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Part of Romania during the interwar period, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although the country has been 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 gain of a narrow 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... See More



 Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania

Geographic Coordinates:

 47 00 N, 29 00 E


 Total: 33,851 sq km
Land: 32,891 sq km
Water: 960 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly larger than Maryland

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 1,390 km
Border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 940 km


 0 km (landlocked) (Rank: 229)

Maritime Claims:

 None (landlocked)


 Moderate winters, warm summers


 Rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Dniester (Nistru) 2 m
Highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m

Natural Resources:

 Lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone

Land Use:

 Arable land: 54.52%
Permanent crops: 8.81%
Other: 36.67% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 2,283 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 11.7 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 2.31 cu km/yr (10%/58%/33%)
Per capita: 549 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:


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, 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 - Note:

 Landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone

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 Noun: 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


 Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian, Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)


 Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5% (2000)


 4,314,377 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 15.5% (male 344,101/female 325,995)
15-64 years: 74% (male 1,550,386/female 1,643,108)
65 years and over: 10.4% (male 164,512/female 286,275) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 35.4 years
Male: 33.5 years
Female: 37.4 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 -0.072% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 11.16 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 10.74 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -1.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 47% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 CHISINAU (capital) 650,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.059 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 (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 32 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 12.43 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 13.85 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 10.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 71.37 years
Male: 67.68 years
Female: 75.28 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.29 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 11.9% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 2.668 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital Bed Density:

 6.12 beds/1,000 population (2007)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 96% of population
Rural: 85% of population
Total: 90% of population
Urban: 4% of population
Rural: 15% of population
Total: 10% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 85% of population
Rural: 74% of population
Total: 79% of population
Urban: 15% of population
Rural: 26% of population
Total: 21% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.4% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 12,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 3.2% (2005)

Education Expenditures:

 9.6% of GDP (2009)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 99.1%
Male: 99.7%
Female: 98.6% (2005 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 12 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 12 years (2009)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 15.4%
Male: 15.8%
Female: 14.9% (2009)

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Country Name:

 Conventional 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 Type:



 Name: Chisinau in Romanian (Kishinev in Russian)

Note: pronounced KEE-shee-now (KIH-shi-nyev)
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 Divisions:

 32 raions (raioane, singular - raion), 3 municipalities (municipii, singular - 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)


 27 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 27 August (1991)


 Adopted 29 July 1994; effective 27 August 1994; note - replaced 1979 Soviet Constitution

Legal System:

 Civil law system with Germanic law influences; Constitutional Court review of legislative acts

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: Acting President Marian LUPU (since 30 December 2010)

Note: Vladimir VORONIN, president since 4 April 2001, resigned on 11 September 2009; during the first AEI government, Speaker of Parliament Mihai GHIMPU served as acting president; Marian LUPU, the Speaker of Parliament, is serving as acting president until new elections can be held

Head of government: Prime Minister Vladimir FILAT (since 25 September 2009); reelected/confirmed on 14 January 2011

Note: Vladimir FILAT resigned on 27 December 2010, but was reappointed on 31 December 2010

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 on 4 April 2005, most recent (failed) election held on 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 (re)designated on 31 December 2010; the prime minister and cabinet received a vote of confidence 14 January 2011

Election results: Vladimir VORONIN reelected president (2005); parliamentary votes - Vladimir VORONIN 75, Gheorghe DUCA 1; Vladimir FILAT (re)designated prime minister; parliamentary votes of confidence - 59 of 101

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; members elected on an at-large basis by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

Elections: last held on 28 November 2010 (next to be held in 2014, unless Parliament fails to elect a president); note - this was the third parliamentary election in less than two years; the earlier parliaments (elected 5 April 2009 and 29 July 2009) were dissolved after they could not agree on a presidential candidate

Election results: percent of vote by party - PCRM 39.3%, PLDM 29.4%, PD 12.7%, PL 10%, other 8.6%; seats by party - PCRM 42, PLDM 32, PD 15, PL 12; note - the PLDM, PD, and PL governing coalition, termed the Alliance for European Integration, has 59 seats; it remains 2 votes short of the 61 needed to elect a new president

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court; Constitutional Court (the sole authority for constitutional judicature)

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Represented in Parliament: Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova or PCRM [Vladimir VORONIN]; Democratic Party or PD [Marian LUPU]; Liberal Democratic Party or PLDM [Vladimir FILAT]; Liberal Party or PL [Mihai GHIMPU]; Alliance for European Integration or AIE (coalition of the PD, PLDM, and PL)
Not represented in Parliament: Christian Democratic People's Party or PPCD [Iurie ROSCA]; Conservative Party or PC [Natalia NIRCA]; Ecological Party of Moldova "Green Alliance" or PEMAVE [Vladimir BRAGA]; European Action Movement or MAE [Veaceslav UNTILA]; For Nation and Country Party or PpNT [Sergiu MOCANU]; Humanist Party of Moldova or PUM [Valeriu PASAT]; Labor Party or PM [Gheorghe SIMA]; National Liberal Party or PNL [Vitalia PAVLICENKO]; Our Moldova Alliance or AMN [Serafim URECHEAN]; Patriots of Moldova Party or PPM [Mihail GARBUZ]; Popular Republican Party or PPR [Nicolae ANDRONIC]; Republican Party of Moldova or PRM [Andrei STRATAN]; Roma Social Political Movement of the Republic of Moldova or MRRM [Ion BUCUR]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Victor SELIN]; Social Political Movement "Equality" or MR [Valeriy KLIMENCO]; United Moldova Party or PMUEM [Vladimir TURCAN]

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Igor MUNTEANU
Chancery: 2101 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 667-1130
FAX: [1] (202) 667-1204

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Asif J. CHAUDHRY
Embassy: 103 Mateevici Street, Chisinau MD-2009
Mailing address: use embassy street address
Telephone: [373] (22) 40-8300
FAX: [373] (22) 23-3044

Flag Description:

 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 aurochs head, star, rose, and crescent all in black-outlined yellow; based on the color scheme of the flag of Romania - with which Moldova shares a history and culture - but Moldova's blue band is lighter; the reverse of the flag does not display any coat of arms

Note: one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Paraguay and Saudi Arabia

National Symbols:

 Aurochs (a type of wild cattle)

National Anthem:

 Name: "Limba noastra" (Our Language)
Lyrics/music: Alexei MATEEVICI/Alexandru CRISTEA

Note: adopted 1994

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Economy - Overview:

 Moldova 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. In January 2009, gas supplies were cut during a dispute between Russia and Ukraine. Russia's decision to ban Moldovan wine and agricultural products, coupled with its decision to double the price Moldova paid for Russian natural gas, have hurt growth. The onset of the global financial crisis and poor economic conditions in Moldova's main foreign markets caused GDP to fall 6% in 2009. Unemployment almost doubled and inflation disappeared - at -0.1%, a record low. Moldova's IMF agreement expired in May 2009. In fall 2009, the IMF allocated $186 million to Moldova to cover its immediate budgetary needs, and the government signed a new agreement with the IMF in January 2010 for a program worth $574 million. In 2010, an upturn in the world economy boosted GDP growth to 6.5% and inflation to 7.3%. 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 has made a modest recovery, but remains vulnerable to political uncertainty, weak administrative capacity, vested bureaucratic interests, higher fuel prices, poor agricultural weather, and the skepticism of foreign investors as well as the presence of an illegal separatist regime in Moldova's Transnistria region.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $10.99 billion (2010 est.)
$10.28 billion (2009 est.)
$10.93 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $5.81 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 6.9% (2010 est.)
-6% (2009 est.)
7.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $2,500 (2010 est.)
$2,400 (2009 est.)
$2,500 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 16.3%
Industry: 20%
Services: 63.8% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 1.235 million (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 40.6%
Industry: 16%
Services: 43.3% (2005)

Unemployment Rate:

 7.5% (2010 est.)
6.4% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 26.3% (2009)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 2.9%
Highest 10%: 29.8% (2008)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 38 (2008)
33.2 (2003)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 22.7% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $2.227 billion
Expenditures: $2.371 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 38.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -2.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 21.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
24.4% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 7.4% (2010 est.)
-0.1% (2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 16.36% (31 December 2010 est.)
20.54% (31 December 2009 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 Narrow Money:

 $1.293 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.074 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $3.049 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.657 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $2.199 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.033 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $573.9 million (2004)
$573.9 million (2004)

Agriculture - Products:

 Vegetables, fruits, grapes, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco; beef, milk; wine


 Sugar, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 7% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 3.412 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 90.6%
Hydro: 9.4%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 4.463 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 2.958 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 20,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 741 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 14,730 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 60,000 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 3.176 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 2.33 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$482.3 million (2010 est.)
-$469.2 million (2009 est.)


 $1.59 billion (2010 est.)
$1.327 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Foodstuffs, textiles, machinery

Exports - Partners:

 Russia 23.8%, Italy 13%, Romania 10.9%, Turkey 6.6%, Germany 6.3%, Ukraine 5.5%, Belarus 5% (2010)


 $3.81 billion (2010 est.)
$3.276 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Mineral products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles

Imports - Partners:

 Ukraine 16.3%, Romania 15.4%, Russia 11%, Germany 8.6%, Italy 5.6%, Kazakhstan 5%, Belarus 4.2% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $1.718 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.48 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $5.056 billion (30 June 2011 est.)
$3.697 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - Abroad:

 $62.44 million (1 January 2010)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $2.649 billion (1 January 2010 est.)
$1.813 billion (2008)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Moldovan Leu to Any Currency

Moldovan lei (MDL) per US dollar -
12.37 (2010)
11.11 (2009)
10.326 (2008)
12.177 (2007)
13.131 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 1.161 million (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 3.165 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: 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 90 per 100 persons

International: country code - 373; service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - at least 3 (Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik) (2009)

Broadcast Media:

 State-owned national radio-TV broadcaster operates 2 television and 2 radio stations; a total of nearly 40 terrestrial TV channels and some 50 radio stations are in operation; Russian and Romanian channels also are available (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 2, FM 29, shortwave NA (2006)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 40 (2006)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 492,181 (2010)

Internet Users:

 1.333 million (2009)

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 11 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 5
Over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
Under 914 m: 3 (2010)


 Gas 1,906 km (2010)


 Total: 1,190 km
Broad gauge: 1,176 km 1.520-m gauge
Standard gauge: 14 km 1.435-m gauge (2010)


 Total: 9,343 km
Paved: 8,810 km
Unpaved: 533 km (2008)


 558 km (in public use on Danube, Dniester and Prut rivers) (2008)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 107
By type: bulk carrier 7, cargo 89, chemical tanker 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 6
Foreign-owned: 63 (Belgium 2, Egypt 5, Greece 4, Israel 4, Lebanon 1, Romania 2, Russia 5, Syria 3, Turkey 18, UK 6, Ukraine 12, Yemen 1) (2010)

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Military Branches:

 National Army: Land Forces Command (includes special forces), Air Forces Command (includes air defense unit), Logistics Command (2010)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 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 Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,143,440
Females age 16-49: 1,156,958 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 875,224
Females age 16-49: 969,903 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 28,213
Female: 26,614 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 0.4% of GDP (2005 est.)

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Disputes - International:

 Moldova 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

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

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Last Updated: December 2011

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