Romania has been a member of the European Union since 2007 (more than 10 years), but in terms of living standards it still lags behind most countries of this association. Nevertheless, over the past five years, average wages in the country have almost doubled, the official unemployment rate does not exceed 5-6%, Romanian business is developing and the business climate is improving.

The population of Romania is about 19.8 million people. Ethnic Romanians make up about 84.1%. Major minorities include Hungarians, Germans, Ukrainians and Russians. About the prices and costs of living, taxes, specific employment, wages, education, medicine, pros and cons of living in Romania in 2024, we will talk further.

Living in Romania

Pros and cons of living in Romania

Life in Romania for foreigners from third countries is an opportunity to stay for a long period of time in the European Union, over time (usually 8 years) to obtain the Romanian citizenship or to move to one of the countries of Western Europe.

The state is located in the southeastern part of the European continent, is washed by the Black Sea and borders with Bulgaria, Serbia, Moldova, Hungary and Ukraine. Let's highlight the positive and negative aspects of living in Romania.

Pros of living in Romania

  • Romania is a beautiful country with a comfortable climate, access to the sea, interesting sights and delicious food, although not the most useful.

  • To live in Romania is noticeably cheaper than in more developed European countries.

  • The young generation speaks English well.

  • Romania has a low crime rate and is quite safe.

  • For the most part, Romanians are kind and responsive people.

Pros and cons of living in Romania

Cons of living in Romania

  • The high level of bureaucracy and corruption in the government.

  • The low quality of medicine, especially in public clinics, where there is a shortage of qualified doctors and modern equipment.

  • Employment opportunities for foreigners in positions with an acceptable level of income are severely limited.

  • It is necessary to learn the Romanian language in order to fully adapt.

  • The service sector leaves much to be desired.

Prices and cost of living in Romania

Renting a one-room apartment in Romania in the central part of the city costs about 1,705 lei (345 euros), and in remote areas about 1,250 lei (255 euros). The price of a square meter of real estate in the center is 8,855 lei (1,805 euros), and 6,230 lei (1,270 euros) outside the city. For example, the cost of an apartment in Cluj-Napoca is on average 1,850 euros per square meter, and in the capital city of Bucharest about 1,650 euros. These are the most expensive cities to live in Romania.

Prices in Romania in 2024

  • Bread (500 g) – 5.25 L

  • Milk (1 lL) – 6.87 L

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 14.47 L

  • Chicken fillets (1 kg) – 29.38 L

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 4.08 L

  • Romanian cheese (1 kg) – 38.04 L

  • Bananas (1 kg) – 7.07 L

  • Apples (1 kg) – 4.87 L

  • Petrol (1 liter) – 7.22 L

  • Cab (1 km) – 3.00 L

  • Public transport fare – 3.00 L

  • Monthly bus pass – 90 L

  • Utilities (85 sq. m.) – 663.05 L per month

  • Mobile service (month) – 36.13 L

  • Internet – 41.49 L per month

Note. The prices are expressed in local currency – new Romanian lei (L). The exchange rate of 1 L today is 0.22 US dollar and 0.20 euro.

Tax rates in Romania

Tax rates in Romania in 2024

Corporate income tax – 16%. Small companies, with an annual income not exceeding 100,000 euros, and the number of employees up to 9 people, enjoy benefits. There is also the possibility to choose a special regime, where the rate of corporate tax is only 3%.

VAT – 19%. Preferential rates are 9% (food, medicine, medical equipment for the disabled), 5% (social housing, periodicals) and 0% (domestic and international passenger transport).

Income tax – 10%

Dividends, royalties, interest – 16%. Dividend tax is reduced to 5% for non-residents as of 2017.

Employment insurance tax – 2.25% (from employer)

Pension tax – 25% (per employee)

Health insurance – 10% (per employee)

Jobs and wages in Romania

Most often, in order to be legally employed in Romania foreigners from third countries must first find an employer, apply for a professional permit and open a work visa. In addition, the Romanian government establishes annual quotas for hiring workers from abroad. Demanded professions in Romania are associated with the sphere of information technology, construction, energy and automotive industry.

In terms of wages Romania ranks last in the European Union. The minimum wage in 2024 equals 3,300 lei per month (665 euros). According to official data from the Romanian National Institute of Statistics, the average wage in Romania is 7,976 lei per month (1,605 euros). The highest monthly salaries (15,851 lei/3,215 euros) are recorded in computer programming, consulting and related activities (including information services), and the lowest in the accommodation and food sector (3,916 lei/795 euros).

Higher education in Romania

Higher education in Romania

The Romanian higher education system includes 56 public universities, of which 49 are civilian and 7 military universities, as well as 26 private universities and 6 high schools. There are also academies, university colleges, and conservatories. In addition to programs in Romanian, many universities offer instruction in English, French, Hungarian and German.

The best higher education institutions of Romania are considered to be the University of Bucharest and Iasi, as well as Babes-Boiai University, located in the city of Cluj-Napoca. Average cost of education in the Romanian higher educational institutions varies from 2 to 5 thousand euros a year. The most expensive are considered to be medical specialties (in the area of 7 thousand euros). Preparatory language courses in Romania cost 2-2,5 thousand euros.

Medicine in Romania

Health care system in Romania is based on the centralized social medical insurance. Preferential services are fully covered by up to 85% of the population, while the remaining part has access to the minimum package of benefits. Public sources account for more than 80% of the total financing of health care. In general, Romania has one of the lowest medical expenditures (as a share of GDP) among all EU member states.

To conclude, the average life expectancy at birth in Romania in 2024 is 75 years, with men living about 72 years and women 79.

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