: 16%
    services: 43.3% (2005)
    Unemployment rate(%)1.5% (2008 est.)
    Population below poverty line(%)29.5% (2005)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 3%
    highest 10%: 28.2% (2004)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index33.2 (2003)
    40.6 (1997)
    Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)32.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
    Budgetrevenues: $2.453 billion
    expenditures: $2.513 billion (2008 est.)
    Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)12.8% (2008 est.)
    12.3% (2007 est.)

    Stock of money$1.116 billion (31 December 2008)
    $965 million (31 December 2007)
    Stock of quasi money$1.928 billion (31 December 2008)
    $1.449 billion (31 December 2007)
    Stock of domestic credit$2.406 billion (31 December 2008)
    $1.896 billion (31 December 2007)
    Market value of publicly traded shares$NA (31 December 2008)
    $573.9 million (2004)
    Economic aid - recipient$191.8 million (2005)

    Public debt(% of GDP)22.3% of GDP (2008 est.)
    63.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
    Agriculture - productsvegetables, fruits, wine, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco; beef, milk
    Industriessugar, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles

    Industrial production growth rate(%)-1% (2008 est.)

    Current account balance-$1.015 billion (2008 est.)
    -$695.5 million (2007 est.)
    Exports$1.641 billion (2008 est.)
    $1.368 billion (2007 est.)

    Exports - commodities(%)foodstuffs, textiles, machinery
    Exports - partners(%)Morocco 48.3%, Russia 15.2%, Romania 8.1%, Italy 5% (2008)
    Imports$4.87 billion (2008 est.)
    $3.676 billion (2007 est.)

    Imports - commodities(%)mineral products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles
    Imports - partners(%)Ukraine 20.6%, Russia 19.5%, Romania 14.6%, Germany 8.1%, Italy 5.1%, Belarus 4.3% (2008)

    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$1.672 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $1.334 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
    Debt - external$4.125 billion (31 December 2008)
    $3.326 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$1.813 billion (2008)
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$NA
    Exchange ratesMoldovan lei (MDL) per US dollar - 10.326 (2008 est.), 12.177 (2007), 13.131 (2006), 12.6 (2005), 12.33 (2004)

    Currency (code)Moldovan leu (MDL)

    Telephones - main lines in use1.115 million (2008)
    Telephones - mobile cellular2.423 million (2008)
    Telephone systemgeneral assessment: inadequate, outmoded, poor service outside Chisinau; some modernization is under way
    domestic: depending on location, new subscribers may face long wait for service; multiple private operators of GSM mobile-cellular telephone service are operating; GPRS system is being introduced; a CDMA mobile telephone network began operations in 2007; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity 85 per 100 persons
    international: country code - 373; service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - at least 3 (Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik) (2008)
    Internet country code.md
    Internet users850,000 (2008)
    Airports11 (2009)
    Pipelines(km)gas 1,906 km (2008)
    Roadways(km)total: 12,666 km
    paved: 12,117 km
    unpaved: 549 km (2007)

    Military branchesNational Army: Land Forces, Rapid Reaction Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces (2009)
    Military service age and obligation(years of age)18 years of age for compulsory military service; 17 years of age for voluntary service; male registration required at age 16; 12-month service obligation (2009)
    Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 1,161,924
    females age 16-49: 1,187,771 (2008 est.)
    Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 877,665
    females age 16-49: 987,356 (2009 est.)
    Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 31,633
    female: 30,214 (2009 est.)
    Military expenditures(% of GDP)0.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
    Disputes - internationalMoldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor the transit of people and commodities through Moldova's break-away Transnistria region, which remains under OSCE supervision

    Trafficking in personscurrent situation: Moldova is a major source and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; Moldovan women are trafficked to the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe; girls and young women are trafficked within the country from rural areas to Chisinau; children are also trafficked to neighboring countries for forced labor and begging; labor trafficking of men to work in the construction, agriculture, and service sectors of Russia is increasingly a problem
    tier rating: Tier 3 - Moldova does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government failed to follow-up on allegations of officials complicit in trafficking cited in the 2007 Report, and it did not demonstrate proactive efforts to identify trafficking victims (2008)
    Electricity - production(kWh)3.617 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 90.6%
    hydro: 9.4%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (2001)
    Electricity - consumption(kWh)4.37 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - exports(kWh)240 million kWh (2007 est.)
    Electricity - imports(kWh)2.931 billion kWh (2007 est.)
    Oil - production(bbl/day)0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - consumption(bbl/day)17,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
    Oil - exports(bbl/day)36.49 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - imports(bbl/day)14,230 bbl/day (2007 est.)
    Oil - proved reserves(bbl)0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
    Natural gas - production(cu m)50 million cu m (2007 est.)
    Natural gas - consumption(cu m)2.52 billion cu m (2008 est.)
    Natural gas - exports(cu m)0 cu m (2008)
    Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)0.4% (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS8,900 (2007 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - deathsfewer than 100 (2007 est.)
    Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.1%
    male: 99.7%
    female: 98.6% (2005 est.)

    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 12 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 13 years (2006)
    Education expenditures(% of GDP)7.6% of GDP (2006)

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