Budapest’s population has been continuously decreasing since 2016. In 2016-2017, 3,000-3,000 more, while last year, nearly 6,000 more people left the capital than moved in. The majority of migrants start a new life in the central agglomeration – one and a half decades ago, 738,000 people moved to the capital’s “skirt” area, including 80 settlements, which number increased to 850,000 people last year.

The biggest emigration wave can be dated back to the period of 1993–2005 when the capital’s population decreased from 2.017 million to 1.696 million. Then, a solid flow-back started due to the announcement of the family housing support.

The capital’s suburban ring can be categorised into 6 areas, out of which the most densely populated southernmost sector experienced the greatest population increase in this decade as well.

While many remote regions of Hungary are becoming more and more empty, the population of the Érd-Szigetszentmiklós region grew by 8% in the 2010s. As a result, recently, 70,000 residents were registered in Érd. However, not all the regions are that fortunate – Salgótarján’s population fell from 48,000 to 34,000, while Hódmezővásárhely’s former 51,000 inhabitants decreased to 41,000.

As the Hungarian news portal describes, the metropolitan agglomeration was not as significant one and a half centuries ago as it is today. In the early 1970s, only the 45 locations in the range of 10-15 kilometres were classified as a part of the zone. However, recently, Vác has been also included in the region, being 35 kilometres far from the Chain Bridge. Vác can be considered as a major centre of the region with a well-developed institutional network, which is far more superior than in the case of other medium-sized towns. This is the only city which has a population that is stagnant or only slightly decreasing.

Today, the most populous city of the northeastern sector is the wildly expanding Dunakeszi, where 26,000 residents were registered in 1990, which number has increased to 45,000 people by now.

The capital lost 13%-14% of its residents since 1990 (numerically, this means 266,000 people); while the agglomeration’s population grew by 55% (from 550,000 to 850,000).  However, this does not mean that nearly a quarter-million inhabitants moved from the centre to the ‘green belt’ of Pest County. The decline can be explained by the sorrowful fact that in the capital, more people lose their lives each year than the number of births. Furthermore, residents moving up from the countryside should also be taken into consideration.


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