Hungary is a country that has a population problem: every year tens of thousands more Hungarians die than are born. This natural decline, along with a large number of mainly young Hungarians emigrating each year means that the country’s population has been in decline since the 1970s. From a peak population of nearly 11 million, the current population is now sitting at around 9.7 million. This is a problem for its government: Prime Minister Orban has stated that the fight against demographic decline is one of the most important goals for his government over the next five years.
Because large scale immigration is not favoured by the Orban government (or the Hungarian people) then the only way for the population decline to be halted or reversed is to have more babies or stop people from dying. Thus, while Hungarian scientists and adventurers hunt for the elixir of youth, the government is also trying to encourage Hungarians to have more children. This encouragement may include income tax exemptions for life for mothers with three children and perhaps extending parental leave for fathers. The next national consultation (regular consultations are undertaken by the government where it asks the Hungarian population about its current policies) will be about demographic problems according to the Hungarian Times daily newspaper. When these come out, the direction of the Hungarian government’s proposed policies will perhaps become clearer. As will the lengths the government will go to in order to reverse the demographic decline.