Romanian demographic context

As 16.4% of its population was aged 65 and over in 2013, Romania is amongst the countries in which the phenomenon of demographic ageing, defined as a growth of the older population’s percentage, is well installed (European Demographic Data Sheet 2014) and it is estimated that in the year 2050 the percentage of people aged 65 and over will be of 32.4%, above the average of the European Union (29.7%). Moreover, with respect to work-related migration in other countries, official records show that in 2012 there were 2,341,263 persons who had emigrated (The Statistical Yearbook 2013), amongst which 58% were aged between 25 and 45.

Even if the current demographic situation is more favourable to Romania than to the neighbouring countries because the numerous generations born after 1967 are at an active age, in the near future the size of the inactive (retired) persons will grow dramatically, thus placing a growing pressure on the pension and health insurance system. Because old age brings about a deterioration of the health condition, with a weakening of the capacity to independently undertake a series of physical activities and thus with an increase in the need for assistance, it is only natural that the older population and intergenerational relations draw the specialists’ attention.

 

Intergenerational solidarity in Romania

Romanians have a powerful sense of duty towards their family members, be they adult children who are in a difficult situation or old parents, and the responsibility concerns both care needs and material help when it is necessary. Reports of the Generations and Gender Survey (2007) or Population Policy Acceptance Survey (2005) show that Romanians strongly rely on the family’s support, in both of its forms: downward (from parents to children) and upward (from children to parents). This is true for grandparents taking care of the grandchildren, for parents’ financial help offered to their adult children or even for parents’ adaptation of their own life in order to help their children, when the latter need it. Similarly, (adult) children must take over the responsibility of taking care of their older parents when the situation requires it or even to take them into their homes when the latter can no longer take care of themselves.

Unitatea pentru Finanțarea Învățământului Superior, a Cercetării, Dezvoltării și Inovării

Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca

Centrul de Studiere a Populației, Cluj-Napoca