Since 2010, the number of marriages in Hungary has increased by 42% and the fertility rate by 21%. This was announced by the Secretary of State for Youth and the Family on September 5, 2019.
“Orban offered the first credible alternative to liberalism and repaired what forty years of communism had destroyed, such as family life and Christian values,” explained Norbert Baczko, the editor of the government website.
Hungary’s prime minister can rejoice: Katalin Novak, the state secretary for youth and family affairs, has analyzed in minute detail the results of the family policy led by those whom the Western media gleefully call the “champions of illiberalism.”
And the numbers are encouraging: a more than 40% increase in marriages between 2010 and 2019, while their numbers had dropped by 23% between 2002 and 2010, “thanks to the previous, left-wing government’s anti-family policy,” says Katalin Novak. The demographic decline that began with the communist era is indeed one of the challenges identified by Viktor Orban.
The figures also show a 21% increase in the fertility rate. Yet the country remains below the critical threshold of generation replacement: 1.5 children per woman in 2019 compared to 1.2 in 2002, where it needs to be at least 2.1. At the same time, “the number of abortions in Hungary, though still high, has dropped to an all-time low,” adds the government report.
But let it not be said to Katelin Novak that Hungarian demography is not yet at the height of that of other European states. Her response is scathing: “Europe’s population has been growing in absolute terms, but only due to migration.”
“The Hungarian government responded to the problem of population decline with a policy of supporting families,” Novak concludes. “Hungary now spends five percent of its GDP on family support schemes, twice the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) average and two-and-a-half times more than in 2010.”
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, reinforced by the results of the European elections of May 2019—52.33%—and by his domestic policy results, demonstrates the importance of a real family policy to increase the birth rate favoring the lives of people.