Moldova's natural population growth has been relatively
high for many parts of the postwar period, measured by
European standards. However, it began to decline during the
late 1980s and during the 2010s it has been much like the
rest of Europe.
Countryaah, the population density in Moldova is 104 residents per km
2. In 2019, 43 percent of the residents were city
dwellers, of whom 493,000 live in the capital Chișinău.
Other cities include Băltși (105,000) and Tiraspol
For information on life expectancy and other demographic
statistics, see Country facts.
During the post-war period, the proportion of Russians
grew to 13 percent, while the Romanian-speaking population
in the 1940s and 1950s decreased by forced relocation to
Soviet Central Asia. Descendants of these are still living
in Kazakhstan and the Eastern Russian Federation.
According to the 2014 census, 57 percent of the
population regarded themselves as Moldavans and 23 percent
as Romanians. Most within both groups are made up of
Romanians ethnically, but those who call themselves
Moldavians indicate that they regard Romania and Moldova as
two different nations. Moldova is also populated by
Ukrainians (8 percent), Russians (5 percent), Gagauzer (4
percent) and Bulgarians (2 percent). There are also small
groups of Roma, Jews and Poles. In the disputed
Transnistria, the share of Moldovans after the civil war has
dropped from about 40 to just over 30 percent. The Russians
live to a large extent in the cities.
Many moldavers have, during the last decades, moved to
countries in Western Europe in the hope of better living
The official language is Romanian. However, according to
the 2014 census, half of those who have Romanian as their
mother tongue define their language as Moldavian. Other
major languages are Russian, Ukrainian and Gagauzian.
Most of the population belongs to the Orthodox Church,
with Romanian as the most important church language. Also
the Gagauzic speakers are Orthodox. There are about 30,000
Jews in the country.