Romanian Americans

A Romanian American (Romanian: Român American) is a resident of the United States who has Romanian ancestry. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 367,310 Americans pointed out that their first ancestry is Romanian, while 518,653 people claimed to have Romanian descent. According to information provided by other sources, nowadays the number of Romanian Americans in the USA is much bigger; for example, the Romanian-American Network Inc. provides a rough estimate of 1.2 million. There is also a great number of people of significant Romanian Jewish heritage, nearly 250,000.
In the second half of the 19th century the United States received its first great wave of Romanian immigrants who arrived primarily from the territories that were under Austro-Hungarian rule: Transylvania, Banat, Bucovina, Crişana and Maramureş. Some Romanian immigrants came in search of work hoping to raise money and return home, while others decided to settle down. The Romanians migrated mostly in such industrial centers as Pennsylvania and Delaware, as well as around the Great Lakes (Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit etc.). Some immigrants arrived in the USA from Romanian Old Kingdom. For example, in 1905, 7,818 Romanians migrated to the U.S., 7,261 of them arrived from Austria-Hungary, 423 from the Romanian Old Kingdom, and the rest came from other European countries. The biggest ethnic group that came from the Romanian Old Kingdom was the Jews and most of them settled in New York. They established several organizations and one of the most prominent organizations was called the United Rumanian Jews of America. Between 1881-1914, roughly 75,000 Romanian Jews emigrated, mostly to the United States.
During the interwar period characterized by economic development in Romania, there were fewer ethnic Romanians who migrated to the U.S., but the number of Jews who migrated to the U.S. increased, especially after the rise of the fascist Iron Guard.
After the Second World War, there was another increase of the number of Romanians who migrated to the United States. This time, the immigrants came from throughout Romania and settled primarily in California, Florida and New York. More than 53% of all foreign-born Romanian Americans arrived in the U.S. after 1980. According to the 2000 United States census, 340,000 Americans of age 5 years and older (or 0.11% of the total U.S. population) spoke Romanian, which was ranked 21st among all languages spoken in the U.S.
Romanian Americans are dispersed throughout the U.S., but most of them migrated in the east and the northeast of the country, particularly in such states as Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and New York, as well as in the Southeast with large communities found in Georgia (Metro Atlanta), Florida (South Florida) and Alabama (Montgomery). Significant communities of Romanian Americans can also be found in California (Los Angeles and Sacramento) and Arizona (Tucson).
Romanian culture has integrated into American culture, and Romanian-born Americans are adopting American culture. However Romanian Americans continue to celebrate their heritage. The Romanian culture is represented by Romanian music, newspapers, churches, cultural organizations and groups, including the Romanian-American Congress and the Round Table Society NFP. Romanians are predominantly Orthodox Catholics, and there is a great number of churches in almost all big cities throughout the country. American children of Romanian origin grow up being bilingual and often speak both Romanian and English. One of the most popular foods of Romanian origin is Pastrami.

Try to introduce your American friends to Romanian culture. While you are in United States, you can find many Romanian souvenirs and food items in many specialty stores and even in some chain stores, like Cost Plus-World Market. Many Romanian Americans keep their heritage by visiting Romania as often as they can. Please visit our guide to planning a trip to Romania to get and advice find fascinating deals on your trip.