Key results of the 2014 Population and Housing Census

Key results of the 2014 Population and Housing Census


The Population and Housing Census (2014 RPL), which took place from 12 to 25 May of 2014, covered the persons with usual residence status (persons living in the Republic of Moldova for longer than 12 months, regardless of their citizenship) and persons absent abroad for longer than 12 months. A total of 2,804,801 persons were enumerated, 209 thousand of which were non-residents (7.5%), while 2,595,771 were persons with their usual residence in the Republic of Moldova.

Not all the population of Chisinau city was covered by the census – only 59%1. The population covered by the census countrywide accounted for 91%. According to estimates, 193,434 persons were not enumerated in the census, and the total number of estimated population would be 2,998,235, including 2,789,205 persons with their usual residence in Moldova. Unlike the 2004 PC, the 2014 data will be broken down into two totals of the population – persons with usual residence and persons staying abroad for more than 12 months.

Table 1. Population covered by the 2004 and 2014 censuses




Total population













City of Chisinau




The counties and municipalities, the population of which exceeds 100 thousand, are the same as in 2004, and namely – Chisinau and Balti municipalities, Gagauzia ATU and Cahul, Hincesti, Orhei and Ungheni counties. The number of counties with a population under 50 thousand increased, and  in 2014 there were 9 such counties, while in 2004 – 6.  The county with the smallest population continues to be Basarabeasca. In 2014, most towns – 18, to be more specific, had their population between 10 and 20 thousand, while in 2004 there were 22 such towns. 
Out of the total population that participated in the census in 2014, 33.7 thousand were registered as living in collective dwellings, compared with 26.5 thousand in 2004.


The female population continues to be predominant in the population structure. The decrease in population, compared with the previous census, affected both sexes equally, but the structure by gender stayed almost the same for both censuses: 48.2% men and 51.8% women. As many as 1,452,702 of the registered persons were women at the 2014 RPL, exceeding the number of men by 100 thousand. Countrywide, the sex ratio is the same as in 2004, for every 100 females there are 93 males. However, from a territorial perspective, this indicator varied from 85 men for every 100 women in Balti to 101 men in Cantemir district, were the number of males is higher.

The population structure by age groups of interest from economic perspective, underwent changes in all three categories. The share of persons under the age of 16 represented 18.4% of the total population, having decreased by 2.7 p.p, compared with 2004. The working age population (men – 16-61 years old, women – 16-56 years old) represented 63.1% of the total population, meaning that it decreased by 1.0 pp, compared with 2004. The population above working age increased by 3.7 p.p, representing 18.5% of the population (see Figure 1).

On the other hand, the analysis of the 0-14, 15-59 and 60+ age groups showed that the demographic population ageing is becoming more and more noticeable in Moldova. First, the number of young people under 15 years old decreased alongside the increase in the older population (60+). In 2004, these population categories represented 19.1% and 14.3%, respectively, of the total population, while in 2014 – 17.2% and 17.4%. 
This trend was confirmed by the increase by 2.3 years in the average age of the population (37.6 years), the average age of women being 39.2 years, while of men – 35.8 years. In 2004, the average age of the population was 35.3 years, women’s – 36.8, while men’s – 33.6.


The 2014 RPL collected, upon people’s will and freedom of expression, information about ethnicity, mother tongue, usually spoken language and religion. Thus, the information on the ethnicity is available for 2,754.7 thousand people  (98.2% of the population covered by the census). A share of 75.1% of Moldova’s population stated they were Moldovans, 7.0% – Romanians, 6.6% – Ukrainians, 4.6% – Gagauz, 4.1% – Russians, 1.9% – Bulgarians, 0.3% – Roma, while the other ethnicities represented 0.5% out of the total population. Compared with 2004, the share of people who identified themselves as Moldovans decreased by 1.0 p.p, while the share of people who declared themselves Romanians increased by 4.8 p.p. Over the last 10 years, the share of Russian and of Ukrainian ethnicities decreased by 1.9 p.p and by 1.8 p.p, respectively, while the share of Bulgarian, Gagauz and Roma ethnicities did not change significantly (see Figure 2).

We note that Moldovans, Romanians, Ukrainians, and Gagauz people live mostly in rural area, whereas Russians – in cities. The ethnic groups accounting for more than one thousand people are: Belarusians, Jews, Poles, and Armenians with 2.8 thousand, 1.6 thousand, 1.4 thousand and 1.0 thousand people, respectively.

Figure 2. Ethnic Structure of the Population

In territorial profile, the population distribution by ethnicity shows the majority of the population from country’s counties/municipalities are Moldovans, and in 16  counties the share of Moldovans is higher than 85%, except for Taraclia county where the number of Bulgarians is higher (66.1%) and for ATU Gagauzia with 83.8% Gagauz people. Most of Ukrainians and Russians live in Chisinau and Balti municipality, thus the share of Russians is 37.7% and 13.6%, and of Ukrainians – 14.9% in Chisinau, and 9.6% in Balti municipality respectively.

According to the declaration of those 2,723.3 thousand people who indicated their mother tongue (97.1% of all people covered by the census), one in two persons (56.7%) stated Moldovan as their mother tongue, while 23.5% consider Romanian their mother tongue. A share of 9.7% consider Russian language their mother tongue, while 4.2% – Gagauzian, 3.9% – Ukrainian and 1.5% – Bulgarian.

Also, compared with 2014, the share of persons who declared Romanian as their mother tongue increased by 6.9 p.p, while the share of persons who declared Moldovan as their mother tongue decreased by 3.5 p.p. A decrease by 1.6 p.p was noticed in the share of persons whose mother tongues were Russian and Ukrainian.

The 2014 census also provided information about the language people usually speak. Out of the total number of people living in the country who declared the language  usually spoken (2,720.3 thousand), 54.6% said they usually speak Moldovan, 24.0% – Romanian, 14.5% – Russian, 2.7% – Ukrainian, 2.7% – Gagauz language, and 1.0% usually speak Bulgarian. A share of 0.5% of the population usually speaks other languages than the above-mentioned ones. Other 3.0% of the population did not mention the language they usually speak.

Although the majority of Ukrainians, Bulgarians and Gagauz people declared the language of their nationality as their mother tongue, every second Ukrainian, Bulgarian and Gagauz usually speaks Russian. Moldovans who usually speak Russian account for 5.7%.


A share of 99.5% (2.609 thousand persons) of those covered by the census are citizens of the Republic of Moldova, of which 6.5% (180.7 thousand persons) declared they hold the citizenship of another state as well. Other 0.5% are citizens of another state, and 0.02% are people without citizenship. A percentage of 97.4% of people with dual citizenship declared the country of the second citizenship, of which 84.4% hold Romanian citizenship, 6.0% – Russian, 2.4% – Bulgarian, 1.5% – Italian and Ukrainian each respectively.


Out of the total number of people who declared what was their religion (2,611.8 thousand), 96.8% consider themselves Christian Orthodox, by 1.3 p.p. more than in 2004. As for other religions, there are Baptists (Evangelical Christian Baptists) – 1.0%, Jehovah's Witnesses – 0.7%, Pentecostal Christians – 0.4%, the Seven-day Adventists – 0.3%, the Catholics represents 0.1%, while 0,5% indicated a different confession than those mentioned above. The share of persons who identified themselves as atheists and non-religious (agnostics) was of 0.2%, by 1.2 p.p. more than in 2004.
193 thousand persons did not declare their religion, which accounted for 6.9% of country’s population.


The results of 2014 RPL show a positive trend in the evolution of education level and of the literacy level of people aged 15 and above.

The number of persons with a minimum education level – ‘incomplete secondary education’ represents 91.1% of persons aged 15 and above, compared with 86.6% in 2004. A share of 7.6% of population had primary education, and 1.3% had no primary education, compared with 10.1% and 3.3%, respectively, in 2004. Women registered performance in higher education and vocational training level, exceeding the share of men with the same education by 6.2 p.p.

The education gap between rural and urban population persists. In the urban area, persons with higher and vocational training accounted for 51.3% of the total number of persons aged 15 and above, while in the rural area 22.9% had such education level.

The increase in the general education level of the population resulted in a reduction of illiterate people. Thus, the illiteracy in the country was practically eradicated, and the share of illiterate people decreased from 1.1% in 2004 down to 0.5% in 2014.


The number of households registered in the 2014 RPL was of 959 thousand. The average household size  is decreasing and represents 2.9 persons, compared with 3.0 persons in 2004 RPL. Similar trends are typical by resindence area: urban household is composed  on average, of 2.7 persons, compared with 2.8 persons in 2004, while a rural household is composed on average by  3.0 persons, compared with 3.1 persons in 2004.

In territorial profile, household size varies between 2.4 and 3.4 persons. Out of the total number, in 20 counties, the household size exceeds the national average. Ialoveni (3.4), UTA Gagauzia (3.3), Cantemir (3.3), Dubasari (3.3), Taraclia (3.2), Straseni (3.2), Cahul (3.1), Criuleni (3.1), Anenii-Noi (3.1) etc. are in the top of the list (see Figure 2). The northern districts are mainly below the national average: Donduseni (2.4), Ocnita (2.5), Briceni (2.6), Soroca (2.6), Floresti (2.6), Edinet (2.6). Drochia (2.6), etc.

The households consist up to 2 persons prevail in the structure of households, their share accounting for 23.9% compared with 22.8%. However, the number of households with one person is increasing and accounts for 22.6% compared with 20.3%, and there was a decrease of households with 4 and more persons – 33.8% compared with 35.7% in 2004. Every second household from the urban area is made up of 1-2 persons, and one in five – from 2-3 persons. The same trend continues to be observed in rural areas. About 39% of households are made up of 3-4 persons, but the number of households made up of one person tends to increase while those made up of 5 and more persons are decreasing (17.4% compared with 18.8%). Out of the total number of single households, 64% are single women. The average age of single persons is 62.3 years, in urban area – 58.2 years and in rural area – 63.6 years.

according to 2014 data there was a significant decrease of households with children under 18 years oldOut of total number of households, 38% have children – by 7 p.p. less than in 2004. In the structure of households with children, households with one child prevail (53.8%), followed by households with two children – 35.6%. The number of households with 3 and more children is decreasing, their share accounting for 10.6% compared with 11.5% in 2004 (see Figure 4). The average size of a household with children under 18 was of 4.2 persons, and the average number of children under 18 in a household was – 1.6, in urban area – 1.4, and 1.7 – in rural area.


The living conditions are an important indicator of population’s well-being in the country because it address people’s biological, psychological, social and family needs. 2014 RPL included data on the main characteristics regarding the living conditions of population.

According to the 2014 RPL, out of the 959.2 thousand registered households, 957.7 thousand (99.8%) were living in individual houses, row houses or apartments. The households living in collective dwellings or in buildings that are not intended for living accounted for 0.2% of all the households. Taking into account the number of population, 79.2% of population was living in conventional dwellings (without the persons living in collective dwellings) r individual or row houses, and 20.8% – in apartments (including family hostels).

A3.5% of the total number of households or 3.2% of the population were living in rented dwellings – by 1.1 p.p. more than in 2004. The share of such households in the urban area accounted for 7.1%, in the rural area – for 1.5%, stating an increase compared with 2004 by 2.8 and 0.3 p.p., respectively. However, 2.1% of the total number of households were living for free in relatives’ dwellings .

In 2014, 949.5 thousand households were living in private dwellings –  i.e. 99.0% of the total number and only about 7 thousand, i.e. 0.7%, were living in state-owned dwellings (municipal). A number of 2.8 thousand households or 0.3% of the total number were living in dwellings owned by religious cults. The share of households living in private dwellings increased by 2.8 p.p. compared with the 2004 census, by 6.3 p.p. in urban areas, and by 0.5 in rural areas.
The degree of dwellings facilities with the basic utilities shows the level of comfort of the housing stock. A share of 48.3% of the total population were living in dwellings with bath/shower (either inside the house – 45.1% or outside – 3.3%), recording an increase by 21 p.p. compared with 2004. A share of 37.3% persons lived in dwellings  with flush WC (either inside the house – 34.7% or outside – 2.6%). In the urban area the share of dwellings with bath/shower was 2.8 times higher than in the rural area, and the number of dwellings with flush toilets – 4.7 times higher.

A share of 74.1% of the population had access to cold water supply, 37.5% – to hot water supply, and 55.3% – to sewage system. Every third person had central or private heating in the house. A share of 69.1% of population had stoves in the house.

0.7% of households were equipped with system producing renewable energy/fuel (6.6 thousand households), and 3.0% were equipped with air conditioning. In 2014, the majority of the occupied dwellings (99.6%) had electricity. A share of 80.7% had landline telephone, and 25% – radio. The majority of households had TV sets (91.5%), computers and access to Internet connection, had 4 out of 10 house holds.


1 According to the post-census survey conducted by the NBS from 16 to 29 June 2014 by applying the UNSD-recommended methodology, Post Enumerations Surveys – Operational guidelines,UN, 2010

For more information, please contact us, 
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