Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Romania’s population fell by 2.6 million people in the past decade as more Romanians left the country and fewer babies were born, the National Statistics Institute said today.
The Balkan nation’s population declined to 19.04 million from 21.68 million in 2002, the preliminary results of a census conducted last year by the statistics institute show. About 53 percent of the country’s population lives in the urban area, while 47 percent in the rural area, the institute said.
Romania, which joined the European Union in 2007, remains the second-poorest country in the 27-state block after neighboring Bulgaria, as its economy dropped a cumulated 8.4 percent in 2009 and 2010 amid the global crisis. The economy probably grew 2.5 percent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
About 1.7 million Romanians live in the capital Bucharest, the census data show, while about 1 million live outside the country.
--Editors: Tim Farrand, Zoe Schneeweiss
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