Sociologie Românească, Vol. V, no. 2/2007, pp. 7-84.




Copiii care ne lipsesc şi viitorul populaţiei României. O perspectivă din anul 2007 asupra populaţiei României în secolul XXI

Children that Miss and the Future of Romanian Population. A 2007 Perspective on the Romanian Population in the XXI'st Century


Vasile Gheţău*

*University of Bucharest


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Abstract: The year 2006 was the 17th year of population decline in Romania due both to natural negative increase and external net migration. For the entire period 1990-2005 the estimated population loss approaches 1.5 million inhabitants. But it is highly probable that the decline is even higher, if we take into consideration the real explosion of labor migration after 2001 and some migrants’ tendency to establish permanent residence in their respective host countries. Only the next population census will give us a more accurate view of the magnitude of population decrease. One cannot argumentatively state that the population decline after 1989 has had, in itself, significant and visible bad consequences. In a society facing deep and painful economic and social change, with very limited resources for covering essential social needs (education, healthcare, public social security), a declining population diminishes the pressure on these resources and facilitates a higher effectiveness of their utilization or the re-allocation of some of them towards other societal needs. The economic benefits of the population decline are, however, temporary when the decrease originates, essentially, in the fall in birth rate and the preservation of its low level. The entire mechanism can be found in the deterioration of the age structure and its hall-mark on future levels of birth rate and the speed of population ageing.