Introduction    Hungary Top of Page
Hungary became a Christian kingdom in A.D. 1000 and for many centuries served as a bulwark against Ottoman Turkish expansion in Europe. The kingdom eventually became part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under Communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and an announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos KADAR in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called "Goulash Communism." Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.
   Geography    Hungary Top of Page
Central Europe, northwest of Romania
Geographic coordinates:
47 00 N, 20 00 E
Map references:
total: 93,030 sq km
land: 92,340 sq km
water: 690 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Indiana
Land boundaries:
total: 2,185 km
border countries: Austria 366 km, Croatia 329 km, Romania 443 km, Serbia 166 km, Slovakia 676 km, Slovenia 102 km, Ukraine 103 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
temperate; cold, cloudy, humid winters; warm summers
mostly flat to rolling plains; hills and low mountains on the Slovakian border
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Tisza River 78 m
highest point: Kekes 1,014 m
Natural resources:
bauxite, coal, natural gas, fertile soils, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 49.58%
permanent crops: 2.06%
other: 48.36% (2005)
Irrigated land:
2,300 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
120 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 21.03 cu km/yr (9%/59%/32%)
per capita: 2,082 cu m/yr (2001)
Environment - current issues:
the upgrading of Hungary's standards in waste management, energy efficiency, and air, soil, and water pollution to meet EU requirements will require large investments
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
landlocked; strategic location astride main land routes between Western Europe and Balkan Peninsula as well as between Ukraine and Mediterranean basin; the north-south flowing Duna (Danube) and Tisza Rivers divide the country into three large regions
   People    Hungary Top of Page
9,905,596 (July 2009 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 15% (male 763,553/female 720,112)
15-64 years: 69.3% (male 3,384,961/female 3,475,135)
65 years and over: 15.8% (male 566,067/female 995,768) (2009 est.)
Median age:
total: 39.4 years
male: 37.1 years
female: 42 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
-0.257% (2009 est.)
Birth rate:
9.59 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
12.99 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
0.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
urban population: 68% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 0.3% annual rate of change (2005-2010)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.57 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 7.86 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 8.57 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.44 years
male: 69.27 years
female: 77.87 years (2009 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.35 children born/woman (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
3,300 (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 100 (2001 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: tickborne encephalitis (2009)
noun: Hungarian(s)
adjective: Hungarian
Ethnic groups:
Hungarian 92.3%, Roma 1.9%, other or unknown 5.8% (2001 census)
Roman Catholic 51.9%, Calvinist 15.9%, Lutheran 3%, Greek Catholic 2.6%, other Christian 1%, other or unspecified 11.1%, unaffiliated 14.5% (2001 census)
Hungarian 93.6%, other or unspecified 6.4% (2001 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.4%
male: 99.5%
female: 99.3% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2006)
Education expenditures:
5.5% of GDP (2005)
   Government    Hungary Top of Page
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Hungary
conventional short form: Hungary
local long form: Magyar Koztarsasag
local short form: Magyarorszag
Government type:
parliamentary democracy
name: Budapest
geographic coordinates: 47 30 N, 19 05 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
19 counties (megyek, singular - megye), 23 urban counties (singular - megyei varos), and 1 capital city (fovaros)
counties: Bacs-Kiskun, Baranya, Bekes, Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen, Csongrad, Fejer, Gyor-Moson-Sopron, Hajdu-Bihar, Heves, Jasz-Nagykun-Szolnok, Komarom-Esztergom, Nograd, Pest, Somogy, Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg, Tolna, Vas, Veszprem, Zala
urban counties: Bekescsaba, Debrecen, Dunaujvaros, Eger, Erd, Gyor, Hodmezovasarhely, Kaposvar, Kecskemet, Miskolc, Nagykanizsa, Nyiregyhaza, Pecs, Salgotarjan, Sopron, Szeged, Szekesfehervar, Szekszard, Szolnok, Szombathely, Tatabanya, Veszprem, Zalaegerszeg
capital city: Budapest
25 December 1000 (crowning of King STEPHEN I, traditional founding date)
National holiday:
Saint Stephen's Day, 20 August
18 August 1949, effective 20 August 1949; revised 19 April 1972; 18 October 1989 revision ensured legal rights for individuals and constitutional checks on the authority of the prime minister and also established the principle of parliamentary oversight; 1997 amendment streamlined the judicial system
Legal system:
based on the German-Austrian legal system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Laszlo SOLYOM (since 5 August 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Gordon BAJNAI (since 14 April 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers prime minister elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president; other ministers proposed by the prime minister and appointed and relieved of their duties by the president
elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 6-7 June 2005 (next to be held by June 2010); prime minister elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president; election last held 14 April 2009
election results: Laszlo SOLYOM elected president by a simple majority in the third round of voting, 185 to 182; Gordon BAJNAI elected prime minister; result of legislative vote - 204 to 0
note: to be elected, the president must win two-thirds of legislative vote in the first two rounds or a simple majority in the third round
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Orszaggyules (386 seats; members are elected by popular vote under a system of proportional and direct representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 9 and 23 April 2006 (next to be held in April 2010)
election results: percent of vote by party (5% or more of the vote required for parliamentary representation in the first round) - MSzP 43.2%, Fidesz-KDNP 42%, SzDSz 6.5%, MDF 5%, other 3.3%; seats by party - MSzP 190, Fidesz-KDNP 164, SzDSz 20, MDF 11, independent 1; seats by party as of January 2009 - MSzP 190, Fidesz-KDNP 161, SzDSz 19, MDF 10, independent 5, vacant 1
Judicial branch:
Constitutional Court (judges are elected by the National Assembly for nine-year terms)
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance of Free Democrats or SzDSz [Gabor FODOR]; Christian Democratic People's Party or KDNP [Zsolt SEMJEN]; Hungarian Civic Alliance or Fidesz [Viktor ORBAN, chairman]; Hungarian Democratic Forum or MDF [Ibolya DAVID]; Hungarian Socialist Party or MSzP [Ferenc GYURCSANY]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Air Work Group (works to reduce air pollution in towns and cities); Company For Freedom Rights (Tarsasag a Szabadsagjogokert) or TASZ (personal data protection); Danube Circle (protests the building of the Gabchikovo-Nagymaros dam); Green Future (protests the impact of lead contamination of local factory on health of the people); environmentalists: Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (Magyar Madartani Egyesulet)or MME; Green Alternative (Zold Alternativa)
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ferenc SOMOGYI
chancery: 3910 Shoemaker Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 362-6730
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8135
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador April H. FOLEY
embassy: Szabadsag ter 12, H-1054 Budapest
mailing address: pouch: American Embassy Budapest, 5270 Budapest Place, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5270
telephone: [36] (1) 475-4400
FAX: [36] (1) 475-4764
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and green
   Economy    Hungary Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Hungary has made the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy, with a per capita income nearly two-thirds that of the EU-25 average. The private sector accounts for more than 80% of GDP. Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms are widespread, with cumulative foreign direct investment totaling more than $60 billion since 1989. The government's IMF-mandated austerity measures, imposed since late 2006, have reduced the budget deficit from over 9% of GDP in 2006 to 3.3% in 2008. Hungary's impending inability to service its short-term debt - brought on by the global credit crunch in late 2008 - led Budapest to seek and receive an IMF-arranged financial assistance package worth over $25 billion. The global financial crisis, declining exports, and low domestic consumption and fixed asset accumulation, dampened by government austerity measures, will result in a negative growth rate of about -1.5% to -2.5% in 2009.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$205.7 billion (2008 est.)
$208.9 billion (2007)
$193.2 billion (2006)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$131.4 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-1.5% (2008 est.)
1.3% (2007 est.)
3.9% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$19,800 (2008 est.)
$19,700 (2007 est.)
$19,400 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.2%
industry: 31.9%
services: 65% (2008 est.)
Labor force:
4.2 million (2008 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 5%
industry: 32.4%
services: 62.6% (2005)
Unemployment rate:
8% (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 22.2% (2002)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
28 (2005)
Investment (gross fixed):
15.2% of GDP (January - September 2008)
revenues: $76.2 billion
expenditures: $81.5 billion (2008 est.)
Public debt:
73.8% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.1% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
9.5% (1 January 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.48% (26 January 2009)
Stock of money:
$36.78 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$43.07 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$109.5 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$21.9 billion (31 December 2008)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, corn, sunflower seed, potatoes, sugar beets; pigs, cattle, poultry, dairy products
mining, metallurgy, construction materials, processed foods, textiles, chemicals (especially pharmaceuticals), motor vehicles
Industrial production growth rate:
0.4% (2008 est.)
Electricity - production:
37.66 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
37.11 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports:
10.69 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
14.68 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
32,580 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
162,800 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - exports:
66,660 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
178,400 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves:
20.18 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)
Natural gas - production:
2.545 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
13.36 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
138 million cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
10.45 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
8.098 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)
Current account balance:
-$6.89 billion (2008 est.)
$109.3 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
machinery and equipment 61.1%, other manufactures 28.7%, food products 6.5%, raw materials 2%, fuels and electricity 1.6% (2003)
Exports - partners:
Germany 28.1%, Italy 5.6%, France 4.7%, Austria 4.6%, Romania 4.5%, UK 4.5%, Slovakia 4.2%, Poland 4.2% (2007)
$107.5 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment 51.6%, other manufactures 35.7%, fuels and electricity 7.7%, food products 3.1%, raw materials 2.0% (2003)
Imports - partners:
Germany 26.6%, China 7.8%, Russia 6.9%, Austria 6.1%, Italy 4.5%, France 4.3%, Netherlands 4.3% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$30.95 billion (31 December 2008)
Debt - external:
$144.2 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$152.4 billion (2008 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$79.56 billion (2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
forints (HUF) per US dollar - 171.8 (2008), 183.83 (2007), 210.39 (2006), 199.58 (2005), 202.75 (2004)
   Communications    Hungary Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
3.251 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
11.03 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: the telephone system has been modernized and is capable of satisfying all requests for telecommunication service
domestic: the system is digitalized and highly automated; trunk services are carried by fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay; a program for fiber-optic subscriber connections was initiated in 1996; competition among mobile-cellular service providers has led to a sharp increase in the use of mobile cellular phones since 2000 and a decrease in the number of fixed-line connections
international: country code - 36; Hungary has fiber-optic cable connections with all neighboring countries; the international switch is in Budapest; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean regions), 1 Inmarsat, 1 very small aperture terminal (VSAT) system of ground terminals
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 5, FM 90, shortwave 1 (2008)
Television broadcast stations:
95 (2008)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
1.879 million (2008)
Internet users:
4.2 million (2007)
   Transportation    Hungary Top of Page
46 (2008)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 20
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2008)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total 26 2,438 to 3,047 m 2 1,524 to 2,437 m 3 914 to 1,523 m 11 under 914 m 10 (2008)
5 (2007)
gas 4,407 km; oil 987 km; refined products 335 km (2008)
total: 8,057 km
broad gauge: 36 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 7,802 km 1.435-m gauge (2,628 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 219 km 0.760-m gauge (2006)
total: 159,568 km
paved: 70,050 km (30,874 km of interurban roads including 626 km of expressways)
unpaved: 89,518 km (2005)
1,622 km (most on Danube River) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Budapest, Dunaujvaros, Gyor-Gonyu, Csepel, Baja, Mohacs (2003)
   Military    Hungary Top of Page
Military branches:
Ground Forces, Hungarian Air Force (Magyar Legiero, ML) (2009)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in June 2004; 6-month service obligation, with reserve obligation to age 50 (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,391,400
females age 16-49: 2,337,240 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,887,755
females age 16-49: 1,934,019 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 60,248
female: 57,280 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.75% of GDP (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Hungary Top of Page
Disputes - international:
bilateral government, legal, technical and economic working group negotiations continue in 2006 with Slovakia over Hungary's failure to complete its portion of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric dam project along the Danube; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Hungary has implemented the strict Schengen border rules
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and cannabis and for South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; limited producer of precursor chemicals, particularly for amphetamine and methamphetamine; efforts to counter money laundering, related to organized crime and drug trafficking, are improving, but remain vulnerable; significant consumer of ecstasy

This page was last updated on 23 April 2009


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