Romanian capital and suburbs richer than some EU countries, World Bank report says. Bucharest lacking development strategy

The Romanian capital and surrounding area have a higher income than some countries in the European Union according to a 2019 World Bank report.

The gross domestic product of Bucharest-Ilfov region is higher than that of Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia or Estonia.

However, the surprising result is offset by residents’ overall dissatisfaction with the capital of more than 2 million which is criticized for being dirty and noisy.

Productive region

Nonetheless, the data confirms the Romanian capital as one of the most productive regions in the European Union, with a GDP per capita of almost 50,000 euros, in 2019, the Bucharest Bulletin reported on April 15.

In the ranking compiled by the World Bank, Bucharest ranks 14th in the EU according to national output or GDP.


It was not clear how Bucharest and Ilfov have performed since the pandemic that started in March 2020. Tens of thousands of people moved to Ilfov in recent years and commute to the capital every day.

However, many now work remotely from home.

The 2019 report notes that the capital and Ilfov had two periods of rapid economic growth in the past 20 years, outperforming the European capitals of Madrid, Berlin or Rome.

Despite the relative wealth, the satisfaction index of inhabitants of city life is low. Residents complain about air quality, noise and cleanliness.

Urban policy

The report concludes that Bucharest has managed to attract investment, but in order to continue to sustain its development needs an urban policy.

The Bucharest City Hall and the World Bank have signed an agreement for a an Integrated Urban Development Strategy also known as the Bucharest 2050 Strategy.

The project in currently in the consultation phase, before it is developed and implemented.

Better governance

World Bank specialists have presented an urban development strategy for a number of Romanian cities, including Bucharest.

In their view, the objectives should include territorial sustainability, pleasant and climate-smart cities, increased economic activity, improved living conditions and better governance.


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