country profile - MOLDOVA
Background: 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 Nistru River supporting the separatist region of Transnistria, composed of a Slavic majority population (mostly Ukrainians and Russians), but with a sizable ethnic Moldovan minority. Europe's poorest economy, 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. Four Moldovan opposition parties then formed a new coalition, the Alliance for European Integration (AEI), iterations of which acted as Moldova's governing coalitions over the next several years. In May 2013, two of the original AEI parties and a splinter group from a third re-formed a ruling coalition called the Pro-European Coalition. The Moldovan Government in summer 2014 signed and ratified an Association Agreement with the EU, advancing the Coalition's policy priority of EU integration. Following the country's most recent legislative election in November 2014, the three pro-European parties that entered Parliament won a total of 55 of the body's 101 seats, enough for a majority coalition. After negotiations among the three broke down, however, two of the parties - the Liberal Democratic Party (PLDM) and the Democratic Party (PD) - agreed to form the Alliance for a European Moldova (AEM) and a minority government with their combined 42 seats. In February 2015, the PLDM and the PD secured Communist Party of the Republic of Moldova support to win parliamentary approval with 60 votes for their minority government.
Location: Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania
Area: total: 33,851 sq km
land: 32,891 sq km
water: 960 sq km
Land boundaries: total: 1,885 km
border countries (2): Romania 683 km, Ukraine 1,202 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Climate: moderate winters, warm summers
Natural resources: lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone
Population: 3,546,847 (July 2015 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 17.86% (male 326,681/female 306,763)
15-24 years: 13.49% (male 247,183/female 231,389)
25-54 years: 43.73% (male 777,648/female 773,401)
55-64 years: 13.24% (male 214,846/female 254,818)
65 years and over: 11.68% (male 159,145/female 254,973) (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 36 years
male: 34.2 years
female: 38 years (2015 est.)
Population growth rate: -1.03% (2015 est.)
Birth rate: 12 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate: 12.59 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Net migration rate -9.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
Nationality: noun: Moldovan(s)
adjective: Moldovan
Ethnic groups: Moldovan 75.8%, Ukrainian 8.4%, Russian 5.9%, Gagauz 4.4%, Romanian 2.2%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 1%, unspecified 0.4%
note: internal disputes with ethnic Slavs in the Transnistrian region (2004 est.)
Religions: Orthodox 93.3%, Baptist 1%, other Christian 1.2%, other 0.9%, atheist 0.4%, none 1%, unspecified 2.2% (2004 est.)
Languages: Moldovan 58.8% (official; virtually the same as the Romanian language), Romanian 16.4%, Russian 16%, Ukrainian 3.8%, Gagauz 3.1% (a Turkish language), Bulgarian 1.1%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.4%
note: percentages represent lanugage usually spoken (2004 est.)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.1% (2015 est.)
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: republic
Capital: 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
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)
Independence: 27 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 27 August (1991)
Legal system: civil law system with Germanic law influences; Constitutional Court review of legislative acts
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Nicolae TIMOFTI (since 23 March 2012)
head of government: Prime Minister Pavel FILIP (since 20 January 2016); Deputy Prime Minister Gheorghe BALAN (since 20 January 2016)
cabinet: Cabinet proposed by the prime minister-designate, nominated by the president, approved through a vote of confidence in Parliament
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Parliament by absolute majority vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 16 March 2012 (next to be held in March 2016); 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 for his/her proposed work program from the Parliament; the prime minister and Cabinet received a vote of confidence on 30 July 2015
election results: Nicolae TIMOFTI (independent) elected president; Parliament vote - 62 of 101; Valeriu STRELET (Liberal Democratic) designated prime minister; Parliament confidence vote - 52 to 41
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Parlament (101 seats; members directly elected in a single, nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 30 November 2014 (next to be held in November 2018)
election results: percent of vote by party - PSRM 20.5%, PLDM 20.2%, PCRM 17.5%, PD 15.8%, PL 9.7%, other 16.3%; seats by party - PSRM 25, PLDM 23, PCRM 21, PD 19, PL 13
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of a chief judges, 3 deputy-chief judges, 45 judges, and 7 assistant judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president and 6 judges); note - the Constitutional Court is autonomous to the other branches of government; the Court interprets the Constitution and reviews the constitutionality of parliamentary laws and decisions, decrees of the president, and acts of the government
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Justice judges appointed by Parliament upon the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Magistracy; all judges serve 4-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed 2 each by Parliament, the Moldovan president, and the Higher Council of Magistracy; court president elected by other court judges for a 3-year term; other judges appointed for 6-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Court of Business Audit; municipal courts
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]
Party of Socialists or PSRM [Igor DODON]
not represented in Parliament:
Anti-Fascist Movement or Antifa [Grigore PETRENCO]
Anti-Mafia Movement [Sergiu MOCANU]
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]
Humanist Party of Moldova or PUM [Valeriu PASAT]
Labor Party or PM [Gheorghe SIMA]
Liberal Reformers Party or PLR [Ion HADARCA]
National Liberal Party or PNL [Vitalia PAVLICENKO]
Our Party [Renato USATII]
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]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
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
Telephones - fixed lines: total subscriptions: 1.22 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 34 (2014 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular: total: 3.7 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 104 (2014 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: poor service outside Chisinau; some modernization is under way
domestic: 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 100 per 100 persons
international: country code - 373; service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - at least 3 (Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik) (2011)
Broadcast media: state-owned national radio-TV broadcaster operates 2 TV 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: .md
Internet hosts: 367,150 (2009)
Internet users: total: 1.6 million
percent of population: 44.8% (2014 est.)
Airports: 7 (2013)
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 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 1,906 km (2013)
Railways: total: 1,171 km
broad gauge: 1,157 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 14 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total: 9,352 km
paved: 8,835 km
unpaved: 517 km (2012)
Waterways: 558 km (in public use on Danube, Dniester and Prut rivers) (2011)
Merchant marine: total: 121
by type: bulk carrier 7, cargo 88, carrier 1, chemical tanker 3, passenger/cargo 7, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 11, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 63 (Bulgaria 1, Denmark 1, Egypt 5, Greece 1, Israel 2, Lebanon 1, Pakistan 1, Romania 2, Russia 5, Syria 5, Turkey 18, UK 3, Ukraine 14, Yemen 4) (2010)
transnational issues  
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 the auspices of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe-mandated peacekeeping mission comprised of Moldovan, Transnistrian, Russian, and Ukrainian troops
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 6,779 applicants for forms of legal stay other than asylum (Ukraine) (2015)
stateless persons: 2,036 (2014)
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
Update: This page was last updated on 10 November 2015
Sources: CIA, The World Factbook,