About Moldova

The Republic of Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. With Chisinau as its largest city and capital, the country is bordered by Romania to the west, and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. Predominantly influenced by the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, the Republic of Moldova has a proportionately older population of 3.3 million people, comprising ethnic groups such as Moldovan/Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Gagauz, and Bulgarian. The official language is Moldovan/Romanian, which also serves as the native language of about 82 percent of the population. Available natural resources include lignite, phosphorite, gypsum, limestone, and arable land.

Formerly part of Romania, Moldova was incorporated into the Soviet Union at the close of World War II. Moldova gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and has been working toward successfully integrating into the European Union. Although economic reforms have been slow, largely due to corruption and strong political forces, there has been some market-oriented progress. The country’s economy is dependent on agriculture, specifically fruits, vegetables, and tobacco, making it one of the poorest countries in Europe with a small lower-middle-income economy. But Moldova has made significant progress in reducing poverty and promoting inclusive growth, as well as expanding the economy on average by 4.6 percent yearly for the past two decades.

Since independence, Moldova has recorded a steady increase in the rates of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Life expectancy hovers around 72 years, and the leading causes of death are ischemic heart disease, stroke, cirrhosis, hypertensive heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, COPD, lower respiratory infections, and self-harm. Heavy tobacco and alcohol use accounted for a total of 60 percent and 16 percent of male and female deaths respectively in 2010. Mortality due to non-communicable diseases has increased between 2009 and 2019, most notably hypertensive heart disease, which increased by over 95 percent.

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