BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's statistics' chief says the Eastern European country's population is the lowest it has been in 50 years and the decline will continue.
The chairman of the National Statistics Institute, Tudorel Andrei, said Thursday that the current population of about 19 million is what it stood at in 1966, because of decreasing birthrates and migration.
Former Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu banned contraceptives, limited abortion and gave incentives to families with numerous children. At the time of his overthrow in December 1989, the population was 23 million.
Andrei said the population fell by 120,000 in 2014 and predicted that with the current trend, the equivalent of two small towns will disappear every year.
The average woman now has 1.3 children compared to 2.1 two decades ago.