Hungary: the latest policy in the fight against depopulation

In 1980 Hungary had a population of 10.7 million. In the thirty-five years since then, its population has dropped by nearly a million people to 9.8 million. At the same time, Hungary’s total fertility rate (the number of children a mother will bear on average in her lifetime) has fluctuated between 1.8 and 1.3, well below the replacement-rate of 2.1 children per woman. At the moment the fertility rate is a bit over 1.4: thus there is a long way to go before Hungary’s population decline will stabilise naturally, let alone reverse.  

  • Dana Garcia

    Wait, I thought lots of Germans were fleeing to Hungary to escape Merkel’s diversity.

    Maybe Hungary just needs to advertise its non-Muslim atmosphere more.

  • Ron MacDonald

    A simple solution that wouldn’t require bringing in mediocre immigrants is to pay generous family allowance to encourage families to have more children. First and second child the equivalent of $200 and every child thereafter $1,000 each.

    • Ego

      That would be nice, but way more than the current government is willing to pay.
      Some data for 2016 (in USD):
      Average income: 890.27
      Average pension: 435.16
      Family allowance for 2 children: 96.46
      Average sublet prices in Budapest (over 1.73 million of the 9.8M+ live there):
      – In the cheapest district of Budapest: $5.80/sqm. For a 50 sqm flat, this amounts to $254/month.
      – Prices in other districts are at least 3x that amount (about $760/month).
      – Avg sublet price in the poorer part of the country: 4.53/sqm (about $225.5/month for a 50 sqm flat)

      About 600,000 have left the country in the past few years, more than after the defeated 1956 uprising, and the number keeps growing.

      None of the above encourages couples to have more than one child.

  • T.C.

    I was in Budapest and Estergom in 2007 for a few days. I really liked Budapest. Didn’t experience the multicultural “vibrancy” like I did in Vienna (I’ll never go back to that crap hole). Budapest was a lot of fun and very civilized. Orderly, clean, the people were polite although a bit of a mercenary edge to them – I attributed that to the fact that the country was still recoverying from the Soviets and people were still trying to make ends meet. Encountered a couple of British expates who were working in the tech sector. They weren’t going back to the U.K. if they could help it. For one, they found the Hungarian women to be very addictive. If one can get past the language, which is like no other on the planet, it would be a great country to retire in. The have great swaths of countryside which seem underutilized and the weather is fairly decent.

    • Alain

      Depends on the women as some do know other languages. The wife of a neighbour farmer and friend is married to a Hungarian woman. She has no trouble communicating in English. I really like her as she is down to earth and a no nonsense person. She can smell creeping communism/socialism from a mile away. Such a breath of fresh air compared to so many native born Canadians nowadays.

  • Jaedo Drax

    Canada is at 1.59 (estimated for 2015), and has been under the replacement rate since 1971, and that is even with importing large numbers of third worlders from countries that have a high fertility rate.