Weekly newsletter

Proportion of Hungarians Moving abroad is Average in the EU

Hungary Today 2024.07.03.

According to Eurostat’s latest statistics, only 3.92% of the Hungarian population lived abroad last year, putting the country in the mid-range of the EU ranking, writes the Oeconomus Economic Research Foundation’s latest summary.

The perception that the majority of Hungary’s population has already moved abroad, with only a fraction of the census population living in the country, is often wrongly used as a political narrative. Eurostat’s database shows the EU Member States in which the proportion of citizens living abroad in another EU country was highest. Excluding Hungarian citizens living abroad to the Treaty of Trianon (1920), 3.92% of the Hungarian population lived abroad, a proportion in the mid-range of the EU ranking.

This is ahead of countries often cited as positive examples, such as Portugal, Estonia, Slovakia, Poland, Croatia and Romania.

Proportion of citizens living abroad by EU Member State in 2023:

The lowest rates of people leaving their home country in the EU are Germans (0.86%), Maltese (0.89%) and Swedes (0.9%). By contrast, the highest rates are in Portugal (9.4%), Bulgaria (12.2%), Croatia (15%) and Romania (16.5%). The latter state also leads in the number of people moving abroad, with 3.15 million.

Number of citizens living abroad by EU Member State in 2023:

Internal EU population flows are mainly directed to neighboring countries with strong and developed economies. The main sectors absorbing immigrant labor are manufacturing and health care, as well as low-skilled sectors such as agriculture, construction and services. A common border facilitates the movement of people and in many cases there are linguistic and cultural links between neighboring countries. Proximity reduces travel costs, making frequent visits home easier. In addition to the linguistic link, historical ties can also facilitate relocation,

for instance, the legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy has left ties that make it easier for Hungarians to integrate in Austria.

Geographical distribution of Hungarian citizens born in Hungary and residing abroad:

As shown in the graph above, the top EU destination for Hungarians is Germany (194,000), followed by Austria (100,000). Overall, 376,000 Hungarians lived in other EU countries last year.

The motivations for emigration are manifold, and apart from a sense of adventure, family ties and educational goals, they are primarily economic. Higher wages, better employment prospects and living standards make countries with advanced economies and more fortunate historical backgrounds attractive. Population movements also provide some positive benefits for Western European countries, such as reducing labor shortages. The quality of public services and the orientation of the country’s political leadership can also encourage people to move.

However, the author points out that internal population movements also have negative economic consequences, both for the host country and the country of origin. A significant surplus of labor in the destination country can depress wage levels, while labor shortages can arise in the source country, as it is typically the more educated workers of working age who move abroad. The latter factor may make it more difficult to finance and maintain the various social welfare systems, and may have a negative impact on overall economic growth. Conversely, in host countries, the sudden influx of people can also put considerable pressure on social care systems.

More Hungarians Return to the Country than Leave, Study Finds
More Hungarians Return to the Country than Leave, Study Finds

The immigration of Hungarian citizens born abroad is also an important factor in the positive migration balance.Continue reading

Via Oeconomus, Featured image: Pixabay

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>