Demographic Behaviour of Roma Population – Beyond Tradition and Towards Modernity. Case Study of Oltenia Region (Romania)

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Issue: Volume 4, Issue 1, 2010

Analyzing the demographic behavior of the Roma population is a difficult endeavor due to the fact that the available statistical data concerning this population’s exact number presents significant errors. Considering the fertility data, to which we should add the mortality rates, we appreciate that Roma, as an ethnic group, have had a mostly ascending evolution from a demographical point of view – and this situation isn’t always reflected by the statistics. As far as the fertility data goes, its level is dictated by a series of factors whose detailed analysis shows a past preference for a high number of children per family, specifically for the continuously nomadic tribes, also associated with increased values of fertility rates which perpetuated to this day. The mortality values registered within the Roma population fall within the standard values for the entire population – differences were spotted by analyzing the infant mortality. On a final note, these indicators are meant to present inequalities based on the living standards of the population. The analysis of migrants as an important component of the migratory movement brings into discussion one of the most current subjects: that of the percentage of Roma population that participate to the international migration flow. The preference for destination countries, which in most cases is attributed to their previously nomadic traditional life style, is determined by a series of factors, the most important of which being their financial situation. All these elements lead towards an accurate appreciation of the demographic behavior of this ethnic group, while also emphasizing the causes which determine the demographic phenomena, both due to the traditional and modern background.

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