Let’s talk candidly about Hungarians leaving and returning to the country

For 14 long years, the left has been building its slanted narrative about Hungarians leaving the country in droves. I’ve had enough. There is one key figure the left never wants to talk about.

Last week KSH, the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, published its 2023 report on the emigration and immigration of Hungarian nationals.

Leftist media, of course, was quick to pounce on the opportunity and published headlines that closely follow the slanted narrative they’ve spent 14 long years tirelessly constructing. As always, bad news for Hungary, good news for them.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • Never before have so many people emigrated as last year, with more than 324,000 leaving the country since 2010 (444.hu)
  • Hungarians are fleeing the country (Portfolio)
  • Hungarians are dwindling: More than 324,000 have left the country (168.hu)

What if I told you that the exact opposite is true? In fact, since 2010, more Hungarians have returned home than left. How could this be so? Because these left-wing newspapers are oddly silent about a key figure: the number of Hungarians who have returned but were born abroad.

And they are silent about it because, had they included those numbers in their “objective assessment” of the statistics, they wouldn’t be able to arrive at the desired outcome. Here’s what I mean:


It is indeed true that the highest number of Hungarians left Hungary in 2023 since the period examined from 2010. However, it's important to note that last year witnessed the fourth strongest immigration figure in the past 14 years: Only in 2022, 2019 and 2018 did more Hungarians move back to the country than the 32,650 recorded last year. This leaves a net outflow of 1,050 people for the previous year, which, frankly, no longer seems so dramatic.

Especially when we analyze the data from 2010, taking into account the performance of the second, third, fourth, and partly the fifth Orbán governments. In this case, it becomes apparent that although 324,179 Hungarians emigrated over the last 14 years, 362,065 have immigrated back to the country. Therefore, since 2010, Hungary has seen a net increase of 37,886 Hungarians, indicating more people have moved to Hungary than have left.

And it’s not only Hungarians who are moving back to Hungary in droves. Lately, Hungary has seen a spike in Germans moving to rural Hungary, citing illegal migration, gender issues and the lies of mainstream media as principal motives.

But here’s another important detail you won’t find in the columns of leftist news portals. On an EU scale, according to Eurostat data from 2023, the proportion of Hungarians living abroad does not even place us in the top 10. In comparison, around 20 percent of Croatians and Romanians live in another country, with countries like Portugal, the Baltic states and even Slovakia surpassing Hungary’s 5.3 percent figure.

So no, emigration in Hungary is by far not as big of an issue as our political opponents like to paint it. Moral of the story? Always keep in mind the political motivation behind anything you read from these outlets.