Budapest, July 10 (MTI) – The population of Hungary is estimated to decline by 2 million by 2060, according to fresh data by the Central Statistical Office’s demographics team presented on Friday.
Hungary’s population has been on a declining curve since the 1980s and it dropped by 100,000 between the last census in 2011 and 2014, the data compiled in the KSH publication Demographic Portrait 2015 showed.
Hungary’s population is aging with more people in the older age groups, while there are fewer children. About one fifth of the population is past the age of 65 and only a seventh belongs to the age group of 15, the report said. The proportion of the 65+ population surpassed the below-15 group in 2006, it added.
The number of immigrants of foreign citizenship dropped over the past few years while the number of Hungarian immigrants born outside Hungary has increased significantly since 2011. This latter group consists mainly of people who now have dual citizenship.
The number of asylum-seekers in Hungary has risen substantially since 2013, like elsewhere in the EU, but the number of people with accepted refugee status remains below 500 a year, the report said.
Hungarians leave the country to seek jobs abroad in greater numbers since 2007 and the trend accelerated in 2011. In addition to original target countries like Germany and Austria, Great Britain is now among popular destinations. However, the pace of emigration has somewhat slowed down since 2013, data shows.
The number of Hungarians registered in European countries increased by 3.5-fold from 2001 to 330,000 in early 2014. Of these emigrants, 38 percent are in Germany, 23 percent in Britain and 14 percent in Austria. Men, youth and graduates are higher represented among those who leave the country, the data showed.
The report also said that altogether 2.4 million ethnic Hungarians live in the neighbouring countries of Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine, and more than half of them in Romania.
Presenting the data, Zsolt Speder, head of the Demographics Institute at KSH, said the number of marriages in Hungary had declined until 2010 but there has been a slight increase since. Still more children our born out of wedlock in Hungary than to married parents, he said.
Katalin Kovacs, a demographics expert at the institute, said the pension age has been rising in Hungary, but the Hungarian pension system is “one of the most generous in Europe”.