Imre Kovách - Karolina Balogh: Population Dynamics of the Hungarian Villages 1995–2016 (2023)

Imre Kovách - Karolina Balogh (2023): Population Dynamics of the Hungarian Villages 1995–2016 European Countryside (Q2, IF:0,33)


In our pioneer study, we explore the number of population change in Hungarian villages based on the latest available statistical data (1995–2016), looking for the answer to whether the rapid and profound economic and social structural changes of post-socialism and the historically unique periods of accession to the European Union have rearranged the numerical dominance of the earlier largest rural population in Hungarian society. According to the concept of the post-socialist demographic turn, the population of the villages began to grow during the transformation crisis of the 1990s, and a significant part of the villages became marginalized. In contrast, agglomeration and suburbanization processes also intensified, which also contributed to changes in the number of villagers. We used the data of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and the Regional Information System (RIS), which were organised into a new database for the purposes of the research. The theory and methods of the population dynamics approach emphasize the need for more complex demographic studies. We argue that the absolute population of the villages has greatly decreased, but this is only an apparent shift because it is a consequence of the administrative designation of a large number of villages as cities. The paper concludes that from 1995 to 2016 population number of villages with the same administrative classification (village) remained relatively stable, and this is radically different from previous research findings. Keywords: Hungarian villages; population dynamics; the role of administrative designation, migration balance, the constancy of the number of villagers, classification of villages