The Hungarian Central Statistics Office (KSH) recently published new information regarding migration statistics. In 2022 the number of domestic migrants decreased compared to the previous year. Western and Central Hungary witnessed a net positive influx of people, while the eastern castle counties saw thousands of their inhabitants leave for pastures new.
According to 2022 data, 584,550 migrations took place in Hungary. 297,750 of these were temporary, while the rest, 286,800 were permanent. This number is lower than the one recorded in 2021 but higher than the 2020 figures. Compared to pre-pandemic statistics, more people have left their homes than ever before, writes Pénzcentrum.
Historical migratory trends
The number of domestic migrants (individuals who leave their counties but stay within Hungarian borders) started rising sharply back in 2016. It saw a drop in 2020, most probably due to the beginning of the Covid pandemic. In 2021 it rose higher again but experienced a slight decrease this year.
Before 2007 most inhabitants of the country moved into smaller communities from towns and the capital city. This trend shifted and between 2007 and 2010 cities and Budapest started to fill up with a large number of new residents. Then another change occurred between 2011 and 2015 when the main migratory trend saw people move from communities and smaller cities to Budapest.
In 2016 we went full circle, and the older migratory flow returned, which means more and more people have been leaving the capital and smaller towns ever since, opting to settle down in small communities. This basically means that the agglomerations of cities are growing more steadily than ever.
In general, castle counties in the western and central parts of the country are receiving the highest number of new inhabitants. While in Budapest the population is decreasing, Pest County saw an increase of over 11 thousand people. It was followed by Győr-Moson-Sopron County (+1,800) and Fejér County (+1,300).
While the southern counties witnessed emigration in general, in the northeast the situation is worrisome. Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg Counties lost 6,000 people in total. This is the consequence of a mix of negative factors, including higher rates of poverty, and a lack of job and educational opportunities.
Most foreign migrants arrive in Hungary from other European countries. Out of the 32,500 newcomers, 11,100 came from other EU member states while 14,950 individuals arrived from Ukraine. It cannot be attributed entirely to the ongoing war – in 2021 the number of Ukrainian immigrants was up to 15 thousand.
18,550 people came from Asia, including 1,650 from China and 2,150 from Vietnam. From the American continent, most individuals arrived from the USA, while from Africa, Nigeria was the main source.
Eastern Hungary has historically been economically depressed compared to the western half of the country. In western Hungary the obvious geographically closer links to Western Europe spurred growth in both industry and tourism. Let that be something you can appreciate when you have the Orban government working to turn Hungary’s back on the West and bend over backwards to do trade with the East. This government is taking the completely wrong road with Orban spouting Kremlin propaganda about “the decline of the West.” Hungarians can revel in Wizz Air offering service to Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan.