HUNGARY REPORT…


Hungary is located in Central Europe, northwest of Romania. It has a population of ten million, three hundred eighteen thousand, eight hundred thirty eight people. Eighteen percent of the people are from zero to fourteen years of age. Sixty eight percent of the people are from fifteen to sixty four years old, and fourteen percent are from sixty-five years old and on. The population growth rate per year is estimated at about .02 percent. There are 13 births/ 1000 population. The death rate is 12.44 births/ 1000 population. Life expectancy at birth on average is 71.9 years. These numbers come from the following: 67.94 years for males; 76.06 years for females. There are many ethnic divisions. 89.9 percent are Hungarian, 4 percent are gypsies, 2.6 percent are German, 2 percent are Serbs, .8 percent are Slovaks, and .7 percent are Romanian. The religions are divided up as the following. 67.5 percent are Roman Catholic, 20 percent are Calvinist, 5 percent are Lutheran, Atheist and other religions are 7.5 percent. A surprising fact is that 99 percent of the population is literate.
The largest of Hungary’s distinct geographical area is a rich lowland area – the Great Hungarian Plain – that extends eastward from the Danube River, which flows south across the center of the country. The plain is mostly flat and often marshy. To the north it is rimmed by low mountains within Hungary, and by the Carpathian Mountains in neighboring Slovakia. West of the Danube River lies Transdanubia an undulating landscape that rises to several mountain chains, including the Bakony Range overlooking Lake Balaton, Europe’s largest freshwater lake. Hungary’s climate is continental, with cold winters and warm summers. The shelter of surrounding mountains to the north and the east makes it drier than it might otherwise be. Droughts are common in the summer months, though heavy thunderstorms can also produce higher than average rainfall. High winter snowfalls in the mountains of neighboring countries cause a spring thaw that swells Hungary’s rivers. At times of seasonal flooding these may discharge up to 10 times more water than usual. The total area of Hungary is ninety three thousand, thirty-sq. km., but the total land area is at ninety two thousand, three hundred forty sq. km. To visualize the size of Hungary, try to think of India. In comparison, Hungary is slightly smaller in size. It has boundaries on the countries of Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Hungary has no coastline therefore it has no maritime claims. The temperature is usually cold and cloudy. There are humid winters and warm summers. The terrain is mostly flat to rolling plains, hills and low mountains on the Slovakian border. The natural resources are bauxite, coal, natural gas, and fertile soils. 50.7 percent of the land is arable. 6.1 percent is permanent crops. Meadows and pastures make up 12.6 percent of the land, while forests and woodlands make up about 18.3 percent. 12.3 percent of the land is used for other things. A few current issues are going on in Hungary including air pollution, and industrial and municipal pollution of Lake Balaton. Flooding that occurs every year is the only natural hazard.



Economic 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 percent of the 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 three percent. This growth helped reduce unemployment to just over 10 percent by yearend, down from a peak of thirteen percent. However no progress was made against inflation, which remained stuck at about twenty percent, and the already-large current account deficit in the balance of payments actually got worse, reaching almost 4 billion dollars. Underlying Hungary’s other economic problems is the large budget deficit, which probably exceeded 7 percent of the GDP in 1994, despite some late-year budget cutting by the new leftist government. In 1995 the government has pledged to