Family policy in Hungary

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Family policy in Hungary refers to government measures in order to increase the national birthrate and stop the decline of Hungary's population. Hungary's family policy seeks to make childcare economically easier for new parents.



The Szabo family, the most famous soap opera in Hungary during the second half of the 20th century. It was a typical depiction of a Hungarian family of that time. Szabo csalad, Magyar Radio (1961) Fortepan 56323.jpg
The Szabó family, the most famous soap opera in Hungary during the second half of the 20th century. It was a typical depiction of a Hungarian family of that time.

Hungary's population has been declining since 1980 - when the country's population peaked at 10.7 million - and with that it is the country in Europe which has been shrinking for the longest time. The main cause of that is that women on average do not have 2.1 or more babies to keep the population stable (see TFR). There were no governments that could change this declining trend since 1980, however, there were several visible alterations during the last decades. [1] It fell from 2.17 in 1977 to 1.23 in 2011. [2] The Bokros package, the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the European debt crisis all accelerated that downward trend. [3]

Current situation

The Second Orbán Government made saving the nation from the demographic abyss a key aspect and therefore has introduced generous breaks for large families and greatly increased social benefits for all families. Those with three or more children pay virtually no taxes. In just a couple years, Hungary went from being one of the countries that spend the least on families in the OECD to being one of those that do so the most. [4] In 2015, it was almost 4% of GDP. [5]

Annual number of live births

Total Annual Live Births in Hungary [6]

Fertility rate

Total fertility rate in Hungary [7]

Support in salaries

The Orbán Government kept the earlier existed family allowance (Hungarian : családi pótlék) [8] and beside that introduced the family tax benefit (Hungarian : családi adókedvezmény). [9]

Marriage support

The government introduced the discount for first married couples (Hungarian : első házasok kedvezménye) which means that newly married couples receive together 5,000 HUF per month during the next 24 months after marriage. [10]

Housing support

Since 2015 CSOK (családi otthonteremtési kedvezmény, housing benefit) can be required by married couples for used or newly built houses and apartments if they promise that they will have one, two, three or four children. The size of support depends on the number of children the couple plans to have. At least one of the parents has to be under 40 years old. They also have to meet the following requirements: unpunished life, 180 days social security payment before the request (in case of one or two children) or 2 years social security payment (in case of 3 or more children). The children - who could be of blood or adoptee - have to live with the parents to fulfill the criteria. They can get CSOK as fix sum of money or as preferential mortgage rates on housing. It can be calculated as follows: [11]

Number of childrenBuying new apartment or house
Buying new apartment or house
Preferential mortgage rate
Buying used apartment or house
Buying used apartment or house
Preferential mortgage rate
1 childMinimum 40 m2 apartment or 70 m2 house600,000 HUFMinimum 40 m2 apartment or house600,000 HUF
2 childrenMinimum 50 m2 apartment or 80 m2 house2,600,000 HUFMinimum 50 m2 apartment or house1,430,000 HUF
3 childrenMinimum 60 m2 apartment or 90 m2 house10,000,000 HUF
+ 10,000,000 HUF fix payment
Minimum 60 m2 apartment or house2,200,000 HUF
4 or more childrenMinimum 60 m2 apartment or 90 m2 house10,000,000 HUF
+ 10,000,000 HUF fix payment
Minimum 70 m2 apartment or house2,750,000 HUF

Families can also refund most of their taxes up to 5 million HUF that they paid for house and building material purchases. Finally they need to pay just the 5% VAT. [12]

Maternity benefit

The amount of the maternity benefit is equal to the 225% of the minimal pension at the time of birth of the child (64,125 HUF in 2017), in case of twin it is 300% (85,500 HUF in 2017). It is a one-off support. [13]

Child care allowance

The child care allowance is paid monthly from the birth until the child's age of 2. Its size is equal to 70% of the mother's or father's - since one of them can apply for that - salary, but it cannot be higher than 140% of the current minimal wage. (Minimal wage was 138,000 HUF in 2018.) [14]

Free or reduced cost services for children

Several measures were introduced since 2010 that made services free or cheaper for families with children.

The vaccinations against the following diseases were free and obligatory in Hungary: tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, haemophilus influenzae, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis, streptococcus pneumoniae. [15] The government made vaccinations for other diseases free - chicken pox, the two types of meningitis and rotavirus - in 2018. [16]

Children in the first nine classes get free textbooks in school since 2017. Those children who are in higher classes but live in disadvantaged conditions, suffer from long-term illness, get child protection benefit, or live in a large family with three or more children are also entitled to free textbooks. However, the government plans to provide free textbooks for every pupils and students until the final exam. [17] [18]

Those children who live in disadvantaged conditions, suffer from long-term illness, get child protection benefit, or live in a large family with three or more children get also free or half price meals in nurseries, kindergartens and schools. Meanwhile, others get them on reduced prices. [19] [20]

Those youngsters younger than 20 who are going to achieve to get a European driving licence in Category B (motor vehicles) could take a course on KRESZ (similar to British Highway Code) for free and try the test for the first time at no charge. [21]

In case of taking a successful language exam on B2 or C1 level the price of the exam is refunded by the state if the examinee is under 35 years old. [22]

Children could use public transport free if they are accompanied by an adult and do not attend school yet. Pupils, students and undergraduates can use public transport at half price by showing their student card. [23]

Support for parents

Parents of one have 2 days extra paid vacation. Parents of two get 4 days and parents of three or more children receive seven days more of paid vacation than the average Hungarian. [24]

Support for grandmothers

The Women 40 (Hungarian : Nők 40) program makes it possible for women who have worked 40 years to retire in order to get more time to spend with grandchildren or with their own old parents. [25]

Support of Hungarians outside of Hungary

Maternity benefit (outside of Hungary)

Maternity benefit is a one-off support to Hungarian mothers living abroad and amounts to 64,125 HUF per child. In case of twins it is 85,500 HUF together. [26]

Baby bond (outside of Hungary)

Every Hungarian parent living outside of Hungary can require 42,500 HUF account per child. This money stays in the bank and bears interest until the child reach the age of 18 years. Then he or she can get the final amount. [27]

See also

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  1. Hungarian Free Press - Hungarian action plan seeks to dramatically increase birth rate by 2030 - May 25, 2017
  2. "Vital statistics, Hungarian Central Statistical Office". Retrieved 2015-05-18.
  3. - Sikeres e a magyar családpolitika? - István Szilas
  4. Visegrad Insight - The V4’s greatest existential threat - Demographic decline and an ageing population - Filip Mazurczak - August 5, 2014
  5. OECD - Public spending on family benefits
  8. - Családi pótlék
  9. - Családi adókedvezmény
  10. - Első házasok kedvezménye
  11. - Családi Otthonteremtési Kedvezmény
  12. - Jó hírt kaptak a családi házat építők - December 3, 2018
  13. - Anyasági támogatás
  14. - Gyermekgondozási díj - GYED
  15. - Kötelező és választható oltások gyerekeknek- Oltási rend - January 23, 2017
  16. - Öt új védőoltás lehet ingyenes
  17. Kinek jár ingyen a tankönyv szeptembertől? - Eduline - June 29, 2017
  18. - Tankönyvtámogatás
  19. Magyar Idők - Tovább bővülő családtámogatások - July 3, 2017
  20. - Étkezési térítési díjkedvezmény
  21. - Pár nap, és ingyenes lesz a KRESZ-vizsga - June 29, 2018
  22. Megvannak a részletek: így kaphatjátok vissza a sikeres nyelvvizsga díját January 5, 2018
  23. BKK - Helyi közlekedés kedvezményei
  24. - Gyermekek után járó szabadság
  25. - Nők 40
  26. - Köldökzsinór Program – a külhoni magyar családok támogatása
  27. - Köldökzsinór Program – a külhoni magyar családok támogatása

Further reading