Szeklerland’s richest cities [Skewed list]

Transylvania’s richest city is Borszék/Borsec, located in Hargita/Harghita County and home to 2,585 inhabitants (as per 2011 census data), according to a list compiled by a new startup, UrbanizeHub. Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș ranks second, while Csíkszereda/Miercurea-Ciuc is third in the region. When ranking the cities of Romania, researchers considered the GDP and the taxes paid per capita in the city. The results, however, should be taken with a pinch of salt.

First of all, it’s quite interesting that there are no big cities high on the list. When opening the economic map of Romania, UrbanizeHub’s research shows that the richest city in the whole country is Vidombák/Ghimbav (Brassó/Brașov County), followed by Mioveni (Argeș County), and Otopeni (Ilfov County). All three have one thing in common: Thousands of people commute there for work, as the headquarters of the company they work for is located there.

However, this doesn’t mean that the local standard of living is growing accordingly, economist Árpád Szabó tells Székelyhon, reflecting on the list. So, how did Borszék end up at the top of the list of Szeklerland’s richest cities?

Because Romaqua Group Borsec’s mineral water plant is located in Borszék, and the company is making significant profits from exploiting the mineral water springs located in the area. When dividing the profits by the number of inhabitants, the numbers look good, but unfortunately they have little to do with reality.

Another problem highlighted by the economist is that many companies are registered in different locations than their headquarters. So, they strengthen the statistics for the settlement they are registered in instead of where they actually perform their activity.

So, while it’s great to see Borszék, Marosvásárhely, and Csíkszereda with such an honorable ranking, make sure to read the list with the above in mind.

Title image: Family walk on one of the streets of Borszék/Borsec (1973). Image source: Anna Tüskés/Azopan

Author: István Fekete