Hungary was 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 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.






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: 2,171 km
border countries: Austria 366 km, Croatia 329 km, Romania 443 km, Serbia and Montenegro 151 km, Slovakia 677 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: 50.09%
permanent crops: 2.06%
other: 47.85% (2001)

Irrigated land:

2,100 sq km (1998 est.)

Environment - current issues:

the upgrading of Hungary's standards in waste management, energy efficiency, and air, soil, and water pollution with environmental requirements for EU accession 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-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
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulfur 94

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






10,006,835 (July 2005 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 15.8% (male 813,203/female 769,687)
15-64 years: 69.1% (male 3,405,559/female 3,511,141)
65 years and over: 15.1% (male 547,323/female 959,922) (2005 est.)

Median age:

total: 38.57 years
male: 36.1 years
female: 41.24 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:

-0.26% (2005 est.)

Birth rate:

9.76 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Death rate:

13.19 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)

Net migration rate:

0.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)

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 (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 8.57 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 9.27 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 72.4 years
male: 68.18 years
female: 76.89 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.32 children born/woman (2005 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

2,800 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

less than 100 (2001 est.)


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.)





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



Administrative divisions:

19 counties (megyek, singular - megye), 20 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, Gyor, Hodmezovasarhely, Kaposvar, Kecskemet, Miskolc, Nagykanizsa, Nyiregyhaza, Pecs, Sopron, Szeged, Szekesfehervar, Szolnok, Szombathely, Tatabanya, Veszprem, Zalaegerszeg
: capital city: Budapest


1001 (unification by King Stephen I)

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:

rule of law based on Western model


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Ferenc MADL (since 4 August 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Ferenc GYURCSANY (since 29 September 2004)
cabinet: Council of Ministers elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president
elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a five-year 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 29 September 2004
election results: Laszlo SOLYOM elected president by a simple majority in the third round of voting, 185 to 182; although sworn in immediately, SOLYOM will not take office until August 2005; Ferenc GYURCSANY elected prime minister; percent of legislative vote - 197 to 12
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 7 and 21 April 2002 (next to be held NA April 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party (5% or more of the vote required for parliamentary representation in the first round) - Fidesz/MDF 48.70%, MSzP 46.11%, SzDSz 4.92%, other 0.27%; seats by party - Fidesz 164, MSzP 178, MDF 24, SzDSz 20

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 KUNCZE]; Hungarian Civic Alliance or Fidesz [Viktor ORBAN, chairman]; Hungarian Democratic Forum or MDF [Ibolya DAVID]; Hungarian Democratic People's Party or MDNP [Erzsebet PUSZTAI, chairman]; Hungarian Socialist Party or MSzP [Istvan HILLER, chairman]; Hungarian Workers' Party or MMP [Gyula THURMER, chairman]

Political pressure groups and leaders:


International organization participation:

Australia Group, BIS, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA (cooperating state), EU (new member), FAO, G- 9, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNOMIG, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU (member affiliate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Andras SIMONYI
chancery: 3910 Shoemaker Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 362-6730
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8135
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador George Herbert WALKER
embassy: Szabadsag ter 12, H-1054 Budapest
mailing address: pouch: American Embassy Budapest, 5270 Budapest Place, 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 - overview:

Hungary has made the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy, with a per capita income one-half that of the Big Four European nations. Hungary continues to demonstrate strong economic growth and acceded to the European Union in May 2004. The private sector accounts for over 80% of GDP. Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms are widespread, with cumulative foreign direct investment totaling more than $23 billion since 1989. Hungarian sovereign debt was upgraded in 2000 and together with the Czech Republic holds the highest rating among the Central European transition economies; however, ratings agencies have expressed concerns over Hungary's unsustainable budget and current account deficits. Inflation has declined from 14% in 1998 to 7% in 2004. Unemployment has persisted around the 6% level, but Hungary's labor force participation rate of 57% is one of the lowest in the OECD. Germany is by far Hungary's largest economic partner. Policy challenges include cutting the public sector deficit to 3% of GDP by 2008, from about 5% in 2004, and orchestrating an orderly interest rate reduction without sparking capital outflows.


purchasing power parity - $149.3 billion (2004 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

3.9% (2004 est.)

GDP - per capita:

purchasing power parity - $14,900 (2004 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 31.4%
services: 65.3% (2004 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

22.8% of GDP (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line:

8.6% (1993 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 20.5% (1998)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

24.4 (1998)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

7% (2004 est.)

Labor force:

4.17 million (2004 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture 6.2%, industry 27.1%, services 66.7% (2002)

Unemployment rate:

5.9% (2004 est.)


revenues: $46.07 billion
expenditures: $51.36 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)

Public debt:

58.3% of GDP (2004 est.)

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:

9.6% (2004 est.)

Electricity - production:

34.07 billion kWh (2002)

Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 60.1%
hydro: 0.5%
nuclear: 39%
other: 0.3% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:

35.99 billion kWh (2002)

Electricity - exports:

8.3 billion kWh (2002)

Electricity - imports:

12.6 billion kWh (2002)

Oil - production:

41,190 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - consumption:

140,700 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - exports:

47,180 bbl/day (2001)

Oil - imports:

136,600 bbl/day (2001)

Oil - proved reserves:

110.7 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural gas - production:

3.231 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

13.37 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - exports:

4 million cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - imports:

9.587 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:

50.45 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current account balance:

$-7.941 billion (2004 est.)


$54.62 billion f.o.b. (2004 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 31.4%, Austria 6.8%, France 5.7%, Italy 5.6%, UK 5.1% (2004)


$58.68 billion f.o.b. (2004 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 29.2%, Austria 8.3%, Russia 5.7%, Italy 5.5%, Netherlands 4.9%, China 4.8%, France 4.7% (2004)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$14.8 billion (2004 est.)

Debt - external:

$57 billion (2004 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

$4.2 billion in available EU structural adjustment and cohesion funds (2004-06)


forint (HUF)

Currency code:


Exchange rates:

forints per US dollar - 202.75 (2004), 224.31 (2003), 257.89 (2002), 286.49 (2001), 282.18 (2000)

Fiscal year:

calendar year





Telephones - main lines in use:

3,666,400 (2002)

Telephones - mobile cellular:

6,862,800 (2002)

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; heavy use is made of mobile cellular telephones
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 17, FM 57, shortwave 3 (1998)


7.01 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:

35 (plus 161 low-power repeaters) (1995)


4.42 million (1997)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

383,071 (2004)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

16 (2000)

Internet users:

1.6 million (2002)






total: 7,937 km
broad gauge: 36 km 1.524-m gauge
standard gauge: 7,682 km 1.435-m gauge (2,628 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 219 km 0.760-m gauge (2004)


total: 159,568 km
paved: 70,050 km (including 533 km of expressways)
unpaved: 89,518 km (2002)


1,622 km (most on Danube River) (2004)


gas 4,397 km; oil 990 km; refined products 335 km (2004)

Ports and harbors:

Budapest, Dunaujvaros, Gyor-Gonyu, Csepel, Baja, Mohacs (2003)


44 (2004 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 18
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 26
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 9 (2004 est.)


5 (2004 est.)





Military branches:

Ground Forces, Air Forces

Military manpower - military age and obligation:

18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in June 2004 (June 2004)

Military manpower - availability:

males age 18-49: 2,303,116 (2005 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:

males age 18-49: 1,780,513 (2005 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:

males: 63,847 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:

$1.08 billion (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:

1.75% (2002 est.)


Transnational Issues



Disputes - international:

in 2004, Hungary amended the status law extending special social and cultural benefits and voted down a referendum to extend dual citizenship to ethnic Hungarians living in neighboring states, which have objected to such measures; consultations continue between Slovakia and Hungary over Hungary's completion of its portion the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric dam project along the Danube; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Hungary must implement 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; improving, but remains vulnerable to money laundering related to organized crime and drug trafficking


This page was last updated on 28 July, 2005