Hungary, a nation land-locked in central Europe, was once a part of the powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire, which fell during World War I and was later brought under communist control during World War II. Beginning in 1968, it began to liberalize its economy, eventually leading to multi-party elections and a free market economy in the 1990s. Hungary is currently governed by a parliamentary democracy, with a civil legal system influenced by the German model. The capital is Budapest.
Hungary has a population of almost 10 million people and about 71% of the population resides in urban areas. Youth from ages 15 to 24 years old comprise almost 12% of the population. There are 91 males for every 100 females in the country. Currently, the population growth rate is -.21%, largely because there are higher death rates than birth rates within the nation.
A 2001 census reports 92.3% of the country is of Hungarian ethnicity and 1.9% identify as Roma. The Roma people are often socially marginalized and regarded with suspicion. This negative attitude has only increased with the recent economic crisis.
Hungarian is the mother tongue of 98.9% of Hungarians, but there are significant numbers of English and German speakers, as well as some Russian, Romanian, and French.
The majority of Hungarians self-identify as Christians (37.2% Roman Catholic, 11.6% Calvinist, 2.2% Lutheran, and 1.8% Greek Catholic), but there is a significant number of the unaffiliated (27.2%) and non-religionists (18.2%).
Hungary has been struggling financially since it obtained an IMF/EU/World Bank bail-out program in late 2008 but has been making steady improvements over the last several years. Since its transition to a free market economy, it has had a per capita income of nearly two-thirds that of the EU average.
The European Social Watch Report of 2010 cites unemployment as a major social issue, with only about 55% of the working-age population (18-62 years old) employed. Significant unemployment has further economic distress and poverty within the nation. According to the EU’s measure, about 17% of the population is at risk of poverty, and about 20% of Hungary’s children live below the poverty line.
Population: 9,919,128 (July 2014 estimate)
0-14 years: 14.8%
15-24 years: 11.7%
25-54 years: 41.6%
55-64 years: 14%
65 years and over: 17.8%
Male to Female Ratio: 91 males per 100 females
Birth Rate: 9.26 births per 1,000 population
Average Life Expectancy at Birth: 75.46 years (71.73 years for males; 79.41 years for females)
Infant Mortality Rate: 5.09 deaths per 1,000 live births
Central Intelligence Agency. “Hungary.” The World Factbook. Accessed online 12 May 2015.