Hungary has been experiencing large-scale internal migration in the past few years. While Western and Central Hungary have seen a net positive influx of people, the eastern castle counties have witnessed thousands of inhabitants leaving for better opportunities.
Domestic migration trends
Migratory trends have shifted significantly over the past few years, with more people leaving their homes now than ever before. Before 2007, most people migrated into smaller communities from major cities. Between 2007 and 2010, cities and Budapest began filling up with new residents. Between 2011 and 2015, migration was from communities and smaller cities to Budapest. In 2016, the older migratory flow, where more people left the capital and smaller towns to settle in small communities, resumed. As a result, the agglomerations of cities are growing more steadily than ever.
Key facts on inter-county migration
Castle counties in western and central Hungary have seen a rise in the number of new inhabitants, while Budapest's population is decreasing. Pest County witnessed an increase of over 11,000 people, followed by Győr-Moson-Sopron County (+1,800) and Fejér County (+1,300). However, southern counties have seen an overall emigration trend, while the northeast is experiencing significant losses. Both Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg Counties lost 6,000 people due to a mix of negative factors such as poverty, lack of job opportunities, and fewer educational opportunities.
Most foreign migrants come from other European countries, with 11,100 newcomers from other EU member states and 14,950 from Ukraine. The situation is not a simple consequence of the ongoing war, as in 2021, the number of Ukrainian immigrants was up to 15,000. Moreover, 18,550 people came from Asia, including 1,650 from China and 2,150 from Vietnam. From the American continent, most individuals arrived from the USA, while from Africa, Nigeria was the largest source.
Internal and foreign migration patterns in Hungary have shifted significantly in recent years. While some regions have witnessed a net positive migration trend, others are grappling with significant losses due to negative factors such as poverty, lack of job and educational opportunities. These migratory shifts indicate a growing need for policy-makers to adopt measures that can attract and retain residents in the country's less-developed regions.
Questions & Answers
What is the recent migration trend in Hungary? According to the recent data by KSH, in 2022, western and central Hungary saw a net positive influx of people, while the eastern castle counties witnessed thousands leaving for other places.
How many migrations took place in Hungary in 2022? In 2022, 584,550 migrations took place in Hungary, out of which 297,750 were temporary, and the remaining 286,800 were permanent.
What are domestic migrants? Domestic migrants are individuals who move to a different county but still stay within Hungary.
Did the COVID-19 pandemic impact the migratory trends in Hungary? The number of domestic migrants dropped in 2020, most probably because of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Which areas of Hungary witnessed the most significant number of new inhabitants? Castle counties in the western and central parts of the country, such as Pest County, Győr-Moson-Sopron County, and Fejér County, witnessed a substantial number of new inhabitants.
Which areas of Hungary witnessed emigration in general? Southern counties witnessed emigration in general, while Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg Counties in the northeast lost 6,000 people in total.
Which factors led to emigration in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg Counties? The emigration in these counties was the result of a mix of negative factors, including higher rates of poverty and a lack of job and educational opportunities.
From which countries do most foreign migrants arrive in Hungary? Most foreign migrants arrive in Hungary from other European countries, followed by Ukraine.
How many Ukrainian immigrants arrived in Hungary in 2022? In 2022, 14,950 individuals arrived in Hungary from Ukraine.
Is the ongoing war in Ukraine the only reason for the rise in the number of Ukrainian immigrants? No, in 2021, the number of Ukrainian immigrants was up to 15 thousand, indicating that the ongoing war is not the only factor contributing to the rise in the number of Ukrainian immigrants.
From which Asian countries did immigrants arrive in Hungary in 2022? In 2022, immigrants arrived in Hungary from many Asian countries, including China and Vietnam.