Population with habitual residence by territorial profile at the beginning of 2014-2022

Population with habitual residence by territorial profile at the beginning of 2014-20221, 2

The National Bureau of Statistics presents statistical data on the number of population with habitual residence by territorial profile (by districts), by characteristics such as age, sex or area of residence, for the period 2014-2021.

Since the beginning of 2014, the population of the Republic of Moldova with habitual residence3 has been continuously decreasing, reaching 2603,8 thousand inhabitants at the beginning of 2022, of whom 1102,5 thousand people (42,3%) make up the urban population and 1501,3 thousand (57,7%) people – the rural population (Figure 1).

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Over 2014-2021 alone, the depopulation of the country amounted to -265,5 thousand people (-9,3%). The population decrease was more pronounced in the rural area – by 13,3% less than in 2014, and only by 3% less for the urban area.

The factors that cause the population to decrease or increase are natural population growth4 and external migration (Figure 2).

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During 2014-2019, the natural growth of the urban population remained positive, but since 2020 it has decreased year by year. At the same time, a natural decline of the population was noted in the rural area for the entire analysed period.

The negative balance of international migration reflects the size and demographic changes. In the years analysed, there was a considerable increase in negative net migration in the rural area, from 7,7 thousand people in 2014 to 22,5 thousand people in 2019, with the maximum value recorded in 2017, reaching a negative net migration of 29,7 thousand people.

Thus, in the last two years, the trend of the country's population evolution has changed radically, with the population decline primarily influenced by the negative natural population growth. The same is true for both urban and rural populations.

Chart data in .xlsx format

Chart data in .xlsx format

The change in population numbers by territorial profile is uneven.

In 2022 compared to 2014, the population with habitual residence by territorial profile has decreased by more than 9,0%. A moderate increase in the number of inhabitants was recorded only in Chisinau municipality – by 1,5 thousand people (0,2%) more in 2022 compared to 2014.

The depopulation trends (by different demographic characteristics) are characteristic for all level-two administrative-territorial units. The largest losses in population size were recorded in the following districts: Cimișlia (-22%), Cantemir (-20%), Călăraşi, Teleneşti, Hînceşti (-19% each), Briceni and Nisporeni (about -18% each).

The demographic processes during 2014-2021, influenced to a lesser extent the population decrease, namely by 2,9% in Balti municipality and by 1,1% in ATU Gagauzia.

The age structure of the country's population as at 1 January 2022, by major age groups, comprises 19.3 per cent of people under the working age (0-15 years), 59.3 per cent of people of working age (16-58 years for women and 16-62 years for men) and 21,5 per cent of people over the working age (59/63 years) (Figure 5).

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According to Figure 5, the distribution of the population by region and selected age groups is almost uniform. In this respect, the municipality of Chisinau stands out, where the share of working-age elderly people is the highest and the share of elderly people is the lowest compared to the other development regions.

In Chisinau municipality alone, the share of the young population (0-15 years) increased by 3,4 percentage points at the beginning of 2022 compared to 2014.

The Center Region and ATU Gagauzia have the highest share of young people (0-15 years) – 20,3% and 20,4% respectively, or one in five inhabitants of these regions.

The share of the older population (58/63 years) has increased over 2014-2022 in all development regions. However, the largest increases in the share of older people are found in the South Region (by 6,9 percentage points) and in the Center Region (by 6,3 percentage points).

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The population with habitual residence by territorial profile, distributed by sex, has a balanced structure, with a slight deviation in the districts of Сantemir and Leova, where the number of males exceeds the number of females by 0,2 and 0,1 thousand respectively (the sex ratio is 102 and 101 males per 100 females respectively). In other administrative-territorial units of the Republic of Moldova, women usually outnumber men. The most pronounced gender prevalence in favour of women is noticed in the municipalities of Chișinău and Bălți, where for every 100 women there are only 85 and 86 men respectively.

Net international migration6 for 2021 is estimated based on 2020 net migration rates. Chișinău municipality has the highest negative net international migration (-2,6 thousand people), followed by the central region districts of Orhei (-0,5 thousand people), Ungheni, Anenii Noi and Ialoveni (-0,4 thousand people each), while the northern region districts of Soroca, Ocnița (0,3 thousand people each), Rîșcani (0,2 thousand people) and Drochia (0,1 thousand people) recorded positive net migration rates (Figure 7).

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Internal migration7 is one of the components of population dynamics, contributing to the decrease or increase of the population in different administrative-territorial units. Net internal migration8 is negative for most districts. The increase in population due to internal migration is recorded only in Chișinău (12,5 thousand people) and Bălți (0,7 thousand people) (Figure 8).

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Out of the total number of territorial administrative units that lose population due to internal migration, the districts that stand out are Hîncești, Ștefan Vodă, Fălești, Telenești, Florești and Ungheni   (-0,6 thousand people each).


Annexes (2 tables format. xlsx)


1 Habitual residence is defined as the place where a person has lived predominantly for the past 12 months regardless of temporary absences (for the purpose of recreation, vacation, visits to relatives and friends, business, medical treatment, religious pilgrimages, etc.).
2 The information is presented without the data on the population of the localities on the left bank of the Nistru River and of Bender municipality.
3 The data on the total population with habitual residence presented in the press release for 2014-2021 have been revised, mainly due to the adjustment of some data from administrative sources. More details are presented in the Information Note „Review of data on the number of population with habitual residence for 2014-2021”in Romanian version. Data for 2022 are provisional.
4 Natural growth is the difference between the number of live births and the number of deaths during a year.
5 The data presented for 2021 are provisional.
6 Net international migration/external migration is the difference between the number of immigrants and emigrants. An immigrant is defined as a person who entered the Republic of Moldova and lived in the country for the following 12 months after having lived abroad for the preceding 12 months. An emigrant is a person who left the Republic of Moldova, lived abroad in the following 12 months, while having lived in the Republic of Moldova in the preceding 12 months.
7 Internal migration – the territorial movement of people within a country, accompanied by a change of place of residence.
8 Net internal migration – the difference between the number of people arriving to and leaving a geographical area during a year.

Relevant information:

populatie procese demografice

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