Socio-Economic Disparities in the Development of the Romania’s Border Areas

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The Romanian border areas include 898 Local Administrative Units 2 (LAU2), of which 88 are urban and 810 rural. Romania has borderline with the following countries: Bulgaria, Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Hungary, of which 63.5 % is Non-European Union boundary. According to the population structure, 51.6 % of the total population is urban and the rest of 48.4 % is rural. In order to assess the socio-economic territorial disparities in the development of the urban space of Romanian border areas, several research stages were carried out: selecting 22 relevant statistical indicators, analyzing territorial disparities, standardizing the absolute values of the indicators, grouping the elementary indicators by 7 multiple indicator clusters (secondary indexes) in order to reflect the main socio-economic development aspects: (1) housing, (2) public utilities infrastructure and green areas, (3) health, (4) labour market, (5) demography, (6) education and (7) local economy. Finally, the authors were able to compute secondary indexes and the Index of Socio-Economic Development as Hull Score with a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 14, revealing the levels of socio-economic development (high, average and low). Generally, the outcomes of the current study are in line with Romania’s complex socio-economic disparities, rooted in the historic background of the country. Spatially, the economic development follows a West–East direction, the less developed areas being concentrated in the Eastern and Southern part of the country.

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Research-work for this paper was conducted under the project funded by the Central European Service for Cross-Border Initiatives (CESCI) “Crossing the borders: Geographic and Structural Characteristics of Cross-Border Cooperation in the Danube Region”, 2014, as well as under the Institute of Geography research plan (a priority research project of the Romanian Academy “The Geographical Study of the Romanian Danube Valley”).

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Correspondence to Monica Dumitraşcu.

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Mitrică, B., Mocanu, I., Dumitraşcu, M. et al. Socio-Economic Disparities in the Development of the Romania’s Border Areas. Soc Indic Res 134, 899–916 (2017) doi:10.1007/s11205-016-1462-7

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  • Territorial development
  • Socio-economic disparities
  • Border areas
  • Cross-border cooperation
  • Romania