Photos of Moldova



A large portion of present day Moldovan territory became a province of the Russian Empire in 1812 and then unified with Romania in 1918 in the aftermath of World War I. This territory was then incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Although Moldova has been independent from the Soviet Union since 1991, Russian forces have remained on Moldovan territory east of the Nistru River in the breakaway region of Transnistria.

Years of Communist Party rule in Moldova from 2001-09 ultimately ended with election-related violent protests and a rerun of parliamentary elections in 2009. A series of pro-Europe ruling coalitions governed Moldova from 2010-19, but pro-Russia Igor DODON won the presidency in 2016 and his Socialist Party of the Republic of Moldova won a plurality in the legislative election in 2019. Pro-EU reformist candidate Maia SANDU defeated DODON in his reelection bid in November 2020 and the Party of Action and Solidarity, which SANDU founded in 2015, won a parliamentary majority in an early legislative election in July 2021. Prime Minister Natalia GAVRILITA and her cabinet took office in August 2021. In February 2023, Moldova's parliament confirmed a new cabinet led by Prime Minister Dorin RECEAN, which retained the majority of the former ministers.


Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Eastern Europe, northeast of Romania

Geographic coordinates

47 00 N, 29 00 E


total: 33,851 sq km

land: 32,891 sq km

water: 960 sq km

comparison ranking: total 139

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Maryland

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 1,885 km

border countries (2): Romania 683 km; Ukraine 1202 km


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)


moderate winters, warm summers


rolling steppe, gradual slope south to Black Sea


highest point: Dealul Balanesti 430 m

lowest point: Dniester (Nistru) 2 m

mean elevation: 139 m

Natural resources

lignite, phosphorites, gypsum, limestone, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 74.9% (2018 est.)

arable land: 55.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 9.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 10.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 11.9% (2018 est.)

other: 13.2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

2,155 sq km (2020)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Dunărea (Danube) (shared with Germany [s], Austria, Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Romania [m]) - 2,888 km; Nistru (Dniester) (shared with Ukraine [s/m]) - 1,411 km note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km)

Population distribution

pockets of agglomeration exist throughout the country, the largest being in the center of the country around the capital of Chisinau, followed by Tiraspol and Balti

Natural hazards


Geography - note

landlocked; well endowed with various sedimentary rocks and minerals including sand, gravel, gypsum, and limestone

People and Society


3,250,532 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 134


noun: Moldovan(s)

adjective: Moldovan

Ethnic groups

Moldovan 75.1%, Romanian 7%, Ukrainian 6.6%, Gagauz 4.6%, Russian 4.1%, Bulgarian 1.9%, other 0.8% (2014 est.)


Moldovan/Romanian 80.2% (official) (56.7% identify their mother tongue as Moldovan, which is virtually the same as Romanian; 23.5% identify Romanian as their mother tongue), Russian 9.7%, Gagauz 4.2% (a Turkish language), Ukrainian 3.9%, Bulgarian 1.5%, Romani 0.3%, other 0.2% (2014 est.); note - data represent mother tongue; as of March 2023, Romanian replaced Moldovan as the name of Moldova's official language

major-language sample(s):
Cartea informativa a lumii, sursa indispensabila pentru informatii de baza. (Moldovan/Romanian)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Moldovan/Romanian audio sample:


Orthodox 90.1%, other Christian 2.6%, other 0.1%, agnostic <0.1%, atheist 0.2%, unspecified 6.9% (2014 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 18.01% (male 301,432/female 284,034)

15-64 years: 66.37% (male 1,087,397/female 1,069,902)

65 years and over: 15.62% (2023 est.) (male 203,889/female 303,878)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 39.6

youth dependency ratio: 29.7

elderly dependency ratio: 20.4

potential support ratio: 4.9 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 37.7 years

male: 36.2 years

female: 39.5 years (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 68

Population growth rate

-1.14% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 232

Birth rate

9.94 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 188

Death rate

12.51 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 12

Net migration rate

-8.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 220

Population distribution

pockets of agglomeration exist throughout the country, the largest being in the center of the country around the capital of Chisinau, followed by Tiraspol and Balti


urban population: 43.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.09% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

488,000 CHISINAU (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female

total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

25.2 years (2019 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

12 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 140

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.38 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.29 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total 123

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.72 years

male: 68.9 years

female: 76.77 years (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total population 155

Total fertility rate

1.59 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 189

Gross reproduction rate

0.77 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.9% of population

rural: 87% of population

total: 92.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.1% of population

rural: 13% of population

total: 7.9% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

6.8% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

3.1 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

5.7 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99% of population

rural: 83.1% of population

total: 89.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 1% of population

rural: 16.9% of population

total: 10.1% of population (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

18.9% (2016)

comparison ranking: 113

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 7.45 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1.53 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 3.57 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 2.25 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.1 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 54

Tobacco use

total: 29% (2020 est.)

male: 51.7% (2020 est.)

female: 6.2% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 35

Education expenditures

6.4% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 33


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.6%

male: 99.7%

female: 99.5% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2021)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 8.6%

male: 5.3%

female: 14.7% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 166


Environment - current issues

heavy use of agricultural chemicals has contaminated soil and groundwater; extensive soil erosion and declining soil fertility from poor farming methods

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol


moderate winters, warm summers

Land use

agricultural land: 74.9% (2018 est.)

arable land: 55.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 9.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 10.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 11.9% (2018 est.)

other: 13.2% (2018 est.)


urban population: 43.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.09% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.26% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 86

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 146

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 15.97 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 5.12 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 3.29 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 3,981,200 tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 609,920 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 15.3% (2015 est.)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Dunărea (Danube) (shared with Germany [s], Austria, Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Romania [m]) - 2,888 km; Nistru (Dniester) (shared with Ukraine [s/m]) - 1,411 km note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: (Black Sea) Danube (795,656 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 160 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 580 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 60 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

12.27 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Moldova

conventional short form: Moldova

local long form: Republica Moldova

local short form: Moldova

former: Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic

etymology: named for the Moldova River in neighboring eastern Romania

Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Chisinau in Romanian (Kishinev in Russian)

geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 28 51 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

etymology: origin unclear but may derive from the archaic Romanian word chisla ("spring" or "water source") and noua ("new") because the original settlement was built at the site of a small spring

note: pronounced KEE-shee-now (KIH-shi-nyov)

Administrative divisions

32 raions (raioane, singular - raion), 3 municipalities (municipii, singular - municipiul), 1 autonomous territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala autonoma), and 1 territorial unit (unitatea teritoriala)

raions: Anenii Noi, Basarabeasca, Briceni, Cahul, Cantemir, Calarasi, Causeni, Cimislia, Criuleni, Donduseni, Drochia, Dubasari, Edinet, Falesti, Floresti, Glodeni, Hincesti, Ialoveni, Leova, Nisporeni, Ocnita, Orhei, Rezina, Riscani, Singerei, Soldanesti, Soroca, Stefan Voda, Straseni, Taraclia, Telenesti, Ungheni

municipalities: Balti, Bender, Chisinau

autonomous territorial unit: Gagauzia

territorial unit: Stinga Nistrului (Transnistria)


27 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday

Independence Day, 27 August (1991)


history: previous 1978; latest adopted 29 July 1994, effective 27 August 1994

amendments: proposed by voter petition (at least 200,000 eligible voters), by at least one third of Parliament members, or by the government; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of Parliament within one year of initial proposal; revisions to constitutional articles on sovereignty, independence, and neutrality require majority vote by referendum; articles on fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2018

Legal system

civil law system with Germanic law influences; Constitutional Court review of legislative acts

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Moldova

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Maia SANDU (since 24 December 2020)

head of government: Prime Minister Dorin RECEAN (since 16 February 2023)

cabinet: Cabinet proposed by the prime minister-designate, nominated by the president, approved through a vote of confidence in Parliament

elections/appointments: president directly elected for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 15 November 2020 (next to be held in fall 2024); prime minister designated by the president upon consultation with Parliament; within 15 days from designation, the prime minister-designate must request a vote of confidence for his/her proposed work program from the Parliament

election results:
Maia SANDU elected president; percent of vote (second round results) - Maia SANDU (PAS) 57.7%, Igor DODON (PSRM) 42.3%

2016: Igor DODON elected president; percent of vote 52.1%, and Maia SANDU 47.9%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Parliament (101 seats; 51 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 50 members directly elected in a single, nationwide constituency by closed party-list proportional representation vote; all members serve 4-year terms

elections: last held on 11 July 2021 (next scheduled in July 2025)

election results:
2021: percent of vote by party - PAS 52.8%, BECS (PSRM+PCRM) 27.1%, SOR 5.7%; seats by party - PAS 63, BECS 32, SOR 6; composition as of April 2023 - men 62, women 39, percent of women 38.6%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the chief judge, 3 deputy-chief judges, 45 judges, and 7 assistant judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president and 6 judges); note - the Constitutional Court is autonomous to the other branches of government; the Court interprets the Constitution and reviews the constitutionality of parliamentary laws and decisions, decrees of the president, and acts of the government

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court of Justice judges appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the Superior Council of Magistracy, an 11-member body of judicial officials; all judges serve 4-year renewable terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed 2 each by Parliament, the president, and the Higher Council of Magistracy for 6-year terms; court president elected by other court judges for a 3-year term

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Court of Business Audit; municipal courts

Political parties and leaders

Party of Action and Solidarity or PAS [Igor GROSU]
Communist Party or PCRM [Vladimir VORONIN]
Socialist Party or PSRM [Igor DODON]
SOR Party [llan SHOR]

International organization participation


note: Moldova is an EU candidate country whose satisfactory completion of accession criteria is required before being granted full EU membership

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Viorel URSU (since 12 December 2022)

chancery: 2101 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 667-1130

FAX: [1] (202) 667-2624

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Kent D. LOGSDON (since 16 February 2022)

embassy: 103 Mateevici Street, Chisinau MD-2009

mailing address: 7080 Chisinau Place, Washington DC  20521-7080

telephone: [373] (22) 408-300

FAX: [373] (22) 233-044

email address and website:

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of Prussian blue (hoist side), chrome yellow, and vermilion red; emblem in center of flag is of a Roman eagle of dark gold (brown) outlined in black with a red beak and talons carrying a yellow cross in its beak and a green olive branch in its right talons and a yellow scepter in its left talons; on its breast is a shield divided horizontally red over blue with a stylized aurochs head, star, rose, and crescent all in black-outlined yellow; based on the color scheme of the flag of Romania - with which Moldova shares a history and culture - but Moldova's blue band is lighter; the reverse of the flag displays a mirrored image of the coat of arms

note: one of only three national flags that differ on their obverse and reverse sides - the others are Paraguay and Saudi Arabia

National symbol(s)

aurochs (a type of wild cattle); national colors: blue, yellow, red

National anthem

name: "Limba noastra" (Our Language)

lyrics/music: Alexei MATEEVICI/Alexandru CRISTEA

note: adopted 1994

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 1 (cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Struve Geodetic Arc


Economic overview

upper middle-income Eastern European economy; sustained growth reversed by COVID-19; significant remittances; Russian energy and regional dependence; agricultural exporter; declining workforce due to emigration and low fertility

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$36.637 billion (2021 est.)
$32.153 billion (2020 est.)
$34.715 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 129

Real GDP growth rate

13.94% (2021 est.)
-7.38% (2020 est.)
3.68% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 10

Real GDP per capita

$14,000 (2021 est.)
$12,200 (2020 est.)
$13,000 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 116

GDP (official exchange rate)

$11.982 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

5.11% (2021 est.)
3.77% (2020 est.)
4.84% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 63

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B3 (2010)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 17.7% (2017 est.)

industry: 20.3% (2017 est.)

services: 62% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: agriculture 56; industry 147; services 108

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 85.8% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 19% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.9% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.4% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 42.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -70.7% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

maize, wheat, sunflower seeds, grapes, apples, sugar beets, milk, potatoes, barley, plums/sloes


sugar processing, vegetable oil, food processing, agricultural machinery; foundry equipment, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines; hosiery, shoes, textiles

Industrial production growth rate

-0.67% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 164

Labor force

810,000 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 152

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 32.3%

industry: 12%

services: 55.7% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate

3.96% (2021 est.)
3.82% (2020 est.)
5.1% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 178

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 8.6%

male: 5.3%

female: 14.7% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 166

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.2%

highest 10%: 22.1% (2014 est.)


revenues: $3.582 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $3.754 billion (2019 est.)

note: National Public Budget

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-0.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 66

Public debt

33.01% of GDP (2020 est.)
24.95% of GDP (2019 est.)
27.02% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 164

Taxes and other revenues

17.41% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 115

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$1.699 billion (2021 est.)
-$886.899 million (2020 est.)
-$1.106 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 148


$4.197 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$3.222 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$3.662 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

comparison ranking: 136

Exports - partners

Romania 27%, Russia 9%, Italy 9%, Germany 9%, Turkey 6%, Poland 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

insulated wiring, wheat, sunflower seeds, rolled iron, wine, corn, seats (2021)


$7.915 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$5.918 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$6.608 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

comparison ranking: 124

Imports - partners

Romania 20%, Russia 10%, Ukraine 9%, Germany 8%, China 7%, Turkey 6%, Italy 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, insulated wiring, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.902 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$3.784 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$3.06 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 111

Debt - external

$7.232 billion (2019 est.)
$7.16 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 124

Exchange rates

Moldovan lei (MDL) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
17.68 (2021 est.)
17.322 (2020 est.)
17.573 (2019 est.)
16.802 (2018 est.)
18.499 (2017 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 594,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 4.591 billion kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 629 million kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 571 million kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 146; consumption 129; exports 129; imports 82; transmission/distribution losses 126

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 93.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 1.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 4.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 133,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 133,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 22,000 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

232 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 107

Refined petroleum products - exports

275 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 116

Refined petroleum products - imports

18,160 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 130

Natural gas

production: 57,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 2.802 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 2.802 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

8.114 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 374,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 2.968 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 4.773 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 112

Energy consumption per capita

40.398 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 105


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1,000,228 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 71

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 3,900,179 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 127 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 133

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: the telecom market has been affected by a combination of high unemployment and economic difficulties which have led to constraints on consumer spending; this has resulted in telecom revenue having fallen steadily in recent years; this decline continued into 2020, with a 6.3% in revenue from the important mobile sector alone, year-on-year; Moldova’s aspirations to join the EU have encouraged the government and regulator to adopt a range of measures to bring the country’s telecoms sector into line with EU principles and standards; in July 2017 the Electronic Communications Act was amended to accommodate the 2009 European regulatory framework, while further amendments were adopted in December 2017 and additional changes were proposed in 2019; Moldova is also part of the Eastern Partnership group of countries, and as such has set in train a glide path to reducing roaming charges, effective between 2022 and 2026; the country’s broadband strategy through to 2025 has been supported by the ITU and industry counterparts from South Korea; the internet market is developing rapidly; the market is highly competitive, with 101 active ISPs as of early 2021; the number of cable broadband subscribers is increasing steadily, though fiber is now by far the strongest sector; by the end of 2020 fiber accounted for about 72.3% of all fixed broadband connections; the mobile market has also grown rapidly; the near comprehensive geographical reach of their mobile networks, market brand recognition and existing customer relationships will make for steady subscriber growth in coming years (2022)

domestic: fixed-line service is 33 per 100; mobile-cellular teledensity is 127 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 373; service through Romania and Russia via landline; satellite earth stations - at least 3 - Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik

Broadcast media

state-owned national radio-TV broadcaster operates 1 TV and 1 radio station; a total of nearly 70 terrestrial TV channels and some 50 radio stations are in operation; Russian and Romanian channels also are available (2019)

Internet users

total: 1.891 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 61% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 135

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 719,001 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 80


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,135,999 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 640,000 (2018) mt-km


7 (2021)

comparison ranking: total 168

Airports - with paved runways


note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


2,026 km gas (2021) (2021)


total: 1,171 km (2014)

standard gauge: 14 km (2014) 1.435-m gauge

broad gauge: 1,157 km (2014) 1.520-m gauge

comparison ranking: total 87


total: 9,352 km (2012)

paved: 8,835 km (2012)

unpaved: 517 km (2012)

comparison ranking: total 136


558 km (2011) (in public use on Danube, Dniester and Prut Rivers)

comparison ranking: 90

Merchant marine

total: 126

by type: bulk carrier 5, container ship 2, general cargo 79, oil tanker 7, other 33 (2022)

comparison ranking: total 79

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Forces of the Republic of Moldova (Forțele Armate ale Republicii Moldova): National Army (comprised of a General Staff, a Land Forces Command, and an Air Force Command); Ministry of Internal Affairs: General Carabinieri Inspectorate (aka Carabinieri Troops or Trupele de Carabinieri) (2023)

note 1: the Carabinieri is a quasi-militarized gendarmerie responsible for protecting public buildings, maintaining public order, and other national security functions

note 2: the national police force reports to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and is the primary law enforcement body, responsible for internal security, public order, traffic, border security, and criminal investigations; the Moldovan Border Police (Poliției de Frontieră) are under the Ministry of Internal Affairs; prior to 2012, Border Police were under the armed forces and known as the Border Troops

Military expenditures

0.4% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2019 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 160

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 6,500 active troops; approximately 2,000 Carabinieri (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory is limited and almost entirely comprised of older Russian and Soviet-era equipment; in recent years, it has received small amounts of donated material from other nations, including the US (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; male registration required at age 16; 12-month service obligation (2023)

note: as of 2019, women made up about 20% of the military's full-time personnel

Military - note

the National Army is responsible for defense against external aggression, suppressing illegal military violence along the state border or inside the country, and supporting other internal security forces in maintaining public order if necessary; its primary focuses are Transnistrian separatist forces and their Russian backers; the 1992 war between Moldovan forces and the Transnistrian separatists backed by Russian troops ended with a cease-fire; the separatists maintain several armed paramilitary combat units, plus other security forces and reserves; Russia maintains approximately 1,500 troops in the breakaway region, including some Transnistrian locals who serve as Russian troops; some troops are under the authority of a peacekeeping force known as a Joint Control Commission that also includes Moldovan and separatist personnel, while the remainder of the Russian contingent (Operational Group of Russian Forces - Transnistria or OGF-T) guard a depot of Soviet-era ammunition and train Transnistrian separatist forces

the National Army is equipped almost entirely with outdated Soviet-era material; following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Moldova announced that the National Army would undergo a process to modernize and professionalize while declaring that it had been largely neglected since its formation in the early 1990s; some Western countries have provided gear and equipment; the National Army is comprised of a Land Force Command and an Air Force Command with a General Staff exercising operational leadership of the force; the Land Force’s combat units include three small motorized infantry brigades and a designated peacekeeping battalion, plus artillery and special forces;  the Air Force does not have any combat aircraft; the Carabinieri Troops under the Ministry of Internal Affairs are organized into three regions with five subordinate military units

Moldova is constitutionally neutral but has maintained a relationship with NATO since 1992; bilateral cooperation started when Moldova joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program in 1994; Moldova has contributed small numbers of troops to NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) since 2014, and a civilian NATO liaison office was established in Moldova in 2017 at the request of the Moldovan Government to promote practical cooperation and facilitate support (2023)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Moldova-Romania: none identified

Moldova-Ukraine: Ukraine and Moldova signed an agreement officially delimiting their border in 1999, but the border has not been demarcated due to Moldova's difficulties with the break-away region of Transnistria; 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 the auspices of an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe-mandated peacekeeping mission comprised of Moldovan, Transnistrian, Russian, and Ukrainian troops

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 116,615 (Ukraine) (as of 10 September 2023)

stateless persons: 1,701 (2022)

Illicit drugs

limited cultivation of opium poppy and cannabis, mostly for CIS consumption; transshipment point for illicit drugs from Southwest Asia via Central Asia to Russia, Western Europe, and possibly the US; widespread crime and underground economic activity