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Hungary’s population fell by 3.4% between 2011 and 2022

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Hungary – The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) recently published the results of the 2022 census. Here are some of its findings:

Continued demographic decline since 1980

First of all,

the number of people living in Hungary has fallen by 3.4% since 2011.

The small Central European country had a population of 9,603,634 in 2022, compared with 9,937,628 eleven years earlier. Looking at the historical data, it is worth recalling that the population of Hungary’s current territory, which stood at 5,011,310 in 1870, increased with each census (except in 1949 due to losses during the Second World War) until 1980, when it reached 10,709,463. It then embarked on a path of continual decline. This decline is not evenly distributed across Hungary, however. The population of the counties of Pest (around Budapest) and Győr-Moson-Sopron (on the Austrian border) actually increased by 9.5% and 4%, respectively, between 2011 and 2022, while those of the counties of Békés (south-east) Nógrád (north), Tolna (south), and Borsod-Adaúj-Templén (north-east) fell by 12.4%, 9.9%, 9.7%, and 9.2%, respectively. Generally speaking, Hungary’s population has declined more in the east than in the west.

Sharp rise in the number of foreigners

At the same time, the proportion of foreigners (people without Hungarian citizenship) rose from 0.91% in 2001 to 1.44% in 2011 and 2.27% in 2022. Despite this sharp increase, the proportion of foreigners in Hungary is still well below the levels seen in Western Europe. It should also be noted that

76% of foreigners living in Hungary come from European countries.

They are mainly nationals from Ukraine, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia, but many are in fact ethnic Hungarians. Non-European foreigners are mainly Chinese and Vietnamese people. The other countries of origin of non-European foreigners living in Hungary are, in decreasing order, South Korea, Turkey, India, the United States, Russia, and Iran.

Declining share of national minorities

As far as national minorities are concerned, it is important to point out that all residents are consulted during the census, and not only citizens. The census’ ethnicity section is also optional. It is possible to declare a primary and a secondary ethnic group to which a respondent belongs.

The results of the 2022 census show a decline in the number of members of national minorities, from 5.59% of the total population in 2011 down to 4.27% in 2022. Between 2011 and 2022, the number of Gypsies decreased from 308,957 (3.11%) to 200,306 (2.09%); the number of Germans went down from 131,951 (1.33%) in 2011 to 98,402 (1.02%) in 2022; the number of Slovaks fell from 29,647 (0.30%) in 2011 to 25,534 in 2022, and so on. There are 13 recognized national minorities in Hungary, and they enjoy significant cultural autonomy in some areas.

Significant drop in religiosity

The number of people declaring a religious affiliation dropped from 54.65% in 2011 to 42.94% in 2022, with the number of Catholics falling from 38.96% to 30.06%, Reformed Catholics from 11.61% to 9.83%, and Lutherans from 2.16% to 1.84%.

According to the Bishop of Szombathely, János Székely, who reacted to the publication of these figures in the Catholic magazine Magyar Kurír, these figures should encourage introspection in every Christian and every church. European Christianity, including Hungarian Christianity, needs religious conversions and renewal. ”

The census database published by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office is available here: