The population of Hungary declined by 41,300, or by 3%, in 2018 as a net result of 89,800 live births and 131,100 deaths during the year, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday. The number of live births was down 1.9% over the year, with deaths dropping a slight 0.4%.
The KSH noted that the estimated total fertility rate was 1.49%, the same as in 2017, state news wire MTI noted. Thus, the willingness to have children remained unchanged and the number of live births fell due to the decline in the number of women of childbearing age.
The government recently announced a radical package of tax breaks and cheap loans for women committed to having children, in an effort to reverse Hungaryʼs persistent population decline.
In December alone, the number of live births was 5.3% fewer and that of deaths 5.7% more than in the same month of the previous year. The monthly natural decrease was 5,004 persons, some 27% more than in December 2017.
In 2018 as a whole, the largest increase of 1.3% in live births occurred in October, while the biggest drop of 7.2% was registered in May.
The largest monthly decrease in deaths in 2018 was recorded in January (down 22%), while the highest increase was seen in March (up 15%). The reason for this may have been the flu epidemic peaking later in 2018 than in the previous year, the KSH noted.
There were 9.2 live births and 13.4 deaths per thousand inhabitants across 2018. The number of infant deaths was 3.4 per thousand live births, the lowest value measured so far.
The estimated number of the resident population, calculated on the basis of the 2011 census and taking into account international migration, was 9,764,000 at the end of 2018.
The number of marriages in 2018 was 50,900, some 0.6% more than in 2017. The largest increase of 9.1% was measured in August, i.e. in the peak of the wedding season, while the most significant drop of 9.0% was recorded in July. The latter was attributed to the fact that there was one more weekend in July 2017.
Data for births, deaths and marriages in January 2019 will be published by the KSH on March 26.