In 2014, more than a tenth of the Moldovan population lived below the national poverty line. Although most residents now have housing and enough food, living conditions are difficult. There is a lack of fuel in winter time to heat the homes with.
The residents of the capital Chișinău generally have something better than rural people. Nearly eight out of ten poor Moldavans are rural residents. The rural population manages to grow their own food. Many city dwellers also have their own lots.
- Countryaah Official Site: Official statistics for population in Moldova, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
The general state of health of the population is poor, and epidemics of cholera and diphtheria have erupted on several occasions. The average life expectancy for both women and men is among the lowest in Europe.
Health care has shortcomings, especially in rural areas. There are not enough medicines and medical equipment. Many medical professionals have chosen to work abroad because of low wages in Moldova. Anyone with money can buy care. Corruption and bribery are grazing.
A health insurance system has been in place since 2004 to be financed by the state, employers and employees, but public funds for this are lacking. The social insurance system makes contributions to families with low income, pensioners, the disabled and the unemployed. In 2016, Parliament passed a law to gradually increase the retirement age, from 57 years for women and 62 years for men to 63 years for both sexes, until 2018.
Trafficking in women and girls is a serious problem. The trade is run by both Moldavian and international leagues that sell the women for prostitution abroad. Poverty and high unemployment in rural areas are the underlying factors.
Women are underrepresented in politics and in higher positions in government and business. According to the law, men and women should bear the same responsibility for the children, but only mothers can receive compensation for parental leave.
Thousands at orphanages
The law provides for relatively strong protection for children and there is a child ombudsman to ensure that children’s rights are guaranteed. In practice, the laws are poorly complied with and childcare is accepted both at home and at school. Thousands of children live in state orphanages, where the standard is low and living conditions are often harsh.
The country’s estimated 50,000–200,000 Roma usually live in great poverty and segregated from the rest of society.
Gay, bisexual and transsexual as well as queer persons (LGBT people) are openly discriminated against in society, including by police and other authorities. In recent years, the Orthodox Church, as well as politicians from various camps, have been campaigning against the rights of LGBTQ people in the form of, for example, demonstrations and distribution of writings. At a local level, a ban on “aggressive LGBT propaganda” has been introduced in several places. There is an organization working to strengthen the rights of LGBTQ people and at national level, Parliament adopted in 2012 a law against discrimination which also included LGBTQ rights. However, the protests against the law became numerous and strong.
Before the Soviet era (1944–1991), Moldova was a feudal farmer’s society with distinct social classes. At the top of the hierarchy were the landowners (boys) and at the bottom of the social ladder were the farm workers. The landowner class disappeared when Moldova joined the Soviet Union from 1940. Instead, another upper class emerged: high-ranking bureaucrats and heads of large state corporations and funds. During the 1990s transition to market economy arose a new economic upper class of young entrepreneurs and former agency managers. Status symbols for them are foreign cars and fashion clothes and large newly built villas. From this stratum, the hope is great for the country’s many poor, who often survive by growing on their own lots or through the help of relatives in the country. Many have also emigrated, especially to other former Soviet republics or to Italy.
Daily family life
Both in the countryside and in the cities, it is almost always the women who bear the responsibility for household chores and for the well-being of the children. At the same time, women usually work in family farming. Men usually have more to say about life outside the family, while women can have a great influence over decisions within the household.
It is not uncommon for newlywed couples to stay for a good while with their groom’s parents for financial reasons before moving into their own home. The youngest son with family often lives with the parents and eventually he inherits the parents’ home with movable property. In the law, however, inheritance rights are the same for all breast heirs.
Infants and young children are taken care of by their mother with the help of grandmother and grandmother. The different generations often live close to each other. Girls are expected to help in the household from a very early age. In addition, they often look after their younger siblings.
FACTS – SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Infant Mortality: 14 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected: 0.6 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men: 0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean water: 86.7 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to toilets: 76.3 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a percentage of GDP: 10.2 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person: US $ 171 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament: 23 percent (2018)
Most of the passenger and freight traffic in Moldova is via roads and railways. The standard of both roads and railways is generally low. Bus traffic is well developed, but the vehicles are old and environmentally hazardous.
The Prut and Dnestr rivers are used as transport routes. The total waterways cover 42 km. The main ports are Tighina (Bender), Rîbnița and Ungeni.
Air Moldova, whose main owner is the state, has received competition from privately owned smaller airlines. Chișinău has an international airport.
President Voronin is re-elected
The new parliament elects the communist leader Vladimir Voronin as president for a new four-year term.
Communist electoral victory
The Communist Party wins the parliamentary elections with 56 out of 101 seats against 34 seats for the Democratic Moldova Electoral Union, which is comprised of the three middle-right parties Our Moldovan Alliance, the Social Liberal Party and Moldova’s Democratic Party. The remaining 11 seats go to the strongly nationalist Christian Democratic People’s Party.