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 five years later. In 2011, Hungary assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the EU for the first time.

Other Information

Natural Resources

bauxite, coal, natural gas, fertile soils, arable land

Land Use

arable land: 47.24%
permanent crops: 1.97%
other: 50.79% (2011)


9,919,128 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90

Ethnic Groups

Hungarian 92.3%, Roma 1.9%, other or unknown 5.8% (2001 census)


Roman Catholic 37.2%, Calvinist 11.6%, Lutheran 2.2%, Greek Catholic 1.8%, other 1.9%, none 18.2%, unspecified 27.2% (2011 est.)


Hungarian 84.6%, other or unspecified 16.4% (2011 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99.2%
female: 98.9% (2011 est.)



Government Type

parliamentary democracy


16 November 1918 (republic proclaimed); notable earlier dates: 25 December 1000 (crowning of King STEPHEN I, traditional founding date); 30 March 1867 (Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy established)

National Holiday

Saint Stephen's Day, 20 August; note - commemorates the date when his remains were transferred to Buda (now Budapest)