President: Nicolae Timofti (2012)
Prime Minister: Gheorghe Brega (2015, acting)
Land area: 12,885 sq mi (33,371 sq km); total area: 13,067 sq mi (33,843 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 3,538,288 (growth rate: –1.02%); birth rate: 12.21/1000; infant mortality rate: 12.93/1000; life expectancy: 70.12
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Chisinau, 677,000
Monetary unit: Leu
National name: Republica Moldova
Languages: Moldovan 58.8% (official; virtually the same as the Romanian language), Romanian 16.4%, Russian 16%, Ukrainian 3.8%, Gagauz 3.1% (a Turkish language), Bulgarian 1.1%, other 0.3%, unspecified 0.4% note: percentages represent lanugage usually spoken (2004 est.)
Ethnicity/race: Moldovan 75.8%, Ukrainian 8.4%, Russian 5.9%, Gagauz 4.4%, Romanian 2.2%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 1%, unspecified 0.4% note: internal disputes with ethnic Slavs in the Transnistrian region (2004 est.)
Religions: Orthodox 93.3%, Baptist 1%, other Christian 1.2%, other 0.9%, atheist 0.4%, none 1%, unspecified 2.2% (2004 est.)
National Holiday: Independence Day, August 27
Literacy rate: 99% (2011 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $13.25 billion; per capita $3,800. Real growth rate: 8.9%. Inflation: 4.6%. Unemployment: 5.8%. Arable land: 53.47%. Agriculture: vegetables, fruits, wine,grapes, grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, tobacco; beef, milk. Labor force: 1.206 million; agriculture 26.4%, industry 13.2%, services 60.4% (2012). Industries: sugar, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles. Natural resources: lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, arable land, limestone. Exports: $2.399 billion (2012 est.): foodstuffs, textiles, machinery. Imports: $5.493 billion (2013 est.): mineral products and fuel, machinery and equipment, chemicals, textiles. Major trading partners: Russia, Italy, Romania, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Belarus, China, UK (2011).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 1.206 million (2012); mobile cellular: 4.08 million (2012). Broadcast media: state-owned national radio-TV broadcaster operates 2 TV and 2 radio stations; a total of nearly 40 terrestrial TV channels and some 50 radio stations are in operation; Russian and Romanian channels also are available (2007). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 711,564 (2012). Internet users: 1.333 million (2009).
Transportation: Railways: total: 1,190 km (2010). Highways: total: 9,343 km; paved: 8,810 km; unpaved: 533 km (2008). Waterways: 558 km (2011). Ports and harbors: none. Airports: 7 (2013).
International disputes: Moldova and Ukraine operate joint customs posts to monitor the transit of people and commodities through Moldova's break-away Transnistria region, which remains under Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe-mandated peacekeeping mission comprised of Moldovan, Transnistrian, Russian, and Ukrainian troops.
Moldova (formerly Moldavia) is a landlocked republic of hilly plains lying east of the Carpathian Mountains between the Prut and Dniester (Dnestr) rivers. The country is sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine. The region is very fertile, with rich black soil (chernozem) covering three-quarters of the territory.
Most of what is now Moldova was the independent principality of Moldavia in the 14th century. In the 16th century, it came under Ottoman Turkish rule. Russia acquired Moldavian territory in 1791, and more in 1812 when Turkey gave up the province of Bessarabia—the area between the Prut and Dniester rivers—to Russia in the Treaty of Bucharest. Turkey held the rest of Moldavia but it was passed to Romania in 1918. Russia did not recognize the cession of this territory.
In 1924, the USSR established Moldavia as an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. As a result of the Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact of 1939, Romania was forced to cede all of Bessarabia to the Soviet Union in 1940. The Soviets merged the Moldavia ASSR with the Romanian-speaking districts of Bessarabia to form the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. During World War II, Romania joined Germany in the attack on the Soviet Union and reconquered Bessarabia. But Soviet troops retook the territory in 1944 and reestablished the Moldavian SSR.
For many years, Romania and the USSR disputed each other's territorial claims over Bessarabia. Following the aborted coup against Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, Moldavia proclaimed its independence in Sept. 1991 and changed its name to the Romanian spelling, Moldova.