Romania's urbanisation was slow in coming: it remained largely a rural country until well after WWII when nearly three-quarters of its population lived in villages. Modernisation, industrialisation and Ceau§escu's attempts to urbanise and centralise Romania saw the urban population rise from 23.4% in 1948 to 55% today, still low by European standards. Moldova's figure of 41% makes it the second-least urbanised country In Europe. Romania's overall population is decreasing by 0.21% a year, while Moldova's is increasing at a snail-paced 0.09%.

Romanians make up 89% of their population; Hungarians are the next largest ethnic group (6.6%), followed by Roma (2.5%), Ukrainian and German (each 0.3%). Russians and Turks each take up but 0.2%. Germans and Hungarians live almost exclusively in Transylvania, while Ukrainian and Russians live mainly near the Danube Delta, and Turks are found along the Black Sea Coast.

Moldovans comprise but 64.5% of their population, followed by Ukrainians (13.8%), Russians (13%), Gagauz (4.5%), Bulgarian (2%), and Jewish (1.5%).

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