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Population dynamics and demographic structure changes in the Romania’s rural areas. An overview of the post-communist period

Authors: Bianca Mitrica*, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, Mihaela Persu, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, Ines Grigorescu, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, Paul-Razvan Serban, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, Irena Mocanu, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, Nicoleta Damian, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy
Topics: East Europe, Europe, Quantitative Methods
Keywords: rural population; demographic structures; demographic decline; post-communist; Romania
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Currently, Romania’s rural area is undergoing a restructuring process, acquiring new demographic dimensions and characteristics. Since the first decade of the XXI century, the general dynamics of rural population was negative, as a consequence of the severe ageing, decreasing birth-rates and the upsurge of external migration. After decades of rural exodus, the urban-rural flow has been increasing in the past few years. It would be premature to speak of a transition to urban exodus, in fact the town is expanding over its rural neighbourhood, and in some cases, sustaining the development of residential ensembles and tourist sites. In this context, some of the rural LAUs near large cities evolved into residential areas, the investments therein contributing to their economic and social prosperity, which made them attractive, also improving people’s standard of living. At the other end of the spectrum are the villages located at great distances from the major cities, geographically isolated or devoided of modern infrastructure, where living conditions are quite precarious. The study aims to analyze population dynamics over 1992-2016 period, changes in territorial distribution of population and in demographic structures using different indicators (population structure by large age groups, Vitality Index, Demographic Dependency Index, Labour Renewal Index, General Activity Rate). The demographic imbalance is characteristic for large areas from Romanian rural space, which imposed imperative actions for creating the conditions liable to encouraging the young population to remain/to establish in rural LAUs in order to revitalise the rural space and re-establish the demographic balance in under-development areas.

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