Cluj-Napoca - Demographics


Historical population of Cluj-Napoca
Year Population Romanians Hungarians
1453 est. 6,000 n/a n/a
1703 7,500 25% n/a n/a
1714 5,000 −33.3% n/a n/a
1770 10,500 110% n/a n/a
1785 9,703 −7.6% n/a n/a
1787 10,476 7.9% n/a n/a
1835 14,000 33.6% n/a n/a
1850 19,612 40% 21.0% 62.8%
1880 32,831 67.4% 17.1% 72.1%
1890 37,184 13.2% 15.2% 79.1%
1900 50,908 36.9% 14.1% 81.1%
1910 census 62,733 23.2% 14.2% 81.6%
1920 85,509 36.3% 34.7% 49.3%
1930 census 100,844 17.9% 34.6% 47.3%
1941 114,984 14% 9.8% 85.7%
1948 census 117,915 2.5% 40% 57%
1956 census 154,723 31.2% 47.8% 47.9%
1966 census 185,663 20% 56.5% 41.4%
1977 census 262,858 41.5% 65.8% 32.8%
1992 census 328,602 25% 76.6% 22.7%
2002 census 317,953 −3.2% 79.4% 19.0%
2011 census 309,136 −2.8% 80.1% 16.0%

Source (if not otherwise specified):
Varga E. Árpád

The city's population, at the 2011 census, was 309,136 inhabitants, or 1.6% of the total population of Romania. The population of the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area is estimated at 392,562. Finally, the population of the peri-urban area numbers over 400,000 residents. The new metropolitan government of Cluj-Napoca became operational in December 2008. According to the 2007 data provided by the County Population Register Service, the total population of the city is as high as 392,276 people. The variation between this number and the census data is partially explained by the real growth of the population residing in Cluj-Napoca, as well as by different counting methods: "In reality, more people live in Cluj than those who are officially registered", Traian Rotariu, director of the Center for Population Studies, told Foaia Transilvană. Moreover, this number does not include the floating population—an average of over 20 thousand people each year during 2004–2007, according to the same source.

In the modern era, Cluj's population experienced two phases of rapid growth, the first in the late 19th century, when the city grew in importance and size, and the second during the Communist period, when a massive urbanisation campaign was launched and many people migrated from rural areas and from beyond the Carpathians to the county's capital. About two-thirds of the population growth during this era was based on net migration inflows; after 1966, the date of Ceauşescu's ban on abortion and contraception, natural increase was also significant, being responsible for the remaining third.

From the Middle Ages onwards, the city of Cluj has been a multicultural city with a diverse cultural and religious life. According to the 2011 Romanian census, just over 80% of the population of the city are ethnic Romanians, with the second largest ethnic group being the Hungarians, who make up 16% of the population. The remainder is composed of Roma (1.1%), Germans (0.17%) and Jews (0.05%). Today, the city receives a large influx of migrants: 25,000 people requested residence in the city during 2007.

In terms of religion, 69.2% of the population are Romanian Orthodox and 12.2% are Reformed. The Roman Catholic and the Romanian Greek-Catholic communities claim 5.5% and 5.8% of the population respectively, while other religious groups like Unitarians (1%), Pentecostals (2.6%) or Baptists (1.2%) round out most of the rest. By contrast, in 1930, the city was 26.7% Reformed, 22.6% Greek Catholic, 20.1% Roman Catholic, 13.4% Jewish, 11.8% Orthodox, 2.4% Lutheran and 2.1% Unitarian. Contributing factors for these shifts were the extermination and emigration of the city's Jews, the outlawing of the Greek-Catholic Church (1948–89) and the gradual decline in the Hungarian population.

On a more historical note, the Jewish community has figured centrally in the history of Transylvania, and in that of the wider region. They were a substantial and increasingly vibrant presence in Cluj in the modern era, contributing significantly to the town's economic dynamism and cultural flourishing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although the community comprised a significant share of the town's population during the interwar era—between 13 and 15 percent—this figure plummeted as a consequence of the Holocaust and emigration; by the 1990s only a few hundred Jews remained in Cluj-Napoca.

In the 14th century, most of the town's inhabitants and the local elite were Saxons, largely descended from settlers brought in by the Kings of Hungary in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries to develop and defend the southern borders of the province. By the middle of the next century roughly half the population had Hungarian names. In Transylvania as a whole, the Reformation sharpened ethnic divisions: Saxons became Lutheran while Hungarians either remained Catholic or became Calvinist or Unitarian. In Klausenburg, however, the religious lines were blurred. Isolated both geographically from the main areas of German settlement in southern Transylvania and institutionally because of their distinctive religious trajectory, many Saxons eventually assimilated to the Hungarian majority over several generations. New settlers to the town largely spoke Hungarian, a language that many Saxons gradually adopted. (In the seventeenth century, out of more than thirty royal free towns, only seven had a Hungarian majority, with Kolozsvár/Klausenburg being one of them; the rest were largely German-dominated.) In this manner Kolozsvár became largely Hungarian speaking and would remain so through the mid-20th century, though 4.8% of its residents identified as German as late as 1880.

The Roma form a sizable minority in contemporary Romania, and a small but visible presence in Cluj-Napoca: self-identifying Roma in the city comprise only 1 percent of the population; yet they are a familiar presence in and around the central market, selling flowers, used clothes and tinware. They are an important object of public discourse and media representation at the national level; however, Cluj-Napoca, with its small Roma population, has not been a major focus of Roma ethno-political activity.

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