Child and Family Benefits to Halt Hungary’s Population Decline, 1965-2020: A Comparison with Polish and Romanian Family Policies


  • Ildikó Szántó



low birth rates, family policy, population loss, out-migration


Based on the long-term, demographic forecast, Hungary faces a significant population loss. This paper examines the continuing low level of Hungarian fertility, as well as the marked decline of population due to out-migration beginning in the mid-2000s. First, I will discuss the role governmental family policies play in halting fertility decline before 1989, the demographic post-transitional period of 1960-1980 and the past thirty years since 1989. Second, this paper particularly aims to highlight the impact of the new family policy since 2010, a reverse redistribution of resources from poor to the better-off families which did not result in a marked growth of birth rates. The new family benefits possibly further contribute to the existing polarization of Hungarian society without altering Hungary’s demographic data. Finally, the paper also compares the recent changes of family policies in Poland, Hungary and Romania since 2004.






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