Figures recently released by Hungary’s Central Statistical Office (KSH) suggest that marriage is back in fashion in Hungary, with the number of weddings increasing from 38 780 two years ago to 45 900 last year.
According to the weekly newspaper HVG, the 18 per cent increase could partly be due to a major government scheme providing non-refundable support for married couples with children to purchase residential property and a special tax concession for couples married for the first time, both available since last year. Supposedly for this reason, the increase in the number of marriages was substantial also during the year, with 17155 couples tying the knot in the first half and 28745 in the second half of the year.
While three years ago Hungarians were similarly unenthusiastic towards marriage as the inhabitants of Western European countries, last year’s changes mean that Hungary now belongs among conservative countries in this respect, according to the paper. Speaking earlier to index.hu, a news website, Zsolt Spéder, head of the Statistical Office’s demographic research institute, claimed that the government’s new family support measures could also result in an increase in the number of children being born.
The encouraging figures will reinforce the government’s argument of pursuing effective family policy instead of allowing the influx of third-world migrants to address the demographic challenges faced by the country. “As for demographic challenges, the answer lies in family policy. An effective family policy, policies to encourage having children could prove to be the solution for the whole of Europe but this is certainly the case for Hungary in subduing demographic challenges, he added. Families must be assisted to be able to have children and the Hungarian government has gone to great lengths to achieve this goal, Mr. Szijjártó said, pointing out that the country is able to manage demographic challenges thanks to its successful family policy and “probably” Europe would be able to do the same”, foreign minister Péter Szijjártó was quoted in late October as saying,