Bessarabia, the Ethnographical Map


In the spring of 1919 Captain John Kaba of the United States Army completed a two-month survey of political and economic conditions in Bessarabia (present-day Moldova) on behalf of the American Relief Administration, the organization established by the United States Congress to provide humanitarian assistance and combat mass starvation in Europe in the immediate aftermath of World War I. Kaba published his findings in a report entitled Politico-economic Review of Basarabia, issued on June 30, 1919. This map accompanied the report. It uses colored circles to show the size and ethnic composition of the populations of the towns and cities of the province. The colored bar graph to the left of the map provides a key to the circles, and gives the breakdown by ethnic group for all 3 million people in Bessarabia. The leading groups by size of population are listed as Roumanians (known as Moldavians in Russia), Jews, Ucranians [sic], Russians, “Roumaniens who have become Russians or Rutenians,” Germans (Colonists), Gypsies, Bulgarians (Colonists), Lipovenians (Old Believer Russians), Cossacks, Bulgarian-Turkish, Polish, Armenians, and various other nationalities. The table on the lower left of the map provides statistics on agricultural production; religious establishments; the populations of cities, towns, and counties; occupations of the inhabitants of the province; government budgets; the press; and schools, public health, and various other topics. The map shows internal boundaries between voloste and districts, monasteries, railway lines, stations, and bridges. The scale is in kilometers.

Last updated: April 13, 2016