Here in Chisinau, I’ve met plenty of Romanian-speaking Moldovans who truly believe that Romania is some kind of paradise. Romanians, too, are largely glib about the problems that their country is facing.
Time for some real talk.
Below are 11 charts all compiled from the official European Union statistics agency (EUROSTAT) and one from ING Bank.
Spending on Restaurants and Hotels
Romania is dead last at just 3.1% of household expenditure on restaurants and/or hotels.
Superficially, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it does suggest that most people are too poor to even think about eating a meal in town or spending the night in a hotel.
Less than 1 in 5 self-employed Romanians are highly satisfied with their current job.
Nearly two-thirds of young adult Romanians live in overcrowded homes.
Note: I reached out to EUROSTAT to make sure that this wasn’t due to people’s “official” addresses being different than their actual current address. They confirmed that the results in this chart were due to surveys, not an analysis of official residency data.
Spending on Health Care
Romania is dead last in health care spending as a percentage of GDP. Just five percent of the budget in Romania goes towards health care.
Romania spends just 400 euros per person on health care. And all the good doctors are long gone to greener pastures.
Buying a Car
Nearly one-third of Romanians are too poor to be able to buy a personal vehicle, even a used one.
Nearly half of all children in Romania are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
Nearly one-third of all homes in Romania have no indoor plumbing.
Hostile to Foreigners
I probably get one email a week from foreigners in Romania being hassled by the immigration cops.
Romania has the highest rate of inflation in the EU. And don’t forget that prices for many things are about to go way up thanks to new taxes on gasoline and electricity.
Also, inflation is predicted to rise to 4.2% in January.
Credit Card Debt
Over one-quarter of all Romanians owe money to credit card companies/banks.
It’s time to wake up now, Romania!