Map of Europe
Map of Hungary
Map of Budapest
Hungary, facts and history in brief
Budapest, facts and history in brief
Hungary (Republic of Hungary)
Location: Central Europe 47°N, 20°E, (borders
with Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia,
Background: Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian
Empire, until World War I. It lost over 2/3 of its land
and population after WWI in the Allies dictated Trianon
Peace Agreement. After WWII, it was ruled by Communists.
Moscow met the 1956 popular uprising, announcing the
withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact with a massive military
intervention. During the Gorbachev years, Hungary led
the movement to dissolve the Warsaw Pact and steadily
shifted toward multiparty democracy and a market-oriented
economy. Following the collapse of the USSR in 1991,
Hungary developed close political and economic ties
to Western Europe. It joined NATO in 1999 and is a frontrunner
in a future expansion of the EU.
Climate: Continental with Mediterranean and Atlantic
influences, cold, cloudy, humid winters; warm summers.
Average temperatures: January -2C (28F), July
Elevation: lowest point: Tisza River 78 m, highest
point: Kékes 1,014 m
Natural resources: bauxite, coal, natural gas,
fertile soils, and arable land
Land use: arable land: 51%, crops: 3.6%, pastures:
12.4%, forests: 19%, other: 14%
Population: 10,106,017 (July 2001 est.)
Ethnic groups: Hungarian 89.9%, Roma 4%, German
2.6%, Serb 2%, Slovak 0.8%, Romanian 0.7%
Religions: Roman Catholic 67.5%, Calvinist 20%,
Lutheran 5%, atheist and other 7.5%
Languages: Hungarian 98.2%, other 1.8%
Literacy: total population: 99%
Government type: parliamentary democracy
(2 million inhabitants)
Administration: 19 counties, 169 towns, and 2904
Urban population ratio: 60 percent
Flag: three equal sized horizontal colours, red
(top), white and green.
Hungarian national anthem
Population increment: -0.1 percent (decreasing!)
Life expectancy: men 66, women 74 (decreasing!!!)
Local time: winter GMT+1 hour, summer GMT+2 hours,
as in West Europe.
Public holidays: January 1, March 15, May 1,
August 20, October 23, December 25, 26
Established: A.D. 996. King Stephen I, (Saint
Stephen) first legal ruler.
Legal system: rule of law based on Western model
(President, Prime Minister, Cabinet, National Assembly,
366 seats. by popular vote under a system of proportional
and direct representation for 4 year term. Cc. 9 parties
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Flag description: three equal horizontal bands
of red (top), white, and green
International organisation participation: Member
of all International Organisations and signatory to
most international and environmental treaties.
Economy - overview: Hungary continues to demonstrate
strong economic growth and to work toward accession
to the European Union. Hungarian sovereign debt was
upgraded in 2000 to the second-highest rating among
all the Central European economies. Inflation - a top
economic concern in 2000 - is still high at almost 10%,
pushed upward by higher world oil and gas and domestic
GDP: purchasing power parity - $113.9 billion
(2000 est.) GDP - real growth: 5.5% GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $11,200 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 5%,
industry: 35%, services: 60% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate: 9.4% (2000 est.)
Budget: revenues: $13 billion
Industries: mining, metallurgy, construction
materials, processed foods, textiles, chemicals
Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, sunflower
seed, potatoes, sugar beets; pigs, cattle, poultry,
Exports: $25.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000) machinery
and equipment 59.5%, other manufactures 29.4%, food
products 6.9%, raw materials 2.4%, fuels and electricity
1.8% (2000) Germany 37%, Austria 9%, Italy 6%, Netherlands
Imports: $27.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000) machinery
and equipment 51.1%, other manufactures 35.9%, fuels
and electricity 8.1%, food products 2.8%, raw materials
2.1% (2000) Germany 25%, Russia 8%, Austria 7%, Italy
Electricity - production: 36.75 billion kWh (1999),
fossil; 61.09%, hydro: 0.51%, nuclear: 38.4%
Debt - external: $29.6 billion (2000)
Currency: forint (HUF)
Exchange rates: forints per US dollar - 282.240
Telephones: - main lines in use: 3.095 million
(1997), cellular: 1.269 million (July 1999) both system
modern and is capable of satisfying all requests for
Internet: Well established, widely used (.hu).
International country telephone code: 36
Travelling in Hungary: Hungary has an excellent
transport network. Every part of the country can be
visited within one day trip from Budapest. There are
two main railway stations in Budapest, where both international
and intercity trains. The main central bus stations
are also centrally situated. Regular boat and Hydrofoil
services on the Danube to Vienna etc.
Hungarians in the World: Czech and Slovakia 700.000,
former Yugoslavia 650.000, Romania 2,000.000, former
Soviet Union 200.000, Austria 70.000, Belgium 10.000,
France 35.000, Holland 5.000, Great Britain 10.000,
Italy 10.000, Germany 50.000, Switzerland 10.000, Sweden
16.000, Other West European countries 10.000, United
States 730.000, Canada 140.000, Argentina 10.000, Brazil
70.000, Uruguay 5.000, Other South American countries
10.000, South African Republic 5.000, Australia 55.000,
Israel 220.000. Total=5m.
Who are the Hungarians?
Do extra-terrestrial beings exist? -
the Nobel Prize winning Italian physicist, Enrico
Fermi, was once asked by his disciples in California.
Of course, Fermi answered - they are already here among
us, they are called Hungarians.
Why did Fermi think this about Hungarians?
Because Hollywood's dream factories were partly built
by Hungarian producers, directors, writers and cameramen?
Or because - as the saying goes - Hungarians were created
by God to sit on horseback?
Perhaps because Béla Bartók's music in
his own time was considered extra-terrestrial by many?
Or because of the Hungarian language, which does not
resemble any world language and sounds so strange?
So, who are these Hungarians? It is not (yet) known
quite precisely. It seems certain they arrived somewhere
from Asia. With regard to Hungary's location, world
languages generally define it as: Eastern Europe. In
fact, our country is situated in the centre of the continent,
in Central Europe, in its eastern part: this is the
Carpathian Basin, where one thousand years ago, visitors
already found a Hungarian state.
This small country is one of the great survivors of
history: states and empires emerged, expanded or disintegrated
and disappeared around it. Hungary and the Hungarian
nation survived the devastation of the Tartars and Turks,
Habsburgs and Russians in the Carpathian Basin; survived
the fact that it belonged among the losers of both world
wars. The national anthem describes the Hungarians as
"people torn by fate".
So we are not extra-terrestrials. They learnt and became
tempered in the tormenting storms of the world: you
can experience a particular organic link between the
old and new, between history and the present-day in
this country, which is still keenly safeguarding its
traditions, culture and arts, but was always perceptive
to what is new, different and the future.
Do you know that one of the centres of the Renaissance
was in Hungary in the 15th century? That the Hungarian
statehood is over 1,000 years old? That after 1945,
the first armed revolution against Stalinism took place
in Hungary? That the iron curtain was dismantled on
the frontier of Hungary and Austria?
In Hungary, you can see regions with a particular atmosphere,
fabulous villages, churches and castles. You are welcome
in Budapest, which many consider to be one of the finest
cities of Europe, or maybe the whole world. If you are fond of tasty food, and
exclusive wines, this is the place that you will like!
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