Bucharest – Ilfov is one of the eight development regions of Romania, situated in the south of the country, in the center of the Romanian Plain. It is unique to the other development regions as it is made up of the capital, Bucharest, the largest urban agglomeration in Romania, and Ilfov County, the traditional hinterland of the metropolis. From the point of view of the surface, it is the small region, but it is the most developed in terms of demographic, urban, and economic. The capital city has the highest socio-economic potential and the highest living standards in the country.
It has a total area of 1,821 km2 and a total population of 2,301,255 inhabitants (Eurostat, 2019). The indicators for the two component entities are diametrically opposed: Bucharest accumulates the vast majority of population, economic, and urban development, and Ilfov County is the largest in area, less populated, and with a high degree of ruralization. Besides the city of Bucharest, the region also includes eight other small cities, 32 communes, and 91 villages. Together, the two entities form the largest industrial agglomeration in the country.
The capital city has the highest socio-economic potential and the highest living standards in the country. The region hosts the country’s top academic institutions and research infrastructure, and exhibits the highest RDI potential in the country. Its public and private R&D expenditures are the highest in Romania as more than 50% of the country’s total expenditure is in this region. While public and private R&D expenditures are the highest in Romania, Bucharest-Ilfov needs to capitalize more on its assets to become more competitive on a European scale. It also contains Ilfov county with eight cities, having a population between 10,000 and 42,000 inhabitants each (Măgurele, Bragadiru, Buftea, Chitila, Otopeni, Pantelimon, Popești-Leordeni, Voluntari).
Economic activity is widely focused in Bucharest, Ilfov county being more of an additional space for the capital’s industries. Together they make up the largest industrial area of the country. The GDP is the largest in Romania, at about 5.616,7 euro/inhabitant, approximately twice as Romania’s average. All industries are present here, but lately the workforce switched to services rather than manufacturing. This is also the area where industries such as construction, retail estate, retail, distribution, and management have undergone surprising growth. Unemployment rates are very low compared to other areas of Romania – 84.2% of the population of 25-34 years old is employed and 88.6% of the population of 35-44 years old is employed.
The Bucharest – Ilfov region has the highest density of public roads and railways reported on 100 km of territory of all the development regions of the country. Also, the most important transportation hubs of railroad, air-national and international of the country are located in Bucharest. The region is located at the intersection of two European multi-modal corridors: Nădlac – Constanţa (TEM), and Giurgiu – Albiţa (TEM), planned to be built in the coming period. Air and multi-modal accessibility are provided by the international airport “Henri Coandă” (Otopeni), the largest international airport in Romania, situated at 16.5 km North of Bucharest center.