Hungary

 

Hungary became a Christian kingdom in A.D. 1000 and for many centuries served as a bulwark against Ottoman Turkish expansion in Europe. The kingdom eventually became part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under Communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and an announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos KADAR in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called “Goulash Communism.” Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004.

 

Geography:
Location: Central Europe, northwest of Romania
Geographic coordinates: 47 00 N, 20 00 E
People:
Population: 9,958,453 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 14.9% (male 767,824/female 721,242)

15-64 years: 68.2% (male 3,361,538/female 3,444,450)

65 years and over: 16.9% (male 622,426/female 1,058,582) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Hungary

conventional short form: Hungary

local long form: Magyar Koztarsasag

local short form: Magyarorszag

Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: name: Budapest

geographic coordinates: 47 30 N, 19 05 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 2.977 million (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 12.012 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 41 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 20

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 6

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 1 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Ground Forces, Hungarian Air Force (Magyar Legiero, ML) (2012)
Military service age and obligation: 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; 6-month service obligation (2010)

Economy:

Hungary has made the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy, with a per capita income nearly two-thirds that of the EU-25 average. The private sector accounts for more than 80% of GDP. Foreign ownership of and investment in Hungarian firms are widespread, with cumulative foreign direct investment totalling more than $60 billion since 1989. Hungary issues investment-grade sovereign debt. International observers, however, have expressed concerns over Hungary’s fiscal and current account deficits.

 

In 2007, Hungary eliminated a trade deficit that had persisted for several years. Inflation declined from 14% in 1998 to a low of 3.7% in 2006, but jumped to 7.8% in 2007. Unemployment has persisted above 6%. Hungary’s labour force participation rate of 57% is one of the lowest in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Transnational Issues:

Bilateral government, legal, technical and economic working group negotiations continue in 2006 with Slovakia over Hungary’s failure to complete its portion of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric dam project along the Danube; as a member state that forms part of the EU’s external border, Hungary has implemented the strict Schengen border rules.