[Country map of Hungary]



Location: Central Europe, northwest of Romania

Map references: Ethnic Groups in Eastern Europe, Europe

total area: 93,030 sq km
land area: 92,340 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Indiana

Land boundaries: total 1,989 km, Austria 366 km, Croatia 329 km, Romania 443 km, Serbia and Montenegro 151 km (all with Serbia), Slovakia 515 km, Slovenia 82 km, Ukraine 103 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none; landlocked

International disputes: Gabcikovo Dam dispute with Slovakia

Climate: temperate; cold, cloudy, humid winters; warm summers

Terrain: mostly flat to rolling plains; hills and low mountains on the Slovakian border

Natural resources: bauxite, coal, natural gas, fertile soils

Land use:
arable land: 50.7%
permanent crops: 6.1%
meadows and pastures: 12.6%
forest and woodland: 18.3%
other: 12.3%

Irrigated land: 1,750 sq km (1989)

current issues: air pollution; industrial and municipal pollution of Lake Balaton
natural hazards: levees are common along many streams, but flooding occurs almost every year
international agreements: party to - Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea

Note: landlocked; strategic location astride main land routes between Western Europe and Balkan Peninsula as well as between Ukraine and Mediterranean basin


Population: 10,318,838 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (female 918,281; male 958,027)
15-64 years: 68% (female 3,534,218; male 3,440,036)
65 years and over: 14% (female 914,221; male 554,055) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.02% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 12.65 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 12.44 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.9 years
male: 67.94 years
female: 76.06 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.82 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Hungarian(s)
adjective: Hungarian

Ethnic divisions: Hungarian 89.9%, Gypsy 4%, German 2.6%, Serb 2%, Slovak 0.8%, Romanian 0.7%

Religions: Roman Catholic 67.5%, Calvinist 20%, Lutheran 5%, atheist and other 7.5%

Languages: Hungarian 98.2%, other 1.8%

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1980)
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 98%

Labor force: 5.4 million
by occupation: services, trade, government, and other 44.8%, industry 29.7%, agriculture 16.1%, construction 7.0% (1991)


conventional long form: Republic of Hungary
conventional short form: Hungary
local long form: Magyar Koztarsasag
local short form: Magyarorszag

Digraph: HU

Type: republic

Capital: Budapest

Administrative divisions: 38 counties (megyek, singular - megye) and 1 capital city* (fovaros); Bacs-Kiskun, Baranya, Bekes, Bekescsaba, Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen, Budapest*, Csongrad, Debrecen, Dunaujvaros, Eger, Fejer, Gyor, Gyor-Moson-Sopron, Hajdu-Bihar, Heves, Hodmezovasarhely, Jasz-Nagykun-Szolnok, Kaposvar, Kecskemet, Komarom-Esztergom, Miskolc, Nagykanizsa, Nograd, Nyiregyhaza, Pecs, Pest, Somogy, Sopron, Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg, Szeged, Szekesfehervar, Szolnok, Szombathely, Tatabanya, Tolna, Vas, Veszprem, Zala, Zalaegerszeg

Independence: 1001 (unification by King Stephen I)

National holiday: St. Stephen's Day (National Day), 20 August (commemorates the founding of Hungarian state circa 1000 A.D.)

Constitution: 18 August 1949, effective 20 August 1949, revised 19 April 1972; 18 October 1989 revision ensured legal rights for individuals and constitutional checks on the authority of the prime minister and also established the principle of parliamentary oversight

Legal system: in process of revision, moving toward rule of law based on Western model

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Arpad GONCZ (since 3 August 1990; previously interim president from 2 May 1990); election last held 3 August 1990 (next to be held NA 1995); results - President GONCZ elected by parliamentary vote; note - President GONCZ was elected by the National Assembly with a total of 295 votes out of 304 as interim President from 2 May 1990 until elected President
head of government: Prime Minister Gyula HORN (since 15 July 1994)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; elected by the National Assembly on recommendation of the president

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly (Orszaggyules): elections last held on 8 and 29 May 1994 (next to be held spring 1998); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (386 total) MSzP 209, SzDSz 70, MDF 37, FKgP 26, KDNP 22, FiDeSz 20, other 2

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders: Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF), Lajos FUR, chairman; Independent Smallholders (FKgP), Jozsef TORGYAN, president; Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP), Gyula HORN, president; Christian Democratic People's Party (KDNP), Dr. Lazlo SURJAN, president; Federation of Young Democrats (FiDeSz), Viktor ORBAN, chairman; Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz), Ivan PETO, chairman
note: the Hungarian Socialist (Communist) Workers' Party (MSzMP) renounced Communism and became the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP) in October 1989; there is still a small MMP


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Gyorgy BANLAKI (since 27 October 1994)
chancery: 3910 Shoemaker Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 362-6730
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8135
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles and New York

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Donald M. BLINKEN
embassy: V. Szabadsag Ter 12, Budapest
mailing address: Am Embassy, Unit 1320, Budapest; APO AE 09213-1320
telephone: [36] (1) 112-6450
FAX: [36] (1) 132-8934

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and green


Overview: Since 1989 Hungary has been a leader in the transition from a socialist command economy to a market economy - thanks in large part to its initial economic reforms during the Communist era. The private sector now accounts for about 55% of GDP. Nonetheless, the transformation is proving difficult, and many citizens say life was better under the old system. On the bright side, the four-year decline in output finally ended in 1994, as real GDP increased an estimated 3%. This growth helped reduce unemployment to just over 10% by yearend, down from a peak of 13%. However, no progress was made against inflation, which remained stuck at about 20%, and the already-large current account deficit in the balance of payments actually got worse, reaching almost $4 billion. Underlying Hungary's other economic problems is the large budget deficit, which probably exceeded 7% of GDP in 1994, despite some late-year budget cutting by the new leftist government. In 1995 the government has pledged to accelerate privatization and lower the budget deficit to 5.5% of GDP. It believes this fiscal tightening will reduce the current account deficit to $2.5 billion but at the cost of holding economic growth to only 1%.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $58.8 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 3% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $5,700 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 21% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 10.4% (yearend 1994)

revenues: $11.3 billion
expenditures: $14.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994)

Exports: $10.3 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: raw materials and semi-finished goods 30.0%, machinery and transport equipment 20.1%, consumer goods 25.2%, food and agriculture 21.4%, fuels and energy 3.4% (1993)
partners: Germany 25.3%, Italy 8.3%, Austria 10.5%, the FSU 14.0%, US 4.3% (1993)

Imports: $14.2 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: fuels and energy 12.6%, raw materials and semi-finished goods 27.3%, machinery and transport equipment 33.0%, consumer goods 21.2%, food and agriculture 5.9% (1993)
partners: Germany 21.5%, Italy 6.1%, Austria 11.8%, the FSU 20.9%, US 4.3% (1993); note - about one-fourth of the imports from the FSU were MiGs delivered as a debt payment

External debt: $27 billion (September 1994)

Industrial production: growth rate 7% (1994 est.)

capacity: 6,740,000 kW
production: 31 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 3,012 kWh (1993)

Industries: mining, metallurgy, construction materials, processed foods, textiles, chemicals (especially pharmaceuticals), buses, automobiles

Agriculture: including forestry, accounts for 15% of GDP and 16% of employment; highly diversified crop and livestock farming; principal crops - wheat, corn, sunflowers, potatoes, sugar beets; livestock - hogs, cattle, poultry, dairy products; self-sufficient in food output

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for Southeast Asia heroin and South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; limited producer of precursor chemicals

Economic aid:
recipient: assistance pledged by OECD countries since 1989 about $9 billion

Currency: 1 forint (Ft) = 100 filler

Exchange rates: forints per US$1 - 112 (January 1995), 105.16 (1994), 91.93 (1993), 78.99 (1992), 74.74 (1991), 63.21 (1990), 59.07 (1989)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 7,785 km
broad gauge: 35 km 1.520-m gauge
standard gauge: 7,574 km 1.435-m gauge (2,277 km electrified; 1,236 km double track)
narrow gauge: 176 km mostly 0.760-m gauge (1994)

total: 158,711 km
paved: 69,992 km (441 km expressways)
unpaved: 88,719 km (1992)

Inland waterways: 1,622 km (1988)

Pipelines: crude oil 1,204 km; natural gas 4,387 km (1991)

Ports: Budapest, Dunaujvaros

Merchant marine:
total: 10 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 46,121 GRT/61,613 DWT

total: 78
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 2
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
with paved runways under 914 m: 1
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 9
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 14
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 34


Telephone system: 1,520,000 phones; 14.7 telephones/100 inhabitants (1993); 14,213 telex lines; automatic telephone network based on microwave radio relay system; 608,000 telephones on order; 12-15 year wait for a telephone; 49% of all phones are in Budapest (1991)
local: NA
intercity: microwave radio relay
international: 1 INTELSAT and Intersputnik earth stations

broadcast stations: AM 32, FM 15, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 41 (Russian repeaters 8)
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Ground Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Border Guard, Territorial Defense

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 2,639,860; males fit for military service 2,105,632; males reach military age (18) annually 86,298 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: 66.5 billion forints, NA% of GDP (1994 est.); note - conversion of defense expenditures into US dollars using the prevailing exchange rate could produce misleading results