The Hungarian minority in Romania constitute the country's largest minority, 6.6 per cent of the population.
The population as of Nov 2007 is 22,276,506.
Different sources give varied estimates for Romania's historical population. The National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics (NIRDI) gives the following numbers:
Population evolution: (censuses)
Thereafter, the numbers are essentially the same as the NIRDI numbers. (See also Demographic history of Romania.)
As a consequence of the pro-natalist policies of the Ceauşescu regime, Romania has a higher proportion of young adults in its population than any other Western country except Slovenia. 8.55% of the Romanian population was born in the period from 1976 to 1980, compared with 6.82% of Americans and 6.33% of Britons
In common with many Eastern European countries, Romania has experienced a decline in population in recent years. The population fell by 1,129,000 or 4.95% in the decade 1992-2002. In three counties, Caraş-Severin, Hunedoara and Teleorman, the population fell by more than 10% over the same period. Only two counties, Ilfov and Iaşi saw their population increase. Birth rate:10.7 births/1,000 population (2006 est.) Death rate:11.77 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.) Net migration rate:-0.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Hungarians (Székelys and Magyars) (especially in Harghita, Covasna and Mureş) and the Roma are the principal minorities, with a declining German population (Banat Swabians in Timiş; Transylvanian Saxons in Sibiu, Braşov and elsewhere) and smaller numbers of Czechs, Slovaks, Serbs, Chinese, Croats and Banat Bulgarians (in Banat), Ukrainians (especially in Maramureş and Bukovina), Greeks of Romania (especially in Brăila and Constanţa), Turks and Tatars (mainly in Constanţa), Armenians, Great Russians (Lipovans, Old Believers in Tulcea), Jews and others. Since the Romanian Revolution of 1989, Bucharest has again become an increasingly cosmopolitan city, including identifiable Chinese and Irish presences. Minority populations are greatest in Transylvania and the Banat, areas in the north and west, which were possessions of the Habsburg Empire (after 1867 the Austro-Hungarian Empire) until World War I. Even before the union with Romania, ethnic Romanians comprised the overall majority in Transylvania. However, ethnic Hungarians and Germans were the dominant urban population until relatively recently, while Hungarians still constitute the majority in Harghita and Covasna counties.
Before World War II, minorities represented more than 28% of the total population. During the war that percentage was halved, largely by the loss of the border areas of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina (to the former Soviet Union: now Moldova and Ukraine) and southern Dobrudja (to Bulgaria), as well as by the postwar flight or deportation of ethnic Germans.
Though Romanian troops participated in the destruction of the Jewish communities of Bessarabia and Bukovina, a large proportion of Jews in Romania itself survived the Holocaust; of an initial population of about 550,000 in the old Kingdom of Romania, 460,000 survived. Mass emigration, mostly to Israel and United States, has reduced the surviving Jewish community to an estimated 12,000.. In recent years, more than two-thirds of the ethnic Germans in Romania have emigrated to Germany, leaving behind roughly 60,000.
Romania's rich cultural traditions have been nourished by many sources, some of which predate the Roman occupation. The traditional folk arts, including dance, wood carving, ceramics, weaving and embroidery of costumes and household decorations, and fascinating folk music, still flourish in many parts of the country. Despite strong Austrian, German, and especially French influence, many of Romania's great artists, such as the painter Nicolae Grigorescu, the poet Mihai Eminescu, the composer George Enescu, and the sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi, drew their inspiration from Romanian folk traditions.
The country's many Orthodox monasteries, as well as the Transylvanian Catholic Church and the Evangelical Church, some of which date back to the 13th century, are repositories of artistic treasures. The famous painted monasteries of Bukovina make an important contribution to European architecture.
Poetry and the theater play an important role in contemporary Romanian life. Classic Romanian plays, such as those of Ion Luca Caragiale, as well as works by modern or avant-garde Romanian and international playwrights, find sophisticated and enthusiastic audiences in the many theaters of the capital and of the smaller cities.