More Hungarians support death penalty than 10 years ago

October 30, 2017
Photo: Flickr/lpk 90901

More Hungarians support capital punishment than 10 years ago, while acceptance of euthanasia and abortion has not changed, according to a recent survey ordered by

Capital punishment

According to the survey conducted by pollster Závecz Research, 24 percent of the Hungarian population supports capital punishment, 52 percent accepts it in specific cases of crimes against life, while only 21 percent rejects it outright. This shows a remarkable decrease in the share of those who reject capital punishment compared to a 2007 survey. Then, in response to a survey by Szonda Ipsos, 31 percent of the population claimed that they had always opposed capital punishment.

Capital punishment was completely abolished in Hungary in 1990 when the Constitutional Court ruled it unconstitutional. Although in 2015 Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a wildly criticized statement suggested reinstating capital punishment, the fact that Hungary has ratified both the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – which both rule out the death penalty – makes it is unlikely that legislation on capital punishment will change anytime soon.


Although currently active euthanasia is not legal in Hungary, according to the survey some 71 percent of the population approves that incurable patients can request it, while 23 percent disapproves. According to the survey, among those who support euthanasia, non-religious people and those who have a secondary-school final exam are over-represented.


Based on the findings of the research, 78 percent of Hungarians agree with the statement that “affected women should be able to decide about abortion.” The share of those who oppose abortion in the population is 19 percent.

According to Hungarian practice, once a physician officially establishes pregnancy, women who have attended two obligatory consultations with healthcare workers are legally entitled to request termination of their pregnancy. The permission is granted if:

  • the pregnancy endangers the health or life of the mother,
  • the fetus has genetic or other defects,
  • the pregnancy is a result of a crime,
  • or the mother is in a crisis (financial difficulties, already has children, too young, etc.)

Those who consider themselves religious are over-represented among the opposers, while those who are not religious are over-represented among the supporters, the survey found.

The survey was conducted on a 1,000-person representative sample in October.