Headquartered in Dusseldorf, LEG Immobilien AG is Germany’s largest real estate developer, according to Forbes. The company reported a net revenue of

Is Romania a poor country? I’ve heard that many people earn below 200 euros per month, and many only 100.

No. Romania is already a developed country. Starting 2016 Romania made it to the selected Top 50 very high human development index reported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Romania’s economy is the fastest growing economy in EU and it is expected to maintain high growth. Thus it is expected to grow by 5% (revised up) in 2016, IMF: Romania to have highest economic growth in Europe in 2016 and 2017 – AGERPRES, following an ascending trend from 3.9% in 2015 (revised up second time). A lot of Romanian grey economy is starting to surface, backed up by the sustained fight against corruption.

Update: In 2017 Romania had a GDP growth of 7%, largest in EU and one of the largest in the world. Romania is on it’s way to become a top 10 economy in EU (currently ranked 13 by Nominal GDP PPP). Romania is expected to reach 90% of EU average in 10 years, ahead of Poland and Hungary. Latvia and Poland will reach 90 percent of EU average in 2030, Estonia in 2034, Hungary in 2035, Croatia in 2041 and Bulgaria in 2042, the Open Society Institute estimates.

Minimum legal gross monthly salary in Romania starting 1st of Feb 2017 will be RON 1450, which at the moment I am writing this (Jan 2017) is approximately €320.

Update: Minimum legal gross monthly salary in Romania starting 1st of Jan 2018 will be RON 1900, which at the moment I am writing this (Nov 2017) is approximately €410.

Considering the cost of living is among the lowest in EU, that’s not very bad. For the reference Eurostat recently released data regarding price level index for food and non-alcoholic beverages across european countries. You will see that Romania is a top 3 cheapest country, even cheaper than some non-EU countries such as Albania, Serbia and Turkey.

Please also factor in the fact that Romania has the highest home ownership rate in the world, topping at 96,4%. The data is backed up by recent EU statistics as well.

Romania has world’s third highest talent shortage (after Japan and Taiwan) and highest in EU. That will put an additional pressure on increasing salaries in order to attract and keep talent. And sure enough Romania is the leader of the European Union in the hourly costs growth of its workforce, soaring by 14.7 percent in the third quarter of 2016. Romania provides income tax exemption for research and development sector employees.

Eric Stab, president of the Foreign Investors Council recently declared that Romania has the potential to become a Top 10 EU economy by 2035. So far that is on target. The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) Romania constituted in 1997, brings together over 130 multinational companies.

Romania has low debt: namely 5th lowest public debt in the EU, amounted to only 38.4% of the GDP (SEC 2010 methodology). In comparison at EU level, the average public debt amounted to 85.2% of the GDP while in the Eurozone, public debt average amounted to 90.7% of the GDP.

Romania is one of the most energy independent countries (top 3) in the EU, soon to achieve full energy independence by 2020. Romania is also rich in natural resources (oil and gas) with major recent discoveries in the Black Sea. Romania also has the largest gold deposits in continental Europe.

Romania currently has a general negative inflation, causing prices to drop over the last year period and one of the lowest taxation systems in EU (16% universal flat tax).

Foreign direct investment in Romania in 2016 reaches record level of the last eight years. Over the last 10 years total FDI amounts to EUR 41 billion.

Additional to the FDI Romania attracted almost EUR 27 billion from the EU in ten years.

Real estate prices on the other hand are growing above EU average, stimulated by high demand, on a market that already grows aggressively.

Personal remittances back to Romania from Romanians working abroad for the last ten years exceeds both FDI and EU founding and amounts to EUR 52 billion. All those millions of Romanians that still keep romanian residence and enjoy freedom of movement in EU, appear in romanian statistics as no income individuals, artificially and negatively affecting the averages and generating a deformed picture of wealth distribution, while creating the real estate paradox (people with no income that demand and purchase property extensively).

In 2016 one million sqm of new real estate was delivered, almost double (88% growth) since last year.

Romania is a bigger country (7th biggest in EU28) and it has much contrast with vast rural and wild areas. Wealth in Romania is concentrated around the top 5 cities. Because of the size of the country, it will take some time for the wealth to become more homogeneous throughout all areas and improve the averages. A lot of people live in rural areas doing agriculture, a lot of times with no official registered earnings. Those people might live on little money, but housing and food is usually taken care of.

Bucharest, the capital city and the surrounding metropolitan area surpasses metropolitan areas like Madrid, Berlin or Budapest, with a GDP per capita of 131% of the European average.

Finally I would like to wrap up this answer with the thoughts of expats that lived in Romania throughout it’s journey from a communist past into a bright and optimistic European future.