The first decade of building a family-friendly Hungary


  • Tünde Fűrész
  • Balázs Molnár

Palabras clave:

Demografia, Família, Matrimoni, Conciliació familiar i laboral, Taxa de fecunditat, Demografía, Familia, Matrimonio, Equilibrio vida-trabajo, Tasa de fecundidad


There is no single member state in the European Union where the number of births would reach the replacement level. Hungary herself is facing severe demographic challenges as the country’s population is declining since 1981. The Hungarian government decided to address these demographic challenges and committed herself to building a country based on a comprehensive family policy, by mainstreaming and prioritising family issues since 2010. Therefore, family has been anchored in the newly drafted Fundamental Law of the country as the basic building block of society. Hungarian family policy provides a real option for parents, mothers in particular. They might stay at home with a baby for 3 years and receive extensive maternity benefits, or may just as well decide to return to the labour market, which is assisted by a network of quality public nurseries and several financial incentives. The overarching family policy that has been created and implemented by the government in close
cooperation with family organizations, Academia and Churches shows encouraging results in the last decade. The total fertility rate increased by 24%, marriages nearly doubled, the rate of abortions and divorces decreased by 41% from 2010 to 2020 (Eurostat, Fertility indicators). In parallel, the female employment rate has grown significantly by almost 13%. The rate of children born within wedlock is increasing again contrary to European trends. According to the recently published Human Fertility Database study of the Max Planck Institute, the only European Union country was Hungary where despite the Corona pandemic more babies were born in 2020 than in 2016-2019, proving that with extensive family policies, it is possible to counteract negative demographic tendencies in times of the Pandemic. A wide-ranging family taxation system reaches all parents raising children, the government is assisting family home creation and renovation in a generous manner. Several overarching measures aim at the better reconciliation of work and family life. The well-being and financial situation of families has constantly been raised. The most important factor nevertheless when creating a family-friendly country is concerning the perceived image of families in society. Hungary is constantly working for the elevation of the social standing of parenthood, in particular motherhood and childrearing in the last decade.