Hungary Country Profile

Hungary, a republic located in central Europe, borders on the north with Slovakia, on the northwest with Ukraine, on the east with Romania, on the south with Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia and on the west with Austria. Its surface is 93,030 km2. The capital is Budapest.


In the country the plains predominate, being divided by the Danube in two regions. A low, rolling plain known as the Alföld of the Danube, which occupies most of the region east of the river; the highlands along the northern border extend to the east, encompassing the Bukk and Mátra mountains. The area to the west of the Danube, which is known as the Transdanubia, has a wide variety of reliefs. In the northern zone, there are the Bakoni Mountains, next to the Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in central Europe. Little Alföld (or small plain) is located to the northwest. It has a relatively dry continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers.


According to, about 97% of the population is Magyar, descended from the Ugro-Finnish and Turkish tribes who mingled with the Avars and the Slavs. Among ethnic minorities, Germans, Slovaks, Serbs, Croats, Gypsies and Romanians stand out. In 1995, it had a population of 10,471,000 inhabitants, with a density of 113 inhabitants / km2. Budapest is the most populated city (1993), with 1,992,343 people.

Other major cities are: Debracen, Miskolc and Szeged. Hungary is a Catholic country with a minority that professes Protestantism. Magyar, the official Hungarian language, is an Ugandan-Finnish language. Many other people also speak German and English, and also understand Russian. See Hungarian literature. The revision of the Constitution in 1989 transformed Hungary into an independent democratic state. The head of state is the president, elected by the Assembly that exercises legislative power. The prime minister serves as head of government.


After the communist mandate and with the election of a new government in 1990, the transition to the free market began, this also facilitated an opening for tourism, which plays a very important role in the economy. In 1991, gross domestic product (GDP) was $ 28.2 billion, with a per capita income of $ 2,690. The national currency is the fortress. In agriculture, more than half of the cultivated area is devoted to cereals. There is also an important breeding of breeding cattle. The main minerals are: coal, bauxite, oil and natural gas. Because of the limitation of natural resources, the country depends on imports of raw materials for industry, the main ones being the steel, aluminum, cement and footwear industries. Agricultural production is also of great importance.


The region that encompasses present-day Hungary was a part of the Roman provinces of Dacia and Pannonia. Located in the limit territory of the Roman Empire, these provinces were among the first to fall into the hands of the Germanic tribes that began to invade the territory at the end of the 2nd century AD During the 8th century, the Moravians (one of the Slavic peoples), took possession of the regions northern and eastern, and from 791 to 797, Charlemagne, king of the Franks, annexed the rest of the region. In the years 895 and 896, the Magyars, a tribe of Ugandan-Finnish origin, took control of Pannonia and Moravia under the command of Chief Arpad. In 955, Otto I the Great, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, defeated them in the great battle of Lechfeld, facilitating the penetration of Christianity and Western culture in Hungary. Stephen I, the Saint, a continuator of the Arpad dynasty,

Christianity ended paganism, becoming the official religion. The royal authority was centralized and the country was divided into administrative comitates (counties). The non-Magyar population was treated as a submissive ethnicity. His successors incorporated the territories of Croatia, Bosnia, part of Transylvania and Dalmatia. Royal authority declined from the 12th century onwards, as the Byzantine emperor Manuel I Comnenos, upon taking possession of the Hungarian reign, gave huge crown properties to his supporters of the Hungarian nobility, thus enabling the development of feudalism. In 1308, Carlos Roberto de Anjou and of Sicily was chosen king of Hungary with the name of Carlos I of Hungary, with which the Anjou dynasty settled in Hungary.

During his reign, which ended in 1342, King Charles restored order, imposing limitations on the nobles and finally consolidating the kingdom. It also managed to acquire new territories, including areas of Bosnia and part of Serbia. Through his marriage to Isabel, the sister of Casimiro III the Great, king of Poland, secured the succession of his son Luis to the Polish throne. Matias Corvino was elected king in 1458, despite strong opposition from supporters of the Holy Empire’s emperor, Federico III of Styria.

The new monarch introduced several administrative reforms, created a permanent army and developed trade and culture in the country. He obtained control of Austria from the Habsburgs in 1485, transferring his residence to Vienna. This and other territorial acquisitions made Hungary, for a time, the most powerful kingdom in central Europe. After Matias’ death in 1490, feudal lords acquired their former privileges again. The general political chaos intensified during the first decades of the 16th century, making the kingdom unable to defend itself effectively from its external enemies. In 1526, the Turkish army of Solimão I, the Magnificent, crushed the Hungarian army at the battle of Mohacs. For more than 150 years after the defeat of Mohacs.

Hungary Country Profile