Fortunately, for the past couple of years, the tendency that many Hungarians have moved abroad seems to have slowed down. In fact, according to the most recent data of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH), more Hungarians have returned from foreign countries than people moved away.
Portfolio reported that there has been a tendency not just about fewer and fewer Hungarians moving away from their home country, but rather that more Hungarians have moved back home than to any countries around the world. However, the statistics behave strangely in some areas, as well as having an unexpected result of where those Hungarians have come home from.
According to KSH’s data, 19,300 Hungarians have moved away, but luckily, 23,100 people have moved back to their home country.
That is a significant difference, and it is safe to say that it reflects a slight change in emigration tendencies. What is even better is that there has been no emigration below 20,000 since 2012.
Although, the number of people coming back to Hungary seems to have reached a halt. According to Portfolio, the number of returning people has not changed considerably. It is also important to note that it appears that more and more Hungarians prefer closer destinations.
Before 2018, the most popular destination was Germany. Since then, Austria has taken that place probably because they have more options due to the closeness and travel is more accessible as well as less expensive.
Last year, 7,200 Hungarian have moved to Austria, which is a slight decrease in numbers compared to the year prior. The change, however, is somewhat noticeable in Hungarians moving to Germany and the UK, which dropped by almost 1,000 people. Portfolio highlights that Brexit was a huge dealbreaker, as people who would like to go there must undergo a much stricter process to receive a work permit since January 2020.
Last year, contrary to what was expected, more people had come home from Austria than from other countries. The Brexit did not end up launching an enormous wave of Hungarians moving back to their birthplace as was expected.
This date change can also be attributed to last year’s coronavirus outbreak, as many people have moved even within the country in fear of complete curfew. Since airports were closed down and regulated quite early, only people with more mobility could do that.
There is another strange thing that Portfolio highlights. The discrepancy between Hungarian and other countries’ data on Hungarian citizens’ movements. According to KSH, 5,250 Hungarians moved to Germany last year, while the German statistical office registered 13,670. A similar discrepancy can be seen in the case of the UK and the case of Austria as well.
Looking at the Austrian data, KSH says that 600 more people have moved back to Hungary than away, but the data from the Austrian statistical office shows an increase of 4,000.
What might cause this anomaly? Portfolio says that the main difference comes from how the data is registered.
The Hungarian statistical office only considers people moving away who terminate their Hungarian address(es). The foreign data, however, registers how many new citizens or address request there are.
This means that, especially in the case of people moving to Austria, many people keep their Hungarian residency as well, so that they have somewhere to travel back to. We will only see later how the bounce-back of the tourism industry changes emigration tendencies, however.