folklore Hungary Hungarian
Photo: MTI

Several Hungarians move abroad to live or work in a different country. What do you think, is there any EU country where Hungarians do not flow? Yes, but only two. Meanwhile, some territories are overloaded with Hungarians. Let’s see which are these and what are the reasons behind?!

News often report that the majority of Hungarian immigrants and guest workers go to Austria, Germany and Great Britain. In these three countries – according to official registrations – at least 400.000 Hungarian citizens live.

According to Eurostat – from 2008 until the beginning of 2018 – the number of Hungarians has tripled in Germany – from 60.000 to 190.000 persons who even reached 212.000 by the end of the year. In addition to this, Austria is also more preferred than before; the country was chosen by four times more Hungarians in 2018. Despite Brexit, an increasing tendency can be seen in moving to Great Britain as well.

Surprisingly, the record holder is the Czech Republic (1.), targeted by nine times more Hungarians than before. Why exactly Prague? It must be clarified that despite the significant increase, we cannot talk about an enormous number, numerically 5400 Hungarians choose Prague as their place of residence.

What are the reasons?

  • Czech salaries are significantly higher than in Hungary; this might be one explanation.
  • Another reason is that the majority of them are Slovak Hungarians who acquired Hungarian citizenship and migrated to the Czech Republic.

The second country where the proportion of Hungarians has grown significantly, nearly sixfold, is Norway (2.). The reason is evident as it is one of the wealthiest welfare states of the world. However, its negative characteristics also need to be mentioned – it is cold, distant and expensive. Therefore, we can talk about 3700 Hungarians living in the Scandinavian country.

As describes, Scandinavian countries are quite attractive as the third place is occupied by Iceland (3.), followed by Denmark (4.) on the list – with 440 and 5,000 people. In Sweden, the number of Hungarians has doubled during the examined period.

Switzerland (5.) and the Netherlands (6.) are also very popular due to their developed economy. What is more surprising is that Estonia (7.) is becoming a preferred target as well – between 2012 and 2018, the number of Hungarians increased from 43 to 199.

The increase of Hungarians’ migration to neighbouring countries such as Slovenia, Slovakia and Romania is also remarkable. This can be explained by the fact that according to some news, Romanian wages slowly catch up to Hungarian salaries.

„Sick men of Europe” – Which countries have become unattractive?

There are only two countries where the number of Hungarian citizens has decreased. France is one of them with 6,200 Hungarian citizens, showing a slightly diminishing tendency of 1.5% within the previous four years. The situation is similar in Bulgaria as well; however, a smaller drop can be observed in this case.

Italy is also called the “sick man of Europe” due to its constant economic and political crisis, and indebtedness. Despite this factor, the country attracts more and more Hungarians – their number has increased by 52% within the last ten years. Nonetheless, this is still low compared to other countries – only 8300 people. This number could be higher due to the size and geographic proximity of the country, its favourable climate and well-developed tourism. However, its language is less known than English or German, which can be considered as a disadvantage. Importance of the language is also indicated by the fact that the country is mainly targeted by Latin American and Romanian migrants; just like in Spain.

Despite the severe economic crisis, regular political tensions and high unemployment, the number of Hungarians has doubled in Spain in the last nine years.

What is the reason?

The economically developed coastal tourist heaven, Catalonia (Cataluña) is inhabited by two times more Hungarians than the capital, Madrid. Tourism might be one answer. It is interesting to note that the Canary Islands are even more ’fashionable’. This area is poor, and its population is relatively low. However, the Balearic Islands and Mediterranean coastal Valencian Community are also more populated territories than the Spanish capital.

Probably, the climate has a significant impact in these cases. Furthermore, the tourism and hospitality industry should also be considered – just like in Austria and Germany, many Hungarians are employed in this field.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.