About 10.5% of Romania's population is represented by minorities (the rest of 89.5% being Romanians). The principal minorities in Romania are Hungarians (Szeklers and Magyars; see Hungarians in Romania) (especially in Harghita, Covasna and Mureș counties) and Romani people, with a declining German population (in Timiș, Sibiu, Brașov) and smaller numbers of Poles in Bucovina (Austria-Hungary attracted Polish miners, who settled there from the Kraków region in Poland in the 19th century), Serbs, Croats, Slovaks and Banat Bulgarians (in Banat), Ukrainians (in Maramureș and Bukovina), Greeks (Brăila, Constanța), Jews (Wallachia, Bucharest), Turks and Tatars (in Constanța), Armenians, Russians (Lippovans, in Tulcea) and others.
Minority populations are greatest in Transylvania and the Banat, areas in the north and west, which were possessions of Hungary (since 1867 as part of Austria-Hungary) until World War I. Before World War II, minorities represented more than 28% of the total population. During the war that percentage was halved, largely by the loss of the border areas of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina (to the former Soviet Union, now Moldova and Ukraine), Black Sea islands (to the former Soviet Union, now Ukraine) and southern Dobrudja (to Bulgaria), as well as by the postwar flight or deportation of ethnic Germans.
In the Romanian election law, government-recognized ethnic minorities in Romania are subject to a significantly lower threshold and have consequently won seats in the Chamber of Deputies since the fall of the Nicolae Ceauşescu regime. This is a list with all ethnic groups from Romania with more than 1,000 persons:
|Minority||Population (2002)||Percentage of the
total population (2002)
|Population (2011)||Percentage of the
total population (2011)
|Hungarians (incl. Szeklers)||1,431,807||6.60%||1,227,623||6.10%||Mainly Transylvania, but also Bucharest|
|Ukrainians||61,091||0.28%||50,920||0.25%||Maramureș, Timiș, Suceava|
|Germans||59,764||0.28%||36,042||0.17%||Timiș, Sibiu, Satu Mare, Caraș Severin, Brașov, Mureș, Maramureș, Hunedoara, Alba, Bihor, Suceava, Bistrița-Năsăud|
|Russians (incl. Lipovans)||35,791||0.17%||23,487||0.11%||Tulcea|
|Serbs||22,518||0.10%||18,076||0.08%||Timiș, Arad, Caraș-Severin, Mehedinți|
|Slovaks||17,199||0.08%||13,654||0.06%||Sălaj, Arad, Bihor, Suceava|
|Croats (incl. Krašovani)||6,786||0.03%||5,408||0.03%||Caraș-Severin|
|Italians||3,288||0.02%||3,203||0.02%||Bucharest, Constanța, Timiș|
Most ethnic Hungarians live in what is today known as Transylvania (where they make up about 16.79% of the population), an area that includes the historic regions of Banat, Crișana, and Maramureș. They form a large majority of the population only in Harghita and Covasna counties and a large percentage in the Mureș county.