With the rich Ploieşti oil fields and the industrialized area near Bucharest, Walachia is economically the most developed region of Romania. Its industries (notably chemicals, heavy machinery, and shipbuilding) provide employment for about half of the country's labor force. Walachia is also a rich agricultural area and the "breadbasket" of Romania. The overwhelming majority of the population is Romanian, but there are also Bulgarians and Serbs. The pre–World War II Jewish population of about 600,000 was reduced to about 18,000 by 1990, with the numbers still declining.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.