Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


The Republic of Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe, bordered by Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. It is known locally as the Country of the Magyars or Magyarország.

Magyar Köztársaság
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: None
Official language Hungarian
Capital Budapest
PresidentFerenc Mádl
Prime MinisterPéter Medgyessy
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 108th
93,030 km˛
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 78th
Independence (foundation)
 December, 1000
Currency Forint (HUF)
Time zone UTC +1
National anthem Himnusz (Isten áldd meg a magyart)
Internet TLD.HU
Calling Code36

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Counties
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 External links


Main article: History of Hungary

Tradition holds that Hungary was founded by Árpád, who led the Magyars into the Pannonian plains in the 9th century. The kingdom of Hungary was established in 1000 by Saint-King Stephen the Great. Initially the history of Hungary was made in the triangle with Poland and Bohemia, with the many liaisons with Popes and Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.

Gradually Hungary turned into a big, independent kingdom, that formed a tolerant Central European culture, as a part of European civilisation. The Hungarian culture influenced others, i.e. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Together with Polish, Slovak and Czech lands, Hungary formed the Visegrád group of nations, a union that still exists today.

The golden age ended with the Ottoman conquest at the beginning of the 16th century, when the rest of Hungary came under Austrian control in the 16th century, with Austria conquering all of Hungary by the end of the 17th century.

Under the Austrian Habsburg dynasty, Hungary would eventually, in 1867, become an autonomous part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until the Empire's collapse following World War I. Hungary separated from Austria on October 31, 1918.

In March 1919 the communists joined the government, and in April, Béla Kun proclaimed the Hungarian Soviet Republic. A period of red terror began; the Romanian army invaded, the communist forces were defeated and the Soviet Republic toppled on August 6 1919. In January 1920, elections were held for a unicameral assembly. Admiral Miklós Horthy was elected Regent. In June, the Treaty of Trianon was signed, fixing Hungary's borders. Compared with the prewar Kingdom, the size and population of Hungary were reduced by about two-thirds.

Over a decade later, Horthy made a limited alliance with Nazi Germany in the 1930s, in the hope of revising the territorial losses that had followed World War I. Hungary was rewarded by Germany with territories belonging to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Romania, and took an active part in World War II. However, in October 1944, Hitler had to replace Horthy with a Hungarian Nazi collaborator to avert Hungary's defection.

Following the fall of Hitler, Hungary once again was run by communists. In 1956, a revolt and announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a military intervention by the Soviet Union and led to the deposition and execution of prime minister Imre Nagy. In the late 1980s, Hungary led the movement to dissolve the Warsaw Pact and shifted toward multiparty democracy and a market-oriented economy. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Hungary developed closer ties with Western Europe, joined NATO in 1999 and joined the European Union on May 1, 2004.


Main article: Politics of Hungary

The President of the Republic, elected by the parliament every 4 years, has a largely ceremonial role, but powers also include appointing the prime minister. The prime minister selects cabinet ministers and has the exclusive right to dismiss them. Each cabinet nominee appears before one or more parliamentary committees in consultative open hearings and must be formally approved by the president.

The unicameral, 386-member National Assembly (the Országgyűlés) is the highest organ of state authority and initiates and approves legislation sponsored by the prime minister. A party must win at least 5% of the national vote to form a parliamentary faction. National parliamentary elections are held every 4 years (the last was in April 2002). A 15-member Constitutional Court has power to challenge legislation on grounds of unconstitutionality.


Main article: Counties of Hungary

Hungary is subdivided administratively into 40 regions. Of these, 19 are counties (megyék, singular - megye) and 20 are so-called urban counties (singular - megyei város), in addition to which there is one capital city (főváros): Budapest. The other 39 are:

Urban countiesCounties (County Capital)

See also: List of historic counties of Hungary


Main article: Geography of Hungary

Hungary's landscape consists mostly of the flat to rolling plains of the Carpathian Basin, with hills and lower mountains to the north along the Slovakian border (highest point: the Kékes at 1,014 m). Hungary is divided in two by its main waterway, the Danube (Duna); other large rivers include the Theiss (Tisza) and Dráva, while the western half contains Lake Balaton, a major body of water. The largest thermal lake in the world, Lake Hévíz (Hévíz Spa) is located in Hungary. And the second largest lake in the Carpathian Basin (and probably the largest artificial lake in Europe) is Tisza-tó (Lake Theiss).

The local climate is temperate, with cold, cloudy, humid winters and warm summers, and the relative isolation of the Carpathian Basin makes it susceptible to droughts. Average annual temperature is 9.7 °C.


Main article: Economy of Hungary

Hungary continues to demonstrate strong economic growth as one of the newest members of the European Union (since 2004). The private sector accounts for over 80% of GDP. Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms is widespread, with cumulative foreign direct investment totaling more than $23 billion since 1989. Hungarian sovereign debt was upgraded in 2000 to the second-highest rating among all the Central European transition economies. Inflation and unemployment - both priority concerns in 2001 - have declined substantially. Economic reform measures such as health care reform, tax reform, and local government financing have not yet been addressed by the present government.


Main article: Demographics of Hungary

Some 98% of the population speaks Hungarian, a Finno Ugric language unrelated to any neighbouring language. Several ethnic minorities exist, such as those of the Roma (4%), Germanss (2.6%), Serbs (2%), Croats (0.9%), Slovaks (0.8%) and Romanians (0.7%), though most speak Hungarian. Several large Hungarian minorities exist across the border in neighbouring countries, notably in Ukraine (in Transcarpathia) , Slovakia, Romania (in Transylvania) and Serbia (in Vojvodina).

The largest religion in Hungary is Roman Catholicism (67.5%), with a Calvinist minority (20%). Other smaller denominations include Lutherans (5%) and Jews (0.2%). The remainder adheres to very small religions or is unaffiliated.


Main article: Culture of Hungary

Miscellaneous topics

External links

European Union (EU)
Austria | Belgium | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | United Kingdom

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
Belgium | Bulgaria | Canada | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | The Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Turkey | United Kingdom | United States

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Australia | Austria | Belgium | Canada | Czech Republic | Denmark | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Japan | South Korea | Luxembourg | Mexico | Netherlands | New Zealand | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Slovakia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Turkey | United Kingdom | United States

[ Edit {}] Countries in Europe
Albania | Andorra | Austria | Azerbaijan | Belarus | Belgium | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Czech Republic | Cyprus | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Kazakhstan | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Republic of Macedonia | Malta | Moldova | Monaco | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russia | San Marino | Serbia and Montenegro | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Turkey | Ukraine | United Kingdom | Vatican City
Dependencies: Faroe Islands | Gibraltar | Guernsey | Isle of Man | Jersey | Svalbard