Photos of Moldova

The impact of a 2007 drought on plants in Moldova and parts of Ukraine and Romania is illustrated by a pair of images (this and the next). The photos are vegetation anomaly images that indicate how quickly plants were taking in light and growing. Areas that are green are regions where plants were larger and leafier (leading to more photosynthesis) than they were on average from 2000 through 2006. Brown areas show where plants were smaller or less leafy than average, in this case as a result of drought. Gray areas indicate where clouds blocked the ground from view throughout the observation period, and blue is water. The above satellite image is a compilation of daily data collected between 28 July 28 and 12 August 2007, when the impact of the drought was at its greatest. Summer crops, such as corn and sunflowers, were in a critical stage of development, during which water was essential. The deep brown tone that covers all of Moldova reveals that the hot, dry weather devastated plants. The following image, from 29 August through 13 September, reveals just how much conditions can change in a single month. Some of what had been brown is brushed with green where plants responded to rainfall. Helpful though the precipitation evidently was to those plants that were still growing, it arrived too late to improve crop conditions in general. Photos courtesy of NASA.



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 to 2009 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 to 2019, but pro-Russia candidate 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 2020, and SANDU's Party of Action and Solidarity won a parliamentary majority in an early legislative election in 2021. Prime Minister Natalia GAVRILITA and her cabinet took office in 2021. In early 2023, Moldova's parliament confirmed a new cabinet led by Prime Minister Dorin RECEAN, which retained the majority of the former ministers.


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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, 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


total: 3,599,528

male: 1,698,249

female: 1,901,279 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 131; male 134; total 132


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: 14.8% (male 266,493/female 266,166)

15-64 years: 70.2% (male 1,225,535/female 1,300,640)

65 years and over: 15% (2024 est.) (male 206,221/female 334,473)

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: 39.9 years (2024 est.)

male: 38.6 years

female: 41.3 years

comparison ranking: total 63

Population growth rate

-0.58% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 224

Birth rate

8.4 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 208

Death rate

14.2 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 8

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 81

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: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female

total population: 0.89 male(s)/female (2024 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: 13.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 16 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 11.5 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 102

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 70.1 years (2024 est.)

male: 66.1 years

female: 74.4 years

comparison ranking: total population 179

Total fertility rate

1.26 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 221

Gross reproduction rate

0.61 (2024 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)

Physician 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)


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: 12.37 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 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, 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 in second round; percent of vote in second round - Maia SANDU (PAS) 57.7%, Igor DODON (PSRM) 42.3%

2016: Igor DODON elected president in second round; percent of vote - Igor DODON (PSRM) 52.1%, Maia SANDU (PAS) 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 to be held in July 2025)

election results: percent of vote by party - PAS 52.8%, BECS 27.1%, SOR 5.7%, other 14.4%; seats by party - PAS 63, BECS 32, SOR 6; composition - men 58, women 40, percent of women 40.8%

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

Bloc of Communists and Socialists or BECS (coalition includes PCRM and PSRM)
Communist Party or PCRM [Vladimir VORONIN]
Party of Action and Solidarity or PAS [Igor GROSU]
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)

$33.789 billion (2022 est.)
$35.573 billion (2021 est.)
$31.223 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 135

Real GDP growth rate

-5.02% (2022 est.)
13.93% (2021 est.)
-8.28% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 209

Real GDP per capita

$13,300 (2022 est.)
$13,700 (2021 est.)
$11,800 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 122

GDP (official exchange rate)

$14.508 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

28.74% (2022 est.)
5.11% (2021 est.)
3.77% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 209

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: services 108; industry 147; agriculture 56

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

wheat, maize, sunflower seeds, grapes, sugar beets, apples, milk, potatoes, barley, plums (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


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

Industrial production growth rate

-10.43% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 211

Labor force

1.486 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 135

Unemployment rate

0.91% (2022 est.)
0.79% (2021 est.)
1.21% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 6

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 8.6% (2021 est.)

male: 5.3%

female: 14.7%

comparison ranking: total 166

Population below poverty line

31.1% (2022 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

25.7 (2021 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 172

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.3%

highest 10%: 22.1% (2021 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


14.04% of GDP (2022 est.)
15.48% of GDP (2021 est.)
16.27% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


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

34.52% of GDP (2022 est.)
32.12% of GDP (2021 est.)
33.96% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: central government debt as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 156

Taxes and other revenues

18.94% (of GDP) (2022 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 96

Current account balance

-$2.482 billion (2022 est.)
-$1.699 billion (2021 est.)
-$886.72 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 154


$5.981 billion (2022 est.)
$4.197 billion (2021 est.)
$3.222 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 132

Exports - partners

Romania 27%, Ukraine 15%, Italy 7%, Turkey 6%, Germany 5% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, insulated wire, garments, seed oils, corn (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$10.265 billion (2022 est.)
$7.915 billion (2021 est.)
$5.918 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 118

Imports - partners

Romania 23%, Russia 11%, Ukraine 10%, China 8%, Turkey 7% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, natural gas, cars, plastic products, insulated wire (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$4.474 billion (2022 est.)
$3.902 billion (2021 est.)
$3.784 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 114

Debt - external

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

comparison ranking: 123

Exchange rates

Moldovan lei (MDL) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
18.897 (2022 est.)
17.68 (2021 est.)
17.322 (2020 est.)
17.573 (2019 est.)
16.802 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2022 est.)


installed generating capacity: 625,000 kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 5.579 billion kWh (2022 est.)

exports: 94 million kWh (2022 est.)

imports: 936 million kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 576.529 million kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 83; imports 78; exports 88; consumption 129; installed generating capacity 147

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 90.8% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 0.6% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

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

hydroelectricity: 5.5% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.5% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)


consumption: 120,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

imports: 121,000 metric tons (2022 est.)


refined petroleum consumption: 22,000 bbl/day (2022 est.)

Natural gas

production: 10,000 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 2.344 billion cubic meters (2022 est.)

imports: 2.344 billion cubic meters (2022 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

7.319 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 293,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 3.035 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 3.991 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 121

Energy consumption per capita

34.021 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 108


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 951,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 29 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 71

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 4.17 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 127 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 134

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; 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 glidepath 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 Korea; the internet market is developing rapidly, and though the penetration rate is well below the average for most European countries there are many opportunities for further development; 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, and the sector accounts for the majority of total telecoms revenue; the launch of LTE services has opened up a new revenue growth opportunity centered on mobile broadband; 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


domestic: fixed-line service is 29 per 100; mobile cellular tele density is 127 per 100 persons (2022)

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


11 (2024)

comparison ranking: 155


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: 9,488 km (2022)

comparison ranking: total 138


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

comparison ranking: 91

Merchant marine

total: 75 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 1, container ship 1, general cargo 44, oil tanker 7, other 22

comparison ranking: total 102

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) (2024)

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

0.5% of GDP (2023 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.4% of GDP (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 160

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 6,500 active-duty 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 donated equipment from other nations, including the US (2024)

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 (2024)

note: as of 2021, 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

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 116,855 (Ukraine) (as of 7 April 2024)

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