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Ilfov County

Coat of Arms of Ilfov county Administrative map of Romania with Ilfov county highlighted

Development region Bucureşti-Ilfov
Historic region Greater Wallachia
Population
• As of 2002 300,123
Population density 188/km²
Area 1,583 km²
Codes
Car numbers IF
• ISO 3166-2:RO RO-IF
Telephone code (+40) x1[i 1]
Web County Council
Prefecture
  1. ^ x is 2 or 3 depending on the numbering system employed by the phone companies on the market.

Ilfov (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈilfov]) is the county that surrounds Bucharest, the capital of Romania. It used to be largely rural, but after the fall of communism, many of the county's villages and communes developed into high-income commuter towns, which act like suburbs or satellites of Bucharest. The gentrification of the county is continuing, with many towns in Ilfov, such as Otopeni, having some of the highest GDP per capita levels in the country.

Contents

Demographics

It has a population (excluding Bucharest) of 300,123. The population density is 188 per km². 40% of the population commutes and works in Bucharest, although in recent years, many industrial plants were built outside Bucharest, in Ilfov county. It has an annual growth of about 4%.

Year County population[2]
1948 167,533
1956 196,265
1966 229,773
1977 287,738
1992 286,965
2002 300,123

Geography

The county has an area of 1,583 km² and it is situated in the Romanian Plain between the Argeş River and the Ialomiţa River.

The main rivers that pass through the county are: Dâmboviţa River, Colentina River and Gruiu River. Several lakes can be found in Ilfov county, notably Cernica, Snagov Lake and Căldăruşani Lake.

Neighbours

Economy

The base occupation used to be the agriculture. Nowadays, due to the economical growth in Bucharest, many companies have opened their offices, production facilities or warehouses in the nearby villages, situated in the Ilfov County, thus making it the most developed county in Romania.

The predominant industries in the county are:

  • Food and beverages industry
  • Textile industry
  • Mechanical components industry
  • Chemical industry
  • Paper industry
  • Furniture industry
  • Rubber industry
  • Electrical equipments industry
  • Transport equipment industry
  • Electronic and optical equipment

At Otopeni there is the main aerial transport hub in Romania - the Henri Coandă International Airport. Also all the main roads and railways leaving Bucharest pass through the county.

Tourism

The county has a large surface covered with forests and also due to its lakes, it is a frequent week-end and holiday destinations for the inhabitants of Bucharest.

Other notable touristic sites are:

History

Most of today's Ilfov County used to be covered by Codrii Vlăsiei, a thick forest, but there were several Dacian settlements, most important being Argedava, on the right bank of the Argeş River in what is now Popeşti, which was the capital of king Burebista.

The thick forests were useful for retreat during the migration age because they were not easy to cross on horseback. In fact, the name of the forest means "the Forests of the Vlachs" (Romanians), a name given by the Slavs who inhabited the nearby plains.

The county was named after the Ilfov River and it is of Slavic origin, being composed from "Ilf" (a name?) and suffix "-ov" and it appears for the first time in a 1482 donation act of voivode Vlad Călugărul to the monastery of Snagov.

Administrative divisions

The county has 8 towns and 32 communes.

There were serious debates about the city level awarded to Voluntari, as it is alleged that it was given in regard to the city's political affiliation, rather than population, development or any other objective features. Despite this, Voluntari does have a population of 30,000, and many other localities with this population have been given city-status in the past.

Before 1972, it used to be one of the largest counties of Romania, but parts of it were added to neighbouring counties and nowadays it is the smallest (excluding the city of Bucharest, which has a special status). Between 1981 and 1997, it was called "Sectorul Agricol Ilfov" and it was not a separate county, but subordinate to the capital.

Ilfov communes
  1. Periş
  2. Ciolpani
  3. Gruiu
  4. Nuci
  5. Snagov
  6. Grădiştea
  7. Moara Vlăsiei
  8. Baloteşti
  9. Corbeanca
  10. Dascălu
  11. Petrăchioaia
  12. Otopeni (town status)
  13. Tunari
  14. Ştefăneştii de Jos
  15. Afumaţi
  16. Voluntari (town status)
  17. Găneasa
  18. Mogoşoaia
  19. Buftea (town status)
  20. Chitila (town status)
  21. Dragomireşti Vale
  22. Chiajna
  23. Dobroieşti
  24. Pantelimon (town status)
  25. Brăneşti
  26. Ciorogârla
  27. Domneşti
  28. Clinceni
  29. Bragadiru (town status)
  30. Popeşti-Leordeni (town status)
  31. Glina
  32. Cernica
  33. Cornetu
  34. Măgurele (town status)
  35. Jilava
  36. Berceni
  37. Dărăşti
  38. 1 Decembrie
  39. Vidra

Ilfov County has no capital. Most of the county's institutions are located in Bucharest, some being located in Otopeni, others in Buftea. There is a struggle for both towns to be named county capital, one boasting its development and resources (Otopeni has the biggest income per capita in Romania and the biggest airport in the country), the other population and surface. This rivalry is fairly recent, since Ilfov used to be mainly rural and relatively poor in the past decades, and therefore Bucharest was seen as its main administrative centre. Nowadays, with a unique political identity being given to Ilfov, an identity that is separate to Bucharest, it is likely that a fixed capital city will be determined for Ilfov. Buftea is the most likely candidate because it is further from Bucharest and less associated with the city, whereas Otopeni is commonly seen as a suburb of Bucharest, and it would therefore be problematic to have the capital so close to the national capital, Bucharest.

However, in 2005, some plans were proposed that would merge Bucharest with 90 other communes located to up to 40 km outside the city, in Ilfov County and other nearby counties into a "metropolitan area" of Bucharest.[3]

References

  1. ^ National Institute of Statistics, "Populaţia după etnie"
  2. ^ National Institute of Statistics, "Populaţia la recensămintele din anii 1948, 1956, 1966, 1977, 1992 şi 2002"
  3. ^ Alexandru, Cristina. "Bucureştiul va înghiţi localităţile din jur". Biz Magazine. nr 110; 15 September 2005

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