Photo credit: (c) Alex TUDOR / AGERPRES ARCHIVE
Total area: 1,583 square kilometres
Number of towns: 8
Number of rural towns: 32
Number of villages: 91
The Ilfov County is located in the south-southeastern part of Romania, right in the middle of the Romanian Plain. The county surrounds Bucharest and neighbours Prahova County to the north, Dambovita County to the west, Giurgiu to the south-west and Ialomita to the east.
Ilfov is the smallest of Romania’s counties, but with no less than eight towns on its covered surface, namely Bragadiru, Buftea, Chitila, Magurele, Otopeni, Pantelimon, Popesti Leordeni and Voluntari. The county’s administrative headquarters are to be found in Bucharest.
According to the 2011 Population and Housing Census, the permanent population of Ilfov County numbered 388,738 people, which means that it grew by 88,615 people from the previous census. As to the towns, Voluntari numbered 42,944 inhabitants, Pantelimon 25,596, Buftea 22,178 and Popesti Leordeni 21,895. The largest rural towns in the county are Chiajna, with 10,367 people living here, Jilava, 12,223 people, Cernica, 10,886 people and Branesti, with 10,367 inhabitants. They are 167,028 people living in the urban area, which means a degree of urbanization of the county of 43 pct. Ethnicity information was available for 360,841 people, among whom the largest majority said they were Romanians, 341,895 (94.7 pct) respectively, 15,634 said they were Roma (4.3 pct), 681 were Chinese (0.2 pct), 538 were Turks (0.1 pct). Other ethnic groups that numbered over 100 people were: the Hungarians (242), the Greeks (120), the Jews (114) and the Germans (111).
In terms of relief, the county is situated in the plains, with its elevation between 50 and 120 m. It belongs to the subunits of the Vlasia Plain (including parts of the Snagov Plain, Movilita Plain, Calnau Plain and others, as well as the entire Bucuresti Plain), with large interfluves (48 km), depressions, mounds, narrow valleys and lakes. In the past, here they were the Vlasia Woods, which later became the Vlasia Plain, crossed by Ialomita, Arges, Sabar and Dambovita rivers. There are also a series of smaller rivers in Ilfov: Pasarea, Mostistea, Ilfov, Calnau, Cociovalistea, Slotea, Cocioc, Vlasia etc. The natural and anthropocentric lakes are mostly to be found in the northern, western and eastern parts of the county, with the most important of them being: Snagov (575 hectares), Caldarusani (224 hectares), Buftea (307 hectares), Buciumeni (60 hectares), Mogosoaia (92 hectares), Pantelimon (313 hectares) and Cernica (360 hectares).
Photo credit: (c) Simion MECHNO / AGERPRES PHOTO
Underground resources are limited, with only some deposits of crude oil and natural gas existing in Peris, Moara Vlasiei, Pasarea, Catelu, Bragadiru and Jilava localities. Exploitations of sand and ballast are carried out into the beds of the large watercourses, especially in the Arges-Sabar meadow (between the Bragadiru and Jilava localities).
The Scrovistea protected natural area covers a surface of 3,400 hectares, as following: Cioplani (27 pct), Peris (29 pct). The area was declared Natura 2000 site for natural habitats and protected wild fauna species. The woods in the Scrovistea area (mixed plain forests of oak, white lime, hornbeam) are a part of what was left of the Vlasia Woods. The Scrovistea site represents a complex mosaic of natural habitats; Eutrophic natural lakes, eutrophic lakes and ponds, subatlantic and medio-European oak forests, alluvial alder and ash forests etc.
The Gradistea-Caldarusani-Dridu Natura 2000 site includes Caldarusani and Balta Neagra lakes, the neighbouring forests and the accretions on Cociovalistea and Vlasia, stretching on the land of rural towns Moara-Vlasiei, Gruiu, Nuci and Gradistea. There are 83 species of protected wild birds living here, 22 among which are strictly protected at European level.
The Snagov Forest and the Snagov Lake are also protected areas in the conty. The most important leisure lake close to the capital city of Bucharest, the Snagov Lake (5.75 sq km) is like a river edge, the most important on the lower course of the Ialomita River. With a maximum depth of 9 m, the Snagov Lake is the deepest in the Romanian Plain.
Photo credit: (c) Alex TUDOR / AGERPRES ARCHIVE
A former agricultural sector, Ilfov turned in the latest years to such sectors of activity that are most specific to the capital city, such as the small industry and the development of residential areas. However, agriculture continues to play an important role in this county’s economy. One can notice for instance the development of the small farms, ecological agriculture and industry and packaging industry and also the trade with agrifood stuffs. AGERPRES