The Evolution and Territorial Distribution of Rural Population in Romania at the Beginning of the 21st Century
Abstract: As a territorial and socio-economic formation, the village represents the concrete expression of territorial permanence and continuity, directly relating to the genetic and dynamic factors of settlement phases and humanisation of the geographical space. Under the present conditions, a number of manifest phenomena are triggered by the decrease in birth-rates, internal and external migration, all of which affect the process of population ageing throughout the country. In the 20 years elapsed since the downfall of the communist regime in 1989, the population of Romania dropped by nearly 1,713,000 inhabitants, 1,195,000 of them in the countryside alone. The demographic decline continued over the 2000-2009 period as well, at higher rates in the rural (-49 ‰) than in the urban (-37‰) areas. Solving the numerous issues connected with the rural population component calls for strategic, time-stable optimal approaches.