Hungary’s natural population decline intensifies in first quarter of 2017 compared to previous year

May 29, 2017

Fewer babies were born and more people died in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, reports Hungary’s state-run newswire (MTI), citing figures from the country’s Central Statistical Office (KSH).

According to the data, 22,072 children were born in Q1 2017, 389 fewer than in the same period last year (a decrease of 1.7 percent). The decrease can partially be explained by 2016 being a leap year, meaning Q1 2016 was a day longer than Q1 2017. But adjusting for the leap year, there still is a decrease of 0.6 percent.

There is a divergence in birthrates across Hungarian regions. For instance, Southern Transdanubia saw an increase of 1.6 percent compared to the 6.6 percent decrease in Central Hungary.

KSH also found that 38,589 people died in Q1 2017, an increase of 5,187 (or 16 percent) over the same period in 2016. According to KSH, the increase in death may be attributed to the influenza epidemic.

The most significant increase in deaths occurred in Southern Transdanubia (19 percent), while the lowest increase (13 percent) was in the Northern Great Plain region.

Hungary’s natural population decline (when the number of deaths exceeds the number of births) in Q1 2016 was 10,941, compared to 16,517 in Q1 2017 — a 51 percent increase. The decline increased across all regions, primarily because of few births. The greatest increase in decline – a rise of 75 percent – was in Central Hungary.

There were also fewer registered marriages in Q1 2017, down 8.7 percent over Q1 last year (7.6 percent if adjusted for the leap year).