Hungary is one of the world’s top 15 tourist attractions, with a capital that is often considered as one of the most beautiful in the world. Despite its modest size, Hungary is home to many World Heritage Sites, UNESCO Biosphere reserves, the world’s second biggest thermal lake (Lake Hévz), Central Europe’s largest lake (Lake Balaton), and Europe’s largest natural grassland (Hortobágy). In terms of architecture, Hungary is home to Europe’s largest synagogue (the Great Synagogue of Budapest), Europe’s largest medicinal bath (Széchenyi Medicinal Bath), Europe’s third largest church (Esztergom Basilica), the world’s second largest territorial abbey (Pannonhalma Archabbey), the world’s second largest Baroque castle (Gödöll), and Europe’s largest Early Christian Necr
There will be safe food and water, as well as a largely stable political environment.
Hungary has always been ethnically varied, and although over 90% of the population is ethnically Hungarian today, pockets of ethnic and cultural Slovaks, Romanians, Germans, Romani/Sinti people (Gypsies), and others dot the nation. Because to Hungary’s border modifications after World War I, approximately 2 million ethnic and cultural Hungarians now reside in neighboring nations. The Hungarians, also known as Magyars, are the ancestors of numerous Central Asian tribes who were thought to be ferocious, nomadic horsemen when they arrived in Central Europe in the 9th century.
Hungary is presently governed by a conservative right-wing party that has been accused of dictatorial conduct. Except for Romani/Sinti people, who have been violently attacked by vigilantes in certain areas, this is unlikely to impact travelers who abstain from political participation and do not break the law. The ultra-right-wing opposition Jobbik Party has also made troubling anti-Semitic and anti-Romani/Sinti statements, and if it ever gained power, it is likely that many people would be jeopardized; however, that party, which had previously been significant, received very few votes in the most recent elections.
Hungary’s topography has long been characterized by its two major rivers, the Danube and the Tiszarivers. This is reflected in the country’s customary tripartite classification into three sections—Dunántl (“beyond the Danube”, Transdanubia), Tiszántl (“beyond the Tisza”), and Duna-Tisza köze (“between the Danube and Tisza”). The Danube River runs north-south through the heart of modern Hungary, and the whole nation is within its drainage basin.
Transdanubia, which extends westward from the country’s center into Austria, is mainly a hilly area with low mountains varying the landscape. These include the Alpokalja Mountains in the west of the nation, the Transdanubian Mountains in the center of Transdanubia, and the Mecsek Mountains and Villány Mountains in the south. At 882 meters, the highest peak in the region is the rott-k in the Alps (2,894 ft). Northern Transdanubia is home to the Little Hungarian Plain (Kisalföld). Transdanubia also has Lake Balaton and Lake Hévz, the biggest lakes in Central Europe and the largest thermal lakes in the world, respectively.
The Duna-Tisza köze and Tiszántl are defined mostly by the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld), which spans much of the country’s eastern and southeastern regions. The Carpathians’ foothills form a broad stretch along the Slovakian border to the north of the Plain. The Kékes, at 1,014 m (3,327 ft), is Hungary’s highest mountain and may be located here.
Hungary is a phytogeographic province of the Circumboreal Region of the Boreal Kingdom, located in Central Europe. According to the WWF, Hungary’s land is part of the Pannonian mixed woods ecoregion.
Hungary contains ten national parks, 145 small nature reserves, and 35 protected landscape regions.
Hungary has a continental climate, with hot summers and moderate humidity levels, but regular rainshowers and slightly chilly snowy winters. The average yearly temperature is 9.7 degrees Celsius (49.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Temperature extremes in the summer include 41.9 °C (107.4 °F) on 20 July 2007 at Kiskunhalas and 35 °C (31.0 °F) on 16 February 1940 Miskolc-Görömbölytapolca. Summer high temperatures range from 23 to 28 °C (73 to 82 °F), while winter low temperatures range from 3 to 7 °C (27 to 19 °F). The average annual rainfall is about 600 mm (23.6 in). A tiny, southern part of the nation around Pécs has a Mediterranean climate, although it is only slightly warmer than the rest of the country and still gets snow in the winter.
Hungary is rated sixth in the GW/CAN environmental protection ranking.
In 2011, the population of Hungary was 9,937,628 people. The population density is 107 people per square kilometer, which is about double the global average. More over a quarter of the population resided in the Budapest metropolitan region, with a total of 6,903,858 people (69.5 percent) living in cities and towns. Hungary, like most other European nations, has sub-replacement fertility, with the total fertility rate (TFR) in 2015 estimated at 1.43 children born per woman, which is lower than the replacement rate of 2.1. As a result, the population is gradually declining and rapidly aging. In 2013, unmarried women accounted for 45.6 percent of all births. In 2015, males had a life expectancy of 71.96 years and women had a life expectancy of 79.62 years, both of which had increased steadily since the collapse of Communism.
Hungary has 8,314,029 (83.7 percent ) Hungarians, 308,957 (3.1 percent ) Romani, 131,951 (1.3 percent ) Germans, 29,647 (0.3 percent ) Slovaks, 26,345 (0.3 percent ) Romanians, and 23,561 (0.2 percent ) Croats, according to the 2011 census. The ethnicity of 1,455,883 individuals (14.7 percent of the total population) was not declared. As a result, Hungarians made up 98.0 percent of those who stated their ethnicity. People in Hungary may claim more than one ethnicity, thus the overall number of ethnicities exceeds the entire population.
Hungary has a long history of Christianity. Hungarian history considers Stephen I’s baptism and coronation with the Holy Hungarian Crown in A.D. 1000 as the founding of the Hungarian state (államalaptás) but not of the nation (nemzet). Stephen established Roman Catholicism as the official religion, and his successors were dubbed the Apostolic Kings. Through the ages, the Catholic Church in Hungary remained powerful, and the Archbishop of Esztergom (Esztergomi érsek) was given exceptional temporal powers as prince-primate (hercegprmás) of Hungary. Although there is no official religion in modern Hungary, the constitution “recognizes Christianity’s nation-building role.” The legislature, not the court, has the authority to give a church legally recognized status; this arrangement has been criticized.
Following the Reformation in the 16th century, the majority of Hungarians adopted first Lutheranism, then Calvinism. However, in the second part of the 16th century, Jesuits conducted a successful counterreformation effort, and the nation once again became overwhelmingly Catholic. Eastern Hungary, particularly Debrecen (“the Calvinist Rome”), maintained significant Protestant populations. In Hungary, Orthodox Christianity is linked with the country’s ethnic minorities, including Romanians, Rusyns, Ukrainians, and Serbs.
Historically, Hungary had a sizable Jewish population. Some Hungarian Jews managed to flee the Holocaust during WWII, but the vast majority (approximately 550,000) were either transported to concentration camps, from which the vast majority did not return, or killed by the Hungarian Arrow Cross fascists. Because the majority of deported Jews came from the countryside, Budapest is now the hub of Hungarian Jewish life.
According to the most recent 2011 census, the majority of Hungarians (52.9 percent ) are Christians, with Roman Catholics (Katolikusok) (37.1 percent ) and Hungarian Reformed Calvinists (Reformátusok) (11.1 percent ) accounting for the majority of these, alongside Lutherans (Evangélikusok) (2.2 percent ), Greek Catholics (0.3 percent ), and Jehovah’s Witnesses (0.1 percent ). The Jewish (0.1 percent ) and Muslim (0.06% ) populations are in the minority, but this is compounded by the fact that 27.2 percent of respondents did not identify their religion, 16.7 percent declared themselves irreligious, and 1.5 percent proclaimed themselves atheist.
According to Eurobarometer’s latest surveys on religiosity in the European Union in 2012, Christianity is the most popular religion in Hungary, accounting for 71 percent of Hungarians. Catholics are the biggest Christian denomination in Hungary, accounting for 58 percent of the population, while Protestants account for 7 percent and Other Christian account for 6 percent. Nonbelievers/Agnostics account for 21%, whereas Atheists account for 1%.
In a 2005 Eurostat – Eurobarometer survey, 44 percent of Hungarians said they believed in God, 31 percent said they believed in some kind of spirit or life force, and 19 percent said they did not believe in God, spirit, or life force.
Hungary is an OECD high-income mixed economy with a very high human development index and trained labor force, as well as the 16th lowest income inequality in the world, according to the Economic Complexity Index. With $265.037 billion in production, Hungary is the world’s 57th-largest economy (out of 188 nations assessed by the IMF), and ranks 49th in terms of GDP per capita calculated by purchasing power parity. Hungary has an export-oriented market economy with a strong focus on international commerce; as a result, the country is the world’s 36th biggest export economy. In 2015, the nation had more than $100 billion in exports and a $9.003 billion trade surplus, with 79 percent of it going to the EU and 21 percent going to non-EU commerce. Hungary has a more than 80% privately held economy with a 39.1% total taxes, which serves as the foundation for the country’s welfare economy. On the spending side, household consumption is the most important component of GDP, accounting for 50% of total usage, followed by gross fixed capital creation (22%), and government expenditure (20%).
Hungary is one of the top countries in attracting foreign direct investment in Central and Eastern Europe, with inbound FDI totaling $119.8 billion in 2015, and the country investing more than $50 billion overseas. Hungary’s main trade partners in 2015 were Germany, Austria, Romania, Slovakia, France, Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Food processing, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, information technology, chemicals, metallurgy, manufacturing, electrical products, and tourism are among the major businesses (in 2014 Hungary welcomed 12.1 million international tourists). Hungary is Central and Eastern Europe’s biggest manufacturer of electronics. Electronics manufacturing and research are two of the country’s primary sources of innovation and economic development. Hungary has also been a significant hub for mobile technology, information security, and associated hardware development in the last 20 years. In 2015, the economy’s employment rate was 65.0 percent, and the employment structure reflects the features of post-industrial economies, with 63.2 percent of the employed workforce working in the service sector, industry contributing 29.7 percent, and agriculture contributing 7.1 percent. In December 2015, the unemployment rate was 6.2 percent, down from 11 percent during the 2007–08 financial crisis. Hungary is a member of the European Union’s single market, which has a population of over 508 million people. Several domestic business policies are influenced by agreements between European Union members and EU law.
The BUX, the Hungarian stock market index listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange, includes large Hungarian businesses. MOL Group, OTP Bank, Gedeon Richter, Magyar Telekom, CIG Pannonia, FHB Bank, Zwack Unicum, and other well-known businesses include MOL Group, OTP Bank, Gedeon Richter, Magyar Telekom, CIG Pannonia, FHB Bank, Zwack Unicum, and others. Aside from that, Hungary has a considerable number of specialized small and medium-sized enterprises, such as a significant number of automotive suppliers and technological start-ups, among others.
Budapest is Hungary’s financial and commercial capital. The capital is a significant economic hub, classified as an Alpha- world city in the Globalization and World Cities Research Network study, and it is the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe, with GDP per capita increasing by 2.4% and employment increasing by 4.7% in 2014 compared to the previous year. On a national level, Budapest is Hungary’s primate city in terms of business and economics, accounting for 39% of national revenue. The city has a gross metropolitan product of more than $100 billion in 2015, making it one of the biggest regional economies in the European Union. Budapest is also one of the top 100 GDP performing cities in the world, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, and in an EIU global city competitiveness rating, it ranks ahead of Tel Aviv, Lisbon, Moscow, and Johannesburg, among others.
Hungary has its own currency, the Hungarian forint (HUF), and although the economy meets the Maastricht requirements with the exception of public debt, it is also considerably lower than the EU average, at 75.3 percent in 2015. The Hungarian National Bank, established in 1924 after the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is now focused on price stability, with a 3% inflation goal.