More babies, more marriages: social indicators break 20-year records

In 2016, demographic indices broke 20-year records in several instances. Marriages have increased by almost 150 percent since 2010. Infant mortality rate has never been so low

The latest social indicator statistics released by the Hungarian government show that the past year was extremely positive from the perspective of the Hungarian population.

According to Katalin Novák, minister of state for Family, Youth and International Affairs in the Ministry of Human Capacities, demographic indices in 2016 broke 20-year records in several instances.

The minister said the infant mortality rate has never been so low, and it has been twenty years since families’ willingness to have children was so high, and although the population is still decreasing, it is doing so at a lower rate than previously.

Novák said she hoped the figures meant that people in Hungary had greater confidence, are more optimistic, are more willing to plan ahead and have greater trust in the future.

The fertility indices and the number of births and marriages are all positive, while the number of deaths and abortions has fallen, she added.

The minister said that natural population decline had fallen by 16 percent in 2016, adding that more people have been dying than are born in Hungary for the past 35 years, and although we can still not state that our nation is increasing and getting more youthful, because the population is still decreasing, but it is now doing so to a much lesser degree.

Novák said it was a positive sign that the growth dynamics of marriages had not changed, with an increase of almost 150 percent since 2010, which the minister referred to as a 20-year record. 51,800 marriages were recorded last year, while in 2016 the number of divorces were 18 percent lower than in 2016, she added.

Novák stated that 77 percent of marriages in 2016 were first marriages, and the greatest increase was among people under 25.

With regard to the family support system, the minister stressed that while in 2010 the budget for family benefits was less than 1000 billion HUF, this year’s budget for this purpose is 1741 billion HUF (5.6bn EUR).