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  Introduction Back To Top

Formerly part of Romania, Moldova was incorporated into 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 Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 2.31 cu km/yr (10%/58%/33%)
per capita: 549 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
11.7 cu km (1997)

Land boundaries:
total: 1,390 km
border countries: Romania 450 km, Ukraine 940 km

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

moderate winters, warm summers

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
47 00 N, 29 00 E

Natural resources:
lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Dniester River 2 m
highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m

rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea

Geography - note:
landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone

total: 33,843 sq km
land: 33,371 sq km
water: 472 sq km

Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania

0 km (landlocked)

Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Maryland

Irrigated land:
3,000 sq km (2003)

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

Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)

Natural hazards:

Land use:
arable land: 54.52%
permanent crops: 8.81%
other: 36.67% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
1.26 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.59 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.2% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5,500 (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.5 years
male: 66.81 years
female: 74.41 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.1%
male: 99.7%
female: 98.6% (2005 est.)

Net migration rate:
-1.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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

Median age:
total: 34.3 years
male: 32.4 years
female: 36.4 years (2008 est.)

4,324,450 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
7.6% of GDP (2006)

Population growth rate:
-0.092% (2008 est.)

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

Death rate:
10.8 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 13.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.95 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 300 (2001 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 13 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.3% (male 361,000/female 341,785)
15-64 years: 72.9% (male 1,528,080/female 1,622,620)
65 years and over: 10.9% (male 174,448/female 296,517) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
11.01 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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

noun: Moldovan(s)
adjective: Moldovan

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Asif CHAUDHRY
embassy: 103 Mateevici Street, Chisinau MD-2009
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [373] (22) 40-8300
FAX: [373] (22) 23-3044

National holiday:
Independence Day, 27 August (1991)

18 years of age; universal

Government type:

Political pressure groups and leaders:

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Nicolae CHIRTOACA
chancery: 2101 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 667-1130
FAX: [1] (202) 667-1204

International organization participation:

Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Parlamentul (101 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 6 March 2005 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - PCRM 46.1%, Democratic Moldova Bloc (AMN, PD, PSL) 28.4%, PPCD 9.1%, other parties 16.4%; seats by party - PCRM 56, Democratic Moldova Bloc (AMN, PD, PSL) 34, PPCD 11

Legal system:
based on civil law system; Constitutional Court reviews legality of legislative acts and governmental decisions of resolution; accepts many UN and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) documents; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

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 ox head, star, rose, and crescent all in black-outlined yellow; same color scheme as Romania

27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Country name (Goverment):
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

Political parties and leaders:
Centrist Union or UCM [Vasile TARLEV]; Christian Democratic People's Party or PPCD [Iurie ROSCA]; Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova or PCRM [Vladimir VORONIN]; Democratic Party or PD [Dumitru DIACOV]; Liberal Democratic Party or PLDM [Vladmir FILAT]; Liberal Party or PL [Mihai GHIMPU]; National Liberal Party or PNL [Vitalia PAVLICENKO]; Our Moldova Alliance or AMN [Serafim URECHEAN]; Party for Social Democracy or PDSM [Dumitru BRAGHIS]

name: Chisinau (Kishinev)
note: pronounced kee-shee-now
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

new constitution adopted 29 July 1994, effective 27 August 1994; replaced old Soviet constitution of 1979

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Vladimir VORONIN (since 4 April 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Zinaida GRECEANII (since 31 March 2008); First Deputy Prime Minister Igor DODON (since 31 March 2008)
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); election last held 4 April 2005 (next to be held in 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 designated 21 March 2008; cabinet received a vote of confidence 31 March 2008
election results: Vladimir VORONIN reelected president; parliamentary votes - Vladimir VORONIN 75, Gheorghe DUCA 1; Zinaida GRECEANII designated prime minister; parliamentary votes of confidence - 56 of 101

Administrative divisions:
32 raions (raioane, singular - raionul), 3 municipalities (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)

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

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Russia 25.3%, Romania 13%, Italy 10%, Ukraine 8.7%, Germany 8.5%, Poland 6.2%, Belarus 4.2% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
5.806 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
3.741 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Current account balance:
-$903 million (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$4.092 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
2.1%; note - roughly 25% of working age Moldovans are employed abroad (2007 est.)

Oil - exports:
50.03 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$2,500 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
36.1% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$1.896 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$10.76 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$6.197 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
33.2 (2003)

Exchange rates:
Moldovan lei (MDL) per US dollar - 10.326 (2008 est.), 12.177 (2007), 13.131 (2006), 12.6 (2005), 12.33 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
5.7% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$965 million (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
1.327 million (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
Russia 20.5%, Ukraine 15.8%, Romania 15%, Germany 8.7%, Italy 5.7%, Poland 4.1% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
13.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17.3%
industry: 21.5%
services: 61.2% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
14,450 bbl/day (2005)

$1.79 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
2.44 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Moldovan leu (MDL)

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. Russia's decision to ban Moldovan wine and agricultural products, coupled with its decision to double the price Moldova paid for Russian natural gas, slowed GDP growth in 2006. However, in 2007-08 growth returned to the 6% level Moldova had achieved in 2000-05, boosted by Russia's partial removal of the bans, solid fixed capital investment, and strong domestic demand driven by remittances from abroad. 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 remains vulnerable to higher fuel prices, poor agricultural weather, and the skepticism of foreign investors. Also, the presence of an illegal separatist regime in Moldova's Transnistria region continues to be a drag on the Moldovan economy. The deteriorating global economic crisis did not seriously effect the Moldovan economy in 2008 due to its low exposure to the international financial system, but a global economic slowdown, particularly in the EU and Russia, could hurt the economy in 2009 as Moldova relies heavily on remittances from Moldovans abroad.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
mineral products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles

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

Electricity - exports:
229 million kWh (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line:
29.5% (2005)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
18.83% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$1.449 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
3.824 billion kWh (2006 est.)

$5 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 40.6%
industry: 16%
services: 43.3% (2005)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.65 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
15,770 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

Public debt:
21.3% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$573.9 million (2004)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 26.4% (2003)

Exports - commodities:
foodstuffs, textiles, machinery

Economic aid - recipient:
$191.8 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 90.6%
hydro: 9.4%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
2.44 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
50 million cu m (2006 est.)

revenues: $2.616 billion
expenditures: $2.628 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
700,000 (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
1.08 million (2007)

1.26 million (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 2, FM 29, shortwave NA (2006)

3.22 million (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
1.883 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
40 (2006)

Telephone system:
general assessment: inadequate, outmoded, 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 approaching 70 per 100 persons
international: country code - 373; service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - at least 3 (Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik) (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (1999)

Internet hosts:
223,869 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

424 km (on Dniester and Prut rivers) (2008)

gas 1,980 km (2007)

total: 1,138 km
broad gauge: 1,124 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 14 km 1.435-m gauge (2006)

Merchant marine:
total: 39
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 32, chemical tanker 2, combination ore/oil 2, petroleum tanker 1
foreign-owned: 17 (Egypt 1, Romania 3, Russia 3, Syria 1, Turkey 3, Ukraine 5, Yemen 1) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 6
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

total: 12,666 km
paved: 12,117 km
unpaved: 549 km (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

10 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory military service; 12-month service obligation (2006)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,161,924
females age 16-49: 1,187,771 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 877,070
females age 16-49: 994,091 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
National Army: Ground Forces, Rapid Reaction Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 33,053
female: 31,712 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.4% of GDP (2005 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

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

Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Moldova is a major source and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; Moldovan women are trafficked to the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe; girls and young women are trafficked within the country from rural areas to Chisinau; children are also trafficked to neighboring countries for forced labor and begging; labor trafficking of men to work in the construction, agriculture, and service sectors of Russia is increasingly a problem
tier rating: Tier 3 - Moldova does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government failed to follow-up on allegations of officials complicit in trafficking cited in the 2007 Report, and it did not demonstrate proactive efforts to identify trafficking victims (2008)

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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