Romanian American

Romanian American
Romanian American
John DeLorean

George PomutzCiprian Manolescu
Dan-Virgil Voiculescu
Alexander VraciuJean Negulesco
John DeLorean
George Pomutz · Ciprian Manolescu
Dan-Virgil Voiculescu
Alexander Vraciu · Jean Negulesco

Total population
Regions with significant populations
Illinois, Southwest, New York

American English, Romanian


Predominantly Romanian Orthodox with larger Roman Catholic, Romanian Greek Catholic, and smaller Protestant, and Jewish minorities

Related ethnic groups


A Romanian American (Romanian: Român American) is a citizen of the United States who has significant Romanian heritage. For the 2000 US Census, 367,310 Americans indicated Romanian as their first ancestry,[2] while 462,526 persons declared to have Romanian ancestry.[3] The census does not distinguish between Romanian-born US citizens or American-born descendants or the Romanian emigrants who relocated to North America from the 19th century onwards. For that reason, it is unclear how many Romanian Americans can be considered descendants of ethnic or cultural Romanians. Further, there is also a significant number of persons of Romanian Jewish ancestry, estimated at about 250,000.[4]



A Romanian women arriving at Ellis Island, ca. 1906 - 1914.
Romanian migrants in New York. 1891

The migration of Romanians to the US started in the second half of the 19th century. They came mostly from the territories that were under Austro-Hungarian rule: Transylvania, Banat, Bucovina, Crişana and Maramureş. Some of them came with the intention to work for some years and to return after raising money, while others decided to remain. Those Romanians migrated mostly in the industrial centers around the Great Lakes (Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit etc.). They were also some immigrants from "Lesser Romania". For example, in 1905, 7,818 Romanians migrated to the US, including 7,261 from Austria-Hungary, 423 from "Lesser Romania", and the rest came from other European countries.[5] The migrants from the Romanian Old Kingdom were mostly Jews and they settled mostly in New York. One of their prominent organizations was the United Rumanian Jews of America. 75,000 Romanian Jews emigrated in the period 1881-1914, mostly to the United States.[6]

During the interwar period, the number of ethnic Romanians who migrated to the US decreased as a consequence of the economic development in Romania, but the number of Jews who migrated to the US increased, mostly after the rise of the fascist Iron Guard.

After the Second World War, the number of Romanians who migrated to the United States increased again. This time, they settled mostly in California, Florida and New York and they came from throughout Romania.

Over 53% of all foreign-born Romanian Americans came to the US after 1980.[7] Some sources supply estimates of particular Romanian American community populations which are considerably higher than the most recently-available U.S. census count. The estimated numbers depend on the reliability of the estimation method used and how membership of the Romanian American community is defined.

In the 2000 United States census, 340,000 Americans of age 5 years and older (or 0.11% of the total US population) were identified as speakers of Romanian, ranking it 21st among languages spoken in the US.


Romanian Americans are distributed throughout the U.S., with concentrations found in the east and the northeast of the country, such as in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and New York, while in the Southeast, communities are found in Georgia (Metro Atlanta), Florida (South Florida) and Alabama (Montgomery). There are also significant communities of Romanian Americans in the far west of the United States, particularly in California (Los Angeles and Sacramento) and Arizona (Tucson).

Distribution of Romanian Americans

The states with the ten largest estimated Romanian American populations are:[citation needed]

  1. California (290,125)
  2. New York (240,784)
  3. Florida (127,123)
  4. Michigan (119,624)
  5. Illinois (114,529)
  6. Ohio (106,017)
  7. Pennsylvania (84,958)
  8. Georgia (55,228)
  9. Texas (47,689)
  10. North Carolina (39,566)

Romanian American culture

An album of Romanian music issued by Jewish immigrants from Romania in New York at the beginning of the 20th century.

Romanian culture has merged with American culture, characterized by Romanian-born Americans adopting American culture or American-born people having strong Romanian heritage.

The Romanian culture can be seen in many different kinds, like Romanian music, newspapers, churches, cultural organizations and groups, such as the Romanian-American Congress or the Round Table Society NFP. Religion, predominantly within the Romanian Orthodox Church, is an important trace of the Romanian presence in the United States, with churches in almost all bigger cities throughout the country. American children of Romanian origin often learn to speak both the Romanian and English languages fluently.[citation needed]

Romanian cuisine is also praised very often in the United States and included in newspaper reviews (Chicago Tribune, for example). One of the best known foods of Romanian origin is Pastrami.

See also


External links

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