Hungary Country Facts

Capital city Budapest
Surface 93,030 km²
Population 9,879,000
Road network length 159,568 km
Length of highway network 1,789 km
First highway 1964
Motorway name Autopálya
Traffic drives Right
License plate code Huh

Hungary (Magyarország) is a country in Central Europe with its capital Budapest. The country has almost 10 million inhabitants on an area more than 2 times the size of the Netherlands.


Hungary is centrally located in Europe and is a landlocked country because it is not located by the sea. The country borders Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. The capital Budapestis centrally located in the country. Hungary measures a maximum of 490 kilometers from west to east and 260 kilometers from north to south. A large part of Hungary consists of steppe, called the puszta. It is part of the larger lowland called the Alföld. To the north and west are higher hills, the foothills of the Alps are in the far west of the country. In the Matra Mountains you will find the Kékes with a height of 1,015 meters. Hungary is bisected by the Duna (Danube), which changes direction in Hungary, just north of Budapest the river bends south and divides the country into two parts. The Tisza is an important tributary of the Duna in eastern Hungary. Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe.

Hungary has a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The temperature extremes are between -35 °C and 40 °C, in Budapest the average maximum temperature in summer is 27 °C and in winter the average minimum temperature is -2 °C.


Hungary has a developing economy. The country has relatively few raw materials and has to import them. Industry has a fairly large share of the Hungarian economy, especially the chemical and processing industries. Heavy industry is of declining importance. Several car manufacturers have factories in Hungary. Transport is an important sector due to Hungary’s central location, as a link between Western Europe and Southeastern Europe. Tourism is an important sector in Hungary, especially around Lake Balaton and Budapest, but also elsewhere. In Hungary you pay with the forint (HUF). Hungary has the highest government debt of the eastern EU countries.


The population of Hungary peaked at 10.7 million in 1980. Since then, there has been a steady decline in the population. Moreover, the decline started earlier than in other post-Communist countries. The decline also continues after 2005, also because of labor migration. Hungarians make up 98% of the country’s population. The second group are the Roma, followed by Germans. Hungarian is spoken in Hungary, a language that differs radically from languages ​​in neighboring countries.

The capital Budapest is by far the largest city in Hungary, more than 1 in 6 Hungarians live in Budapest. The city has lost population since 1990. The second city is Debrecen with over 200,000 inhabitants. Other cities have fewer than 200,000 inhabitants. In total there are 9 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants in Hungary.


The M1 at Gyõr.

The Hungarians migrated to this region from eastern European Russia in the 9th century. Ultimately, this gave rise to the Kingdom of Hungary, which existed for more than 900 years. They merged in 1867 into the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary, which encompassed much of southern Central Europe. In 1914 it reached from Switzerland in the west to the Russian Empire in the east. It further extended from Prussia in the north to Serbia in the south and also included present-day Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia, as well as Transylvania in Romania. In 1920, the Treaty of Trianon was concluded to formally end World War I. Hungary lost 72% of its area and 65% of its population. From that moment on Hungary was again a kingdom.

In the run-up to World War II, it was agreed with Nazi Germany that Hungary would be allowed to occupy southern Czechoslovakia (Slovakia), as well as the extreme east, which later became southwestern Ukraine. This happened in 1938-1939. Hungary joined Nazi Germany in World War II, mainly on the Eastern Front in the Soviet Union. In 1944 Hungary was occupied by Nazi Germany because the country no longer wanted to fight in the war. In 1944-1945 Hungary was conquered by the Red Army.

From 1945, Hungary became a communist satellite state of the Soviet Union. In 1956 the Hungarian revolution followed, in which the country wanted to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact and opened its borders. The Soviet Union carried out an invasion. In the short period that the borders were open, a quarter of a million Hungarians left the country. During communism Hungary was one of the more liberal countries in the Eastern Bloc with a relatively high prosperity. In 1989, the second revolution that overthrew communism followed. The country joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.


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