New report: the entire Hungarian community can disappear from Slovakia
Based on the 2021 census, the number of Hungarians living in Slovakia was 420 thousand. That means a significant 150 thousand fall in just 30 years. But the future is even grimmer. And there is a prediction that the 22nd century will see no people with a Hungarian identity in Slovakia. Here is why and some further details.
According to Portfolio, a new report published in the Területi Statisztika (Territorial Statistics) journal foresees quite a negative future for the Hungarian community living in Slovakia. Just for the record, this is the second biggest historical Hungarian community living abroad, preceded only by the Transylvanian Hungarians. The authors are two Hungarian researchers from the University of Pozsony/Bratislava and the ELKH – Eötvös Loránd Research Network in Budapest.
You can check out a graph in THIS article about how the number of Hungarians changed in Slovakia in the 20th century. The base number is high, almost 900 thousand in 1910 (when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), which halved by 2021.
There are multiple reasons. Unemployment is relatively high in the regions populated by the Hungarian community (the Southern parts of modern Slovakia). More people have a low level of education compared to the national average, and the road network is underdeveloped. Furthermore, the Slovakian language rules public spaces thanks to a controversial Slovak language law. Even Hungarian-owned enterprises tend to use the Slovak language in Hungarian cities and villages.
The “Dance of National Cohesion” in Komárom/Komarno, Slovakia, in 2020:
There are a lot of ethnically mixed marriages (more than 30 percent) where 80 percent of the kids become Slovak. Furthermore, a lot of Hungarian children learn in Slovak-language schools. 50 Hungarian elementary schools and two secondary schools closed in the last 15 years.
If we compare the 2011 and 2021 censuses (the Hungarian loss is 37 thousand) and calculate with a linear trend, by 2121, there will be no Hungarians living in Slovakia. If we do not consider a linear decrease (a much more viable prospect), 2121 will see 170 thousand Hungarians in Slovakia living in sporadic communities.