Top 10 Facts about Poverty in Romania
Romania’s communist government was overthrown 28 years ago. Since the fall of that government, the economy has vastly improved. Although there have been great improvements over the past few decades, there are still problems pertaining to poverty today. To understand this better, here are the top 10 facts about poverty in Romania.

List of Top 10 Facts About Poverty in Romania

  1. It has one of the highest poverty rates in the EU. As of 2016, Romania has a population of nearly 40 percent that is at the risk of poverty.
  1. There is a huge gap between the rich and the poor, among the highest in the EU. In 2017 they had an inequality level of 7. This means that the top 20 percent in Romania made seven times the amount that the bottom 20 percent did. This is a huge indication of the poverty in Romania.
  1. There is a huge housing problem. An estimated 30 percent of households in Romania live in destroyed dwellings or slums, have no security in their household and live under the threat of forced eviction. It is common for four or more family members to live in a single room in Romania. Although there is a public housing system to combat these problems, it is very inefficient and most people in Romania do not qualify for the benefits. Habitat for Humanity‘s volunteers are building quadruplexes, that will house four families, to address the housing problem. These quadruplexes are a low-cost housing solution that will help house many families throughout Romania.
  1. Child poverty is at an all-time high. Over half the children under 18 in Romania are at risk of poverty. These children do not have access to quality healthcare or education. The lack of resources makes it very difficult for these children to rise out of poverty. Although there are still a lot of people living in poverty in Romania, over the past several years, millions of people have come out of poverty and child mortality has decreased by two-thirds.
  1. Discrimination runs deep. Romas face discrimination and oppression in Romania which only makes it harder for them to rise out of poverty. The maternal mortality rate of Romani women is 15 times the rate of non-Roma women, and the government will not confront the issue.
  1. Poverty is at the highest in rural areas. 45 percent of Romania’s population lives in rural areas and 70 percent of this population lives in poverty. These areas lack in social, medical and educational facilities. Poverty in Romania is at its worst for citizens living in rural areas. The people living in these areas are mainly farmers and unemployed rural workers; they lack the capital to rise out of poverty.
  1. There is a lack of private management utilization. The communist government of Romania fell nearly 30 years ago, but the government still plays a large part in Romania’s economy. There are many state-owned enterprises that will not use private management despite pleas from the international finance and business community.
  1. Police brutality is a reality in Romania. There are many allegations of police abuse throughout the country. Romania lacks basic procedures to deter and avoid abuse and brutality. The rules that the police force currently have could, in fact, be making harassment easy. And the police are never held accountable.
  1. The government has committed to the fight against poverty. It aims to lift almost 600,000 people out of poverty by the year 2020. The objective is to ensure that all citizens of Romania have the same opportunities and are able to live with basic rights and dignity. After the financial crisis in 2008, the government created a plan to get Romania’s economy back on track. It implemented one of the largest post-crisis fiscal unification attempts in the EU. As a result of the government’s efforts, Romania is now in one of the best macroeconomic positions in the EU with only a 40-percent public debt to GDP ratio.
  1. Although there are poverty-related problems in Romania, it has the fastest growing economy in the European Union (EU). One of the decisions by the government that has helped Romania the most was joining the EU in 2007. The support of the EU has greatly improved the standard of living and economy.  There was a 6.9 percent increase in 2017 which is the highest in Romania since 2008.

These top 10 facts about poverty in Romania highlight the need for continued focus on improving the living conditions in the country. 

– Ronni Winter
Photo: Flickr

The Success of Humanitarian Aid to RomaniaLocated in the far east of Eastern Europe, Romania borders the Black Sea along with its closest neighbor countries, Bulgaria and Moldova. Romania’s economic stability failed to maintain its status during and after World War II.

The events that occurred after the war had a lasting impact on Romania’s social and economic wealth. It became a communist-ruled country led by the Soviets, leading its society and economy into a crisis that is still taking place today. By exploiting its land and population, the Soviet occupation directly fed Romania’s decline.

Regardless of such a crisis, the country has tried to stay afloat. In 2007, the European Union accepted its request to become part of the E.U. This political move had a great impact on Romania, which became unified with 26 other countries willing to support the nation. The E.U. began taking action for Romania by increasing the number of medical centers and hospitals in the country.

Alongside the E.U., humanitarian aid to Romania has also been a success for the far eastern country’s population. The organization The Family International has been working toward the improvement of Romania, as well as other countries in need, for the past few decades. It has worked to aid Romania by shipping multiple medical sources and equipment to the nation.

The Family International also worked to ship clothes to Romania and provide them to those in need. The success of this NGO was, and is, undeniable. More than a hundred families received attention and care, improving their living situation. The organization has also helped through the distribution of food products, as well as clothes, shoes and other necessities that reached more than 1,500 people.

The organization Charity Baptism Mission has also pushed efforts for humanitarian aid to Romania. It provided the nation with containers full of items meant to help alleviate poverty, such as socks, shoes, blankets, sweaters and more. The same organization has also built the success of humanitarian aid to Romania by helping create 27 homes for homeless children around the world, eight of them in Romania.

The organization Clovek v Tisni has also been a pioneer for humanitarian aid to Romania. Investing in infrastructure, creating job positions and building schools to extend education to more people are just some of the many successful actions taken toward alleviating poverty in the European country.

Romania needs help, undeniably. Despite the various NGOs willing to help the poorest country in the E.U., poverty is still an issue. Thus, donations toward organizations such as Clovek v Tisni can go a long way toward assisting the country. Romania is becoming a better country day by day, and with continued effort, it won’t be long until poverty in the nation is reduced to a thing of the past.

– Paula Gibson

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in RomaniaSituated on the Black Sea, Romania is the largest of the Balkan countries. Romania has a population of 21.4 million, one of the biggest in the EU. Unfortunately, poverty in Romania exists at one of the highest rates in the EU as well.

Poverty in Romania is stunning and widespread, affecting millions of people. Two measures of poverty in Romania are relative poverty and absolute poverty. Relative poverty is the number of citizens whose disposable income is lower than 60 percent of the population’s median income. In 2014, Romania ranked first in the EU for highest relative poverty rate, with 25 percent of its citizens facing relative poverty.

Absolute poverty is the lack of basic human needs such as food, safe drinking water, shelter, health, education, facilities and access to services. In 2000, the rate of absolute poverty in Romania was 35.9 percent and dropped to 13.8 percent in just six years, showing that progress has indeed been made in the country.

Several populations in Romania are vulnerable to poverty. More than 50 percent of children in Romania are at risk for poverty. This statistic places Romania as the country in the EU with the greatest risk of children facing poverty. Poverty in Romania is also at its highest in rural areas, where 45 percent of the population lives. This is the highest population in the EU to live in rural areas in a given country. The majority of Romanians who live in rural areas are subsistence farmers or unemployed rural workers, which is why 70 percent of the rural population in Romania lives in poverty. Finally, the populations most susceptible to poverty in terms of households are single persons, single parent families, families with three or more children and single people over the age of 65.

Romania’s history and changing governments affected change in poverty levels. After World War II, Romania became a socialist state in a communist regime, which entailed widespread social welfare. In 1990, right before the fall of communism, the poverty level in Romania was only seven percent. After the fall of communism in 1990, however, generalized social welfare was reduced.

Other causes of poverty in Romania include poor infrastructure, which affects everything from schools to medical centers. Regarding widespread rural poverty, there are more employment and educational opportunities in urban areas, as more money is invested in urban areas. Romania also suffers the consequences of bad foreign exchange rates as it does not use the euro and five to six percent of its GDP comes from remittances.

Progress has been made in decreasing poverty and growing a successful economy. Romania joined NATO in 2004 and joined the EU in 2007. Romania has enjoyed significant economic growth from 2013 to 2016 as a result of industrial exports, optimal agriculture harvests and trade within the EU.

Social welfare also benefits many poor Romanians. Today, social welfare is divided into multiple categories. Some benefits of Romania’s current social welfare system include free maternity care, an allowance for children and mothers, free education, subsidies for heat and electricity, unemployment aid and pension. It is important to note that certain benefits vary depending on the case.

The rate of poverty in Romania is very high for a country in the EU, but Romania continues to make progress in reducing poverty rates, providing social welfare and stabilizing its economy.

Christiana Lano

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Romania
Ringing in at a 25.4% poverty rate, Romania is one of the six countries off the coast of the Black Sea in southeast Europe that has seen its fair share of poverty and struggle in the last century. Taking part in both World Wars and being under Soviet occupation has severely weakened the economy as well as the morale of natives, and resulted in escalating poverty in Romania.

After reaching a point of good economic growth and being the second-largest producer of oil in Europe after World War I, Romania was pulled into the crossfires of World War II by an ultimatum from the USSR. This led to Soviet occupation and, ultimately, the decline of Romania. Not only did the Soviets exploit Romanian natural resources, but they also implemented a mass genocide targeting the Jews and Roma communities.

Once the communist influence had pulled out, however, Romania was left in shambles. The post-USSR era called for the reorganization of farmland, which displaced many of the farmers and added to the problem of poverty in Romania. Since Romania cultivated a predominantly agriculture-based economy, this disturbed the lives of many and resulted in a shift to subsistence farming. Farmers were bound to low levels of production and marginal incomes due to a lack of resources.

Furthermore, because 44% of Romanians live in rural areas, according to the Rural Poverty Portal, almost half of the population is confined to small-scale farming. In particular, people that reside in the remote mountain areas face the harshest conditions due to minimal access to infrastructure.


Poverty in Romania


For the past couple of decades, these farmers have been stuck in the vicious cycle of working for the bare necessities of living for generations. In 2015, a Eurostat news release projected that 46.8% of children were at risk of poverty. This low level of living and lack of opportunity has propelled Romania into a primarily emigration-based nation.

Ethnic minorities and victims of the post-communist decline in jobs looked for hope outside of Romania, which caused the natives to look for opportunities outside the nation as well. According to Focus Migration, around two million Romanians moved in order to better their lives. This included professionals that are vital to the survival of a nation, such as doctors.

Despite the low unemployment rates and misleading statistics often presented by the Romanian elite, there is still much work to accomplish regarding human rights, government, economy, and poverty in Romania for it to be a safer and more stable country for its residents.

Tanvi Wattal

Photo: Flickr