Demographic History of Hungary

Note : this page is conceived telegram-style and selective (lists of wars deemed destructive, lists of epidemic diseases, years of famine etc.)

Aging Society
Deportation & Genocide
Ethnic Minorities : Croats; Germans, Gypsies, Vlachs (Romanians), Rusyn (Ruthenians), Serbs, Slovaks
Religious Minorities : Calvinists (Reformed), Catholics, Jews, Lutherans, Orthodox Christians
Epidemic, Pandemic Diseases
Labour Migration : Immigration, Emigration
Political Refugees : Emigrants, Immigrants
Population Statistics
Rural Population
Volunteers in Foreign Wars
Wartime Destruction : Battlground Hungary

Aging Society
Republic : Due to a decrease in the birth rate and increasing life expectancy, since the 1960es the average age of the Hungarian citizen has gradually increased.

Deportation & Genocide : Kingdom of Hungary
Episodic expulsion of Jews : 1349, 1360, 1526
Persecution of Jews Tyrnau 1494
Anti-Semitic Riot Budapest 1901
Deportation & Genocide : Hungary since 1918
Holocaust : Internment and Deportation of the Jews March 1944-early 1945
Expulsion of Hungarian Germans Sept. 1944 - July 1948

Ethnic Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary - Croats
Since the early 12th century, the Kingdoms of Croatia (truncated, without Dalmatia) and Hungary were unified in dynastic union. Slavonia long was treated as a separate entity, a Hungarian province rather than an autonomous separate entity. Croatia-Slavonia greatly suffered from Ottoman raids. Following the expulsion of the Ottomans from Hungary and Slavonia, immigrant population was brought in to settle and fortify the frontier; most of the immigrants settling in Slavonia were Serbs. Meanwhile, Croats settled in the Lajtabanszag region. From 1867 to 1918 the Croats in Hungary were exposed to Magyarization.
Ethnic Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Croats
Croatia and Slavonia from 1918 formed part of SHS (Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes; since 1929 Yugoslavia). In 1920 most of Lajtabanszag (Western Hungary, Burgenland) opted for annexation into Austria; this reduced the Croat minority in Hungary significantly. The number of Croats in Hungary in 1920 was 58,900, in 1980 13,800. During World War II, when (briefly independent) Croatia and Hungary both were German allies, part of Hungary's Croat minority was repatriated.

Ethnic Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary - Germans
Immigrated in a number of waves. A first wave arrived in the 13th century, establishing cities, especially mining cities (Slovakia, Transylvania). Further immigration of Catholic Germans in the 18th century following the liberation of the country from Ottoman rule; German settlements concentrated around Pecs (Fünfkirchen) and in the Banat. From 1867 to 1918 exposed to Magyarization.
Ethnic Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Germans
In the Treaty of Trianon, Hungary had to cede Croatia, Slovakia, Carpatho-Ruthenia, (Greater) Transylvania and much of the Banat; thus the German population of Hungary was reduced accordingly. In 1920 most of Lajtabanszag (Western Hungary, Burgenland) opted for annexation into Austria; this reduced the German minority in Hungary further. Most members of the German minority were expelled in 1944-1948 (population group fell from 533,000 in 1941 to 22,000 in 1949).

Ethnic Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary - Gypsies
In 15th century, the Roma were declared slaves; freed only in 1740, laws were enacted limiting their economic activities. Most of them assimilated, adopting Hungarian language in the 19th and 20th century. In the late 19th century, further groups of Roma - Vlach Gypsies, speaking Roma language, coming from Romania, immigrated.
Ethnic or Religious Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Gypsies
The Roma population long suffered discrimination. In 1944 (Hungary under German occupation) they were exposed to genocide; the number of victims among Hungary's Roma is estimated between 5,000 and 30,000. The number of Roma presently living in Hungary is estimated between 400,000 and 600,000 (2004).

Ethnic Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary - Vlachs (Romanians)
Since the establishment of the Hungary state in 895, a large Vlach population lived under Hungarian rule. They were characterized by their use of the Romanian language and adherence to the Greek / Romanian Orthodox Church. Most of them were serfs. Geographically were concentrated in Transylvania and adjacent areas of eastern Hungary. In Transylvania, the Orthodox confession was not treated as one of the official religions, instead merely tolerated. Transylvania from 1541 to 1867 was a separate political entity. Following the expulsion of the Ottomans from Hungary, Vlachs participated in the resettling of wasteland. Outside of Transylvania, the Vlachs were exposed to the Counterreformation. From 1867 to 1918, the Vlachs in Hungary (including Transylvania) were exposed to Magyarization.
Ethnic Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Romanians
The Treaty of Trianon drew borders in favour of Romania, leaving only a small population of Romanians within Hungary (23,000). In 1940, Romania was compelled to cede a large part of Transylvania to Hungary, greatly increasing the Romanian minority within Hungary. In 1945 Hungary returned Northern Transylvania to Romania. In 1980, the number of Romanians living in Hungary was given as 8,800.

Ethnic Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary - Ruthenians (Rusyn)
A population concentrated in Carpatho-Ruthenia; speakers of Ukrainian. From 1867 to 1918 exposed to Magyarization.
Ethnic Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Rusyn
The Treaty of Trianon allocated Carpatho-Ruthenia to Czechoslovakia. From 1939 to 1944 temporarily Hungarian again.

Ethnic Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary - Serbs
Following the expulsion of the Ottomans from Hungary, large parts of the country were depopulated. The Habsburg administration called settlers of Catholic and Orthodox faith into the country. Serbs predominantly settled in Croatia, Slavonia and the Banat (Vojvodina) regions. Until 1851 they lived in the military border region; the administration of the latter respected the Serb's religion. From 1867 to 1918 the Serb population in Hungary was exposed to Magyarization.
Ethnic Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Serbs
The Treaty of Trianon left most of the Serb settlements within the Kingdom of Hungary were allocated to SHS - the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes since 1929 known as Yugoslavia. In 1920, 17,000 Serbs lived in Hungary. During World War II, Hungary reannexed the Bacska region, which resulted in a drastic increase of the Serb population within Hungary. In 1945 the region was returned to Yugoslavia. By 1980, the Serb population of Hungary had decreased to 2.800.

Ethnic Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary - Slovaks
The territory which today forms Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary from 895 to 1918. It was integral part of the Hungarian state, lacked regional autonomy. In Upper Hungary, as the region was called until 1918, the nobility was predominantly Hungarian; much of the peasantry Slovak, while the cities, especially Bratislava (Pressburg, Poszony) had a strong German population element. Slovak national awakening began in 1848. Following the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the Slovaks were exposed to Magyarization, a policy attempting to enforce their assimilation into Hungarian culture; even the word 'Slovak' was banned. Many Slovaks emigrated; in 1918-1919 most Slovaks found themselves citizens of Czecho-Slovakia.
Ethnic or Religious Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Slovaks
Concentrated in the region bordering Slovakia. Slovakia until 1918 formed part of the Kingdom of Hungary; the border drawn in 1918/1919 left a Hungarian minority within Slovakia and a Slovak minority within Hungary.

Religious Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary- Calvinists
Calvinist Reformation began in Hungary in 1561. The Hungarian bible translation was published in 1607. The first presbytery was organized in 1617. In Royal Hungary the protestants were subjected to the Counterreformation. When Hungary was unified under Habsburg rule in the late 17th century, the persecution of Protestantism was extended to hitherto Ottoman Hungary; only in Transylvania, non-Catholic confessions were tolerated. In 1781 (Edict of Tolerance) was protestantism legalized again.
Ethnic or Religious Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Calvinists
The Treaty of Trianon reduced the territory of Hungary to 40 % of her per-war size. The loss of Transylvania and Slovakia greatly affected the Hungarian Reformed Church. In 1919, the clergy was subject to Red Terror. 1948-1956 clergy and practising reformed christians were exposed to discrimination and persecution by the Communist regime; after 1956 the situation improved, but discrimination continued.

Religious Groups : Hungary since 1918 - Catholics
In 1046 pagan rebellion defeated, pagans forcibly converted. In 1948 to 1956 clergy and practising Catholics exposed to discrimination and persecution; Cardinal Mindszenty jailed.

Religious Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary - Jews
Jews lived in the Pannonian plain prior to the arrival of the Magyars 895. Jewish immigration documented from the 11th century. Expulsions 1349, 1360; pogrom 1494. In the 19th century, the Jewish population in the major cities (Budapest, Debreczen) grew rapidly; part of the Jewish population assimilated into the German culture. From 1867 to 1918 exposed to Magyarization.
Religious Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Jews
Many Jews were victims of the Red Terror 1919, others of the White Terror that followed. Discriminated against by legislation enacted in the early 1940es; victims of genocide 1944.

Religious Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Lutherans
In 1919, the clergy was subject to Red Terror. 1948-1956 clergy and practising reformed christians were exposed to discrimination and persecution by the Communist regime; after 1956 the situation improved, but discrimination continued. Presently c. 300 congregations.

Religious Minorities : Kingdom of Hungary - Orthodox Christians
The Ruthenians (Rusyn) and Vlachs (Romanians) were long treated as serfs; the Habsburg administration as well as the Catholic hierarchy long neglected both groups. In 1781 religious toleration granted. Religious Minorities : Hungary since 1918 - Orthodox Christians
The Treaty of Trianon left the vast majority of the Rusyn and Romanian population outside the new borders of Hungary.

Epidemic, Pandemic Diseases
1348 Bubonic Plague (Black Death)
1456 Plague
1729 Influenza
1738 Great Plague
1831 Cholera
1848-1849 Cholera
1909 Cholera
1914 Cholera

1243 Great Famine
1586 Famine
1892 Famine
1914-1918 Food Shortage in WW I
1939-1945 Food Shortage in WW II

Labour Migration : Kingdom of Hungary : Immigration
13th to 15th centuries : German peasants, craftsmen, miners
Late 17th to 18th centuries : Catholic German, Czech, Slovak, Croat settlers; Orthodox Serb, Vlach settlers
18th century : Protestants to Transylvania; Gypsies from Romania
19th century : Jews, into cities

Labour Migration : Kingdom of Hungary : Emigration
19th Century, to U.S.A.; Slovaks overrepresented among emigrants from Kgd of Hungary
19th Century, to Vienna: urban professionals; Jews overrepresented

Political Refugees : Kingdom of Hungary : Emigrants
1526 Jews fleeing pogroms, into Ottoman Balkans
1849 fleeing clampdown after Hungarian Revolution
1867-1918 members of ethnic minorities fleeting Magyarization
Political Refugees : Hungary since 1918 : Emigrants
1919 fleeing Red Terror, to Austria etc.
1919 fleeing White Terror, to Russia
1956 fleeing Warsaw Pact invasion, clampdown, to Austria
1957 fleeing clampdown, to Yugoslavia

Political Refugees : Hungary since 1918 - Immigrants
1237 pagan Cumans
1989 GDR tourists expressing their desire not to return to GDR; moved into FRG
1989 ethnic Hungarians from Romania

Population Statistics
First conducted in the Habsburg lands in 1754. Censi 1869, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1941, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990

Rural Population : Kingdom of Hungary
The Magyars who took possession of the Pannonian Plain in 895 were pastoral nomads. They gradually settled down, pastoral nomadism being practised longest by the Szekely (mainly residing in Transylvania) who, although Hungarian-speaking, long were regarded a separate ethnicity. The subjugated populations (Slovaks, Vlachs, Ruthenians) were mainly peasants (serfs).
The Tatar invasion of 1241 and the Ottoman invasions / raids of 1526-1699 not only resulted in the killing of a considerable percentage of the peasant population, but caused the survivors to congregate in large peasant villages of several 10,000 inhabitants. In the 18th century colonists were called into the country to settle the wasteland, causing Hungary to become an ethnic caleidoscope. Many of the settlers were granted free status. Serfdom abolished in 1848. Migration into urban centers intensified after 1848.
Rural Population : Hungary since 1918
Land Reform 1945 dissolved estates, parcelled out plots to landless rural population. Collectivization of farmland and herds of livestock 1948; privatization after 1991.

Urbanization : Kingdom of Hungary
In 13th century a few urban centers in Kingdom of Hungary - centers of political and ecclesiastic administration. To these were added mining cities and fortified towns for the purpose of securing the border.
The Ottoman raids caused the formation of large peasant towns, such as Debreczen, in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Industrialization centered on mining regions (Slovakia, Transylvania), as central Hungary lacks mineral sources and is exceptionally fertile farmland. Few urban centers, most notably Budapest (Buda and Pest merged in 1873), experienced rapid growth in the later part of the 19th century.
Urbanization : Hungary since 1918
Cities affected by Red, White Terror (1919), Treaty of Trianon (partial loss of hinterland), World War II, establishment of a Communist society. In the 1950es establishment of new industries resulted in population growth; Revolt of 1956 in exodus of part of the population.

Volunteers in Foreign Wars
1919-1920 : Hungarian Legion, in the Russian Civil War, on the side of the Reds
1936-1939 : Hungarian Volunteers fought in the Spanish Civil War

Wartime Destruction : Kingdom of Hungary - Battlefield Hungary
1214 : Tatar Invasion
1271 : Bohemian invasion
1276-1278 : Hungarian Civil War
1301-1323 : War of Succession
1420-1433 : Hussite Wars
1437-1438 : Transylvania Peasant Revolt
1465-1478 : Bohemian-Hungarian War
1514 : Peasant Rebellion
1517 : Szekely Rebellion
1526 : First Ottoman Invasion
1541 : Ottoman conquest of part of Hungary
1541-1566 Ottoman-Transylvanian border warfare
1562 : Szekely Rebellion
1663-1664 Habsburg-Ottoman War
1678-1684 Kuruc Rebellion
1683-1699 Habsburg-Ottoman War; Habsburg conquest of Hungary
1703-1711 Kuruc Rebellion
1716-1718 Habsburg-Ottoman War; Habsburg conquest of Banat
1737-1739 Habsburg-Ottoman War
1831 Peasant Revoly in Slovakia, Transylvania
1848-1849 : Hungarian Revolution
Wartime Destruction : Hungary since 1918 - Battlefield Hungary
1919 : Hungarian Civil War
1919 : Hungarian-Romanian War
1944 : German Occupation; Soviet Occupation
1956 : Invasion of Warsaw Pact forces

Article Roma People in Hungary, Demographics of Hungary, from Wikipedia
Languages of Hungary, from Hungary
Slovene Raba Region (within Hungary), posted by Tibor Horvat
Hungary, from European Centre for Minority Issues
Migration, from Encyclopedia of the Nations : Hungary
Migration Information Source Country Profiles : Hungary
Assessment for Roma in Hungary, from Minorities at Risk
Assessment for Magyars in Romania, from Minorities at Risk
Assessment for Hungarians in Yugoslavia, from Minorities at Risk
Article Expulsion of Germans after World War II : Hungary, from Wikipedia
The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Hungary
History of the Reformed Church in Hungary, by Ferenc Dusicza
Gypsies / Roma in Hungary, Fact Sheet from MOFA Hungary
The Demographic Situation in Croatia, by S. Mrden and M. Friganovic
DOCUMENTS Hungary - Minorities, from FOTW
Historical Population Statistics : Hungary, from Population Statistics by Jan Lahmeyer
Historical Abortion Statistics - Hungary, from Johnston's Archive
REFERENCE B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics 1750-1988 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted om May 24th 2008

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