Millions of empty dwellings in Romania following wholesale depopulation

According to official statistics, there are currently 1.28 million empty dwellings in Romania. The proportion of vacant dwellings is among the highest in the world, at 16%.

At the same time, Romania has one of the fastest-declining population levels anywhere on earth, with numbers expected to fall by 15% between now and 2050. It is estimated that by then the country will have just 17 million inhabitants.

Many urban areas are seeing a population decline as a result of this widespread migration, and this is creating a mismatch between supply and demand, with some urban centres suffering overpopulation while others have vast amounts of unoccupied housing.

Statistically speaking, Romanians should enjoy better housing conditions than they do, given their per capita income, but this is not reflected in the situation on the ground.

Depopulation is jeopardising the chances of an economic recovery and cultural renewal, both today and in the future. When someone leaves, the country loses a citizen, with all that entails.

How does the Commission plan to ensure that Romania keeps hold of the people most valuable to it, so as to drive innovation and sustainable growth?