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    STUDIA SOCIOLOGIA - Issue no. 1-2 / 1999-2000  

  Abstract:  New demographic regimes in Romania - a regional perspective. There are enough reasons to attempt a regional analysis of the recent demographic changes in Romania in order to test the advance of one or another region in the process of approaching the nowadays demographic regimes of Western Europe [Van de Kaa, 1999]. The first changes brought by the demographic transition appeared in Transylvania; therefore, we shall focus particularly on this region. Without being a separate political-administrative unit, Transylvania is a historically distinct region because, unlike the southern and eastern parts of the Romanian territory which had been under the influence of the Ottoman and the Czarist Empires, it had been under the domination of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until its unification with the rest of Romanian territory (1918). At present, Transylvania seems to be also a distinct cultural area where there is a greater linguistic, ethnic and religious diversity than in the rest of the territory. To simplify things, we can consider that the more a region has diminished its fertility and nuptiality quantum, the closer is to the West-European pattern. If the timing of the two phenomena moves towards higher ages and it extends for a larger period, we can say that the European pattern is more substantial. If the interval between marriage and first birth decreases and the weight of out-of-wedlock births increases, we have again a more European pattern. Concerning mortality, there is no theory that says that the normal trend is the increase and not the continuous decline of mortality. Nevertheless, in Romania, as in many other ex-communist countries, an undesired decrease of life-expectancy takes place, even if some progress in infant mortality is notable. For this reason we will consider this as a reference framework for comparisons and we will see if Transylvania is also on an undesired first place.  
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