Romania (Romanian: România Listeni[romɨˈni.a]) is a sovereign state located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe.
It borders the Black Sea to south-east, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to south-west, and Moldova to the east. It has a predominantly temperate-continental climate.
With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres (92,046 sq mi), Romania is the 12th largest country and also the 7th most populous member state of the European Union having almost 20 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest and other major urban areas include Iași, Timișoara, Cluj-Napoca and Constanța.
The River Danube, Europe’s second-longest river, rises in Germany’s Black Forest and flows in a general southeast direction for 2,857 km (1,775 mi), coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romania’s Danube Delta.
The Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest, include Moldoveanu Peak, at an altitude of 2,544 m (8,346 ft).
Modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. The new state, officially named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877.
At the end of World War I, Transylvania, Banat, Bukovina, and Bessarabia united with the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. During World War II, Romania was an Axis power and, consequently, an ally of Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union, fighting side by side with the Wehrmacht until 1944, when it joined the Allies and faced occupation by the Red Army’s forces.
Throughout wartime Romania had lost several territories, of which only Northern Transylvania was regained after the war. Following the war, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact.
After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition towards democracy and a capitalist market economy.
Romania is a developing country and ranks 50th in the Human Development Index. It has the world’s 47th largest economy by nominal GDP and an annual economic growth rate of 7% (2017), the highest in the EU at the time.
Despite this, the country struggles with a high poverty rate. Following rapid economic growth in the early 2000s, Romania has an economy predominantly based on services, and is a producer and net exporter of machines and electric energy, featuring companies like Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom. It has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, part of NATO since 2004, and part of the European Union since 2007.
An overwhelming majority of the population identifies themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians and are native speakers of Romanian, a Romance language.