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CIA Seal  World Factbook Seal Moldova
Flag of Moldova
Map of Moldova
Introduction Moldova
Formerly ruled by Romania, Moldova became part of 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 as its president in 2001.
Geography Moldova
Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania
Geographic coordinates:
47 00 N, 29 00 E
Map references:
total: 33,843 sq km
water: 472 sq km
land: 33,371 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Maryland
Land boundaries:
total: 1,389 km
border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 939 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
moderate winters, warm summers
rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Dniester River 2 m
highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m
Natural resources:
lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone
Land use:
arable land: 54.08%
permanent crops: 12.1%
other: 33.82% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
3,070 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
landslides (57 cases in 1998)
Environment - current issues:
heavy use of agricultural chemicals, including banned pesticides such as DDT, has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion from poor farming methods
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - note:
landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone
People Moldova
4,434,547 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.7% (male 490,414; female 472,912)
15-64 years: 68.2% (male 1,451,962; female 1,572,561)
65 years and over: 10.1% (male 165,860; female 280,838) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.09% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
13.82 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
12.64 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
42.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 64.74 years
female: 69.31 years (2002 est.)
male: 60.39 years
Total fertility rate:
1.71 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
4,500 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (1999 est.)
noun: Moldovan(s)
adjective: Moldovan
Ethnic groups:
Moldovan/Romanian 64.5%, Ukrainian 13.8%, Russian 13%, Jewish 1.5%, Bulgarian 2%, Gagauz and other 5.2% (1989 est.)
note: internal disputes with ethnic Slavs in the Transnistrian region
Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5% (2000)
Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian (official), Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96%
male: 99%
female: 94% (1989 est.)
Government Moldova
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Moldova
conventional short form: Moldova
local short form: none
former: Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova; Moldavia
local long form: Republica Moldova
Government type:
Administrative divisions:
9 counties (judetele, singular - judetul), 1 municipality* (municipiul), 1 autonomous territorial unit** (unitate teritoriala autonoma), and 1 territorial unit*** (unitate teritoriala); Balti, Cahul, Chisinau, Chisinau*, Edinet, Gagauzia**, Lapusna, Orhei, Soroca, Stinga Nistrului***, Tighina, Ungheni
27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 27 August (1991)
new constitution adopted 28 July 1994; replaces old Soviet constitution of 1979
Legal system:
based on civil law system; Constitutional Court reviews legality of legislative acts and governmental decisions of resolution; it is unclear if Moldova accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction but accepts many UN and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) documents
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Vladimir VORONIN (since 4 April 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Vasile TARLEV (since 15 April 2001), First Deputy Prime Minister Vasile IOVV (since NA 2002), Deputy Prime Minister Stefan ODAGIU (since NA 2002)
cabinet: selected by prime minister, subject to approval of Parliament
elections: president elected by Parliament for a four-year term; election last held 4 April 2001 (next to be held NA 2005); note - presidential elections were scheduled for December 2000, but in July 2000, Parliament canceled direct, popular elections; Parliament's failure to chose a new president in December 2000 led to early parliamentary elections in February 2001; prime minister designated by the president, upon consultation with Parliament; note - 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 15 April 2001, cabinet received a vote of confidence 19 April 2001
election results: Vladimir VORONIN elected president; parliamentary votes - Vladimir VORONIN 71, Dumitru BRAGHIS 15, Valerian CHRISTEA 3; Vasile TARLEV designated prime minister; parliamentary votes of confidence - 75 of 101
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; parties and electoral blocs, as well as independent candidates, elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 February 2001 (next to be held NA 2005)
election results: percent of vote by party - PCM 50.1%, Braghis Alliance 13.4%, PPCD 8.2%, other parties 28.3%; seats by party - PCM 71, Braghis Alliance 19, PPCD 11
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional judicature)
Political parties and leaders:
Braghis Alliance [Dumitru BRAGHIS]; Communist Party or PCM [Vladimir VORONIN, first chairman]; Popular Christian Democratic Party or PPCD [Iurie ROSCA]; Social Democratic Union (composed of Braghis Alliance and the Democratic Party of Moldova) [leader NA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mihai MANOLI
FAX: [1] (202) 667-1204
telephone: [1] (202) 667-1130
chancery: 2101 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Pamela Hyde SMITH
embassy: 103 Mateevici Street, Chisinau MD-2009
mailing address: use embassy street address; pouch address - American Embassy Chisinau, Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-7080
telephone: [373] (2) 23-37-72
FAX: [373] (2) 23-30-44
Flag description:
same color scheme as Romania - three 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
Economy Moldova
Economy - overview:
Moldova 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 all of its supplies of oil, coal, and natural gas, largely from Russia. Energy shortages contributed to sharp production declines after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. As part of an ambitious reform effort, Moldova introduced a convertible currency, freed all prices, stopped issuing preferential credits to state enterprises, backed steady land privatization, removed export controls, and freed interest rates. The government entered into agreements with the World Bank and the IMF to promote growth and reduce poverty. The economy returned to positive growth, of 2.1% in 2000 and 6.1% in 2001. Growth remained strong in 2002, in part because of the reforms and because of starting from a small base. Further reforms are in doubt because of strong political forces backing government controls. The economy remains vulnerable to higher fuel prices, poor agricultural weather, and the scepticism of foreign investors.
purchasing power parity - $11 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $3,000 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 28%
industry: 23%
services: 49% (2000)
Population below poverty line:
80% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 31% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
41 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.5% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
1.7 million (1998) (1998)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 40%, industry 14%, services 46% (1998) (1998)
Unemployment rate:
8% (roughly 25% of working age Moldovans are employed abroad) (2002 est.)
revenues: $536 million
expenditures: $594 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)
food processing, agricultural machinery, foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, hosiery, sugar, vegetable oil, shoes, textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
9% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
3.317 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 90%
hydro: 10%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
3.655 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
630 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
1.2 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
vegetables, fruits, wine, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco; beef, milk
$590 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
foodstuffs, textiles, and machinery (2001)
Exports - partners:
Russia 43%, Ukraine 10.1%, Italy 8.1%, Germany 7.2%, Romania 6.7% (2001)
$980 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
mineral products and fuel 32%, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles (2000)
Imports - partners:
Ukraine 18%, Russia 15.1%, Romania 13.1%, Germany 10.5%, Italy 6.4% (2001)
Debt - external:
$1.3 billion (2002)
Economic aid - recipient:
$100 million (2000)
Moldovan leu (MDL)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
lei per US dollar - 12.8579 (October 2001), 12.4342 (2000), 10.5158 (1999), 5.3707 (1998), 4.6236 (1997); note - lei is the plural form of leu
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Moldova
Telephones - main lines in use:
627,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
2,200 (1997)
Telephone system:
general assessment: inadequate, outmoded, poor service outside Chisinau, some effort to modernize is under way
domestic: new subscribers face long wait for service; mobile cellular telephone service being introduced
international: service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 7, FM 50, shortwave 3 (1998)
3.22 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (plus 30 repeaters) (1995)
1.26 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (1999)
Internet users:
15,000 (2000)
Transportation Moldova
total: 1,328 km
broad gauge: 1,328 km 1.520-m gauge (2001)
total: 20,000 km
paved: 13,900 km (includes some all-weather gravel-surfaced roads)
unpaved: 6,100 km (these roads are made of unstabilized earth and are difficult to negotiate in wet weather) (1990)
424 km (1994)
natural gas 310 km (1992)
Ports and harbors:
30 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 7
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 23
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 14 (2002)
Military Moldova
Military branches:
Ground Forces (includes Air and Air Defense Forces), Republic Security Forces (includes paramilitary Internal Troops and Border Troops)
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,172,714 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 929,316 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 42,268 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$6 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.4% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Moldova
Disputes - international:
Moldovan difficulties with break-away Transnistria region inhibit establishment of a joint customs regime with Ukraine to curtail smuggling, arms transfers, and other illegal activities
Illicit drugs:
limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia via Central Asia to Russia, Western Europe, and possibly the US; widespread crime and underground economic activity

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003