The statistics are finally out. According to the latest emigration data released by the Central Statistical Office (KSH), in 2022, around 26,500 Hungarian citizens decided to leave their home country and settle somewhere else.
Such a high amount of emigrees was last recorded five years ago, in 2017. This also means an increase of almost 5000 people in comparison with the numbers of 2021, Portfolio reports.
Emigration on the rise?
But what do these statistics mean in practice? The results show us a reversal to a trend which culminated in the year 2021. Until then, the number of Hungarians returning home from abroad has been steadily on the rise for over a decade. In 2021, the amount of people who came back was even higher than that of those who left. In 2022, this trend reverted – for 26,500 emigrees, KSH recorded only 21,900 returnees.
However, not all is bad. Overall, the gross migration numbers are still positive, due to a record number of foreigners coming to Hungary the same year. According to official data, a whopping 14,000 non-Hungarian citizens made the decision to move here – the highest since 2015.
Hard to track statistics
Before coming to any conclusions, we ought to keep in mind that these numbers might be distorted. International migration is extremely hard to track, and thus the statistics aren’t always completely reliable either. Migration inside the European Union due to relaxed measures is already almost impossible to record properly and efficiently. In addition, KSH emigration statistics include only those, who leave Hungary for at least 12 months. Another problem stems from the gathering of data. They use only numbers provided by government agencies, meaning those who didn’t officially report their departure, are not counted in the results.
Another circumstance which distorts the statistics is a government decision from 2010. This law gave unconditional citizenship to all Hungarians living in bordering nations. This massively increased the official ratio of Hungarians born outside of the country, who decided to “return home”. In 2015, this meant a record amount of 17700 citizens.
But where did they go?
While other European statistics agencies haven’t released their own numbers yet, we can make educated guesses from previously recorded data. According to Eurostat, in 2021, 370,000 Hungarian nationals lived abroad, but inside the borders of the European Union. Most of them can be found in Germany, their number is roughly estimated at around 190,000. Austria takes second place with a little less than 100,000 people. The Netherlands finishes at third place with a bit over 10,000 nationals. The rest are distributed in other member states.
Outside of the EU, another favourite destination is the United Kingdom. Before Brexit, the number of Hungarians living and working inside the UK was estimated to be around 250,000 . This has since decreased to just 170,000 in 2022, probably due to the state’s decision to leave the European Union.
Maybe if stopped reporting how little money people make here – never explaining it’s also one the most affordable place to live in the western world. So much opportunity here in one of the WORLDS most beautiful cities. The work ethic here is backwards – it’s like doing you a favor by taking your money, maybe explain the difference of a capitalist and a socialist society.