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Moldova

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Balkans : Moldova
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Quick Facts
CapitalChisinau
Governmentrepublic
CurrencyMoldovan leu (MDL)
Areatotal: 33,843 sq km
water: 472 sq km
land: 33,371 sq km
Population4,434,547 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageMoldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian (official), Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
ReligionEastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5% (2000)


Moldova is a land locked country in Europe.

Regions

It is divided into 32 Rayons: 1. Anenii Noi 2. Basarabeasca 3. Briceni 4. Cahul 5. Cantemir 6. Călăraşi 7. Căuşeni 8. Cimişlia 9. Criuleni 10. Donduşeni 11. Drochia 12. Dubăsari 13. Edineţ 14. Faleşti 15. Floreşti 16. Glodeni 17. Hînceşti 18. Ialoveni 19. Leova 20. Nisporeni 21. Ocniţa 22. Orhei 23. Rezina 24. Rîşcani 25. Sîngerei 26. Soroca 27. Străşeni 28. Şoldăneşti 29. Ştefan Voda 30. Taraclia 31. Teleneşti 32. Ungheni


Cities

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Talk

Moldovans speak Moldovan (outside of the semi-autonomous region of Gagausia and the breakaway region of Transnistria), which is for all practical purposes the same as Romanian. Most people in the cities also speak Russian, although be a little careful of this - learn enough Moldovan to ask whether it is ok to speak Russian - there are still hard feelings about the Soviet Union in some places.

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This article is an import from the CIA World Factbook 2002. It's a starting point for creating a real Wikitravel country article according to our country article template. Please plunge forward and edit it.

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

Md-map.png
Map of Moldova
Location 
Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania
Geographic coordinates 
47 00 N, 29 00 E
Map references 
Europe
Area 
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
Coastline 
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims 
none (landlocked)
Climate 
moderate winters, warm summers
Terrain 
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
Geography - note 
landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone

People

Population 
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.)
Nationality 
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
Religions 
Eastern Orthodox 98%, Jewish 1.5%, Baptist and other 0.5% (2000)
Languages 
Moldovan (official, virtually the same as the Romanian language), Russian (official), Gagauz (a Turkish dialect)
Literacy 
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96%
male: 99%
female: 94% (1989 est.)

Government

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 
republic
Capital 
Chisinau
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
Independence 
27 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday 
Independence Day, 27 August (1991)
Constitution 
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
Suffrage 
18 years of age; universal
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

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.
Population below poverty line 
80% (2001 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.)
Industries 
food processing, agricultural machinery, foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, hosiery, sugar, vegetable oil, shoes, textiles
Electricity - production 
3.317 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 90%
hydro: 10%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Agriculture - products 
vegetables, fruits, wine, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco; beef, milk
Exports - commodities 
foodstuffs, textiles, and machinery (2001)
Imports - commodities 
mineral products and fuel 32%, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles (2000)
Currency 
Moldovan leu (MDL)
Currency code 
MDL
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

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)
Radios 
3.22 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
1 (plus 30 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions 
1.26 million (1997)
Internet country code 
.md
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
2 (1999)
Internet users 
15,000 (2000)

Transportation

Railways 
total: 1,328 km
broad gauge: 1,328 km 1.520-m gauge (2001)
Highways 
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)
Waterways 
424 km (1994)
Pipelines 
natural gas 310 km (1992)
Ports and harbors 
none
Airports 
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)

Transnational Issues

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

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