While cities appeared and disappeared during the history, and different disciplines, such as ecology and geography attempted to model the process from a systemic perspective, the growth of modern cities, particularly under the form of urban sprawl, is an important phenomenon due to its environmental and socioeconomic impacts. CORINE data allow for analyzing the growth of cities based on the changes in land cover and use. This study aimed to assess the magnitude of long-term urban growth in Romania, chosen as an example of a transition country, hypothesizing that the phenomenon is visible at the national scale. The results locate urban growth in area where the real estate boom is prominent, but its extent is masked by the small share of urban areas from the total territory. If growth is analyzed in relationship to the urban area, its magnitude becomes visible, supporting the underlying hypothesis.